Showing posts with label blog design. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog design. Show all posts

Monday, August 15, 2016

Blog Makeover: I've Got a Logo & Button Now! | Blog News


I've always wanted a blog button and distinct logo for my blog. 

When a friend of mine recently got a commission from a fantastic artist done, my jaw dropped and I had to go ahead and get one of my own.






So I'm sure you've seen the new logo already! Isn't it gorgeous?! If you didn't know what I look like, well, now you know! For the really curious there's more pictures of me here on the blog, and here.

I'm definitely open to adding some more art to my blog. I've recently been super infatuated with the blog design on Pop! Goes the Reader. Jen has these super pretty comic style renditions of her all over her blog and there are new ones for every feature she does. It's really pretty, you should check her blog out. It definitely inspired me to finally go & search for an artist to design a logo for me. 

If I happen to get rich overnight, I'm definitely knocking on my wonderful artist's (virtual) door again to get some more commissions from her. 

I also messed with the colors on my blog a little, maybe you've also noticed that if you're really observant! I decided not to go all crazy and wild and simply make small changes. I like the clean look for now, I probably won't ever go for any crazy colors on my blog.  BUT I've been thinking about making those white tiles beige. I love the beige I used to have and I'm kinda worried that the white is too bright and too clean. What do you think?

So that's about it, I'm linking the lovely girl who drew my icon below, she's open for comissions right now and as you can see, fantastically talented. 

Harrison: Tumblr | Email: harrison1997@me.com



What do you think? Do you like the new look? 

If you like, feel free to grab my button on the left! Let me know. Any feedback's appreciated.

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Why I Regret Having Started Out With Blogger | Book Blogging Tips (#30)

Not a day goes by that I'm not super annoyed that I didn't have the foresight to actually inform myself about the different blogging platforms.

For some people, Blogger seems to be the perfect choice, but for me, it absolutely isn't. 

Since my blog is super small I'm actually scared to transition, because I fear losing the little audience that I have.



What's so bad about Blogger?

  • Themes: Finding a decent theme on Blogger is almost impossible. I had to learn to code to modify mine to be close to what I want it to look like, but I'm still not 100% satisfied. The default themes on Blogger are an absolute nightmare and without exception all look terrible. If you take a look at the Wordpress default themes, they aren't only more aesthetically pleasing, but also have more options to modify them than the Blogger themes.
  • Commenting: The Blogger commenting system isn't terrible, but it's by no means a great invention. It's not pretty. Had I not come across DISQUS, I probably would've quit straightaway and transitioned over to Wordpress
  • Widgets: The Blogger widgets are pretty much useless. They cover the basics but stand in no comparison to the things Wordpress offers
  • No Ping-backs: This is one of the features I miss the most on Blogger. Wordpress notifies you whenever someone mentions or links to your blog. In order to find out whenever somebody does that on my Blogger account -... well, good luck.

Why am I not changing to Wordpress?

  1. I'm scared to lose followers. Almost half of my followers follow via GFC. On Wordpress I can't use GFC anymore. Who knows if those people would follow me again.
  2. I'd have to start from scratch. It'll feel like I'm a blogging newbie again, Wordpress has a completely different structure than Blogger and it'll take me months to learn how to work with it the way I can work with Blogger.
  3. What if it doesn't live up to my expectations? What if I don't like Wordpress on the long run? It'll be a bitch to go back to Blogger. I'd also be insanely annoyed. 
  4. I feel like it's too late now, I've made my decision and I should stick with it.
  5. I think I've made the best out of the options I have on Blogger and I'd have to change everything about my blog to make it work on Wordpress the same way.
My advice:

If you're still a newbie and have less than fifty followers, consider the change. I mean, I'm not even a remotely popular blog, but I don't think I can afford to start new. If I decide to transition, I'll have to start from the bottom and I don't think I'm ready for that.

If you're already with Blogger:
  • Create a Wordpress account and make a hypothetical theme. Pretend you're actually transitioning and see if you like it.
  • Don't just delete your Blogger blog, export it first and shove all your content over to Wordpress. Under NO circumstances delete your Blogger blog!! You can still change the URL later if you're actually transitioning. Keep the Blogger blog as an emergency backup.
If you haven't decided on a platform yet:
  • Consider carefully where you're going to start off. Question other more experienced bloggers and make a list of advantages and disadvantages.
  • See what your favorite bloggers work with and think about what you like about their designs (if they're not using self-hosted themes obviously)


Do you use Wordpress or Blogger? Have you ever considered transitioning to either option?

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Things No One Tells You About Book Blogging | Book Blogging Tips (#25)


I had no idea what to expect when I just dove into blogging head-first. I didn't even read other blogs when I first started and just decided to do it my own way.

A lot has changed since then and I'd like to say that my blog has improved since then. Here are some things that really surprised me when I first started blogging.



