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People are judging your food blog by its appearance. It’s a harsh reality, but it is a reality. One Stanford study on web credibility found that 75% of users admit to making judgments about a brand’s credibility based on website design.
Thousands of lifestyle blogs exist, and most are vying for the same market. The successful ones have taken time to create visual appeal that immediately captures the audience. How can you increase the visual appeal of your own blog and win more readers?
In design, it’s best to stick to the Rule of Three, keeping notable elements limited to three types to prevent a site from looking busy. When building your color scheme, choose two primary colors as part of your brand’s color scheme and a third, contrasting color to use sparsely on buttons, CTAs, and special announcements – items that need immediate attention. Sites like Kuler and Paletton can help you identify colors that work well together.
Remember that colors have a direct impact on perception. We’re psychologically hard-wired to feel certain things when we see certain colors. For example, the color blue inspires trust. Black has an air of authority, and red, of course, speaks of passion.
Here’s the Rule of Three in action again. Sites that employ an over-abundance of fonts of varying degrees of whimsy may seem like a fun idea, but too much of any good thing is way too much. Your fonts – much like your colors – should reflect your blog’s personality. Overdo it and you may leave the impression that your personality is a bit flighty and unreliable.
Choose three complimentary fonts: one for body text, one for titles and headers, and a third that works alongside that contrasting color to draw immediate attention to special sections of your website. Remember that any fonts you choose should be easy to read both online and off, in italics or in bold typeface, whether large or small.
An effective logo provides your audience with an immediately recognizable shorthand for your awesomeness, which makes it a critical element of your brand. That means that it must be simple, memorable, and versatile.
It will be prominently featured in the header of your blog, but it should also make an appearance in the tiny profile image provided by social media platforms. That means that the design needs to be clear regardless of how large or small it is, and it should also be equally effective in color or black and white.
This is one of those elements of your brand that should be left to professionals with burgeoning portfolios demonstrating their logo expertise, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Twitter paid only $15 for its now iconic logo.
We mentioned this last week when we addressed creating a professional online presence, but that’s just how important it is. Your headshot will appear on your blog, in search engines, and possibly on social media. It’s the first impression that people get of you.
This one element of your blog has tremendous power to elevate the visual appeal of your blog. Smile warmly. Adopt a friendly stance. Consider wearing elements of your color scheme. And let a professional style you so that you look marvelous and feel confident.
No food blog is complete without photographs of fresh ingredients and delicious dishes. Some bloggers choose to take photos throughout meal preparation to show readers the steps. Some only take photographs of the carefully-styled final product.
Whichever route you choose, keep your style consistent. If you’re a filter lover, choose the one that best fits your aesthetic taste and stick with it. If you’re going to brand images with your logo – a great idea if you want shared images to pull prospects back to your site, keep the size and positioning of the logo consistent throughout.
As a model, take a look at these photos that Sherrie of With Food and Love has showcased on her blog. The three images are of different types of foods, but the consistent background, lighting, and styling choices helps to keep the blog looking beautiful and coherent.
In the early days of web design, flashing, spinning, flickering elements were all the rage. Remember the cursors that looked like flying unicorns?
We’re in a new era now, and a more sophisticated approach is required. Besides, you want your audience to focus on what you have to say and on your gorgeous photographs of your delicious dishes, right? Keep the rest of the site simple and elegant so that the real star – you – can shine.
Once you’ve made decisions about color, font, and other stylistic features, be consistent. While a regularly updated blog is fantastic; a regularly changing blog can feel frenetic and possibly create the impression that you’re not sure what you’re doing. Take time to find the style that best expresses who you are, and then have confidence that you’ve made the right choices.
Which food blogs do you find the most visually appealing? Let us know in the comments section.