Have you ever looked at a blog that just took your breath away? No matter what industry they're in, companies are stepping up their game by focusing on their blog design in addition to content. And it's not just B2C companies -- B2B companies are investing serious time into the design of their business blogs, too.
Part of having a beautiful design is also improving the user experience of your blog. Many of these designs don't just focus on making something look "pretty." They focus on making it easier for blog visitors to access the information they are seeking as quickly as possible.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some blogs that are doing a great job at creating beautiful designs that help showcase their fantastic content.
1) IMPACT Branding & Design
IMPACT Branding & Design is a HubSpot Platinum Partner that works with companies on their inbound marketing strategies -- and they definitely practice what they preach. In addition to teaching their clients about creating content, they do it on one of the most beautiful blogs I've ever seen.
What makes it noteworthy, though, is that they don't sacrifice usability for design. It's easy to navigate to find the articles you're looking for, recent posts, and different topics -- like Opinion, News, Video, and Company.
What also stands out about this blog is the different types of media they include, and how they display it -- from blog posts to ebooks to video. All those different types of content are sprinkled throughout blog posts in a clean and neat way.
"Our main focus was to create an online magazine for our readers, not only in regard to how it functioned, but also in layout and design. However, what I'm most proud of is how the blog feels. There's something for everyone, whether it's a How-to article, an opinion piece, or even video content," says John Bonini, Director of Marketing at IMPACT Branding & Design. "It feels like a media site in that there's a variety of content, laid out in a way that's easy and fun to consume. There's no shortage of options out there in terms of content sharing, so I want our readers to feel that they made the right decision by visiting or subscribing to our blog."
Yoh is a staffing services and workforce solutions firm. They recently underwent a website redesign as they moved onto HubSpot's COS. Before their content was not the focus of their site, but with their recent redesign, their website really brings out their content.
With one glance at Yoh's blog, you can immediately get a feel for their content. You see five of their top posts, they post colorful pictures with white text that stands out, and the blog post titles are extremely easy to read and glean value from.
"The clients that we help with talent needs, or the skilled professionals that seek our help with their careers, have a singular experience, their own," said Joel Capperella, Vice President of Marketing at Yoh. "Yoh has the good fortune to have thousands of experiences each year and that experience is valuable. Yoh gets it and we want the blog to communicate that we get it. The new design helps us to reinforce the value of the copy. The featured section at the top allows us to place focus on the editorial content for the month, and most importantly the design echoes the energy and fun that is representative of what is the most interesting industry in the world. People and their talent!"
SparkReaction is a HubSpot partner who specializes in inbound marketing and website development. Their blog's content focuses on website redesign, so naturally they have a beautiful blog to back up their content.
What makes this blog truly stand out, however, is the user experience that makes the design easy to navigate. Their content is clearly laid out with a picture to the left and content to right. It's easy to scan the different articles to find the one you're most interested in. They also have their blog tags in a different color to make it even easier to find content.
Blog design doesn't need to be flashy or have bright colors, either. SparkReaction takes a simple approach that focuses on the user's experience and makes the site easy on the eyes. None of the colors are too bright or distracting, which is really SparkReaction's goal. They need to sell their web design and inbound marketing services, and the blog demonstrates their mastery of both areas.
"We believe good design should revolve around providing a great user experience," said Josh Ames, Founder & CEO of SparkReaction. "When redesigning our blog on the COS, we decided to take a clean, modern approach. By utilizing an easy-to-read font and limiting the number of blog posts shown on our listing page we allow people to get to what they want in an easy, quick, and efficient way."
Charity: water is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring clean water to everyone in the world. If you take a look at the blog homepage, and within every single blog post, you get a great sense of their brand.
Each post has lovely images and videos that capture the reader's attention and carry on their tradition of sharing remarkable visual content.
Virgin America is known for their uniqueness -- particularly when compared to other airlines stuck in the dark ages of air travel. In addition to top notch customer service, they have a stylish fleet or airplanes equipped with mood lighting and an in-flight entertainment system. Passengers can not only get wi-fi access during the flight, but they can use the touch screen entertainment system to get just about anything they want during their flight to make them more comfortable. They are known to be a pretty "hip" brand and have even released a video that makes the safety information interesting.
But it doesn't stop there -- Virgin America also has a blog that is just like their airline: hip, helpful, and engaging. The blog starts off with feature stories that include huge, colorful images that give you a feel for what it would be like to be on a Virgin America flight. Right below are posts by category. If you scroll over any of the categories, there's a pop-up that gives you more information on the different blog articles you can read. While the blog does include a link to actually book a flight on Virgin America, the main focus is on articles -- about traveling and other stories that any airline passenger would be interested in.
The goal of this blog is the same as the goal of a passenger's time on Virgin America: make the experience enjoyable and helpful.
Zendesk is a software company that creates help desk technology, including issue tracking and customer service support. They are also the owner of a beautifully designed blog focused on the topic of customer service.
Zendesk's blog stands out due to a few noteworthy design elements. First, each blog post has a large, uniquely designed image that gives readers a preview of the post. The images are eye-catching with bold colors that grab the readers' attention.
Next, because they write about a variety of topics and use a few different channels from videos to webinars, they have a nice handy list of categories that follow you as you scroll up and down the page. If you want to skip to any of these categories, they are available to you on the right side of the page.
Finally, the text of the blog post titles and articles are very clear and easy to read. They don't use your typical font, but they also don't use anything that is too difficult to read. You can easily find the content you're looking for without getting overwhelmed by fancy fonts or text.
Intercom is a CRM business that Support, Marketing, Product, and Sales uses to communicate with their customers. When you go to their site, you may be surprised by their gorgeous design. (Seriously, every page is incredibly designed.) But let's focus on their blog for now.
Their design is captivating. The blue bars they use for the title accentuate the logo at the top of the page, and make it easy to glance down the page and skim the different blog post topics. The large images for each blog post that all neatly aligned in the same spot also help blog visitors easily get a better idea about the article. They are large enough -- but still clear enough -- to explain what each post is about.
Path is a mobile app designed for private messaging between an inner circle of friends. This app gained a lot of attention for it's beautiful design and user experience, even though the features weren't that different than other social networks -- but the design really stood out.
We can see that same strategy at play in Path's blog. The design isn't anything fancy; but it resembles the mobile app experience. They have their logo, a simple navigation, the content in the blog post, and a picture or two. That's it. But that's also what's beautiful about this blog. There aren't any big distractions. The focus is on the content of the story, not on anything flashy or outside of their brand.
Hireology sells software that helps companies from small businesses to Fortune 1000 companies with their recruitment process. The recently re-launched their blog on HubSpot's COS, and it looks stunning.
By just glancing at the blog, you get a sense of their brand. They have hints of green throughout their site that make their brand colors stand out. The elements of green that stand out are the parts of the page that your eyes should be flocking toward. We have the titles of the blog posts, the blog subscription form, recent posts, and posts by topic. If a blog visitor is just seeing this blog for the first time, those are elements that you want them to look at. You want them to subscribe to your blog. You want them to see the topics you write about. And you want them to reach your blog post titles. The design is used in such a way that brings your visitor through the blog.
The design is also extremely clean. You have the blog post title, social sharing buttons, sample text, topic tags, and images. The blog isn't cluttered, and the focus is on the content. When you come to this blog, you aren't overwhelmed because everything is clean and organized.