We’ve all done it.
You know, stumbled across a blog that made you insanely jealous of their stunning design & beautiful imagery.
The blogs that leave you saying, “How can I get my blog to look like that?”.
You assume that they probably had a million dollar budget to hire a talented designer and you’ll never have that kind of money or those kind of resources.
Well, today I’m letting you in on a few professional blog design secrets, the processes that real designers use to build those beautiful blogs. And after reading this post, you’ll have the tools to make your blog look great without spending a cent on hiring a designer.
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
Right! Consider this your crash course in beautiful blog design.
Let’s jump in, shall we?
STEP 1: Create a clear design-style.
Before you can make your blog look great by picking fun colors or fonts, it’s VERY important to understand your blog’s design-style. This will give you a clear design aesthetic to lean on & draw inspiration from. It will also ensure that your blog as a whole is cohesive and visually appealing (which you definitely want).
So many factors come into play when selecting your design-style. But I find it easiest to search for visual inspiration and narrow down common design themes within the images that inspire you.
To make it easy for you, I’ve put together a visual quiz to help you narrow down and discover your blog’s design-style. I’ve also included corresponding color & font palettes to best match your design-style, giving your blog design the perfect, branded foundation.
[viralQuiz id=1 columns=2]
STEP 2: Choose a custom color palette.
Colors are SO important and will help define the feeling of your blog. You want to select a color palette that is in line with your overall design-style. If your blog’s design-style is minimal, you may want to opt for using black, white & gray in your color palette to keep your blog design clean & clutter free. If your blog’s design-style is playful, you may want to choose 1-2 accent colors that you can use to help make your design elements pop.
Using consistent, custom colors will make your blog look great & being to create branding throughout your blog. Your branding includes the colors, shapes, fonts & imagery that you’ll use throughout you blog. They are consistent on every post and every page. When a reader sees a graphic on Pinterest with your colors & fonts, they should be able to identify that it belongs to your blog without ever seeing your blog’s name.
So how do you select your actual colors?
Once you know your blog’s design-style & how you’d like to communicate that through colors, you can begin selecting the actual colors in your custom color palette.
I like to start with an image that contains the colors I’m planning on using in my blog design. I usually find this image by scrolling through Pinterest and searching for images that are related to my blog’s design-style.
For example, let’s say my blog’s design style is “playful”. I might search for “playful design” on Pinterest and find an image with colors that really draw me in.
Next, upload this image to a Color Picker website like this. Click the “Show Image’ button on the right and begin moving your cursor over the image you’ve uploaded. You can click on any area of the photo to obtain the exact color code for any color found in that image.
I would recommend selecting 2-3 colors that you like from that image to make up your color palette. You’ll then want to add 1 or 2 neutral colors that compliment your brighter colors (such as grays or creams).
Remember, your colors should be in line with your blog’s overall design-style. If you don’t yet know what that is, be sure to take the quiz above to find out!
STEP 3: Select your signature blog fonts.
The next step in your blog design process is to select your signature fonts! Just like your colors, these are going to be the ONLY fonts you use on your blog, social media accounts or promotional materials to continue to reinforce your blog’s branding.
The fonts you select should also reflect your blog’s overall design-style. For example, if your design-style is playful, you may want to choose fonts that are more organic & light in nature.
There are SO many different types of fonts to choose from and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with where to start.
A good formula to follow is to select one header font & one body font. In some cases, you may also want to select one handwritten font to compliment.
Your header font will be used for your blog post titles & headers within your posts while your body font will be used anywhere there is basic paragraph text.
These will also be the fonts you’ll use on any post or social media graphics you make for your blog.
If you want to see some great, pre-made font palettes specific to your design-style, be sure to take the design-style quiz above!
STEP 4: Use consistent imagery.
The last thing you need to think about in order to make your blog look great is your blog’s imagery. Your imagery will be what pulls everything together and gives it that professional, designer-like, make-all-the-other-blogs-jealous feel.
Just like your colors & fonts, you should be using the same style of images across all areas of your blog. If you’re blog is light and airy, all your photos should reinforce that design-style. They should have light backgrounds & not feel cluttered or heavy.
For example, if your blog post is about “5 Things Everyone Who Works From Home Should Know”, any images you’re using to supplement should be bright, have clean composition & make sense to include in your post. Taking a poorly lit, random photo and slapping it in your post isn’t going to cut it.
Your images should also reflect your design-style & color palette. If you have a blog with a minimal design-style, your photos should be simple and further reinforce the minimalist vibe. If your blog has a colorful design-style, your images should be bright, bold & full of color! Try and still include the specific colors you’ve selected for your color palette in your images to keep your branding consistent.
By being intentional about selecting colors, fonts & images that reflect your blog’s design-style, you’ll be well on your way to having a beautiful, branded, swoon-worthy blog.
If you missed last week’s #MAKEOVERYOURBLOG post, where I shared the #1 thing your blog needs to stand out, be sure to check it out here.
Next week, I’ll be sharing how to layout your blog for conversion, positive reader experience & traffic growth! See you then!
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