It’s time for another dose of Get Bloggin’!!! Today i’m going to be covering Banners and Layout/Design! In my opinion there are 4 big areas that make up a great blog: Photos, Banners, Layout/Design and Content, oh my!! 🙂 In my previous Get Bloggin’ post we covered how to take good photos and in the next month or so i’ll be talking about what to do with those photos on your blog. But first i want to talk Banners & Layout/Design, got to have these so you have a place to put your photos!!
Banners are the first thing readers see when they get to your blog, so having a great banner is a must! So where do you get a banner?? Well there are a few options:
- Make your own. – Making your own Banner can be fun and easy…. if your a graphic designer or have experience with photo’s, graphics and fonts etc. 🙂 However that dosen;t mean you still can’t make your own! Just use a photo (make sure to use a copyright free one, or your own picture!), a photo editing program and then add some text! You can google your editing program and find lots of free tutorials on how to make your own! Each blog platform has the specifics as to banner size.
Here is a picture of my own handmade banner! Not to bad, but not the most professional banner. I recently upgraded my banner and layout! (more details about that below)
- Free Premade Banners. There are a lot out there, some good, some bad… But if you choose right, it can be a good asset to your blog!
- Purchase a Premade or Custom Banner.There are a TON of designers out there on the web that have premade banners for sale OR they will make a custom one for you! Price will vary, but if you A. don;t have the skills to make your own or B. don’t like any of the free ones, then buying one is the easiest to do!!
Ok now lets talk about Layout/Design!!! Banner’s and Layout/Design go hand in hand! As you search for free, premade or custom banners you will find that you can get a package deal: a banner and a Layout for your blog. When i talk about layout i’m talking about the background, the colors you use, the font, graphics, number of columns etc.
When you set up your blog for the first time Blogger, Word Press, Type Pad all have tools to use their templates and customize it to your needs. This is a great place to start! And you can apply these tips below to your customizing! OR you can apply these to a Banner/Layout you either get free or purchase from a designer.
Ok now on to the important info!! LOL
- Clean Background – White is best but you can have a pattern, minimal and light colored works best. Here is a perfect example of a busy (in a good way) background from another card maker Ashley Marcu.
- Use easy to read Fonts – Nothing worse then not being able to read the post! So no super fancy fonts or colors!!
- Columns should align and keep graphics to a minimum! – If your graphics are all over the place, it will look messy and a reader might be turned off and not bother with your post!
- You also don’t need a ton of graphics! It dosen;t mean you can’t display your awards, design teams, and favorite companies, but there isn;t a need to have a challenge badge from 5 years ago! Just create a page and have a running list of your accomplishments!! See my achievements page for an example!
- Music – NOT a good idea!! NOT a good idea!! NOT a good idea!! No one likes it, probably 99% of people (my guess anyway! LOL) click to get off that blog fast!! No one likes having music suddenly blaring out of there speakers, especially if they happen to be at the library!!
Similar to Banner’s you can do your own Layout/Design, use free elements or purchase custom/premade designs. Not too long ago i purchased a blog layout from Designer Blogs. They have lots of premade Banner’s and Layouts (that are reasonably priced) along with custom options! I hope one day to be able to have a custom design!
Ok i think i’ve talked your ear off enough!! Ha Ha!! Next time i’ll be covering Blog Content, then we will be getting down and dirty with some cool tips and tricks to make your blog even BETTER!!!
I don;t want to send you on your way with out a card using some Sweet Stamps!!! I made a easy to do CAS card with some post it’s, ink, a stamp, and sequins! Visit my blog here to get all the details!!
I hope you all have a great day!!