Designing your blog is not an easy task, especially if you are a beginner to the graphic design world and can't afford to hire a consultant.
But you don't want to leave your blog bland and boring, right? What's a blogger to do?
You get smart and strategic. Like any other project, if you look at the big picture too much, you will get overwhelmed and then freeze. Instead, break down what you want to do with your blog's graphic design and start to think about the little details that you could handle doing on you own.
These graphic design details will add personal, fun touches to your blog while also making your site more enticing to your readers.
- Customized social media sharing buttons:
- Instead of using the generic buttons that Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook give to you, create your own or download these buttons from a design site. They will stand out more on your site, catching your reader's eye instead of those other more average buttons that literally every blogger has. I recommend visiting Kira from Her New Leaf who runs a blog graphic site that is definitely worth checking out. Also, The Beauty Department has a few good examples of what you can do to customize your social media buttons. Think simple and memorable!
- About Me Graphic:
- Give readers a quick look into YOU, the blogger, with a small About Me Graphic. I personally love seeing a mini-blurb about the blogger in the top corners of a blog, along with a line or two about the blog. When done right, this mini blurb will entice me to click-through and get to know the blogger better. Some examples of About Me graphics that I like can be found at Note To Self, and Bri from Design Love Fest. Both reflect the personality and spirit of the blogger, which makes me want to get to know the author better. To do this, find a headshot or Instagram that best embodies you. Upload graphic into your blog's media library, than add image to your sidebar widget. Make sure it links back to a more detailed bio page!
- Google web fonts:
- Break up the traditional Arial and Georgia font by incorporating Google web fonts to your site. A playful, jazzy font can make all the difference on a white blog page. You can peruse the entire collection of custom fonts and see what works with your overall blog. Now, I should warn you: adding custom fonts to your site does slow down load time so be mindful of how many custom fonts you are using. Also, too many fonts can be an eyesore to your reader. To do this, make sure your current blog design supports Web fonts. WordPress.org blogs allow you to customize fonts but for the other platforms, it depends on your theme.
- Graphics for “Older and Newer” links:
- You know when you scroll down to the end of a blog page and you click on “older” or “new” to find more content? Why not turn those links into actual graphics? You could use small symbols or even just a fancy font! Chances are, your reader will click on a symbol or graphic instead of text. A fun example of a blogger doing this is Julia from Lemon & Stripes. You can't miss the “older” graphic and guess what? I did click through and perused older articles. See, it works! Just a heads-up, you do need basic CSS knowledge to add this detail to your blog. To do this, go to your theme, find the CSS document, find the <div class=”oldernewer”> tag in your CSS. Insert the link to the image you want to use in this section.
- Blog header:
- Creating a new blog header takes minimal time and effort yet delivers maximum impact on both readers and potential brand partners. The best blog headers are clear, small, colorful but not overly bright and incorporate a personal touch like a logo or consistent font. I think the blog header for A Piece of Toast is a good reference because it incorporates original photography from the blogging duo without being too messy and chaotic. Straight-forward and to the point. For more blog header tips, see our guide to designing your blog header. To do this, find your blog header settings, upload your appropriately-sized blog header to your blog and save changes. Don't forget to test out your new header in ALL browsers to make sure it works.
Much like that last-minute jewelry addition to your outfit, these details are the best finishing touches a blogger could ask for. Go small, then work your way up until you get to a point that you've basically done as much as you can (without breaking your site).
Are there other design details you can think of? Or do you have questions about the ones listed above?