Good design cannot save bad writing

November 3, 2012

in happiness., legacy., success.

It’s been a LONG time since I published something about “blogging.” And I’m not really going to today, either. Fooled YOU!

I was reviewing recent links to my site, and I found one in a post by Melodieann, who wrote “How to Get That Link Love.” She wrote about how she learned so much from ProBlogger’s 31 Days to a better blog challenge (which I recommend for you newbie bloggers!) Anyway, in her post, she linked to a post I wrote TWO YEARS AGO about how blog design impacts writing. Have a read to find out more about that, but only after you read this post.

Now for the twist.

rotten tomato

Fruit rots from the inside out

We know now that good design cannot save bad writing. We’ve seen it. There are some fantastically designed “templates” out there that amaze the eye and are perfectly structured so that all of the right things are featured, etc. etc. But we’ve seen that when applied to bad content, well, that’s all she wrote. Good content + adequate design trumps bad content + fantastic design.

Apply that now to your “outward self” and “inward self.” How much do you love life? How much do you put energy and effort into the things you want to BE? And then, how do you come across to other people? What is your intended brand?

Maybe you have an amazing body and even more amazing Guess jeans to flaunt it (God, I really really want those Guess jeans for Christmas this year!). Maybe you have the corner office (for now) or maybe, at parties, you shine like a star because of your hair and great dress. Maybe you have 15,000 Twitter followers or a really nice car.

But maybe you also treat yourself and others badly. Maybe you are okay with never accomplishing another single thing in this life. Maybe you don’t care about anything other than money. Maybe your heart is shriveled.

Good looks – a great outwardly appearance – it cannot save your soul. Eventually, you will shrivel, and your appearance will, too. “They” say that people can keep up a facade with close friends and family for just about a year before the truth comes out. As with all things in nature, what is inside of you will eventually come out – in your actions, your words, and even your appearance after awhile.

Not to be too cutesy, but I have to quote some Jewel now. Who (or more appropriately, what) will save YOUR soul? Your outward appearance cannot.

Image credit: LearningLark

Disha@authorland December 13, 2012 at 6:53 am

well said good design cannot save bad-writing, in fact good design give invitation Reader to vistit on Blog & see bad content.

Ali December 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

You are definitely right. it may work the other way around i.e. good writing may compensate for bad design but not the opposite because actually people visit websites looking for information and they will keep visiting if the found something interesting regardless of the blog design.

sangram December 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm

I completely agree with you !! I had site for which i designed a great template but content is the real ‘matter’ for which people come… They might spare u for bad design but not for bad content ..

Harry@Magento Themes December 7, 2012 at 6:59 am

Totally with your points. Good design can help to attract reader, but content is the key point to keep them stay and come back our site. Thanks for your posts!

Joshua Joyce December 4, 2012 at 3:27 am

This is a great and useful post, thank you for sharing. I like how you compared it wirh a rotten from the inside out fruit. Clever! Thanks again!

Emmy Collins December 4, 2012 at 1:57 am

writing matters because after watching design readers also want some good to read.

Justin December 3, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Hi Tia,
I like what you said here about rotting from the inside out. The same can be said with people and their cars. Maybe it’s all waxed, polished, armor all, and vacuumed. But if the oil isn’t changed on a regular basis and other important engine work, then the pretty car will look good sitting in the driveway because it won’t start.

Take care.

dojo December 2, 2012 at 9:20 am

Since I am a web designer, I do consider that the ‘shell’ needs to look the part too. Sure, the content is what matters the most, but both can be awesome. If you are not good with design, get someone who can really make the site look amazing and handle the content.

sofiya December 1, 2012 at 2:16 am

Excellent information. Blogs have a lot of power and your suggestions are great tools for maximizing that power.

Sneha November 29, 2012 at 6:42 am

Hey Hi,

Nice Post..!!!

Well said, as there is a quote also never judge a book by its cover in the same way never judge a website or a blog by its design.

Ravi Ahuja November 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

I am agree with you, bad writing can’t be compared with good design. You need to write quality content, and that is what readers want.
Good design can sure hold visitors for some time, but bad writing will leave them for ever.

Dr Kavita Shaikh November 28, 2012 at 2:20 am

You said it Tia. All of us come across well adorned and well decorated blogs, day in and day out but unless the writing / content is good, all the decorations are a waste of time and money.

Melodieann Whiteley November 3, 2012 at 3:52 pm

It may have been an old post but it had some good info. Some things remain relevant for ages. But you are right. As my grandma used to say “A horse’s rear in a mink coat is still a horse’s rear.” Thoroughly enjoyed this post and the reminder that all the fancy packaging in the world can’t fix what’s rotten inside. Thanks for having the courage to write it.

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