Today Wanted to write to you about a topic that is a sensitive subject around my house… custom blog designs. It is a sensitive subject around my house because I have tried to do it for others and it drove my husband nuts. To explain why, I’ll have to step back a bit, so bear with me.
I started my carrberrycreations blog with blogspot (blogger) back in September of 2012. Right off the bat I didn’t like to blogger template options I had to choose from because only 1 was really geared toward teachers, and it wasn’t as warm and friendly as I would have liked. I did choose it and stuck with it for a bit, but a few months of it grinding on my nerves later I tried googling “free blogger backgrounds” and came across Lee Lou blogs, and fell involve with her freebie pre-made blog designs. Then When I was looking for a blog design for my classroom blog I came across Shabby Blogs, and fell in love with their soft tones.
Eventually I wanted more. I wanted to have Pinterest hover buttons, my own custom favicon, related posts at the bottom, custom menu bars and so on and so forth. Bing a die-hard DIYer I googled it. By doing that I found that there are tons of tutorials on the web for making your own blog as pretty and custom as you like.
Ok, so fast forward to a couple of months ago.
I joined “The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative” (a mouthful and worth it) and say thread about flipping your blog on the forums. So, well I tried it. I flipped to blogs of 5 different people, and had a great time doing it. If you want to check out their blog designs feel free to click the links below:
I do think that the designs came out well, but they took hours. Lots of hours. You see, each individual tweak to your blog can take minutes sometimes, but only because you are tweaking a little bit at a time, not re-inventing the wheel. When you customize someone else’s blog it can take hours just trying to visualize what someone else would like there blog to look like, not just what you would like to make.
I actually did like the experience of playing with blog design, but it drove my husband crazy that I was spending so many hours on something that didn’t jive with my personal teacher-preneur mission statement (is it weird that I have a personal mission statement?). My mission as a teacher-preneur blogger is to bring resources, tips, tricks, and strategies, to empower teachers to teach smarter not harder. (I even have it written on a sticky note attached to my laptop screen.)
Ok, so my husband was right…. darn…. all the hours I spent on custom blog design were not really supporting my mission statement. However, sharing with you all what I learned about blog design is.
So if you are ready to have a custom blog design you created yourself I have a fabulous list of links to tutorials I used to learn what I know. My advice though is take it slow. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will your blog. Choose 1 thing you would really like to update on your blog, then do that. When you are comfortable try another thing.
If you have to have a custom or pre-made design like … yesterday. I highly recommend Lee Lou blogs, Shabby Blogs, or any of the various custom blog designers which can be found on TpT. The most expensive blog designers are a bargain at twice the price with all the hours they put into it.
Good Luck! Here are the links:
These Links Contain Tutorials for tweaking various aspects of your blogger blog design (many of these site also sell custom designs):