Blog DesignBlog Tips

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Design Your Blog

By Feb 5, 2011October 28th, 201458 Comments

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So you’re ready for a new design! This is great news. It means you are taking your blog seriously and you want it to reflect who you are. There are a number of areas you should school yourself in before you contact your designer. The more you know about the direction you’d like to take your blog, the easier you make your blog designer’s job, and the less time (and money) they will need to spend on perfecting your site.

The problem with having a direction on where you’d like to take your blog design is that many of us have NO IDEA what we’re looking for. Even if you do not have an eye for design, it is important to keep in mind that you’ll know when your blog is “right”.  At that point, it will transform into a natural fit with who you are and what you write about.

Your blog design is the first impression made on new visitors to your site. These questions will help you decide what direction you want to take your blog design before you start.

Start the design process by asking yourself these four important questions:

1.  What blogs are you drawn to?

Find five blogs that you could stare at for hours (figuratively speaking). Determine what it is about these blogs that you enjoy. Write down what it is you love about these sites and what aspects you’d like to see on your own blog. We’re not talking about copying designs here at all, simply picking and choosing things you personally enjoy.

Pioneer Woman Blog Header

2.  What makes you different?

Our blogs are reflections of who we are and we are all different in a billion different ways. How can your blog reflect those unique aspects of who you are? Step outside of the box and capitalize on whatever it is that makes you special.

Dooce Masthead

3.  What are your colors?

There are two important things to consider when choosing a color scheme for your blog. Number one, what colors please you? And number two, what colors please everyone else? Typically we don’t care what other people think about our choices, but in this case, if you’re hoping to keep readers around, then it’s important to choose from a color palette that is pleasing for all. Believe it or not, there is actually some serious research behind colors that encourage return visits and colors that actually deter people from visiting a site again. Professionals spend a lot of time thinking about color combinations and appeal when branding their sites. Check out this article about color meaning and learn about what message your site could be sending.

color wheels

4.  What is Your Brand?

Yes, it’s that brand talk again. We get that you may simply be online to have a good time and blog with friends. That is great. But if you’re looking to take your blog to the next level, then you may want to spend some time thinking of a way to represent yourself consistently across the board. This means whatever theme you choose for your blog will be repeated anywhere you set up an account in your blog’s name, such as on Twitter, Facebook, BlogFrog, etc. We’ve seen everything from self designed tattoo emblems to circus tents to candy bars, to attacking mommies.  Your choice for a theme that represents you best are up to you.  What spin can you take that hasn’t already been done? What can you create that will cause people to think of you whenever they see it?

Mama Kat

For more blog design resources, check out these sites:

  • Mezzoblue: A wonderful portfolio of designs that are sure to inspire you.
  • Color Scheme Designer: An awesome tool that allows you to click on colors and then displays their complementary counterparts.
  • Smashing Magazine: Are you looking for an out-of-the-ordinary design for your blog? Then you’ll definitely want to check out this site.  It is a collection of some of the most original and beautiful designs on the web.
  • We Love WP: A well respected resource for finding inspiration for your WordPress site.
  • iStockPhoto: An amazing resource that allows you to browse images and purchase them at a reasonable cost for use on your site.
  • Fonts: If you are in love with fonts like we are, then you’ll definitely want to check out Veer and DaFont. A word of caution: You may find that time mysteriously disappears once you start clicking.

Now, let’s discuss! Name a blog design that you are in love with. Also, do you have any blog design resource sites to recommend? If you do, share the link in the comments.

{If you liked this post, then be sure to check out Part 2, How NOT to design your blog, and Part 3, How to Be Successful with a Blog Designer, of our blog design mini-series.}