Graphic design is another essential skill for solopreneurs and bloggers like you and me. I know that sounds like a whole different world unto itself…and it is! But you also don’t have to go to school in order to create an attractive look for your site.
See, the design work doesn’t end after you’ve installed a WordPress (or Squarespace) theme. A base knowledge of graphic design is still required for whenever you make things like blog graphics, Instagram posts or headers for your site. Just like copywriting is crucial for sales, design makes a huge difference in how your message is broadcast into the world.
Ignoring the importance of design (or just attempting to wing it) can cost you clients! An unprofessional looking website can be a huge turnoff. At the very least will make you look a lot less enticing than your competition. And that means: Lost sales.
So not worth it obviously. And now that you understand the importance of graphic design, let’s cover a few of the basic pieces you need to make your site look professional and fabulous enough to attract those dream customers.
Graphic Design Basics For Solopreneurs + Bloggers
Colors have a huge impact on the way people perceive your brand. That’s because they represent emotion and feeling. We all have preferences but there is also a universal response to them. So be purposeful with which colors you choose for your site.
As a general rule, two or three main coordinated colors are all that’s needed for a cohesive-feeling site. Too many colors look chaotic! Emphasis on coordination: colors that clash don’t
Coordinate your color schemes. There are a lot of good online tools that help you build matching color schemes for your elearning courses. I start by picking a color from an image or logo in my course. Once I have a color, I build a theme around it. Using the online tools helps me think through the options and build a color coordinated theme.
While I’m not going to get into the meaning of fonts here, just know that sticking to a few main fonts is a wise choice. It gives your blog (and brand) a strong visual identity. I’me sure you’ve all seen a poster or storefront decked out in a huge array of competing fonts. The result is chaotic and cheap-looking – nothing that you want to associate with your brand.
In general, I like to mix one serif font with one sans-serif font, along with something that has a little more pizazz. Hand drawn fonts are very au courant but slab fonts or script fonts can beautifully as accents too.
3. Quality Images
The quality of the images you use on your site also has a lot to say about how professional you appear. Clear and crisp images obviously win out over anything blurry or low-res. So wherever possible go with the highest quality image available. Sometime it might not be an option and that’s ok. But as long as the vast majority of the images on your site are high quality you can get away with lesser-quality images on occasion.
4. Graphic Elements
In addition to your photos, every blog will need a set of graphic elements to rely on. This category encompasses a lot of different things: from bullet points to the boxes you use around your text to the elements you use for your social media. Again, the important thing here is to be consistent. So create a graphic element recipe to use and keep on using it.
If you begin using a white box element around the titles on your images, it will become recognizable over time. These elements form part of your overall brand identity; your fans will be able to spot your images on Pinterest at a glance just by the specific design recipes you use.
5. White Space
When you first set out to start designing (whether it’s your entire site or just a graphic for your site), it’s easy to fall into the temptation of filling up every possible space with something. But your graphics will shine all the brighter when they have a little room around them. That means embrace the white space and use it as an element all on it’s own. Try leaving space around your headers, images or even paragraphs and choose the remaining elements with care. The result will be a lot stronger than if you’d try to fill up the page with a bunch of competing elements.
What part of graphic design do you struggle with? How can I help? Let me know in the comments!
You might also want to check out this post about the one thing everyone needs to know about copywriting or this one about sales funnels 101.