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9 Must-Have Elements for an Irresistible Blog Design

Jun 14, 2023

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If you’ve got a blog on your website or you’re toying with the idea of adding one, get ready to embrace a a whole new world of opportunity. But before you dive headfirst into crafting your first blog post, let’s talk about something that’s crucial—yes, I’m talking about your blog’s design.

Now, you might be thinking, “Does the design of my blog really matter that much?” Well, if it didn’t would I really be writing this post?

A well-designed blog can be an ideal entry point for potential clients + customers, but only when it’s done right and done well. Ultimately, your blog can help your site visitors linger longer, boost your SEO game, (aka MORE free traffic flooding in), and create a BETTER user experience that increases the chances of those visitors converting.

In this value-packed post, I’m sharing nine critical elements that your blog should have.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

***Heads-up: Some links in this post are affiliate links. But here’s the deal: I only recommend stuff we’ve tried and researched like crazy. Curious about how we handle these affiliate links? Our trusty Privacy Policy has all the details. Just know that when you choose to support us by clicking on our affiliate links, we’re seriously grateful. It helps us keep doing what we do best—providing you with top-notch content.

01. Featured Image: Stop the Scroll

Why it’s important: It’s all about that unforgettable first impression. Think of your featured image as your blog’s red carpet moment, where you get to make a grand entrance and pull your readers in. The right image sets the stage for your post, piquing your visitors curiosity and keep them hooked to dive deeper into your words of wisdom.

Articles with images get 94% more views as opposed to those with no visuals.

Aundra Williams, feautred image blog post
Aundra’s blog design is stunning to say the least and her show-stopping brand shots are the perfect complement – Aundra Williams

2. Blog Author Byline / Bio: Build credibility and trust

Why it’s important: It’s all about establishing trust and building a connection. Think of your blog bio as that friendly handshake or warm greeting when meeting someone for the first time. Your readers can get to know the face behind the brilliance, and that personal touch goes a long way in establishing a bond with your readers.

By including a brief bio right in your sidebar or at the end of your post, your readers get a taste of who you are, right off the bat. No need to click around or go hunting for information.

Rekindle Communications, Kathy Young, blog bio example
I love the way Kathy features a large photo and breaks up her bio into easy-to-read and relatable chunks – Rekindle Communications

What to include in your blog bio:

  • Showcase your expertise and/or achievements: Highlight your professional background, accomplishments, and shining moments—show them you’re the real deal.
  • Keep it relevant and captivating: Tailor your bio to your blog’s niche, showcasing the skills that make you the go-to guru in your field.
  • Inject personality: Let your unique voice and quirks shine through—be authentic, relatable, and oozing with charisma.
  • Leave them wanting more and eager to explore further.

3. Blog Social Share Links: Promote content sharing

Why it’s important: I mean – why not? Adding these “share” links to the top or bottom of your blog make sharing your content practically effortless for your readers, and can usually be added easily (or automatically) to each blog post, through your website’s theme.

I’m not talking about social media links that point to your own social profiles – even though those are great to have too. What I’m talking about are the special links that enable your readers to share your content through their own profiles. This could look like:

  • Facebook share button with a share count
  • Twitter retweet button to encourage social sharing
  • Pinterest pin button for visually appealing content
Let’s make it easy folks. –

These cute little share buttons are like giving your readers a megaphone to share your content on their go-to social media platforms – with a single click.

Oh, and here’s the best part, I bet you didn’t know: search engines take notice too of these “social shares” too!

Google loves it when your content gets shared because it shows that it’s relevant and popular. So, seriously, don’t even think twice about adding this little feature to your blog – it’s too easy to not do it and what have you got to lose?

4. Email Opt-In Form: Grow your email list

Why it matters: I don’t just write blog posts for the fun of it (although, let’s be honest, I do enjoy it!). I’ve got bigger dreams, loftier goals (like retiring early and living that rich life, eating private-chef prepared, farm-to-table feasts, harvested straight from my own garden, night after glorious night…) But this blog is more than just a blog to me, it’s a gateway to potential clients, an opportunity to make an impact and attain those goals. And that’s why I take it seriously. I know that capturing every single potential client is absolutely critical. So…cue the email opt-in form.

Related Post: How to Add a Freebie Download on Your Website That Grows Your Email List

An email opt-in form, offering a newsletter or a freebie, enables you to capture leads and build a loyal following of subscribers. By collecting those precious email addresses, you can nurture your relationships, shower them with valuable insights, and keep them coming back for more. This strategy has worked wonders for me, growing my email list by the thousands—and it can work for you too!

opt-in design
Simple yet effective. – WePresent

5. Properly Formatted and Optimized Headings (H1s-H6s): Improve readability + SEO

Why its important: I’ll admit this point seems a little “snooze-fest” and a little obvious, but it’s more important than you think – and most new bloggers I’ve seen aren’t actually doing this well. Thoughtfully-written headings play a BIG role in both user experience and search engine visibility.

