Style & Content: Which One To Prioritize on Your Blog
I know a lot of bloggers who’ll say that content trumps everything else on your blog but I disagree. You can have the best content on the Internet but if your design makes my eyes bleed I’m not going to read it. Here are some things to consider when it comes to your blog’s style versus its content.
You Only Have A Few Seconds
You only have a few seconds, and we’re talking around 5 to 6, to grab the visitor’s attention. The first thing they’re going to see when they arrive on your blog is the overall theme and your header, if you’re using one. If it looks cheesy and unprofessional and it’s cluttered with ads, you’re in trouble.
On the other hand, chances are they arrived on your blog by following a link and that link was the title for one of your blog posts. If it’s engaging enough then your visitors will overlook minor style issues because they want to read that article. But again, you only have a few seconds to grab them with your content.
If you have a horrible design your readers will probably be forgiving, provided you immediately give them something worth reading.
What About The Theme?
Your theme should showcase your content, not detract from it. In other words, you don’t want your visitors spending their time looking at all your pretty decorations. Eventually, they’re going to see everything and then the only reason they’d want to stay on your blog is if you have something interesting to say.
So, your theme or style is important, because it provides a surrounding for your content. But it should also reflect the theme of your content. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you wouldn’t want to have puppies and kittens in the background, and if you’re blogging about recipes you probably want something a little homier than an all-white background.
In the end, though, like I said, eventually your visitors are going to get tired of looking around and they’re going to focus on what you have to say. If it’s not very interesting or engaging, they’re not coming back.
It Has To Be Easy To Read
Once they get past everything you have hanging on the wall, your visitors need to be able to actually read your content. Fancy fonts or a mixed bag of colors are attractive, and they’ll certainly grab attention. Well-written, informative content will also grab attention. But only if your visitors can actually read it.
If It’s Not Easy To Read It Has To Be Worth The Pain
I know there are a lot of popular blogs out there with black backgrounds and neon fonts and even though some of them are in my favorite niches – like horror or gaming – I just can’t stand to visit. I love the idea of that dark, eerie feeling you get on these blogs and I’d love to have one myself someday. But these blogs just kill my eyes.
Obviously, they’re doing something right or they wouldn’t have lasted this long and people would still be creating new dark, eerie blogs. But so far I haven’t found one that has content that’s so outstandingly remarkable that it’s worth the pain.
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