There are pages upon pages you can read about blogging, how it works, what are considered the best practices and so on. Some of this information is indisputable, some is controversial, some is subjective and works only for a limited number of people, but on average it isn’t too hard to get the sense of what you need to run a successful blog.
Now, affiliate marketing doesn’t differ much from your run-of-the-mill blogs in terms of its functionality, but the subtle differences between a good and a terrible site can make even the most experienced blogger go mad. Instead of focusing on all the SEO on-page practices that you might probably know by heart by now, let’s focus on one important, obvious, and often neglected aspect that is guaranteed to make your affiliate blog pop, and draw much-needed eyes to it:
Simply, how good your blog looks.
What design facets are important
Humans are by their very nature visual beings and we learn and take in most of the information in a visual format. Naturally, this means that we are particularly vulnerable to manipulation and we are all victims of our psychology every now and then.
That’s why we use different fonts, various advertising tricks, pretty ladies in car commercials. We are programmed to identify certain visual cues to mean good things, and to find some other extremely unappealing.
Some of the simplest things you need to pay attention are fonts, spacing and whitespace in general. Most importantly, you want to make your content easy to read, with short paragraphs, nice spacing, fairly big letters, and multiple sections that provide structure to your articles.
In addition, any sort of images, animations, and videos can greatly increase your blog appeal. Stuff like infographics and maps can greatly increase your engagement rates, and even make your content viral. People like to share ideas, but it is far more appealing to share an image than a block of text over social media.
While there is no perfect font type, there are certainly some that are more popular than others. In essence, most of this stuff is pretty much standardized, and you can see a certain type of uniformity in blog design.
What are CSS and HTML, and how blog design was made easier
On the other hand, CSS, or cascading style sheets, are a sort of a style guide that makes the pages look good. It describes colors, layouts, fonts and other visual elements of the page so that it can be adapted to various screen sizes and printers. It is independent of HTML, and can be used with other mark-up languages.
A number of years ago, you had to do most of your page design manually, by coding it. Needless to say, this was quite a chore, and it limited the number of people that took up online writing, and most of those blogs that did exist weren’t especially appealing.
That all changed with the emergence of something that we call a Content Management System, or CMS in short. CMS aren’t used solely for web content distribution, but the likes of WordPress, Squarespace, ghost made this type the most famous.
Instead of having to deal with a lot of manual formatting, CMSs offer various templates, and user interface that makes any changes to design significantly easier. In essence, they allow you to use CSS, and HTML without having to know virtually any of it.
However, it is not a bad idea to invest some time and learn at least the basics, as it can unlock some additional options for your blog design and optimization that would make it unique, compared to pre-established templates that most people use nowadays.