Creating a Visually Appealing Blog

 

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Hi everyone!  I’m Megan from wildflowers and sweet tea.  Thanks for letting me stop by and chat with you guys today!  I hope you find these tips helpful.

Do you feel like you’re blog is awesome but that no one knows it because they aren’t sticking around long enough to find out.  Your blog isn’t making a good first impression. 

With blogs, the visual first impression counts.  It lets visitors know if they want to stay.  Your blog should be a true expression of who you are and yet still be appealing to the audience that it’s intended for.  You don’t have to be an amazing graphic designer to have an outstanding blog.  Just start by grooming these three areas:

The Header

Most bloggers don’t put enough thought into the header.  The header sits in the most prominent position on your blog.  It’s the top section that houses your title.  Your header is the first thing visitors will see.  It brands you.  Yet so many bloggers just run with the default header given to them.  It doesn’t say much more than your blogs name.   It really doesn’t tell your readers what you’re about.  Pick an image that you love and that fits the message that your blog is trying to send. There are several sites out there to help you personalize your header.  Here are my two favorites:

Smashing Magazine (dot) com  has a list of 45 free blog headers that you can download

Free Webpage Headers (dot) com 

 

Layouts and Backgrounds

Your layout should follow the basics of good housekeeping.  Keep it clean and uncluttered.   Your readers don’t need to know everything you love and stand for.  They just need to know the most important things.  Add a list of books that you love, but don’t add every book you’ve ever read.  Keep your lists and your columns clean and to a minimum.  You don’t want your writing and your images to get lost in a haze.  Your writing and images are the parts of your blog that need to shine.

Your background should reflect your style.  Choose colors that you love.  If you prefer a more modern style then keep your background and layout clean and simple.  If you prefer things a bit more vintage then choose one of the great shabby chic backgrounds out there.

Here are a few sites to help you get started:

Hot Bliggity Blog and Shabby Blogs  are two of my favorites for easy copy and paste background updates

Btemplates has awesome layouts that are made specifically for blogger and include great headers

Images

Images are the key to a visually pleasing blog.  An image helps to set the tone for your post and gives it focus.  An image gives your readers something unique to see.  An image captures the reader’s attention and makes them want to read the story behind it.  Try experimenting with your camera to create interesting visuals to go with your story.  Like a child’s toes in the sand to go with a story about a beach trip.  Breaking away from portrait only pictures will help you stand out.  (Please keep in mind that if you want to borrow an image from another website it is always best to ask for permission.)

For inspiration on how to incorporate images well check out Artful Blogging Magazine by Somerset Studios.

You have stories to share.  Mare sure people are sticking around long enough to read them.

-- Megan

If you are interested in becoming a guest blogger email thebraggingmommy (at) gmail.com

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3 comments:

  1. A Mom After God's Own Heart said...

    This was a great post! Thank you for the great links for more ideas for making my blog visually appealing. Very appreciated:)

  2. MommyB said...

    Thanks for sharing Megan, those are some great ideas! Sometimes I'm a little overwhelmed by blogs.

  3. shopannies said...

    what a great post I try and often ask for feedback from my readers when i change things I have gotten lucky and do recieve lots of help on my blog

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