If you didn’t read my post from yesterday than you need to start there. This is kind of a part two of How To Start a Blog. At this point you should have already purchased a domain and got yourself set up on WordPress, if not you obviously didn’t read part one and you are terrible at following directions. I’m going to show you exactly how I (I say “I” very loosely because I didn’t do every part of my blog design) did my blog design. This is actually a really fun process so you better enjoy it.
A lot of starting a blog is sitting down and thinking. I didn’t think AT ALL, I legit just bought the first template I saw on WordPress downloaded Photoshop and leaped in head first. It was so bad. I thought I wanted my header to be purple, like everything on my blog was going to be purple. I don’t even love the color purple. So don’t be like me, sit down and try to figure out the following things:
- Color pallet, try to think of a few colors (2 or 3) that you would want to incorporate into your blog design.
- Go look at some of your favorite blogs (you have to be reading other blogs lol) and see what the layout of their sites looks like. What do you love? What do you hate?
- Think of features you would like your blog to have.
- What kind of navigation will your site have? Categories, Thumbnails, just a most recent post page? WHAT.
There are so many things that you should figure out before the next step. Really think about it and don’t be an idiot like me and spend unnecessary money and time on a site that sucks.
Ok so I’m assuming your not a web designer, if you are why the heck are you reading this lol. Since you aren’t you are going to have to spend some money. I am going to run through all the things you may want to buy/wear I bought it.
*If your rich you can skip all of this and hire a web designer, even if you’re rich I still think that’s stupid because you can make a perfectly fine starter site yourself without spending 1000 dollars*
You are going to need a template for sure. When you start your site you will notice that WordPress has a page that you can buy/download for free templates. If you think that you are going to be doing this for a while I would purchase a template instead of downloading one for free. It will make your blog look more original and less like a “stock image”.
I would recommend checking out Etsy! I got both of my blog templates from Etsy and they were both relatively cheap (under 100 dollars) and work well. You can also buy from other sites if you aren’t finding something you like (Google it please so I don’t have to link the whole first page of Google).
Ok lets trouble shoot:
- You found a blog design you like but you hate the color! You can change this yourself it’s not that hard. Most of the time you will have to go into the theme’s code, but it is not that hard. When I changed the colors of my first theme I watched a couple of youtube videos and dove in. If the concept of doing this disgusts you try to find a web designer who will do it for you.
- Your theme is cute but you hate the header! This is so easy to fix. As usual you have two options pay a person to do it for you OR do it yourself. I did mine myself. Legit just check the optimal size for your header (Pixel x Pixel). Decide what colors you would it to use. Pick a font (or 2). If you want to download custom fonts you can and then you can upload them to Photoshop. This was the hardest part of my blog to create because I am indecisive, but a good header can give your blog a custom look.
So the first time I created a logo I used a logo creator site. This one to be specific. It was fine and I liked it ALOT, I honestly thought it was the best logo ever created. When I switched up my site last month I decided that my logo kind of sucked and I decided to create my own. I know that this sounds so impressive and it should be because I am a genius, but I literally just filled in the square on Photoshop with the pink from my color palate, used the font from my theme and drew a big “T”. Piece of cake. Your logo should be simple, effective and memorable. You may want to stick it on the side of your blog or use it as the little site icon (definitely not what it’s called).
( This was my first logo, it’s really not that cringey)
There is so much crap you can buy. I don’t really want to write about all of it, but I will because that’s the topic of this post.
- A post signature– on Pinterest you can purchase a custom post signature, at the end of all your posts you can insert it and it says like “love, Taylor” or “sincerely, Taylor”. A lot of bloggers use these but I think they look kind of dumb, but go ahead I am not the boss of you.
- A “Pin it” button– A majority of my views every day come from Pinterest. I don’t really know why but I am not complaining. A button that hovers over each of your pictures is really easy to install but it is even better if it matches your theme, we love an ~aesthetic~.
- Photoshop- You definitely need Photoshop. It cost money but some schools (like GWU, raise high) give it to you for free. Photoshop is your best friend.
- Facebook Cover Photo- This isn’t really a blog design thing but it is something you can purchase. I made my own, which means you can make your own (even though I am SO smart).
- If you love someone in particulars blog you can scroll all the way to the bottom and see who did their web design/what template they used. Big bloggers frequently have custom designs that cost a lot of money, so just keep that in mind.
- Doing all of this for your blog can take a lot of time, I recommend making everything exactly how you want it before launching. That way you aren’t making too many changes while you have active readers.
- A good About Me page goes a long way in landing brand partnerships.
- Pretty isn’t necessarily functional. I know a lot of blogs that have BEAUTIFUL web design but are kind of hard to navigate. These are big name bloggers but I have trouble navigating their sites (poor little it girl, gal meets glam). I prefer a less pretty blog that’s easy to read (Carly the Prepster, Cup of Jo). So keep that in mind. I’m not telling you to not have gorgeous sliders, I’m just saying they are tricky to navigate.
Ok so now you have a blog lol. Tomorrow we are going to talk about running it on the day-to-day and keeping up with social media. Try to keep up and I’ll see you on Thursday class.