  • Success won't come overnight: Good content ≠ Readers

No matter what you post, you won't become a successful blogger within six months. There are exceptions to the rule, but don't assume that you're one of those. Readers are earned and that takes time.


  • Queuing WILL save your blog

Honestly, if it wasn't for my well-stacked queue I'd probably have quit already. It's hardly possible to keep posting as much as I do (almost every day/ every other day) without actually planning posts in advance. I use my creative highs to schedule posts in advance. I suggest you make a habit of queuing, too, because it really does help a lot.


  • Themes matter, period.

So many people say it's all about the content, but honestly: there are certain themes that I just can't stand to see anymore. At this point I actually click away when I see an awful blog design, no matter how interesting the posts sound.


  • You will lose motivation

..and that's perfectly normal. Blogging is a full-time job and after months and months of writing posts, you may get tired of it. Don't give up. The big names in the blogging community are the people who never gave up. You can do it.


  • It's a competition - you will get jealous of others

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you shouldn't try to be like other bloggers or try to be as successful as them. I've heard it all, but the truth is I do look left and right and try to improve my blog constantly. The internet changes and so do the habits of the people who visit my blog. 

  • Of course you'll get discouraged to see a blogger that has barely started surpass you with their statistics.
  • Of course you'll get jealous when someone gets an awesome ARC that you didn't get 
  • Of course you'll constantly ask yourself why someone else has more followers, has more commenters, has better statistics
  • Of course you'll try to be more like the people you admire. And eventually plan to be a better blogger than them.
That may sound a little conceited, but it's the truth. Why are you blogging? Because you think your voice matters. When it ends up being unheard it's frustrating and annoying and it will make you question everything you do. 

BUT:
Don't listen to that little voice that says you're not good enough and you're never going to make it. 

Persistence is the key to success. 

One day people will look up to you and ask themselves why they're not as great as you are. 


What are things that you didn't expect about blogging?
Do you sometimes get jealous of other bloggers?

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Friday, October 23, 2015

The First Impression - What Does a Good Blog Have? | Book Blogging Tips (#22)



Themes are something that really matters when discovering new blogs. But they aren't everything that can mess up the first impression of a blog.

Before I've even scrolled through your blog, a lot can go wrong. I typically determine within five seconds when I'm on a new site whether I want to follow them or not.

Here are my criteria.

1. I can easily find your follower button

This should really go without saying. Your blog can be brilliant and have a beautiful theme, but if I can't find your GFC widget (for Non-Blogger accounts social media icons), then I'm out.

I don't have time to add your blog manually, I'd rather go over to the next blog that makes it easier to keep updated and follow them.

2. No generic design

There are some themes that you just see on every other page. Especially the super white super clean ones. For some people that's their aesthetic, but I think it's boring to have the same theme as 32793729 other bloggers.
If you're not unique and original in terms of design, should I trust you to make good, original posts? Eh.

3. Organized review page

Who knows, maybe I came to your blog solely for a review that I saw in my feed. Maybe I want to check out more reviews and am looking for a specific one? Don't give me that /tagged stuff, make the effort to create an alphabetically sorted list.

4. Loads quickly

If your blog doesn't load within five seconds, I'll think it's a broken link and move on. Avoid many widgets or trailers and declutter your blog to make sure this doesn't happen.

5. Decent Commenting System

Essential. I'm a frequent commenter. I'm here to interact. If I can't comment easily, I won't even bother following. 

6. Comment Replies

Talk about comments - I like to talk to the bloggers I follow. Unless you're one of the biggest book bloggers out there and don't have the time to reply to all the hundreds of comments you get, I want to see some interaction.

If you can't manage to reply if your comments aren't even in the two-digits - nevermind. I don't think I want to follow you. It automatically contributes to making a person less sympathetic to me if they ignore their readers. Why waste your time on them if they can't spare a minute to you?

What are your criteria for a blog that you would follow?


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Friday, September 11, 2015

How to Scare Potential Readers Away With Your Theme | Book Blogging Tips (#16)

If you're a little like me, your theme is probably the bane of your existence as well.

I'm constantly editing it, never quite getting it right and spend days trying to edit a single thing, but then end up not liking the end result.

You can have the best content in the world, when your theme is terrible, you'll never get the recognition you deserve.


Here are fourteen DON'Ts in regards to your theme.


! CAUTION: Sarcasm ahead ! 


1. Pop-Ups and Ads Wherever You Can.
Yeah, ads are always a great idea if you're looking to earn money with your blog. You should totally start advertising early on, even if you get only a hundred views per month.
The more ads the better. Make sure to remind your readers to subscribe to your email newsletter every five minutes with a pop-up, they'll be very grateful for the reminder.

2. Low Contrast Script and Background
Pastel colors, am I right? How about a beige background with a light pink script? Looks fashionable. Who cares whether you can read the posts, as long as it looks pretty.
Aesthetics over content all the way.

