Yesterday I ran a Twitter poll that revealed you guys wanted to know all about designing your blog on a budget. I run polls frequently to see what kind of posts you like and want to see the most, so make sure you’re following me over on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss anything!
As an apprentice, I know that the average person doesn’t have a whole load of spare money to throw around with custom blog site designs. Why? To hire a web designer to redo your whole site can cost upwards of £100 and sometimes a full site revamp can cost within the thousands. Obviously, if you’re a full time blogger as your career then you’re going to be much more willing to spend that kind of money. When your content is your income, design matters a lot. But how can the average joe do it for much less?
Brainstorm | Figure out what your site is all about, who you are and what kind of imagery you want to display. For example, I’m aiming my content at young adults [like myself] and have a clean cut design theme with a lot of white space. I always knew what I wanted visually, but the planning came in when it came to actually designing a header I was happy with and my sidebar imagery etc. Try to picture what you’d like your blog to look like when it’s completed, and take it from there.
Find your sites | There are so many different design editing sites and free downloadable software programmes available to help you customise your imagery exactly how you want it. My favourites include Picmonkey [a little oldschool but still good], Da Font [where I find all of my custom fonts], and GIMP editing software [it’s a free editing programme similar to Photoshop].
Have options | When designing your header of sidebar images, makenmore than one option. An amazing header can look shit when it’s actually uploaded to your site, so always make sure you come up with a lot of different potential designs.
Shop small | If you have some extra cash and want to splurge on a custom design header or theme, always shop small. There’s a whole ocean of bloggers who dedicate a lot of time to producing customised content for other bloggers for a small design fee. I’ve seen people offer personalised blog headers for as little as £4.95 on Twitter.
Be realistic | We all know that you get what you pay for; so don’t get yourself down about the fact that your blog doesn’t look ‘professional enough’ when you haven’t spent a dime. People who knows the ins and outs of html and designing are obviously going to be able to put together an amazing display on their site whereas I stick to the customise options presented to me by my WordPress theme. There’s nothing wrong with doing either one, but I know that their site will look better than mine. If you have the money and you really believe that blogging will continue to be a part of your life, buy away. If you’re not too sure where you’re going with your blog at the moment, I’d hold off for a little while.
Keep it legal | When you’re using a custom made font or a photograph, always check that it’s free for use by the public. Copyright laws can land you in a lot of hot water, especially with photographs that are used without permission. I’ve done a post all about where you can find the best free stock images which you can read here.
Research | You’ll only ever find something if you look for it! Search through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest hashtags to see who can offer design services – like I mentioned previously there are other bloggers out there who have the design skills and offer personalised content at reduced rates. All it takes is looking in the right places!
This week has been an amazing blogging week for me as I’ve hit many mini-milestones and I just wanted to say to all of my readers that I’m incredibly appreciative of the time you take to read my posts and support me via social media. Without you my stupid ramblings would just be thrown into the vast bland corner of the internet void – so thank you so much!