Happy Sunday everyone!
Last week was very exciting for me - what with the launch of my new website and Creative Convex. It was crazy FUN! However, now its time to get back on track with the series we've got running on the blog - Content Creation Hacks for Bloggers and Creative Business owners. Today I am going to talk about content design - how to design content in a way that is attractive, easy for readers to understand and remember. The previous posts focussed on generating ideas for content, creating a editorial calendar and writing content, you can check them out here:
Consistent: The design of the content needs to provide the same experience to the readers as your brand. Consistency breeds trust - so its important that the content you write flows well with the rest of your brand. For instance, my overall design philosophy is minimalistic with a pop of color. So, it wouldn't be advisable for me to design content with a ton of of colors and fancy fonts which don't fit in with my brand. By creating a consistent design across the brand (Content, Social Media, Website etc.), you can create a visual relationship with your readers.
Easy and reader-friendly: If you want your readers to come back to your blog, you need to make your content easy and reader friendly. In today's world, with too much content online and too little time, readers tend to hop from one page to another, and pause to only read content that appears friendly and easy on their eyes. So, your content needs to be designed in way that is easily absorbed.
Easy to recall and remember: Good design is memorable. Well spaced, structured and organized content is easier to remember. So its useful to design in a way that the important takeaways from the content are apparent in just a glance.
Create a style guide: Visual content marketing platforms like Pinterest and Bloglovin' are extensively used to promote content and businesses online. In my experience, using consistent, branded visuals that reflect and remind people of your brand is one of the best ways to get noticed on Pinterest. Using a style guide for your content is super important for creating branded visuals. If you have already invested time in defining a solid brand identity for your business, you can use the same style guide for your visuals. If not, I highly recommend creating one as soon as possible. Decide on all the visual elements such as color, typography, illustrations, icons, photography, white space etc. while creating your visual style guide, and make sure to stick to it always.
Creating graphic templates: Following up on the previous point, graphics templates are a great way to maintain the consistency I was talking about. Graphic templates is something that I use myself to create the hero image for my blog posts. This ensures that the colors, fonts, letter spacing, everything is consistent across all blog posts and is also in line with my branding. It also saves me a ton of time while creating the graphics as I already have a template ready for all the topics I write about, all I need to do is just switch out the title and the sub titles!
Infographics: I've mentioned before - A picture speaks a 1000 words, that’s cliche. But an infographic speaks at least a 100,000 words! Infographics are an appealing way to design content and are super useful as they combine the advantages of text and graphics. Studies have shown that visuals stick in the long term memory, improve comprehension and trigger emotions in the human brain. So by using infographics you not only have well-designed content, but your readers will also understand and remember your content for a much longer time.
Break down content into smaller chunks: With at least a 100 articles in the feed competing for their attention, your readers are probably in a hurry. So make it easy for them to quickly digest your content! Clearly defining the major ideas you are writing about helps the reader to quickly grasp the content. If a reader likes what they see, they will continue to read the details. Think about it - we decide whether to read an article in detail only if it offers something that we are looking for. Hence, having sections, sub-sections that clearly and concisely state the crux of the following paragraph is immensely important.
Intercept text heavy content with graphics: Reading on the internet is very different from reading books and novels that we can read without distraction. Readers (myself included) get bored very easily with monotonous content and their attention needs to be captured with constant change in the landscape of the page. When you have text heavy content, it is useful to inter-leave it with relevant graphics, quotes, call out boxes etc. that explain your idea better and emphasize it. These additions will not only make it easier to read and keep the reader entertained but also help to accentuate the overall appearance of the content.
Use bullet points for lists: Bullets points are an excellent way to organize your content. Say you have a list of tips, tricks or resources you want to share with your users - putting them in a paragraph is not only clunky, but also hard to maintain the flow of the content. By writing the list using bullet points, your ideas get automatically organized. Not just that, lists are super-easy to remember ( like shopping lists!), so your readers will be able to recall the content easily.
Highlight important content: Another useful tip for designing your content is to highlight important ideas and concepts in your content. To retain the interest of the reader, it is often suggested that the first line of a paragraph must convey the overall idea. But if your main idea happens to be in the middle of the paragraph, the best way to draw the reader's attention is by highlighting it. You are killing two birds with one stone - stressing on the idea as well as driving the reader's attention to that certain phrase. Bold it, italicize it or color it - make sure to highlight important takeaways!
For more Blogging tips, follow me on Pinterest - @Pinkpotxo
What makes the content easy to read, memorable and friendly to you?