Monday, June 7, 2010

Blog Beautification

Inspired by Kelly Rae's ecourse I've been browsing around other blogs and trying to get ideas for how I want my blog to look. Seeing all the gorgeousness out there is a bit overwhelming (not to mention depressing). I know I shouldn't compare myself to other's and that we all should have our own unique style, but when I look at everyone else's blogs and read their insightful posts I just get discouraged. The perfectionist in me feels like I should just give up immediately because I'll never be able to create anything nearly half as nice. Le Sigh!

Until I started browsing around and comparing, I rather liked my layout. I knew I needed to add a ton of content and some fun stuff to my sidebar but overall I liked that it was easy to read and showed graphics off fairly well. I thought having just the one sidebar kept it from getting two cluttered and busy looking. Now I'm afraid that having just the one sidebar means I'm not truly optimizing my space. If I had two sidebars I could put up a whole lot more stuff. Maybe I should go with a more creative and fun header instead of my simple photographs. Maybe I should switch to a blogger journal so I can put in a fancy background and all the neat widgets like the Google Friends Follow button that so many blogs have (and isn't offered with wordpress).  So many choices and so much to think about. Since I can't make up my mind and I'm feeling overwhelmed I'm just going to leave my layout alone for a bit and not make any major changes to the overall design. I'm just going to work on adding content for now.So far I've added a Twitter widget (titled My random thoughts) to my sidebar so that on occasion I can post little updates or info that doesn't really warrant a full blog post but that I want to share with everyone anyway. I thought it might be fun. I'm working on adding more content to the buttons in my header. And most importantly I will try to post at least two or three times every week. It's not easy with a baby but I think that posting regularly is important as a way to helping me find my own blogging voice (something I struggle with) and because I need a place to work out thoughts, ideas, dreams, etc. That's really what I started my blog to do. I'm afraid I'm getting too caught up in writing for an audience and forgetting that I started this place FOR MYSELF. I don't want to lose sight of that. This is my creative safe haven. I need to take advantage of it more.

I would love critiques and suggestions on ways I can improve my blog from anyone who stops in. It always helps to get feedback and maybe it will help me clarify what I really need to do around here to spruce things up. To lift my spirits and clear my head I think I'll post a photo I took awhile back. Just something kinda pretty to brighten the place up,lol:

7 comments:

  1. I have to say, I've struggled with this too - do I work to build followers (as all the experts suggest) or do I just focus on sharing a little bit of myself (however that might turn out)? Truthfully, the blogs I love the most are the ones that are authored by loving, caring people who have a story to tell - in words or artwork or beautiful photos. I am drawn to blogs that look good - but I'm less concerned with widgets and badges and sidebar "stuff" than I am with what the writer has to say. For me, it goes back to speaking the truth. My advice (and this comes from someone who does not have a huge number of followers) is just to make your blog something you love and enjoy caring for on a regular basis - if it makes you happy, that's enough.

    blessings,
    Kelley

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  2. Meegan, BlueMoonMamaJune 8, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Thanks Kelley! That's exactly what I needed to hear. It needs to be a place that fills my soul, whether others get it or not. Besides, it will be pretty boring if everyone goes with the same 3 column layouts on their blogs :).

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  3. Dear Meegan-don't get so down about the way your blog looks. It has to evolve with you. As long as you like it...and the 3 column layout is not for everyone. I am still tweaking mine too:) I know that it is challenging to write posts-one of the things I do is to write as if no-one reads them (that keeps it real). Buy your blog is YOUR blog:)I really liked the templates at Shabby Blogs-there was just so much stuff over there!! BTW...Photoshop 8 is kind of driving me nuts...it takes forever just to open a picture. I still use the Microsoft picture it for most of my stuff!!

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  4. P.S. thanks for all your comments re my blog. I still have some work to do. I am always so scared though that I am going to totally mess something up and my blog is going to disappear somewhere in cyberspace!!
    We had a perfect summer day today...picnic, long walk, gardening...

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  5. I echo the sentiments of the lovelies above! Of course, I too am feeling overwhelmed by all of the content on Flying Lessons and catch myself leaping into comparisons and questioning my aesthetic (i do was thinking "wow, I am supposed to be doing a 3 column layout!") I agree with the advice of just paying attention right now to what it is that attracts you to another blog; what makes it fun/informative/engaging/inspiring and just make note of those details. My reaction after talking myself down was to realize it is too easy to get lost in form and lose sight of content. Some blogs are so overwhelming in their appearance - lovely eye candy - but in the end, what draws me back are the words, their artwork or images and not all the bells and whistles, gadgets and do-dads.

    I love that you have so much of your photography displayed ... that is who you are. You will tweak things to bring more of YOU out. You might consider integrating your blog title into your banner image ... that image of you on the side bar holding your child and the moon in the background would work well as part of your banner since there you are a mama with the moon! Or maybe another image what evokes your blog's title and theme.

    Deep breaths ... this is pretty overwhelming ... I too am trying to keep in touch with why I am blogging ... for me right now and one day, hopefully a vehicle for expansions into my vocation.

    Have a lovely day!

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  6. I meant to say: I do find the 2 column layout very clean ... it appeals to my aesthetic ... of course, i use it too!

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  7. Hi there, I linked from Flying Lessons. I love your photography. I can relate to your words about your blog. I want to jazz mine up but I am technology challenged and don't know how to do all the backgrounds and headers and all that... so I use a standard template. My goal is to get better at some of the eye candy content, I am much more confident with the writing. One thing that always helps me in writing is to go deep, to the tender places within yourself. Even the scary painful places. That is usually where my best stuff comes from... Thanks for sharing, I think it's great!

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