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Blog Design

Recently I attended a twitter party hosted by Girls’ Lunch Out.  Girls Lunch Out (GLO) is a dynamic group of Bloggers, mostly mommies, who share information and are generally fabulous.  You can check them out here.  If you look closely at the back of one of the photos you can see the back of my head. I think?

The subject of the Twitter party was blog design.  I guess that everyone at some point is concerned with the design of their blog and it’s always handy to have a few tricks to be able to jazz up your blog when you need it.  I’m not a blog designer and I can’t afford one, but it certainly helps to know a thing or two about what makes a good blog design.  I don’t want my blog screaming “amateur!!”  I’m not sure why I don’t, but I don’t.  I guess it’s the same reason you don’t wanna show up to a party wearing the same outfit as someone else? ICK.

If you need professional blog design help, you should check out The Frilly Coconut.  Cute stuff and very affordable.  They also did GLO’s site and it is cuuuuute!

Back to design.  According to the experts, first impressions are key.  I know that’s true in job interviews and dates and its true in blogland, too.  If your blog looks amateurish, readers wont take you seriously.  GLO suggests that if your blog is your business then you need to hire someone and to design your blog right, after all, it’s a business expense!  I think it’s kinda like a brick and mortar store: you wouldn’t just open up your sloppy garage and try to sell couture from there, wouldja? Ew. NO.

When looking for design ideas, GLO suggests you visit a lot of sites and jot down what you like.  I’m sure that will help you narrow down your look.  Just like shopping for clothes, you hafta look around to get an idea of what you like.

If you’re on Pinterest and you’re hooked like the rest of us, Jessica, from the Frilly Coconut offers a tutorial on how to customize a pin it Pinterest button here:

GLO asked twitter party goers what personal touches they like on their blogs.  Many said:

  • Design should match your personality
  • Clean
  • Relevant to your audience

Another important blog design element are photos.  There are good ways and bad ways to use photos on your blog.  Here is a tutorial on how to disable the right click option for photos.  Disabling the right click option will keep people from stealing your photos; stealing is bad.  It gives you wrinkles.

If you’re like me and you struggle with taking good photos, here are a couple lessons.  http://t.co/OtEwINDg  and http://t.co/iTXpMOjm.  Very helpful stuff.

GLO suggests that a photo in the header adds a personal touch. I agree. A personal touch is necessary because it helps your readers connect with you.  If they connect, they will return and changing the header is an easy way to update your blog.  Kinda like how adding accessories to your LBD will update it instantly!

Another reason to add photos on blogs is that photos help break up the text and too much text is boring. (I know, not YOUR text, but I’m just saying)  There are several apps and websites available for photo editing such as: Pic Stitch,  Picnik (closing soon), and Photobucket.  I use the latter two almost DAILY.

An interesting side topic during the party was blog turnoffs.  What turns you off a blog? Answers included music, too much clutter, too many ads, CAPTCHA, blinking images, a blog header larger than 250×250 pixels, black background and white text.  Got it. Don’t want to turn anyone off.  Erica, of GLO, suggest you read her post on blog design mistakes: http://www.girlslunchout.com/why-im-not-reading-your-blog/  Geniusness!

Another important part of blog design are plugins.  Favorites include:

LinkWithin, WP Editorial Calendar, WP Database Backup, Recent Tweets, ReplyMe, Google Analytics Dashboard, Akismet, All in One SEO Pack, WP google Plus One, Pin It on Pinterest, Health Check.  I use several of these and I’ll be checking the others out. Soon.

And finally, If you’ve hired a designer, be sure to look at their portfolio so that you know what their style is based on their previous work.  You should be honest about the work they are doing for you but still kind.  I agree. Kindness rocks the house.

As you can see, this was a very informative Twitter party.  I have already started implementing some of their tips.

What tips do you have to share?

That way we can all be fabulous!

 

 

PammyPam

 

Regarding Queen of Everything

Her highness is still queen of planet blortnick and also a MODEL.

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