wd-15-3D-transPamela Wilson here. If you enjoyed this article, why not get the free Weekend Digest newsletter? Every other Saturday, you’ll receive one email that’s chock-full of information about the intersection of business, branding, design, and marketing. Join us.


  1. says

    Great tips Pamela!

    It’s amazing how many sites, e-books and company brochures I look at that still don’t have basic design applied. As we get more web and design savvy, those really stick out – in a bad way.

    It doesn’t take that much time or money to raise the bar and it’s worth the effort!

    • says

      You’re right: our collective design standards are higher now, so it’s more important than ever. Thanks for giving me a great quote to use in today’s post, BTW!

  2. Mike Korner says

    I see a lot of ebooks and websites and I agree with Marlene that there are many lacking basic design. No one can say they don’t know what to do now as this is like a Design Essentials Guide disguised as a blog post. You could easily use it as a checklist.

    “This is no time to be wimp! Your brand is at stake.”
    I love that :)

  3. says

    Great stuff Pamela. It’s interesting how so many people (myself included from time to time) are guilty of over complicating things. Design should complement and highlight the content, not distract from it.

    Honestly I think a lot of web marketer “gurus” have over complicated everything, it’s part of their business. They have to constantly re-invent time tested strategies for marketing and put new spins on them, ever decreasing the apparent simplicity behind marketing. The harder it is, the easier it is for them to make money telling folks how-to do it.

    Love your simplistic approach!

    • says

      Hey Andrew: good to see you here!

      That’s an interesting take on the “gurus.” I’ve noticed I often hear the same advice re-packaged and presented from a slightly different angle, too.

  4. says

    Thanks for this Pamela. I am currently putting together my first ebook using Mac pages. I have been having some designer difficulties but some of this tips will help me overcome them.

  5. says

    Pamela –

    Found your blog today – love it! Great principles. I’m going to be recommending your stuff to our community – and having my own staff read through your last few posts as mandatory. We LOVE great design, and have seen time and time again that it sells – but your DIY principles are fantastic. Thanks so much for being such a practical resource!!

    My favorite tip that you made can’t be said loudly enough: “Pick two fonts and stick with them!!”

  6. says

    Heh, speaking of white space, I just redesigned my blog and it’s definitely using lots of white-space! I didn’t want to over-do it with crazy colors but rather wanted to keep the focus on content and Call To Actions (one of my main one’s being my Speaking).

    Anyway, I think I made all the right moves but alas it’s always a work in progress. But I am happy with it for now… :-)

    • says

      Hi Ricardo! Your new site looks great, and the content is very clear and easy to read. Congrats!

      They’re all a work in progress, aren’t they? I’m constantly tweaking this one.

  7. says

    Hi Pamela,

    This is my first visit to your site, and frankly, I’m one of those people who cowers away at the thought of design. So your encouragement is meaningful, and I guess I’ll have to read more of what you wrote to also be convinced that design is easy.

    I always think everyone else’s website looks better than mine, but I’m feeling up to the challenge of being a little more bold and trying to make it look sharp.

    Your seven points are such a good reminder of what to do, I’m printing this post out and putting it up by my computer.

    I love the idea of call-outs – I’ll have to try it. I also like the idea of deep captions.

    In one small blog post you’ve given me a lot to think about – I’ll certainly be reading more of your blog.

    • says

      Vernon, I’m glad the post was helpful! There’s lots of information here … see “Hot Posts,” under the About tab above for more goodies.

      I visited your site and see that you’re a birder. You might want to check out my friend Carole Brown’s site, ecosystemgardening.com. She features lots of information about birds: North American ones for the most part, but you might find it interesting anyway.

      Thanks for your visit!

      • says

        Thanks Pamela,

        I’m interested in birds from everywhere, for sure. I’ve subscribed and I’ll check out a lot of your earlier posts in the next few days.

  8. says

    G’Day Pamela,

    No; I haven’t slipped into the Antarctic and frozen solid: just been a bit busy.

    This is really timely advice. I’m about to launch one , and perhaps more, wesite[s] Thanks for these excellent, practical and pertinent reminders. If only more web marketers followed your suggestions. Life would be so much easier for web readers.

    Make sure you have fun



  9. says

    Hi Pamela,

    This is a very interesting post. I’ve just started considering how important design is for blogs/websites. It’s very similar to a first impression based on appearance — if you aren’t dressed well, you’ll make a poor first impression. I’ll be coming back to get more design tips.


    • says

      Hi Joseph: thanks for stopping by. I recognize you from the comments section at Copyblogger!

      Design influences people’s first impression of your business, that’s for sure. You might have great content, but if your design isn’t pleasing, people may not stop to read what you’ve written. It draws them in long enough to pay attention.

      Thanks for visiting. Don’t be a stranger! :-)

  10. says


    Just found this article today – better late than never I guess. : )

    I took your idea and started doing call out text and deep captions and I really like how my content looks. I still need to work on the technique, however the look of the page rocks!

    Thank you – Theresa