Last week I published a post that posed the question, How important is design to a blog’s success? I am really pleased with the depth of the comments that have been entered on that post by readers and by some designers that I respect. If you didn’t read that post, my point was essentially that design does have an impact on a blog’s level of success, but not as much of an impact as other areas, such as the quality of content.
To be honest, I was a bit (pleasantly) surprised at the overall feeling of the readers who commented. The overwhelming feeling was that design does play a significant role in the life of a blog (although other views have been shared too). While I do feel that design should be a priority for bloggers, I sometimes wonder how much my opinion is biased because of my perspective as a designer.
A few different readers commented that high quality designs are common with A-list blogs like Freelance Switch, ProBlogger and others. Most readers expect a top blog to have a quality of design that equals the quality of content. With that in mind, is your blog design capable of helping you to get to the next level of blogging success?
It’s obviously common and critical for bloggers to focus on content and being able to create better and more unique posts that will help the blog to grow, but what about design? In my opinion, your blog should look like it belongs at the level you are aiming for, not at your current level. This doesn’t mean that your blog has to be fancy and have lots of bells and whistles, some very good blogs have a fairly simple, yet attractive and effective, design.
This also doesn’t mean that your blog has to feature the best design in your niche. However, an improved theme design can help new visitors to see your blog at the level that you want to reach. Granted, if the content doesn’t back it up, it really doesn’t make much of a difference in the long-term.
To be fair, this is an issue that needs to be addressed with this blog as well. When the current theme was developed there were about 100 subscribers. At that time, I think the design reflected where it was headed, but as I look at the blogs that are where I want to be, this theme is lacking. Within the next few months that should change.
What are Your Thoughts?
I’m very interested in again getting some of your thoughts on this issue. You’ve probably heard the expression “You should dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” Do you agree that this also applies for blogs?