This post is part of the Starting a Blog series.
Part 4: Customising your blog
Now that you’ve picked out your choice of blogware, and have your account set up (we’ll leave the actually setting up for others, but most blogware and free blog services come with instructions….yes men, sometimes you actually should use instructions!) you’ll want to look at customising your blog prior to blogging. Some people may ask why? well we will get to the blogging part in the next post in this series but ask yourself a question: would you walk outside your house in the nude? Blogging without customisation is like going outside naked, although the inverse is true in terms of attention. Walk outside naked and people are going to look, and possibly laugh. Don’t dress up your blog and people aren’t going to look, at all. Your blog is going to look like 5 million other blogs out there and it will fade into the background. I suppose a better way of putting it would be wearing a camouflage suit in the jungle. In blogging you want to standout. You don’t have to create a Mona Lisa but you can do little things to make the visit more impressive for your visitors.
The header is the single most important design aspect of your blog. Other people will argue with this but I personally disagree because its the FIRST thing people will see when they visit your blog. No header or a really ugly header won’t stop people reading, but its not going to help make a favorable impression.
Making a header is easy. As long as you can use a WordProcessor (such as Microsoft Word) you can set up a simple header design for your blog.
Programs like Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro are popular, but you can also use programs such as The Gimp (which is free) to do your header.
Aesthitics are always subjective but remember to keep it simple, clean, and do something that reflects the subject matter, or your own personality.
Again, simple is the key. Refer to my Guide back in August on Design Theory for Bloggers as a reference for more details, but I’d recommend black text on a white background as standard for every blog. Remember to put yourself in place of a visitor, or even better, test your colors on friends and family. Its got to be easy to read.