You may (or may not!) have noticed that there are some new “digs” around here! Since we are now in a new house, I wanted a fresh new design to go with it!
3. Track good tutorials. A lot of very savvy bloggers (much savvier than myself) have written really wonderful posts or even series about how to do certain things on your blog. When you come across these, bookmark or “pin” them so you have them for easy reference. Even if you aren’t ready to do certain things, having all those links in the same place will save you time hunting them down again in the future. You may even find a good go-to spot for tutorials or questions. Listed below are two of my favorites. I kept coming back to these sites time and time again for their quick, easy, and successful tutorials! And when they don’t have something posted, I don’t hesitate to ask them via email – they are pretty quick and always happy to help!
4. Use an external site for photos. So this one was a biggy for me. I noticed that most bloggers linked their photos from an external site, and not really understanding why, I just assumed it was because of their level of traffic or their web server. Those things may or may not be true, but I also discovered throughout this design process, that there really is so much more you can do with photos (like make them links!) if they are loaded into an external site (I am using Flickr). Again, I was totally against doing this because I thought it was another unnecessary step in the already lengthy blog-post-writing-process, but I quickly discovered that there is so much more functionality (i.e., linking, sizing, posting to other social media sites) that it’s worth the extra step! Additionally, sites like blogger restrict the size and quality of images, and by linking them to an outside source, I have more control over the quality you ultimately see on your screen! And the added bonus? If anything does happen to my hard drive, I haven’t lost my photos forever!
4. You don’t need fancy software for graphic design. I designed my ENTIRE blog design using Stampin’Up’s My Digital Studio digital scrapbooking software. No, it is not a program made for web design, but it allows me to create really great graphics and export them, which I can then upload to my blog. Sure, I would love to use a more sophisticated program like Photoshop, but I’ve found ways to do what I need to do using the software I have! Similarly, if all you have is Microsoft Word or PowerPoint…those programs are phenomenally powerful and can do similar design stuff too! Lastly, there are online photo tools that you can also use. I have used Pixlr on occasion and have read a lot about PicMonkey….so gives those sites a go and try your hand at doing your own graphic design!
5. Setup a “practice” blog. As I was designing various elements for the blog, I really wanted to see how they would look “live” but didn’t want to change out my actual blog until I had everything done. So I could test drive different looks, widgets, and functions, I started another blog (through blogger) that I would use as my practice blog. I restricted the site so that no one can search it or find it, so any manipulating I do is only seen by me! Not only is it a great way to test out ideas and work out kinks, but once something is just right, all I have to do is copy and paste the code into my “real” blog. Having this practice platform has been invaluable to me as I figure out how things in this blog world work!
Last but not least, whether you’ve been coming around here for a little while or this is your first visit here, I wanted to show you some new features of THIHM!
5. Where I contribute! Once a month, I am over at Amy’s amazing blog, Positively Splendid. In case you’ve never been over there or want to catch up on my featured projects, here’s the link always at the ready!