I’ve been blogging for a long time. And in recent years, as I’ve become more professional in my approach, I’ve learned important principles which can helping grow a blog, from some wise, experienced and successful writers.
Some of the key principles they advocated, outside great content, was professional design, and ‘building a platform’.
I won’t lie, these ideas are good in principle There’s nothing inherently wrong with having a great design and wanting to grow a blog. In their place, these concepts are really useful.
But for me, it has seemed at times great design and platform building, essentially a focus outside of the content (ie: aesthetics), had become the point.
And I kept finding myself asking:
“When did aesthetics become more important than our art?”
After all, wasn’t the main point to simply create great, honest work, and share it with the world?
It’s so easy to get distracted by external matters like how a blog looks, whether it will attract people, having the right design, making sure we’re giving away free e-books, and even having catchy titles for our posts.
And whilst those are important, if the content is crap, it’s going to make no difference. People won’t come back. They may not even finish reading.
As writers, and artists, our number one priority should be creating great work. Making sure all the work we share with the world is our best, most honest and authentic work. That’s ultimately what will bring people back.
The Purpose Of Aestheitcs
Now don’t get me wrong, aesthetics are important and we must pay attention to them, because they do draw people in, make your site more attractive, and your work look credible and professional. Ultimately, they can allow your work to help and inspire more people.
The point is, aesthetics aren’t the point.
Aesthetics might draw people to your blog once. But they aren’t what will keep them coming back. (you can tweet that)
What keeps people coming back, is quality, honesty and integrity of the work.
And that’s the type of work which matters.
Ultimately, great work with crap aesthetics is always better than the opposite. Though of course, the ideal is you have both.
Think of the artists & writers who’ve impacted you most. If it’s anything like my experience, it was the quality of the content, together with the honesty, the integrity of the work, which impacted you the most.
Not the aesthetics.
So make your priority creating great work. Honest work. Work which is birthed deep inside your heart, motivated by your passion, your calling, and what’s going on inside of you – not of selfish ambition, ego, and obsession with status and wealth.
And don’t rest until it’s the best it can possibly be. Edit it. Rewrite it. Delete parts or all of it, and begin again. Make your work the best it can possibly be. Then, communicate it, ship it, in the best way you can. Great design. A catchy title. Easy on the eye. Accessible. Professional. Well designed.
But always keep in mind, aesthetics are merely the entry way. They are what allows the great work to do it’s job – to have an impact on people and transform lives.
So begin with creating quality, honest, authentic work, and making it the best it can be. Because without that, no amount of good branding, communication or promotion will make a blind bit of difference.
Are you with me?
Question For Reflection:
Have you ever focussed too much on aesthetics, and less on quality of your work?
Share your story in the comments below!
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(Picture Sources: nobadlanguage.net / ebscart.com)