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It’s time for the next installment of the New Blogger Series!
This Week: Blog Design
So, what do ya’ll think of my new look? Don’t you just love it? As I was researching for this post this week I instituted a bunch of changes, for the better I hope. Let me know what you think!
If you’re new make sure you check out last week’s Top 10 Blogging Basics.
I had so much fun this week playing with my blog layout and design!
I love that it condenses so much information while keeping it all easily accessible on the front page. Now, if you have WordPress this is a simple little gadget that is easily added, if you have Blogger (like I do) it’s a much more complicated process! Luckily, I was determined to get this gadget (I saw it on another blog and fell in love with it so I really wanted it!), so I found the simplest way to add it to your blog:
Adding a Tabbed Gadget to Blogger
This was easy peasy to install and customize (I don’t understand a thing about HTML, but his instructions were very simple). Just follow his easy instructions to install. Then you can go back into the HTML gadget and customize the colors. Anywhere you see # that is where you insert the color code. Here is a fantastic color code chart that you can use to customize the colors anywhere on your blog:
Instead of using the generic About Me gadget I used a text gadget so I could customize a little bit. By using a text gadget I could make my picture larger and added the social media buttons to the bottom. How you ask?
Making a Customized “About Me”
Inserting a larger photo: Upload a picture to PhotoBucket then go into Edit and then Resize. Mine is set at 125×125. Now copy the HTML code for the photo, you will then go back to your text gadget and switch to HTML then paste the code. Now you can switch back to RichText to write your About Me.
Making personal social media buttons:
(Until April you can still use Picnik so I suggest you do this asap.)
Update: I now use PicMonkey and it’s fantastic (and free!).
1. Search Google Images for a wallpaper or background that you like.
2. Save the image to your computer then upload it to Picnik.
3. Once in Picnik: crop the area that you want for your button. Then play around with the fonts and images to make your button look how you want it to. Save each button individually to your computer. Then upload them to PhotoBucket.
4. Once in Photo Bucket you can resize the buttons to whatever you want – mine are 50×50.
5. Now go back to your text gadget and go into the HTML. You will paste this code:
Image Address” border=”0″ />
6. Okay, where it says Social Media Address you will copy and paste your Twitter page, Facebook page, or Feedburner url, etc. and in Image Address you will paste the Direct Link for the image that you want associated with that social media address. This is why I suggest using PhotoBucket- because when you hover over your image a box will pop up with options for Direct Link and HTML). Make sense?
How about adding your signature to the bottom of every post?
Creating your signature: I’ve seen some creative signatures out there but my learning curve right now puts me at just wanting something simple. This is SUPER simple and super cute! Mylivesignature.com has so many different signatures to choose from! Use the Signature Creation Wizard and follow the steps to create your own signature. Once complete you will click “Want to use this signature?” then click “Generate HTML Code”. Now copy and save that code.
Adding your signature to the bottom of every post AUTOMATICALLY: That’s the key, having it load automatically! I have enough to remember, so this is a great little personal touch. You could even use this for your emails. Go to your dashboard, go to Layout, click on Settings, now to Posts & Templates. You will paste the HTML code for your signature into the Post Template box. How easy was that?!
What about my wallpaper and header?
The Cutest Blog on the Block has so many free choices plus lots that you can buy. These were free. I just mixed and matched to get a customized look that I’m really digging!
Topics on the way include:
Branding your photos
Making the most of Linky Parties
Using Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Stumbleupon to grow your blog
Trading Blogs Party: kinda like my first HGTV/TLC love: Trading Spaces… we’ll team up, trade blogs, and instead of redesigning a space we’ll write a guest post for each other’s blog! I’ll be posting more information and the sign up on this next week- so we’ll be ready to go by the beginning of March!
Do you have any fun blog design tricks?
Please share them with us!
What else would you be interested in learning?
Have you learned something that you would like to do a guest post on? Email me!