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What is Blog Design: A Complete Guide

What do you do first when you click on a blog post? 

Read every word?


Skim through the content? 

At least 80% of readers do the second one. We all skim through the content, read titles, and visualize data before deciding if the content is worth our time. All of these characteristics are part of your blog design. 

The internet has so much written about content and less about its presenter. The design and structure of the blog make content easier to find, share, and understand. 

We analyzed top marketing blogs to understand good blog design and how you can interpret it for your website. 

Let's get started.  

What is Blog Design?

Blog design refers to the visual layout, structure, and aesthetics of a blog hub or the article itself. 

This includes fonts, colors, typography, navigation, and other geographical components to create an appealing and functional user experience.

Good blog design aims to attract and engage visitors, make content easily accessible, and reflect the personality or branding of the blog owner or organization.

Why is Blog Design Important? 

Brian Dean, the founder and former owner of Backlinko, credits his blog design as one of the top reasons his blogs got noticed in the early days.

Today, Backlinko receives over 522k users monthly and still prioritizes design for his blogs. 

Brian says, "Even though my blog has grown exponentially since my early days, my entire team and I still prioritize design for the blog."

If you are still in doubt why blog design is important, let me give you some reasons:

1. User Experience

The design of your blog is often the first thing a visitor notices when they land on your site.

A well-designed blog makes it easy for users to find what they are looking for and consume your content. On the other hand, a badly structured blog frustrates users, forcing them to leave and never return. 

2. Visual Appeal and Readability 

Visual appeal and readability are two key factors that make or break a user's experience on your website. In fact, 75% of people form their opinions on a website based on their aesthetics.

A visually appealing blog encourages users to explore your site further. Readability, on the other hand, makes it easier for them to understand what you are trying to convey. 

3. SEO and Discoverability

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of ranking content through keywords, quality content, and relevance of your content on a user's search query.

Investing time and money in SEO can increase your chances of getting discovered by people looking for your solution. 

4. Branding and Consistency 

Your company's logo, typography, and color scheme give identity to your blog. Sticking consistently to the identity makes it memorable and easier to recognize.

When creating a brand, it's crucial to have a unique identity that establishes trust and increases the chances of users returning to your website.

5. Monetization and Revenue Generation 

When you invest time and effort into something, you expect it to generate revenue. Suppose you are a blogger looking to turn your passion for writing into a source of income.

In that case, you can monetize your blogs through affiliate marketing, advertising, selling products or services, or sponsored content. The key to success as a blogger is to create a sustainable business that is aligned with your goals. 

Important Elements to Add to Your Blog's Design

There are no hard-and-fast rules that a blog page should have all these mentioned elements. But, if you are looking for some thumb rules to get started, have a look at these:

1. Search Functionality

Imagine you are on a website with hundreds of blogs and no search bar. What would you do? You are most likely to bounce back and look for other resources. 

Nowadays, users have become accustomed to hit search and the convenience of writing a query and having relevant results returned.

A well-built search function helps users navigate a site and may want to search, especially if they know what they are looking for. 

How do you see if your visitors are actually using your search bar?

Use the Google Analytics tool to find what people are searching for on your search bar.

Go to Behavior> Site Search>Search terms; you will get a list of keywords (long and short) or topics people are interested in learning from your website. 

Searches are a good sign. People searching on your website mean they like it. Nobody would take the time to search on a website that’s garbage. 

You can place your search bar at the top or in the sidebar. It's important to put it where users can easily find it and not get distracted by anything else on the page. 

2. Author Name and Photo

Author bio matters a lot for SEO. Google's new update ranks content on their EAT score. EAT means Expertise, Authoritative, and Trustworthiness metrics. It checks out the reputation of your authors to determine whether the content is valuable to the readers. 

Author bios are how Google assigns value to a person. For instance, Neil Patel could write for any domain, and the site would gain value because of his knowledge status. 

A good author bio is relatively short and well-crafted, between 50-100 words. Besides author’s full name, it has these elements:

  • Author’s title/designation
  • A clear headshot
  • Byline
  • Professional expertise and interests
  • Links to social media profiles
This is an excellent example of an author bio on Hubspot. It contains the author's full name, mentioned at the beginning of the bio, followed by his social media profiles and website link. The bio also highlights the author's area of expertise or focus within the broader realm of marketing, sales, or customer service.

Optimized pictures in the blog author pages make your bio appealing and give visitors a face to associate with the name. People often recognize authors solely based on their bio photos. It makes content more human and forges a strong connection with the readers.

3. Published Dates and Last Updated Dates

Adding a published date is non-negotiable and a last updated date is good to have. When you put a date on your post, you give readers the privilege to assume how recent the content is. 

Blog posts without dates mean that someone reading your post has no idea when the post was written and whether they should trust the information provided in the blog. 

A post by Val Head on X (Twitter), the designer at Adobe, is frantic about blogs that don't have dates. She says that following old tutorials can be misleading for brands and users who are new to the topic. 

So, what should you do—date or no date? Adding published dates depends on your niche. 

If your post is timeless, i.e., it doesn't really matter when you read it; the content would still be as relevant as it was yesterday, so adding dates might be optional. 

For instance, a blog post on “Choosing the right link building agency” by Profitengine is evergreen content unless Google brings a radical change in its ranking system. You will find this content relevant to the end of time.

Now, if your niche is technical and you mostly write about tutorials and the latest technologies, having a date quickly allows readers to assess the value of the information. Bonus: Add updated dates for readers to know when the content is updated. 

