How to Make Your Blog Stand Out + New Look of the Blog

Posted by

 

Now it’s launched! The new amazingly gorgeous look for the blog is finally here. Welcome to check it out and learn how to make your blog stand out too! In this post I’ll tell you what I’ve changed and why. There will also be tips how to make your blog look amazing.

 

BEFORE & AFTER

blogbefore

blogbeforemobile

Above: Before

 

newfreshlookofmyblog

newfreshlookofmyblog3

Above: After

 

THE CHANGES & HOW TO MAKE IT YOURSELF

 

1. THEME + FONTS

 

Previous years I’ve been using Yumblog theme. It’s very beautiful theme that’s just fine but I wanted to update towards more modern look. Yumblog is theme meant for food blogs. This theme is called Maxwell. It’s more modern, clean and elegant. It’s optimized to all different platforms.

 

Choosing a theme can be hard work (and might take hours haha!) but it’s very very important! The theme might either limit your creativity or support your ideas and personal style. Remember this when choosing theme for your blog or site!

 

I wanted to have theme that a) has menus (categories and social), b) has dropdown option of subcategories, c) looks clean and makes you concentrate on content instead of background, d) makes it possible to download own photo to the header, e) shows only a little sneak peak of every post and ask you to click read more.

 

Did you know that if reader reads the fonts page for 30 minutes it’s still counted to be bouncing away immediately because the visitor did not click anything? By asking visitors to click to continue your page becomes more interesting for search engines (SEO). Additionally it makes it easier for your readers to see what you’re writing about and head to most interesting articles.

 

Funny thing that kind of linked to theme is that before this makeover I had never thought that fonts matter. I was using the one that the theme had as a default. For copyright texts in photos I was using the default of my Mac’s Photos and something that just looked good in other programs.

 

Well, to make the style more recognizable and solid you should think the fonts too! The ones I’ll be using in future are dreamy and beautiful Fertigo Pro Script for headlines and beautiful, slightly dreamy but easy to read Museo Sans for other texts and copyrights. Tip: If you use Photoshop it allows you to download more fonts online with Typekit!

 

 

2. COLORS

 

howtomakemyblogbetter

 

This blog used to be in peachy tones with some warm beige, red and chocolate brown. It was beautiful in it’s own way but it kind of reminded me of my grandma’s house. That’s not what you want from a modern lifestyle, fashion and travel blog, right?

 

The new set of colors presents freshness, happiness and new beginning for me. I think the new colors are more in this century too, which is a nice thing. I gave up the background pictures of my old design because I think they weren’t very fresh and they had nothing to do with my content. Now you guys can fully concentrate on the content with a solid background, yeah! 🙂

 

Using the natural white and white to background makes it so peaceful that it doesn’t catch your attention but it’s still very welcoming. Using very dark gray for texts because gives slightly foggy tone to them. Black is quite radical and kind of sad color so you might not want to use it, however it requires some contrast to make you guys able to read the posts so very dark gray works excellently. When as dark gray is not required there will be some medium gray seen too.

 

For some smaller details light dreamy pink, cute yellow and light green will be used. I love these colors because they remind me of summer, sunsets, beaches, flowers and other things I enjoy. They just make me smile – I hope they make you smile too!

 

 

3. TAGS AND CATEGORIES

 

This part of the blog really horrified me already a year ago. I used to have over 100 categories and over 300 tags. Seriously, could you guys ever navigate here? 😀 I’ve been decreasing the amount for couple of months already to make some sense here.

 

Blog this small should never have more than 50 categories and tags together in my opinion. And even 4-10 can be enough. If you’re a new blogger keep this in mind!

 

 

4. MENUS

 

newfreshlookofmyblog4

Above: new menus of this blog

 

I used to have two menus 1) Social with LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram buttons and 2) Menu with About, Photography Portfolio, Cooperation/Collaboration. At the same time I had huge amount of tags and categories at the sidebar. How to make this a lot more simple?

 

This is how: 1) keep the social (+ add all your some channels there) and 2) Do menu that includes About, Categories and Contact. You can have subcategories but make them appear only when reader sets mouse on top of categories button.

 

 

5. SIDEBAR & WIDGETS

 

Remove anything that doesn’t offer value to the reader. Make them simple. Keep texts short. That’s basically all you need to know + it’s good to have follow button somewhere. If you have a sidebar prefer having it on the right side because people usually give more attention to right than left side.

 


 

PS. To Celebrate the new look I will open the biggest giveaway so far tomorrow, remember to come back and participate! 🙂

44 comments

  1. Noticeable and definitely cleaner. Nice job, Nora. Here are some thoughts. The headings, would it look better if it were not all in uppercase? I like the white background a lot and have always supported using a dark gray shade for the texts. So, obviously, I agree with your colors. I like the font size, which is easy on the eyes. Would love to see what else you do in the coming days and weeks.

