This is it! If you’ve been following this 10 week blog redesign series, this is week 9, and it’s time for the big reveal! (As well as a question I am hoping to get your thoughts on … ) I’ve been redesigning Lori’s blog, In My Kitchen, In My Life throughout the series and giving tips on how you can get set up with a whole new design of your own as well. Lori already had great content, and this redesign was intended to get her set up on WordPress and give her posts the proper garnish and setting that they deserved. So now her blog has officially been moved to WordPress, and here is the before and after:
So what do you think of Lori’s completed site? It’s kind of small in the preview above, but you can check it out more fully here on her new site: www.InMyKitchenInMyLife.com
I considered writing my own tutorial for how to move from Blogger to WordPress – but it’s already been written far better than I could write it! It is on WPBeginner and I encourage you to check out her tutorial, just click here. She takes you through clearly, step by step.
Instead, now that we’ve finished the overall site redesign, I want to offer a few do-and-don’t design tips to bear in mind when writing your actual posts themselves:
o Left align your text. Unless it is poetry, keep your text left aligned. Reading center-justified text just feels weird and does not make it easy to read.
o No crazy fonts in your post. Keep the font of your actual post simple and clean. No handwriting type fonts. When it comes to paragraphs of text, your goal is to make them easily readable, not distract people with individual letters.
o Keep text one color, preferrably black. There are better ways to emphasize and add interest to your writing than to make random words different colors.
o At least one image per post. Obviously, this may not always happen — for instance, my post on Wednesday when I lost my computer charger in the midst of our move and my battery was about to die! (Which, by the way, has been resolved, and thus, today’s post.;) But if it is a post with highly valuable and shareable content, I consider including an image to be a must. For one thing, Pinterest can be a HUGE source of traffic to your blog – and having a picture in the post makes it that much easier to pin.
o ALL images the max width. Figure out what the maximum width of your post is, and only upload images of that width – it keeps your blog’s photos looking beautiful and consistent.
o Take photos in natural light, if possible. Avoid using flash, it makes for much less attractive photos.
o A quick adjust in brightness/contrast can make a big difference. I’d say it’s much better to have a so-so photo in your post than none at all – but if you’ve taken your photo in natural light, often just a little tweak of brightness/contrast can really make it pop even more.
o Break up long paragraphs. Now, this will depend some on your target audience. If they are long readers, you probably don’t have to worry about this. But in general on the internet, people’s reading attention span is fairly short. This doesn’t mean you only have to write short posts (I definitely don’t, haha!), but it helps if you break up long paragraphs into shorter chunks – and injecting photos every few paragraphs can help, too.
Well, next week is the LAST post in this series – now that your blog is set up and finished, I’ll be showing how to use 6 powerful tools that are OUTSIDE of your blog to help promote and publicize your site.
And as we are nearing the end of this series – I’d be very curious for your feedback on something. Several of you have written me expressing interest in having me do one-on-one consultations with you to look at your site, while others have expressed an interest in having me do design work for their blog, while others are interested in how to redesign and optimize an online business, while others talk about the value of writing e-books. I know many of you have commented that you’re surprised I’ve been blogging even while in the process of a cross-country move … but the fact is we are very dependent on my online income right now at this stage of our lives, both from my Etsy shop and from my blog. I’d love to get your feedback on whether the things mentioned above would be helpful if I offered them, or if there is something else you would be interested in. I’ve been astounded by the great responses I have received from you throughout this series, and I’d be very interested to hear your feedback on this. And I can’t believe we are almost at the end of these 10 weeks! Crazy. I hope it’s been beneficial for you.
Please leave your thoughts and comments below, I love hearing from you!
Part 1: Discover your branding with “The Drawing Board” Printable
Part 2: WordPress vs. Blogger
Part 3: Design Tips + Design Worksheet
Part 4: Themes, Coding and Stylesheets
Part 5: Making your own graphics
Part 6: 7 Blog Layout Tips to Engage your Reader
Part 7: Blog Page: The Must-haves and the Panache
Part 8: 25 WordPress Tips
Part 9: The Big Reveal (That’s this week’s post!)
Part 10: 7 Ways to Promote and Market Your Blog