By Lucy Wyndham
Content creation is the bread and butter of online business, but research shows that you need to have a presentable face in order for web surfers to consume it. According to a study cited by the Forbes council, 88% of businesses consider a presentable website key to both visiting and staying on a site, and where ecommerce is involved, making a purchase. The message of this is clear – investing in the graphic design of your writing website will be as much of a boost as a successful creative process. Having a clear yet recognisable theme for your service will show off your professional credentials.
The personal touch
If at all possible, you should give your art a distinct personal edge to it. According to research reported by CNBC, consumers will willingly give more time to businesses that are able to offer that personal edge, and when it comes to paid services, are often willing to give more money over. With that in mind, it’s well worth developing the skills to be able to conduct simple graphic design. Whether with pen and paper or digitally, it’s quite simple to learn the basics of graphic design and start drawing your own designs. Consider finding an element that is very personal to you and aiming a design around that, perhaps by picking an animal or item that is distinct to your identity, and building a logo around it. A simple sketch of a wise owl, a pen or a pair of glasses, for example, can communicate both your business and your personality, and this will help you to create a cogent design for your page and also let your followers know a bit about you.
When to approach professionals
Of course, there may be times when you are unable to invest in your own design – either because of a lack of time or resources, or because you simply don’t feel you want to develop your own design style. There is no harm in commissioning designers to produce your work, and the web has an absolute bounty of appropriate places to find artwork. Again, aim for a personal touch – look for bespoke designs and designers that will give you the opportunity to really drill down into what sort of function you want the work to have. Like with your writing, it’s great to get people in who can give you a second pair of eyes or opinion, but it’s really important that you don’t neglect the personal angle.
The main focus: consistency
Whether producing your own artistic designs or using professionals, the most important factor to aim for is consistency. Often termed as ‘brand voice’ in marketing, having a consistent style and message will help to build a relationship with those visiting your website. It can help to form an indelible link between your art, your written content, and your regular visitors. Brand voice sounds like marketing jargon, but it’s a well established concept; even government agencies have been directed to develop a brand voice, as it can enhance customer service. This is what your efforts will ultimately come down to – giving the best experience to the people that your writing website is designed for.
No matter how good your writing is, unless you are a world-famous talent, you need a good level of art design to go with it. In the modern digital era, designing your own art is not as onerous as perhaps it was in the past, and it can be done to a decent level with simple tools. Develop a clear and consistent graphic design style and deploy it; your website will feel the benefits.