How I Designed My Blog

Sunday, July 21

Over the last few weeks I've been working hard to learn the tricks of designing a layout on Blogger.
Here's my tips on how to set up a blog layout...




Header
The header is obviously the first thing that people see so it needs to be inviting and simple.
Once you've chosen the name of your blog, a hard task in itself, you're able to create a header that tells people where they are. A simple way to create a header is just to write the name of your blog on a white background with nice text. I did this for my old blog header using a tattoo font website and screenshoting the image.

If you want to be a bit more creative then you can choose a background image and write the name of your blog over the top. My favourite website for writing over images is Pixlr.com, it has three different options for image manipulation and I use Express. Here you can add borders and a variety of fonts, it's perfect for creating a header.


Sidebar
It took me a while to decide how I'd like my sidebar to look, and how I could easily create something as my HTML skills aren't anything near great. I took a look round other blogs and really liked Emily Divine's and Media Marmalade's so I went for a similar look.

It took me a while to figure out how to make social media icons in a formation with links. Then I found this brilliant, easy post on Just For Daisy. So I chose some images, sorted out the layout in word, took a screenshot and used image mapping to add in the links. It creates a HTML code that you can add into the widget section of Blogger. It's a quick and easy way for people to follow you on various social media sites.

Personally, I really enjoy having images in a sidebar as it's something pretty to look at and it catches the eye easily. I found some great images online and used the Afterlight app on my phone to make them circular.I then wrote on them using Pixlr to make the categories on my sidebar as I find the ones with words a bit boring! I uploaded the images to the image widget and added in a clickable link to direct people to the correct label. To find this link just click on the label from a post that you have already written and copy the address.

Having popular posts is a quick and easy way for people to find other posts that may interest them on your blog. For this I used the widget that Blogger provides, but the key for me was to have an image that looked good and explained the post. So the first image in each of my posts is a circular image created on Afterlight and Pixlr (like the category images were created) to make the popular posts have the same image theme. Having this circular image also gives me something to post on Twitter.



Other bits and bobs
I post quite a lot of images on my blog and it took me a while to realise that you can get rid of the border that's around each image. It gives your blog a more streamlined and clean look and it's really easy to do. There's a post here explaining how to do so.

I also use the 'You Might Also Like' widget on Engageya.

Then the rest is up to you on how you want your blog to look. Always check the mobile version, to make sure that everything transfers across nicely!








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