Hello there! Welcome back once again to Coffee Break Blogging. 🙂
Choosing which colors to use on your blog should be more strategic than simply what looks pretty to you. Your color choices should be guided by the emotions that you want your blog and your brand to convey. So, it is useful to understand the psychology of color, and how this plays into the colors you use in your blog’s theme. That’s the topic we’re going to be discussing today, in this 57th installment in our ongoing series.
Here’s the thing, most people when they decide what colors to use on a blog, they only think about it in terms of what they personally think looks nice. That’s fine. That is definitely what I have done a lot of times as well, so I am definitely not going to blame anybody for that. However, there is a little bit more of a strategic way to think about it. And that is what we are going to discuss in this episode.
Now the first thing that we are going to talk about and what we are going to through them here is the Psychology Of Color. Now, what does that actually mean? Well the thing is… and you probably know this instinctively; is that different colors sometimes will bring up different emotions or reactions to them. And it is helpful to know what those things are. They are not set in stone because every human being is different, but there tends to be an average that you will see and as I go through them, you will see as well. 😉
Let’s go and run through some of these:
Now, black is often used to communicate the idea of Power or Prestige with the idea of sophistication. You probably have seen this before. Sometimes you’ll see on commercials for luxury cars or something; a lot of times they will use black so it will have some kind of a logo just shown on a simple black background. The whole idea there is to communicate prestige and sophistication and stuff like that.
Now in some cultures, they tend to associate it more with death and disease and things like that but you know, we are talking about our target market where you are probably a member of that as well, unless that would come to mind for you; then it is probably okay to use.
Now the other thing too with black is that it is often used as a highlight color to go along with other things because black pretty much goes with any other color. So black is probably something that you are going to use in your blog as long as you know what you are doing. But in the US, it is typically referred to or used as a power and sophistication or a wealth idea of black.
White; you see a lot of white space on blogs, and this is great. It gives that sense of space. And that is very, very important. Most blogs should be using an awful lot of white. But the other thing, just as a color in and of itself, it many times seems to communicate simplicity or innocence or purity; the idea of something being clean. A lot of times with commercials for cleaning supplies you will see white. And then that little “ting” on the top, like it is all nice and clean. Or you will see that “Apple” a lot of times will use plain white. Their guys; when they do their major releases, the guys are showing up on plain white background and a lot of people try to copy that with their videos but it is given for some sense of simplicity and cleanliness and purity which is definitely something that goes into the Apple brand. They want people to feel that way when they are using Apple products so it kind of makes sense.
Now, red is an emotional color. It is one of those colors that can be different things to different people. For some people it will refer to the idea of love and passion and things like that. Some people they associate it with anger. But it is an emotionally intense color and it is one that you pretty much wouldn’t want to use unless what you are talking about is of that nature. If you are in a “Love” type of market or a Dating market and you are speaking primarily to women you might want to have some red going on because it would fit that market. But that is kind of the general idea that comes up when people see red.
Now let’s move on to blue. It happens to be my favorite color, actually. Now, blue is usually preferred by men but just as an average and I happen to be one so it makes a lot of sense why it is my favorite color. But it tends to evoke a sense of calmness, a sense of trust and a sense of orderliness. It tends to be a trust color. And so you will find a lot of corporations who are on corporate blue. And you know people who are trying to look official, in a lot of times will use blue. And I think the idea of calmness probably comes from the ocean or being at the beach or something, but in a lot of times blue will evoke that sense of calmness. So you have to look at what you are doing with your brand and your material and if those are the emotions that you want to evoke, then you might want to work some blue into it.
Now, green is another color that is often associated with the idea of nature. And it can also be used to refer to the idea of luck, to money, to peace… these types of things. You will very often find; if you are in the natural health space, you will see a lot of green. Makes sense, right? The idea of green products… So you need to look at what you are doing and if what you’re doing fits in to those types of ideas; peacefulness, health, wealth, luck… then you might want to work some green into your design.
Yellow is a very cheery color; a very warm color. It is also kind of a tiring color to look at. It is kind of loud on the eyes. So what I recommend is that yellow not be used unless you are using it as an action color; as a color that is designed to pull a person’s eyes over to it and get them to click on something. But in terms of it being a color of your site, it is not a very good idea. The other thing too is that you put anything on top of yellow, like any text or anything like that and the contrast is just ugly and it is really hard to read in many cases. So yellow is primarily going to be used as a highlight color and that is pretty much it.
