Well you're in luck. I am here to help ease your blogging pain.
And trust me. Creating an amazing blog from scratch IS a pain.
I've gotten a lot of questions since yesterday about where to start when re-designing a blog, so today will be a good follow-up to yesterday's reveal.
The blog-designing-posts sequence will go a little somethin' like this:
First- show off my fancy new blog (Yesterday) Click Here if you missed it.
Second- share a few of my secrets (Today)
Third- start designing other people's blogs?... (NEVER) I am not patient enough to do more than one blog.
With that being said, I can't give you the key to a great blog design. That has to come from your own creative little noggin. Trust me, you can do it!
However, if you are completely stumped and have no idea what you want, I suggest finding a pro blog designer to do one for you, or at least part of one.
What I CAN do for you is give you a few tips on how to improve your blog. These simply come from experiences that I've had and things that I've learned over time when designing my own blog. These will save you oodles of time trying to figure it out on your own. However, I apparently can't appropriately publish posts that have the code in there? I mean really, Blogger. Come on. It wasn't working for me and I FREAKED OUT. You see what happens to you when you realize your posts aren't publishing and you can't figure out why. I started sweating profusely. But anyway, no worries. I am A-Okay now and I will give you the sites I used as references.
1. I HATED those little white borders that were around every one of my images. They weren't so bad on my actual images, but the stupid things showed up around my signature as well. It just didn't look very professional.
To get rid of them, you'll want to go to your blogger dashboard, go to template, hit "Customize" go to "Advanced" go to "Add CSS on the very bottom" and in that box add it right in there. Voila. Enter the code provided at this site.
2. Come up with up with a cool signature. It says a lot about your blog and your effort when it comes to doing your posts. It needs to be an image. Insert the code, found here, in your "posts template" in the "posts and comments" section in your settings.
3. Have your social media websites displayed. I have mine in 2 places- Above my profile picture and below my post signature. It helps people find you :)
4. Tabs below your header- they are linked to PAGES. Not posts. Instead of writing a new post, you can go to the same drop-down menu in your blogger dashboard and create a new "page". You can do whatever you want.... daily reads, an "About" page, contact information, etc. Get creative! More info about hyper links and image links and how to do this can be found here.
5. Make your Blog an "Active Link" when you comment- I'm sorry, it just bothers me when someone leaves an amazing comment on my blog and I have to copy and paste their blog URL into another window to see it. It's MUCH easier to use an "active link" and people are much more likely to click over to your page. Because let's face it. We're lazy. So we need to make it as easy as possible. The link needs to be added as an HTML widget in your layout. The link is here. Just copy and paste that bad boy into your comment.
7. De-Clutter. No one will have fun trying to look around your blog if they're lost in a sea of widgets. Put what's necessary and leave the rest!
6. Sidebar Ideas- Come up with unique ones that people haven't seen 500 times. I added a "Current Obsession" link on mine, which I absolutely love and will update every couple of weeks. I've also had a survey in the past. Make it interactive and fun for your readers. If it requires more detail or explanation, link it to a page like I taught you in tip #4.
8. Turn off the word verification!- It's really obnoxious to have to verify that you are human every time you want to comment. Gosh darn it, it makes me not want to comment! And Blogger is actually VERY good at detecting spam, so it is totes not needed.
Please feel free to contact me HERE if you have specific questions about something I have gone over, or if you just want to talk color schemes, signatures, or ANYTHING for that matter. Toss your ideas my way and I will attempt to help. Keep in mind, I said "attempt". I am no pro...
Hope this helps get your creative juices flowing!