Using heading tags (H2s-H6s) is one of the easiest ways you can make your content a breeze to read and navigate. Think of it like giving your readers a roadmap to smoothly glide through your words.

And your heading tags aren’t just for your users – search engines eat this stuff up too!

By adding in relevant keywords into those headings, you’re sending a signal to the search engines, that says, “Hey, my content is exactly what people are looking for!” Embrace the power of well-formatted headings for a low-effort way to impress both your readers and those Google bots.

Love the way this blog uses bullet points and large headings to break up the space – The Humble Lion

6. Related Blog Posts/Links: Extend engagement

Why it’s important: Your reader reaches the end of your epic blog post. What’s next? Do they close the tab without a second thought, or do they get hooked by another juicy piece on a related topic? Keeping readers engaged on your site means you need to keep their curiosity alive.

If you know they’re already into this stuff, it’s practically your duty to give them more.

When you sprinkle in related posts or handy links throughout your content, you’re doing more than just keeping readers engaged. You’re giving them a backstage pass to explore the depths of your wisdom. They get to dive deeper, learn more, and enjoy a richer experience. Plus, it’s not just about pleasing your readers—it’s about playing the SEO game too! Those internal links help navigate your website AND spread that link authority all around.

Related Post: How to Massively Increase Your Website Traffic by Blogging <<< See what I did there 😉

Jenna Kutcher Related Posts Links
I could spend hours on Jenna’s blog with the amount of content she has and these links are how she does it! Jenna Kutcher Blog

7. Blog Post Categories: Make your content easy to find

Why it’s important: Your readers stroll in, looking for that specific gem of knowledge, and voila! Your clear and logical categories guide them straight to the knowledge bombs they seek.

Plain and simple – categorizing your blog posts makes it easier for readers to find specific content they are interested in. But your well-organized categories do more than impress your readers…. They’re a secret weapon that helps those sneaky search engines too! (I bet you’re sensing a theme here.)

By giving your blog a structure, your visitors can easily digest your website’s content and it will feel like you’re speaking their love language on all the topics they already love.

blog categories design
Love this clean and straightforward approach of featured categories from Christina – Christina Galbato

8. High Quality Photos and Examples: Break up text and increase engagement

Why it’s important: No ones wants to drown in a sea of endless paragraphs, right? That’s why you’d be a fool to underestimate the power of your blog images. Relatable blog images are one of the easiest ways you can avoid bounces on your posts. Think of them as the spice that adds flavor to your content, breaks up the boredom, and keeps your readers hooked.

When it comes to images, forget the “less is more” mantra. It’s time to go big and go bold!

Don’t settle for a measly single featured image (I’m looking at you blogging noobs – I’ve seen this far too many times to count.)—pack your post with images and examples anywhere it makes sense…

Integrating beautiful high-quality photos from your recent perfectly-curated brand photo shoot or the likes of Haute Stock* or PixiStock (for my budget-friendly bosses), adds serious eye-candy that grabs your reader’s attention, making your content super scroll-worthy.

These stats don’t lie. According to…

Posts with more than seven images get 116% more organic traffic compared to posts that have no images.

As a blog reader, yourself—would you stick around in an article without any images? I know I don’t. Engaging images do so much more than just add visual interest. They bring context, they enhance understanding, and they keep your reader happily glued to your site. So, don’t hold back.

haute stock blog photo
If you’re looking for gorgeous photos for your blog or marketing content, Haute Stock is my absolute fave! – Haute Stock

9. Blog Sidebar: Monetization + organization

Why it’s important: Let’s talk about the almighty sidebar… Think of it like your own personal billboard. Showcase the products or services you offer and watch the potential revenue streams flow in.

Your sidebar can be so much more than just a cluttered space on the side that you cram a bunch of links and random things in. This bad boy is a multitasking prime piece of real estate that has the potential to help you cash in on monetization – literally.

love and lemons blog sidebar design
This sidebar is too cute not to show some appreciation! – Love & Lemons

We’re talking cold, hard commissions. Feature those advertisements (strategically, of course), affiliate products or sponsored content right into your sidebar.

(If you are looking for more low-key impact in your sidebar space, use your sidebar for post category organization, a conveniently-placed search bar or a table of contents index on your individual posts.)

Related Post: How to Monetize a Blog: Tips for Maximizing Your Blog’s Earning Potential

That’s a Wrap

And there you have it… with these key blog design elements, you should be well-equipped to create a blog worth reading and that keep your readers coming back for more.

In the meantime, if you need help turning your blog design into client magnet, shoot me a message here.

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Editor in Chief, Designer & Founder

kristin pruis

Before I enrolled in design school, I was *this* close to switching my major to become a writer. But God had other plans, and here I am, 10 years later, designing gorgeous brands & websites while nurturing my love for writing on the side.


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Teaching others everything I've learned about branding, design, and marketing over the past 10 years is a passion that truly fills my cup. No matter where you are on your journey of owning your business, I hope you'll find something here that you can take with you and leave you feeling inspired.


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