The template or theme that you choose for your online journal has to walk a fine line. It needs to show your personality but it also needs to have mass appeal. It needs to stand out while being business appropriate. It needs to be different while not being over the top, ugly or even hurting your visitor's eyes. A modern blog design bridges all of these gaps. It can work for many different types of blogs and niches.
One of the current trends is for a magazine or newspaper theme. These themes will feature several stories on the front page and then you just have to click a link to read the rest of the article. These themes often do not include sidebars so it might not be the perfect look for monetization. Some paid blogging companies do not allow the use of the "more" tag on their posts.
The sky is the limit when it comes to colors on a modern blog design. You'll want to choose a neutral background for the main body of the template such as white, gray or black so that visitors can actually read your posts without eye strain. You can use bright colors like orange sparingly so it's eye catching without being too much. If a color is popular in the fashion or decorating world, such as chocolate brown, then it's probably going to end up being popular in the blogging world.
The portfolio theme is another common template in contemporary design. These themes will focus on photo galleries on the front page instead of written content. Keep in mind that the search engines favor words instead of pictures so you'll need to add some text describing your pictures if you want to drive search engine traffic.
You need to firmly have the purpose of your blog in mind before choosing a template. If you want a blog for seo purposes then you'll need a template which loads quickly. This may mean that you'll need to cut down on extensive graphics. Simple themes do not have to be boring. It gives you the opportunity to have the focus on your content and ads instead of an intricate design that may detract from the purpose of your blog.
There are a few prevalent design styles in the blogging world. You'll want to use these sparingly because they are seen all over the place. However if it speaks to your design direction and overall aesthetic it might be worth a shot. A grunge theme probably works better for a personal blog because of the disturbed nature. You might be able to work a few paint spatters and worn graphics into a business design. The other really prevalent template is the design of a notebook complete with torn paper edges. Again this is more of a look for a personal blog. These are generic designs that will not really speak to your company's mission.
Modern blog design is clean without being boring. The focus is on the content but it still has a defined direction. You can create your own contemporary template yourself or use a template. You may even want to talk to a web designer for a piece that is really a work of art but is also customized to your business.