Now, if you check out this article on The Future of Artificial Intelligence by Scribe, the future of artificial intelligence is bound to evolve over time. Some things that are written today might not be relevant with new technological advancement in AI. 

4. Social Share Buttons 

While SEO will be your primary traffic source, you should still promote it on social media. According to Hubspot, 30% of blog readers discover blogs through social media posts.

If somebody likes your content, sharing it on their social channels makes it easy. Research shows that most people place their share buttons either at the top of the search post (36%) or on the side that often follows the reader till the end of the page (33%).

Many websites also add the share buttons in line with the rest of the content. So readers can share the exact phrase they found valuable. A prime example of this would be Medium. You highlight, write your comments, or share selected content on X (Twitter). 

5. Email Signup Box 

Visitors who start their visit on a blog post are less likely to become customers but are very likely to subscribe to your mailing list. Signup boxes can be built into your WordPress theme and can be added using a plugin (in your CMS) or a third-party widget or plugin. 

Here is a list of places where you can put up your email signups for a blog:

You can also use resources or lead magnets to attract users to sign up on your email list. The call-to-action (CTA) should be prominent and tell visitors exactly what they are getting. 

Check out this email signup box on MailerLite's blog post. It promises to offer a free email marketing series delivered across 10 days. For someone who wants to learn email marketing but doesn't want to spend money, this could be an excellent opportunity. For MailerLite, this can be an opportunity to prove their skill and expertise in email marketing.

6. Call-to-action

A call-to-action is a short message or button on your website that encourages your readers to take a specific action, like downloading an ebook, filling out a form, signing up for a product, or an email newsletter. 

Having a clear and compelling CTA gives your readers a clear path on what to do next. You don’t want to lose them. The internet has millions of blog posts, so the chances of meeting a reader again are negligible. 

Here are three types of CTAs you need to have on your blog:

Email CTAs

Newsletter subscriptions are crucial to directly reach out to your audience with new information. But, they need to be done well to be effective. Your email sign-up form should tell your readers exactly why they should sign up and what they can expect.

This is an email CTA by Orbit Media that establishes authority through the number of people who trust them with their personal emails. 

Get started CTAs

When a person first clicks on your blog, they are not ready to buy from you right away. However, there’s information that they would love to know about your product or its features. You can add a “Get Started” CTA at the end of a blog post to encourage users to take action. 

For instance, check out Sender’s CTA, where it mentions its features and why you should use it for email marketing. Plus, you can click on the CTA box to start using Sender for free. 

Read more CTAs
Every website owner’s goal is to pull people deeper into their site. A “read more” CTA provides other relevant content related to what a reader is currently reading. This kind of CTA is very common and makes a lot of sense to readers. 

ActiveCampaign’s related posts section keeps users on the website longer by providing them with additional content that is relevant to what they've just read.

The type of CTA you use on your website depends on your website’s objective. But, the purpose of each of your CTA should be to:

  • Encouraging visitors to become top-of-funnel leads
  • Assessing and qualifying top-of-funnel leads
  • Converting leads into customers
To enhance your website conversions, ensure your CTAs are unmistakable, prominent, and provide something of value.

7. Table of Contents 

Search engines utilize the Table of Contents (TOC) and anchoring links from blog posts as featured snippets in search results. A TOC is a simple list of topics usually displayed at the beginning of a post so readers can quickly see what they are looking for and whether they want to continue reading. 

For instance, this TOC by Later serves as a roadmap for readers, guiding them through the structure and content of a blog. The hyperlinks included in the TOC allow readers to click on a chapter or section title to navigate directly to that portion of the blog. 

The modern version of a TOC allows readers to directly jump to that section in the article. This is extremely useful compared to reading a 2200+ word article only to realize it doesn't cover the topic you were looking for. Most people seek simple answers to their queries, and a TOC helps them provide the information needed to make a decision. 

7 Expert Design Tips For Better Engagement 

Now that you understand the importance of the relationship between content and design, let's explore how to design your content for maximum impact. 

1. Create a Style Guide For Your Brand

Without a brand identity, there's only so much you can do to grow your online presence. After all, people have enough content to read online and decide, so why would they choose a brand they cannot recognize and trust? Creating a brand style guide is the best way to define your brand positioning.

Style guides determine the look and feel of a company's branding. The goal is to create a consistent experience for all the readers that improves your website's credibility among readers.

Let us explain the typical elements of a style guide through a Starbucks style guide:

Color Palette

Your brand's color palette is unique and easily identifiable. It consists of a selection of colors your company utilizes for branding purposes. A brand color palette should encompass primary, secondary, and neutral colors to offer diverse design choices with depth and variety.

Starbucks' color palette is its most identifiable asset. The use of green is evident from the color of their logos to the staff's apron.


Typography encompasses more than just selecting a font; it involves choosing primary and secondary fonts with different weights and styles to cater to various purposes. It significantly influences a website's user experience by enhancing accessibility and readability.

Starbucks' typography is based on three fonts: Sodo Sans, Lander, and Pike. These bold and expressive fonts can be condensed to write functional headlines. 

Imagery and Iconography

Approved imagery and pre-designed icons serve as unique symbols representing your brand. These icons are versatile elements that can be utilized consistently throughout various materials such as blogs and eBooks to maintain a cohesive visual identity.

Starbucks' imagery and illustrations are rooted in its brand and legacy and are evolving with trends to give a custom feel.