Life is like a blog; all parts matter to someone. Bickering about, “content is king” or “if the design is inferior no one will read it” is like saying I like bread but don’t eat the crust. It doesn’t matter whether you like the crust. I have never seen bread baked without crust. It is the nature of bread to have crust. All blogs have design, although some can literally hurt the eyes. All blogs have content, even if you only see “Just Another WordPress Weblog.” This is the nature of blogs.
This is not a question of importance, it is a question of priority. You have to decide what you want to show the world – your prowess as a designer, or the fabulous content you provide. The goal is to display the content in the best possible light.
For the sake of this discussion let’s limit the two major aspects of presenting your product to the world on a web log – content and design. SEO, good writing and other aspects are important, but too lengthy for a single post such as this.
We have all read good blogs that had almost no design, otherwise know as minimalist design. A good example of incredible content with minimal design is Seth Godin’s Blog. I read his thoughts nearly every day – I don’t even notice the design. But who of us are at that level of blogging? Not this ole boy.
For most bloggers design is that part of your life where you put on your best suit to apply for a job. You need to present a good first impression. In fact, design at this stage is part of the content, if it reflects what you are about. This is important on several levels: it brands you if you intend to continue. Design should compliment your actual content. If you are blogging about boats then the design should “say” boats, not in the literal sense, but in a more symbolic way.
Seasoned bloggers already know this. If you are starting your first blog, web site or other presence on the Internet choose these two things carefully.
Content: Have something to say that attracts my attention. If you don’t have anything to say, maybe you should wait until you do.
Design: Start with a good clean design. There are thousands of templates and themes available for every situation. If you don’t have an eye for design, ask someone who does.