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Does Your Website Content Match Your (lovely) Blog Design?

Does Your Website Content Match Your Blog Design? Find out how to do this on DesignYourOwnBlog.com

Does Your Website Content Match Your Blog Design?

While great website design is important to attract readers when they first come across your site, it’s the actual content that will keep them sticking around. But writing content that engages the reader is about more than just getting words on the page. By putting some thought into your word choice and language, you’ll attract more readers and be able to better serve your audience.

Hey folks, please welcome Nell Casey for the beginning of a short Blog Writing + Content series.

Read part 2 by Ely Delaney and part 3 by Razwana Wahid. Take it away Nell…

You’ve put a lot of working into designing your own blog to make sure it is a great first impression.

But when your readers delve deeper into your site, what do they find?

Does your written content (like your Home Page and About Page) match your website design and branding? Or is it a case of David Beckham Syndrome – beautiful package with a voice that doesn’t quite sound right?

In many ways, getting the tone right on your blog comes down to time. The more you write, the better you get at expressing yourself and identifying your true voice (seriously, some of my earliest blog posts don’t sound like me at all…).

But, it’s still important to put some thought into the tone and language of your web copy up front, particularly for the most important parts of your site like your About Page. This page is one of the most visited on your site, and not only does it set the tone for the rest of your blog, it also lets readers know that they’ve come to the right place.

You have to show them that your site is going to solve their problem, provide inspiration, teach them something new or entertain them. If they can’t glean that within 15-20 seconds of reading, they’ll be out of there, never to return.

Now you don’t want that to happen, so I’ve put together some helpful tips on making sure your website copy matches your design and brings you the loyal readers that you want.

Does Your Website Content Match Your (lovely) Blog Design? Learn to Captivate your audience on DesignYourOwnBlog.com

Captivate Your Audience. (Image credit: Flickr/tatoodjay)

Know Your Audience

This is the most important aspect of coming up with the tone of your site. After all, without readers whom are you really writing for?

Think about the type of person who you want to attract to your site. Are they male or female? How old are they? What do they do and where do they live? I find it helps to come up with a profile of just one person and then imagine that I am just writing to them. You might find that your ideal reader is quite similar to you, say if you were a designer writing for other business owners. Or they might be very different, such as a wellness coach writing for teenage girls.

Once you’ve come up with your reader profile, ask yourself what language they would connect with. Generally, a younger audience will prefer more casual language and tone than an older reader.

It’s also important to think about what language they would expect to find on your site. If you’re a lawyer writing about family relationships then it’s not really appropriate to use BuzzFeed-type language, even if your target audience is the type who visits both sites.

Think About How You Want People to Feel

Once you’ve thought about whom you are writing for, you need to think about how you want to make them feel.

Of course, this will be influenced by the colors and branding of your site too. If you’ve downloaded the free 3 Ways to ROCK Your Blog Design e-book (which you should), then you’ll know that color choice can impact on people’s mood.

But did you know that language can be just as powerful?

Picture a site that describes itself as bohemian, nurturing and serene and uses earthy-language.

Then imagine one that is cutting-edge, playful and energetic.

Now if a site that described itself as bohemian used neon colors and modern typeset, it wouldn’t just look wrong, it’d put people off.

So with your own site, when you think about the colors and branding you are using, also put some thought into the language. If you write in a short, sharp tone then a light, feminine design will seem a bit off, and will confuse your reader.

Make It About Your Reader

If it’s your blog, then it’s all about you, right? Well, sort of yes, but mostly no.

As I mentioned above, if you’re not writing with a reader in mind then really all you’ve got is an online diary. Which is fine if that’s all you want. But I’m guessing that with all the hard work you’re putting in you’d actually like to have people visit your blog.

When I review websites, the About Page is often the worst contender when it comes to not thinking about what will engage the reader.

How often have you come across a site that’s all about the author? Their about page is ten paragraphs long and is all their story, how they got started, what they do. Imagine going to a party and giving someone your whole life story when all they’ve asked is what you do. You wouldn’t, right?

Yes that stuff’s important. But only in the context of what you provide to your visitors. Focus on your reader. What are their problems? Why should they follow your blog or buy your products?