3. Show ALL THE BADGES
Yes you're a proud member of Team Damon, Team Edward, Team Maxon, Team Ash, Team Stark, Team Patch, The Shadowhunters and so many more! Make sure to add all your fandoms so your readers will know what you love to read about.
Don't forget to add a badge for every tag award you've ever gotten.

4. Avantgarde Themes
There's a reason standard blogging templates are so frowned upon. Show us your graphic designer skills and give us a theme filled with animations and giant pictures. It has to be a challenge for the reader to find your posts, else they aren't worthy of reading them anyways.

5. A LOT of Friendship Buttons
Show off all the friends you made in the blogging world. Don't only put three or four on your site. It's like facebook, the more friends you have, the cooler you are.

6. Sidebar Taller Than You Are
The more widgets the better. It's not cluttered, there are a lot of options for the reader to explore!!

7. List All Authors and Publishers That Support You
It's very important to make sure that you thank all 89 authors and publishers that sent you a review copy. It's even more important when you've been blogging for ten years. You can't miss a single name. Don't put it on an extra page either, it has to be on the front page.

8. Typos + No Proofreading
Were all humans. Typos make you evn more symptaehtic. Prof reading just takes up mroe time. Let's get it all online quiasly. its not liek you can´t undesrtand what I#M typing is it

9. Release Day Widgets. All of Them.
The more, the better. I mean, your readers have to know what you're currently waiting on. Don't let them know in a post. It's all about visualization.

10. Super-slim Themes
The slimmer the better. That's the 2015
look. If your sentences all have to be
shortened and look like haikus now
then you're absolutely doing it right.
Scrolling is a form of exercise as well,
you're doing your readers a favor
They should pay you for that service if
you think about it.

11. Stop Formatting
It's only a waste of time. Don't even use paragraphs. You'll save a lot of time and will be able to dedicate that time to reading more.

12. Did Somebody Say Comic Sans?
You don't know what people are talking about, it's not like you're running a business blog. Comic Sans in bright yellow is a perfectly acceptable font to run a blog in your spare time. Everybody calm down.

13. Animations and Customized Cursors
Come on, who doesn't want those back? Remember how awesome our myspace pages looked? You're aiming for the nostalgic look and it's working. Maybe add some glitter or falling snow while you're at it.

14. Unreadable Colors
Seriously, if they'd take the time and effort to read your posts, they'd be able to. It's not like your writing for the uneducated masses. Your blog posts are important and making a difference so it can't be that hard to highlight them with a right-click if they have problems reading them, jeez.




Always remember: Blogging isn't an exact science.

Even if you have some or most of these things on your blog, who cares? It's still your blog and it has to look pretty to YOU! I'm sure there are a lot of people who think my theme is absolutely terrible. To each their own, my friends.


I hopĆ¼e this could help you out a litlle and nyou know now aht not do when you're wiring a blog post Obviously everyone's approaches are different. Team EdwwarD!!



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Thursday, July 16, 2015

6 Things Your Blog Design HAS TO Have | Book Blogging Tips (#8)


Bloggers know the eternal struggle: How to find the perfect design. 

If you're a little like me, you're constantly changing and trying to improve things to make your design the best it can be.

While taste differs, there are 6 things your blog absolutely has to have.




1. A Proper Comment System

With proper I mean no pop-ups, no captcha, no google+ only (for the Blogger people)
If you make it nice and easy to comment, you'll definitely see more people making use of that option. The default systems of Blogger and Wordpress are fine, but more and more bloggers make use of other commenting systems.

Popular third-party-commenting systems are:
2. Contact Page

This is important for networking. Whether it's other bloggers or authors and publishers wanting to contact you. If you haven't already, get an email address specifically for your blog. Social media icons are also a nice way to give your readers an overview where they can find and connect with you

3. Related Posts Widget

I didn't have this for a long time and I actually don't know how I could live without this. Related posts are a great way to show your reader similar stuff and also look nice on your home page.
The widget I use is LinkWithin.

4. Multiple Options for Following

I've actually seen blogs with only one option to follow. While I understand that everyone has their preferred way that they'd like to be followed by, note that not everyone might want to use this. Consider adding at least two of the options below:
  • Email
  • Google Friend Connect
  • BlogConnect
  • BlogLovin
  • Facebook
  • G+
  • Linky
  • NetworkedBlogs
The more options you give your readers, the more followers you'll be able to get.

5. Search Bar

This goes without saying. People have to be able to find content that's not on the first page easily.

6. Review Index

This is essential (!!!) for book bloggers. Your readers have to be able to find your reviews and please put it on a separate page. 
Just linking to all posts you tagged as reviews doesn't really help, especially if you combine this with not having a search bar. Make the effort to add a page just for reviews and sort them.


What Do You Think Every Blogger Has to Have on Their Blog?


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