Velocitize your web marketing

Go Blog Yourself Step 5: Be Easy On The Eyes

It’s just a fact of life, good looking people get more attention. We walk through the checkout line in the grocery store and see half a dozen magazines filled with beautiful faces on top of beautiful bodies. A good looking woman walking through the mall is bound to turn a few heads. Commercials are filled with models that pass the schwing test. (Yes, I pulled out my 80′s innuendo reference manual for that!)

Angelina JolieOur love of beauty isn’t just focused on the human body. We love well manicured lawns, beautiful sunsets, and gorgeous building architecture. Some of us even go to restaurants where the food is pretty. Face it, we are very visual people.

It strikes me as odd, that as much stock as we place in things that are wonderful to look at, we often don’t take as much care with our blogs. I understand that it’s not easy putting together a website that looks good. It takes effort, skill and often a good amount of money. So instead of doing what needs to be done we skimp. Blogs, on the other hand are far easier, it’s just a matter of finding a good theme and running with it. But for whatever reason, that often doesn’t happen.

We dress appropriately for our jobs but our blogs are going to work everyday in beat-up sweat pants and unkempt hair. It may not be an ugly site, but it certainly ain’t much to look at.

This brings me to a humorous aside. Over the years I’ve talked to dozens of people who run crappy looking websites but they refuse to make any type of aesthetic changes to them. Why? Because they continue to get the rare compliment on how beautiful their site is. I’ve had this syndrome myself and it can be quite comical. All it takes is a few compliments from people who don’t know any better (why trust the experts who do) and it’s clear that the world agrees your site is the web equivalent of Halle Berry in the movie Swordfish.

Believe me, it’s not.

I looked.

Twice.

Looking good and having site appeal

Having a good looking blog starts with having a good looking website design. It’s amazing how easy it is to throw up a blog. But putting one together that is visually appealing to your audience is often another matter all together. There’s more to a website or a blog than a header, side navigation, and a few images.

What looks good varies from industry to industry so don’t think this is all about being “pretty”. You want to look good for the audience you are trying to reach. Pink and flowery doesn’t work with a rugged outdoors blog. Hard-hats and burly men won’t work on a blog about women’s health. Well, maybe it does a bit, I don’t know.

The point is, you have to make your blog appealing to the audience it is intended for. You won’t have credibility selling scientific papers with images of half-naked models used in your each of your posts. Of course you might sell more if you include the pictures in the papers, but still, your credibility will be shot, and you’ll annoy your audience for having to explain to their wives that they only buy it for the articles.

Once you’ve got a good looking blog, there is a usability aspect that needs to work as well. The navigation, headings, content, visuals and images all need to work together to complete the package.

Nobody get’s excited about seeing paragraph upon paragraph of blog content. Or for that matter too many pictures with little textual value. There is a balance somewhere in between. Your text can be made more visually appealing by formatting your heading tags to stand out and get read. Use pictures to provide visuals to your words. If you’re are pimping your products or services use pictures to give your content meaning, clarity and further understanding of what you are selling.

Too much of any one thing is still too much. Your blog needs to be balanced. Visuals need content and content needs visuals. And there is no reason that either the content or visuals should not be visually appealing to the site visitor.

Your readers will come to your blog for the content. But if it’s not presented in a visually appealing way there will be some credibility loss. This is especially true if your blog is tied to your business website. Build a decent blog design that fits your target audience and appeals visually to them for the type of information they are coming back to read. When you make it easy on the eyes, you make it something that people will continue to come back for.

Other posts in the “Go Blog Yourself” series
* Introduction: Writing Your Blog Post with Pen in Hand and SEO in Mind
* Step 1: Know Who’s Looking
* Step 2: Know What They Want to See
* Step 3: Have a Good Pick-Up Line
* Step 4: Reveal the Goods
* Step 5: Be Easy On The Eyes
* Step 6: Keep Them Interested
* Step 7: Give Them More Than They Came For
* Step 8: Do It Right and Do It Again


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Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm who's pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his bride enjoy and his children. Read Stoney's full bio.

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