Then weave your experience and passions through that.

Conclusion

When it comes to your content, there’s a lot to think about. So let’s just recap the important points of writing content that will make your readers stick around.

  1. Know Your Audience – what language will they connect with? Write as if you were speaking to them in real life.
  2. Think about what feeling you want to convey in your language and word choice – fun and flirty? Relaxed and bohemian? Edgy and sarcastic? Make sure your design choice reflects this.
  3. Make your site about your reader – what do they most want to hear? Your content should show them that you understand their problems/interests/desires and can help them?

What questions do you have around your writing your website content? What type of feeling or mood do you try to convey in your content?

Nell Casey of www.NellCasey.comAbout Nell Casey
Nell is a content creator for creative small businesses. She loves helping crafty types find their ideal customers and sell more products. She spends far too much time on Instagram.

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15 Comments

  • Hi Nell,
    Number 3 is the most difficult, in my opinion. It takes time and trial and error to find what your readers like the most, but it still deserve the effort!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂
    Dima Al Mahsiri recently posted…10 Tea Tree Oil Uses You Should KnowMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      It IS difficult Dima, you’re right! But you could always poll your readers on social media or even through the blog comments. Try to reach out to your readers and ask them specifically what they want to hear.

    • Nell says:

      Hi Dima,

      Yep it’s certainly really hard to know what your readers really want. Marianne’s suggestion to poll them is great. You could also have a look at your analytics and see what is getting the most views and shares to figure out the type of content you could do more of.

      Thanks for commenting!

      Nell
      Nell recently posted…8 Essentials for a Brilliant Online Store About PageMy Profile

  • Rochelle says:

    This is great advice — I’ll be going back to my About Page and making it more about my readers. I do that at the beginning, a bit, but then later on down the page it’s all about me. I’ll be fixing that. Thanks so much Nell!
    Rochelle recently posted…How to Schedule Without ScreamingMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Rochelle! I think it’s definitely ok to have info about you, people DO like to get to know the person behind the blog. I will be adding some of that back into my own About page soon. But yeah, at least the first part should be all about the reader and why they should stay.

      THEN if they want to keep reading, great, but they don’t have to. They got what they came for. 🙂

    • Nell says:

      Hi Rochelle,

      Yep you can certainly have stuff in there about you – but just make it relevant and weave it into the story about what you do and how you can help your readers. It’s a fine line, I agree.

      Nell
      Nell recently posted…8 Essentials for a Brilliant Online Store About PageMy Profile

    • Razwana says:

      Rochelle – A lot of website owners make the assumption that the About page has to be about them in total. Not the case at all!

      When someone reads your About page, they’re mostly thinking ‘how can this person help me? How relevant is their story to me?’.

      As a copywriter, I see this all the time – About pages written without info relevant to the audience. It’s all about the branding of the message ..
      Razwana recently posted…Essential reading for when you want to write a sales page, but your mind goes blankety-blankMy Profile

  • Tasha says:

    I find it hard to get the content right some times. I’ll see readers really love & engaging on a post so I create follow up post… Then there is crickets nothing.

    • Marianne says:

      I know what you mean Tasha! It’s frustrating. But I think every blogger experiences that. The main thing is to keep promoting your content and asking readers what they want.

  • I love the idea of taking a poll of your readers to find out what they’d like to learn! I have a very small readership and very few interactions and this may be why. If people aren’t interested in what I want/like to read about, then I need to figure out how I can serve them better. Thanks, Nell!
    Laura Brzegowy recently posted…This Works Thursday #12My Profile

  • Tiffany says:

    I actually laughed out loud at the David Beckham comment. That’s too funny! I think the thing I struggle with the most (and I’m working on it) is making my site about the reader. The more I write, and connect with other people, the better I get at understanding what people want, and how I can best assist them on my website.

    • Ah … Mr Bekham …what a let down … !!

      You’re going about it the right way, Tiffany – by connecting with and understanding people that are part of your target audience. They’ll tell you all you need to know.

      • Marianne says:

        So true Tiffany and Raz! It’s definitely not that easy to write to what your readers want sometimes, but it also takes practice! Thanks you two for the comments!

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