Purple is typically a color that is used around the idea of wealth and a lot of times; royalty. Now, the thing is many of us are probably not dealing with those kinds of things but if you have a product where you have some kind of a theme around it based around royalty or wealth or exclusivity; something like that, then some type of purple worked into it might actually work out well for you. Sometimes it can be used to refer to the idea of spirituality or wisdom as well.
Brown is a color of strength. It is a color of reliability. It is not a color I like to see a lot of in the internet, to be quite honest with you. But sometimes I have seen it being used effectively like, UPS has brown. And one of the big things they want is reliability, that you can trust UPS to get the job done. I have also seen brown being used in areas of natural health or something to do with nature. And it kind of makes sense; it also kind of goes along with green, so that works out well.
Orange is another one of those colors that is very similar with yellow that you don’t generally want to use a lot of on your site. It is just not a good color except as an action color. So you want to use it as a highlight for calls to action and not as the primary color of your site generally.
And then lastly is pink. Now, pink; you probably know this already, pink is primarily a feminine color. It is for things like Love and it also can evoke a sense of calmness but generally among females because most guys just don’t really care for pink, to be honest with you. So if you are catering to primarily to female audience, especially if you are dealing with something along the lines of love, dating; those types of topics, then pink might definitely work into your brand. And that works out totally fine and will make a lot of sense.
More Quick Tips About Colors
So that is a general idea of the psychology of colors. I was actually looking here out of my latest Action Plan over at the Academy where I have a lot of information documented. Now, with all that said and done with regard to your colors, you need to look at your brand, the image that you want to portray and the market that you are serving and you want to then think about “Okay, what color makes the most sense here?” You will notice if you go to the Blog Marketing Academy, the blue is definitely one of the colors that I use. Well, as I said; blue tends to be a color for trust; for orderliness, for calmness, for simplicity.
These are things that I want to be associated with the Blog Marketing Academy because internet marketing is a very complicated, vast topic and I want people to feel like they come to the Blog Marketing Academy and get a sense of order from it and sense of trust. So therefore, it happens to be my favorite color that did play a factor why I picked it but it also evokes those things. And then there are black and greys and whites for a lot of white space and black tends to be a good complement color so it works along with it.
So again… white space; very important. Make sure you use plenty of spacing around different elements on your blog. White space is important because we all have an innate psychological need for space so give it to them with regard to white space. When it comes to your text, do not play around with having different color backgrounds. I believe, personally, that you need to use white background for your text and then put black text on top of it. And if you are not going to go exactly black; if you are going to use a shade of grey, it needs to be a very dark grey. You need to have high contrast between the text and the background behind it. And if you flip it around and you put white text on black it is just a lot more difficult to read. I do not recommend that you do that.
Now lastly, and I did mention this in (I believe) Episode 55 where we talked about flowing attention; but it is the idea of having an action color on your blog. And that action color would be one that is used as a highlight for calls to action… to attract the eye and make it very obvious that that is what you want somebody to do.
As we went through that color list earlier; there were two colors I recommend you not use a lot of except as highlights. And those were Yellow and Orange. Those two colors happen to make really good action colors and many times people will blend them together into like a shade of gold or they will have this gradient between the two. You will notice this a lot with call to action button and add to carts and things like that. It makes a really good action color.
Now you can use other colors for an action color but yellow, gold, orange those types of things tend to be pretty common and that is why. But you want to have: A – Action color for your blog; one that you don’t use in any other place except for where you want people to click. And it is kind of more or less gets people used to it and it is also going to bring their eyeballs to it and make them click on it which is something you want more people to do, obviously.
So then is how we have gone talking about Striking The Right Color Balance on your blog. Hopefully you found that interesting and is something that maybe you will go and look at your existing blogs and maybe make a few tweaks. If you do not know how to do it, you can get help on that. A lot of times it comes down to just a few basic stall sheet edits. It is really not as complicated as you probably think. And you can always come over to the Academy at blogmarketingacademy.com and just shoot us an email via the contact form. Maybe I can jump in if it is a really quickie and help you out there. Okay?
Once again, if you want to dive deeper with this about really tweaking your blog for optimum conversions; optimum sales and the lowest bounce rates then I recommend you check out my latest action plan that I have been mentioning for the last few episodes here and it is called THE PERFECT BLOG BLUEPRINT. And if you want to dive deeper on that, you can explore it over at blogmarketingacademy.com/ blog blueprint.
Thank you very much for listening, I will see you in a few days with Episode 58 of Coffee Break Blogging. See you then! 😉