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Blog Credibility and Blog Design

Posted By Darren Rowse 26th of April 2006 Blog Design 0 Comments

This post is part of a series of posts on building blog credibility

I know that there is a variety of opinions on the value of blog design within ProBlogger’s readership so this might generate some interesting discussion but in my opinion blog design does matter. It is not the only or even best way to establish credibility as a blogger but it can definitely help.

First impressions count and in a world where there are millions of people pitching themselves on virtually any topic you can think of you need to seriously consider how you’ll stand out from the crowd and present yourself in a way that will draw readers into your blog.

Experience, Expertise, Longevity (and every other principle that I’ll talk about in this series) are great at building credibility once a reader makes a decision to actually explore your blog but there are a few crucial seconds that happen before this decision is made and blog design can play a big part and communicate a lot.

Ask yourself:

  • What does my blog communicate about me?
  • Do the messages I’m trying to convey get lost in the clutter or are they just not there at all?
  • Can people tell within a second or two what my blog is about at a first glance?
  • Does my design fit with the message that I want to convey?

I am not saying that every blog needs a professional design or that we should all spend loads of money and/or time getting our blogs looking right (in fact some bloggers get terribly distracted from the core business of writing quality content by constantly ‘tweaking’ their design) – all I’m arguing is that whether you like it or not people are making judgments about you and your blog every day based on many levels simply based upon how it looks.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • Darren,

    I’m looking for a blog web designer with a reasonable price for my blog elamb.org. I’ve tried to do this myself with my limited skills the result are that its a bit ametuer looking IMO, and anytime I spend on the design takes away from my marketing (money making) time.

    I’m also thinking of going to a more robust CMS or blogware such as Drupal or Expression Engine. I are there any professionals who are equal to or less that $500 that can give me something unique and professional?

  • Rob, there are tons of designers out there that work cheaply. if you want to email me at jesse a t resiny d o t org I can help you find someone

  • Rob, I use EE on all of my blogs and just had my personal one redesigned by a professional. I’m now in line to have Ginkgo Dreams undergo the same treatment.

    I’ve spent too many hours trying to do the work on my own, and it will be worth every penny I spend.

    E-mail if you want details about what I paid and the whole design process.

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  • I posted a trackback to this post called
    “Under the Microscope” but, it didn’t show up as trackbacks so I reposted it manually here.

  • I agree, it took me a really long time, but I have finally found a template that works for my blog. But it is important because readers don’t like messy pages unless that is the type of blog you are doing.

  • Do the messages I’m trying to convey get lost in the clutter or are they just not there at all?

    Clutter is a problem that especially affects blogs. I see a large number of blogs that have all sorts of distractions. You can find blogrolls, social bookmarking buttons, feeds buttons, surveys, flickr photos, maps, and tens of other “features”. And they are all on the side bar! For me, less is more. You should have navigational aids, but the rest is useless.

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  • I agree on the term “Less is more”

    cluttering side bars with useless stuff distracts readers from focusing on the content itself

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  • Anyone can tell me if my blog is too cluttered?

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