Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Blogger Series: Blog Design Tips

New Blogger Series: Blog Design Tips

You may or may not have realized this by now, but your blog design definitely impacts your readership.  If your blog is hard to read, too cluttered/messy, or genuinely painful on the eyes people wont continue following and/or visiting.  You may keep a few dedicated friends/bloggy bffs visiting out of sheer love for you, but if you want to increase your readership and build a larger and wider circle of readers, you have to be aesthetically pleasing.

I know they say "you can't judge a book by it's cover" but I'll be the first to admit that I do judge blogs by their design.  It doesn't mean I wont keep following you (because goodness knows I probably love your face) but I can usually tell the blogs level of professionalism within the first few minutes.  Advertisers/sponsors and other readers can too.
The colors you choose are going to make a big difference in what your design looks like.  Make sure you pick a color theme and stick to it as best you can throughout you're whole design.  A color scheme really can have as many colors as you like in it, as long as they look good together and seem to have some kind of order to them.  Usually I would recommend picking 2-3 colors and going with that-as it's a really clean look, but if you want more colors-go for it!  Just stick with colors that go well-such as all pastels, all bright colors, all dark colors, etc.

Also, when choosing the background and basic post font colors, make sure to make it easy to read.  Dark colored words on a white background, or light colored words on a dark background.  If it's not easy to read people generally wont read it...

When I was helping Carrie of The Carrie Gland with her design, she came well prepared.  She used a website called Color Scheme Designer to pick four colors she kind of liked together, and then as we worked through it she ended up choosing the Purple from her original choice, with black and gray as her scheme.  The great thing about that site is it will help you choose colors and shades that go better together than others, and it's a resource I'm going to be using more often.
Blog Design Tips: Choosing Fonts
When choosing a basic font for things such as typing and titles, it's best to go with something basic.  The curly or cursive fonts look cute, yes, but are also harder to read and less professional looking.  If you like it and don't care-go for it (I'm not here to judge) just understand that some people may have a hard time reading and thus may not come back as often.

When choosing fonts for your design, you should generally choose three.  One cursive/fancy font, one bold font, and one basic font.  Personally I used a cursive and bold font for my header, then the basic font for my info graphic.  I also then used the same cursive font for my gadget headers (and these topic images above!)  Just make sure your fonts look good together, and go with your color scheme.  This doesn't always apply, sometimes you find different combinations that work great-it's just a general suggestion for getting started.

You can find a lot of fonts for free places like dafont.com (which I use), just make sure to read the terms some of the fonts include, as some may allow you to use it for everything, and some may only allow you to use it for personal use and require a license for profit use.
Blog Design Tips: Headers & Buttons
Your blog header should introduce your blog and show new readers a little of what to expect from you and your personality.  The blog header should also fit within your chosen color scheme and font. Make it stand out-and make it represent you!  It can be simple and elegant or unique and witty, it can be just words or include a graphic that expresses exactly what your blog is about!   You'll also see that most of those blogs also have buttons that either match their header, or go along with the theme well! Buttons are great for people to show their love for you-or you can use them for your ad spots.I find examples show you better than me trying to explain it:


Blog design can be hard to pull off if you're not skilled with web design tools and creating graphics, in which case there are tons of blog designers out there!  It just depends on what kind of look you're going for-and how much you want to spend.  The more you spend the more you're going to get, but you can also go simple and keep it cheaper-but still have a really good look. 

For example, Dana from The Wonder Forest does AMAZING blog design in her shop Envye.  She can do just about any type of coding for just about any service-but since she's so good and well sought after her prices are a bit higher (though well worth it if you can afford it! Seriously awesome.).  

I also do blog design, but mine is less expensive because there's a lot of her skill that I don't have yet, but I can do some really great simple and inexpensive designs for those on a lower budget.  :) You can check out some examples of my work by thumbing through my Designs, and you can order work from me through my Etsy store: 

Whomever you choose, you should always look through their designs and prices to find out what fits you best.  There are a few other blog designers I love, and if you want to check them out they are:
Here are some great DIY Design Resources and Tutorials to help you do your own blog design should you not want to hire a designer.

Tutorials:

Free Stuff:

21 comments:

  1. I went the blog designer route. It's helped me immensely and she is ever helpful. It's Kelly Stahley Designs!

    Would you like to be a free feature on my blog?
    The Nautical Owl Blog
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Etsy

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  2. Great resource! I would love a pinterest picture tutorial!

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  3. Ideas to get and maintain steady sponsorship or ways to get more interaction with your readers aside from twitter.

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  4. Thank you so much for the mention love! ♡

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  5. Great design input, thanks.
    I would love to know more about sponsorships in general.

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  6. I would love to win this, I need a major redesign. Thanks!

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  7. Oops, I didn't follow directions ... I would love to learn more about Google+.

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  8. I would like to learn more about different pages and useful gadgets you can add to your blog to make browsing easier x

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  9. I think you should talk about the differences between Blogger vs Wordpress. I have had a lot of people emailing me about how to start blogging. When I started my blog, it was for portfolio purposes to get back into a physical workplace after my kids grew up a little bit & I started in blogger. I had no idea so many people switch over & it's good information to let people know who are intentionally starting one for business purposes.

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  10. I used to stress about my blog and how it looked and wanted to do so much cool stuff to it. And then I realized I just don't have time now. This is great information though....and I still think...someday.

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  11. i love my blog design that you created it's definitely way awesome

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  12. This is great! I am a newbie, truly, so I feel like I learned so much from your post! Maybe do a break down on sponsoring for the next one! :)

    Thx!

    ~Chelsey
    http://chelseypatti.blogspot.com

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  13. I've been debateing on a name/design change for a while now

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  14. Since I am a new blogger, this giveaway would be a DREAM to win! I think my design is okay, but I really would love to have my vision come to life over at my blog.

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  15. This is a great topic, as I am an aspiring designer I am always looking for ways to make designing a little more simple. I have been blogging for a while, but what I have trouble grasping is how other bloggers are making a living being bloggers.
    That is one topic I would love to read more on is just "how to" become a popular blogger and eventually have an income from blogging.
    Great post, and thanks for all the links.

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  16. This is a really useful blog post, dear. It was a good idea to write about the basics of blogging. I feel like i can always learn something new, when it comes to blog design, tips & tricks of how to make my blog more appealing to my visitors & readers.
    So any smart tip is appreciated.
    And im always having problems with blog buttons (how to create one, how to make it clickable on my blog ect...never learned things like that)

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  17. These tips are great and very helpful! We've been looking for ways to revamp our blog, aside from providing more regular content, and boost traffic! The hardest part of blogging is to make people aware that your blog exists! Haha

    S&R
    http://www.CattailDown.Typepad.com

    Follow us on Blog Lovin'!
    http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/7118895/?claim=85eu8ntqfqt

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  18. I'd love to see a post about advertising/sponsoring.
    Anna

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  19. Thanks for the tips - I have been getting bored with my blog design. I was actually just thinking about how I can spice it up when I saw this post!

    ~Aleshia

    http://aleshiaclarke.blogspot.com

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