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06 April 2013

Week Four: Growing Your Blog

Welcome to week four!! It has been a crazy time in my life, we just finished moving last Wednesday and this week brought job loss to our family, so I apologize for any comments I have responded to or anything I missed.


Week Four: Growing Your Blog



If you've missed the previous weeks catch up here: Week One Week Two & Week Three

So this week is kinda silly, but very very important! This week we're going to focus all our energy on the APPEARANCE and the function of your blog. What I would like you to do is go find three blogs that you LOVE, truly love the look and feel of their blog.

My three are: Made to be a Momma, Blissful and Domestic and Clean and Scentsible. Once you have them picked out, look at the things that you LOVE about the blog. I adore Made to be a Momma's background, I noticed how similar our headers are, but I adore that Sketch Block font that's used. I just love how clean but bright her layout is. With Blissful and Domestic I again LOVE HOW CLEAN IT IS, I love the two colors she uses and how she incorporates her social media icons at the top. On Clean and Scentsible I love again the clean but I most love her popular posts, she has the image itself and then text on the picture to tell you what it is, I love that!! 

So I picked pieces from some of my FAVORITE blogs and I incorporated ideas from each. This past week you might have seen this layout >>>>>>
I love the chevron but as I spent time linking up this week I stopped at each blog and noted some huge points:
1. Most backgrounds were kinda boring (they were neutral colored polka dots, chevron or just colors)
2. Very few blogs had pictures for their headers, and most in fact just had text and the nav bar.
3. In a lot of cases the ones that looked the best had their navigation bar included with their header image.

So the point of all of this is to look hard at your background and decide if the background is too busy and distracting from your content. Do you have illegible fonts that make it hard to read even if their the blog post name, sometimes I'll just not read if I can't read what the topic is.  What about your header, is it so large that you can even see a portion of your content with it, does it take up the whole screen? Is it distracting? 

In NO way am I saying go ahead and redo your entire blog but it might be something to think about, my current layout was again made by me, and I coded and image mapped the whole thing, it was very important to me to have something cleaner. When I had created the previous one from above, I had hoped it was clean enough but hadn't done by homework and looked at OTHER blogs when I did it. 

Let's move on to the ABOUT ME section. I have spent a good deal of time trying to find something that I liked, something that was ME. It's an ABOUT ME section so it should represent you. Are you a scrapbooker? Post pictures with cute addons that make it look like a scrapbook. Are you clear and to the point? Make bullet points. Do you like to tell stories? Give them your favorite stories or memories. The "about me" section is a very big part of a blog. If you ever want to monetize your blog, before another blogger will put an ad up, 9 times out of 10 they'll pick you because they share something in common with you.  It's not just about having a great blog and great numbers but also communicated WHO you are, through your blog. Another important part of an "about me" section (something I didn't do because I didn't work in mine) but is to include links to posts in your blog if you talk about a story. Do you have an entire post of pictures?  Link that too! People want to find out who you are!  If they're spending that much time on your blog, KEEP THEM THERE! 

Do you want a signature at the bottom of your post? I've written instructions on how to use MS Paint to create an image and then use picmonkey to design your own signature. How to use picmonkey is the post and just so you know picmonkey is FREE!! Yes you read that right, it's free. 

Well thank you for joining me this week for Growing Your Blog. Next week will be going over how to add pins to your images and I'll be sharing LOTS of links!!


15 comments

  1. I think this is great advice. I really like your new design. I found this blog a few weeks ago via pinterest and read some of your posts. I just clicked through via Pinterest again and I didn't even realise it was the same blog until a minute ago - I liked your design before but I think it looks much more professional now. :)

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    1. Rachel- Luckily I'm done creating MY OWN blog layouts for the forseeable future. So hopefully no more confusion! I spent a lot of time on this design trying to find something that I'll love for a while!

      Thanks for visiting via pinterest, I spend a lot of time on pinterest and love to find new friends :D
      Thanks for visiting!
      Abbi

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  2. this is a good one! I had to look twice as well to see if I was at the right place!

    The blue is a bit bright for my eyes after very little sleep last night.. yawn..

    I LOVE the way you did the header!!

    powerfulmothering.com

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    1. Nicolette- I can imagine it was a bit confusing and possible disorienting from what my background was to what it is now. I love the header and spent a LOT of time working on it to get it just right.

      Thanks for visiting again!
      Abbi

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  3. Great advice. Your blog looks amazing!

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    1. Marilyn- Thanks so much! I love it and hopefully that means it will stay awhile :D
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Abbi

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  4. Hi Abbie! You were the link before me at the Weekend Creative Link Party! I just wanted to swing by to say hi! I always enjoy reading "how to make your blog... bigger, better, grow" posts, so I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog! Earlier this year, I did exactly what you say here, I looked around at blogs I like and really tried to pinpoint what it was I like about them. I then did a complete overhaul of my blog and love what I have now!

    Keep up the great work! I can't wait to read more from this series!

    Cheers,
    Julia
    It's Always Ruetten

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    1. Julia- It is such a process to perfect ones blog, but I think it's a labor of love like so many things in my life. I truly love playing with my blog and working out the "kinks"! Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to see you in the following weeks!
      Abbi

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  5. Pinned it. Thanks for this post.
    Monica
    http://happyandblessedhome.com
    PS I do a Friday Linky party w/400 visitors if you want to link up!
    http://happyandblessedhome.com/category/family-fun/

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  6. Pinned to my MM board, thanks for linking up to Marvelous Mondays at www.callmepmc.com ~ Paula

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  7. What a great post I can't wait to go back and read the first couple in series. Found you on Homemade Tuesdays ;)

    Amber

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  8. Thanks for sharing this wonderful blogging advice.

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  9. Hi Abbie!
    I just found your site via The Trendy Tree House link party. I've been slowly but surely re-designing my blog for the past few weeks. (It's been slow going for this coding newbie!) So it was great to run across this series. Serendipitous!

    Thanks for the tips!
    Kaitlin

    http://www.lifeslittlemischiefs.com

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  10. Good Morning Abbi, I am so pleased I have found you and it is thanks to Connie at Family, Home and Life. I started blogging in June and chose a template from blogger, I found it was fine to start with, but now I do not really feel it represents me anymore, but I have not had the courage to do anything about it. I was afraid if I started making changes, I might mess up what I already had. I am now going to read all your posts and then start making some changes. Thank you so much for all her help and advice I really appreciate it.
    It will be lovely getting to know you, so I have become a new follower. You would be most welcome to visit me at Ivy, Phyllis and Me! the door will always be open.
    Best Wishes from England, Daphne

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  11. Super great series... Thanks so much for sharing at Super Saturday Show & Tell… I’m SO glad you came to (link) party with me! http://www.whatscookingwithruthie.com Come back again tomorrow to share! xoxo~ Ruthie

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I love reading through your comments and will reply to all comments as time allows me!! Thank you for visiting :D


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