    1. I’m clad you enjoy the new look! I think using uppercase makes headings even clearer but maybe I should the how would it look as you suggested. Thank you for the idea and your feedback Robert, and please come back upcoming days and weeks! 🙂

    2. yes I agree with robert, it’s much cleaner and I love it a lot! My own blog has a white background too and I like that! If there’s more to come, I am curious too to see what’s happening. If you have advice for my blog, feel free to let me know. It’s always interesting to see what others think of my blog. xo Sabine

      1. Thanks for the feedback! To be honest I haven’t found much to change in your blog. I love the colors, you also have very high-quality photos and interesting content in general.

        Only thing I would personally do differently is the contact page. The form you have there is good but could there additionally be some kind of short text which tells when or about what the readers should contacts you? Text could courage the reader to contact you. Anyhow, your blog is one of my favorites so there isn’t any critical or big issues (or at least I’ve been unable to find those 🙂 )

  2. This is very helpful. I’ve always had a problem with designing my own theme but I will practice with it. I love your new theme btw. 😍

  3. Love the new look on your blog, I never realised that unless you had click for more that it affected your bounce rate, might need to change that. I changed my layout just before Christmas with white background and black headings and it looks so much better.

    1. I actually learned that myself around a week ago and I wanted to change that during this makeover. My old theme didn’t allow that but this new one is super flexible and I like it a lot so far. I hope that my tips help you to decrease the bounce rate! 🙂

    1. I should learn HTML! It would make it a lot more easier to understand how internet works and how to customize my page. I’m clad you like the look Jasmin and thanks for the comment! 🙂

  4. I really like your new blog look Nora. Thanks for sharing your tips! Keep up the good work, you deserve the best!

    1. That is possible. If the new theme makes things easier to find, texts nicer to read and asks people to click for more it shouldn’t happen. I was slightly worried when I decreased amount of tags and categories if it’s gonna affect negatively but so far my stats have been skyrocketing during this makeover process. 🙂

      I haven’t only changed the theme though, I updated also my entire social, started writing bit differently and I’ve commenting others like crazy. I would have been a bit surprised if me stats would not have increased because of all these.

      To sum all these, if you feel your theme needs updating do a plan and read more about picking a good theme and just do it! 🙂

  5. Love the new look, and thanks for great content. Color psychology plays a huge role in generating staying and returning visitors. I can see you clearly enjoy blogging as much as I do, it’s exciting isn’t it?

    1. Blogging sure is exciting! I’ve always loved photography and doing compositions. Blog is a good way to share those passions and combine them with writing, socializing, etc. I’m very happy of all the feedback this blog has got lately. Maybe one day, I can do blogging professionally – just like you do. Thanks for your reply. I’m clad you love the new look and followed! 🙂

  6. I love the style of your blog. It is impressive, clean, and it looks organized. I have been changing my themes. Getting to the right theme is really a struggle for me. Most specially when I check mine on my phone, it does look different. By the way, did you buy your theme?

    1. I have a wordpress.com business plan which means that I’ve unlimited access to their themes. At some point I want to become self-hosted and then I obviously has to buy every theme I want to use.

      Before choosing my theme I did a long list of things I want my new theme to have. In that list was things like social and categories menus. Mobile version that has the menu button at the top and in a way that will first open categories and with second click subcategories.

      I also wanted to have sidebar on right and possibility to add widgets to the footer too (in general it’s good to have a flexible theme just in case you want to do some changes in future). I also wanted to have a header photo and possibility to choose background color.

      Do a list of things you want and then start to explore themes. I used about a month for planning my extreme makeover week. The process included listing things I wanted, going through hundreds of blogs, doing a Brand Board, designing the logo, finding right theme… It’s very rewarding process but it really requires a lot of planning! 🙂

  7. What a wonderful revamp… I have to change my website too.. your tips are definitely going to be so useful for me 🙂
    Love your new vibrant website!

    1. Happy to help! There is some more tips coming upcoming days so remember to click follow if you already haven’t Sriparna. 🙂 Good luck on changing you website, I’m sure it will be gorgeous!

  8. A very relatable post! Congratulations on your new blog look! 🙂 I agree, making sure the colors are well suited to one another and that blog categories should be very limited. Ugh, I used to have the same exact problem! I just randomly typed in what I thought would fit the post and it cluttered my tag list. 🙂

    1. I feel you! I did that exact same thing with tags for the first six months. Took couple years to go trough all those tags and retag the posts more wisely, ugh! I’m clad it’s now done for both me and you. Maybe we are wiser taggers now? 🙂

  9. Honestly, changing your blog theme and layout can make such a huge difference. I just change mine and I just feel so much more inspired now!

  10. Great tips here.I agree that a blog need a beautiful design to keep readers and followers coming back.Clear fonts and colours are the main things that I look for any blog.I also don’t like sites that are with many ads and pop ups.That always distracting the readers.Yes,categories are important for better navigation.It is always better to keep major few categories! 🙂

Leave a Reply