In the 1/3 of her guides to building a worthwhile blog, Andrea Wren advises on how to make your blog look right and draw the readers
Decide on your blog’s design. Flowers could no longer be an appropriate topic for a blog about thrash guitar tunes. Photograph: EPA
Friday 7 October 2011 23.01 BST First published on Friday 7 October 2011 23.01 BST
You’ve picked your call and purchased your area, and with a bit of luck, got WordPress established without an excessive amount of problem. Now it’s time to design your blog by way of selecting and converting its topic.
First impressions are counted. How many blogs have you ever clicked on, handiest to click away nearly without delay because they didn’t appeal? You don’t want to show people off earlier than they have a hazard to find out what remarkable belongings you’re writing approximately, so an appealing appearance is vital.
“At one time, I used to try to make the appearance of my website different from the opposition,” says Glen Allsopp of viral advertising site Viperchill. “But I failed to placed that a lot of significance on design when it came to the fulfillment of a weblog. However, via experience, I’ve found out that having a good blog layout is one of the maximum vital pieces of the whole running a blog achievement puzzle.”
Obviously, you can not please all of the people all the time, and one blogger’s “website online” for sore eyes is another blogger’s eye pressure. It relies upon your area of interest, too. A weblog about thrash guitar tune may not have an equal impact if it’s scattered with pastel florals.
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In designing your blog, Glen has mentioned numerous key issues which must provide useful resource the manner. These consist of simplicity – removing “junk” (inclusive of defunct links) to make the critical bits stand out better; usability – making the weblog clean to navigate and as consumer-friendly as possible; name to movement – telling your target market what to do at the correct points (eg, “observe me on Twitter”); and social evidence – wait until your weblog is really popular for this, however Glen says people like to see that a weblog is properly-read, so that you want to expose them.
I’m beginning to get the photograph, and I hope you are too. But how do you find and set up a “subject matter” on your weblog, after which make its appearance exceptional? Glen indicates three top-rate websites where you could buy topics: Elegant Themes (I picked mine from here), WooThemes, and ThemeForest.
However, in case you don’t want to cough up cold, tough cash, Glen says: “A simple Google look for ‘loose WordPress subject matters’ will go back a big number of consequences, and they are ideal if you’re on a price range.”
Once you’ve found a subject matter you want, you need to install it earlier than you could customize its appearance to make it work for you.
I observed this level problematic, and I ought to admit because I changed into formerly a Typepad consumer, where the whole thing’s finished for you. But as Glen mentioned in our remaining replace, the payoff for this has much less manipulation over your very own web page.
At this point, I’m stuck for an offer. One idea, which I have not attempted, could be to install a replica of WordPress on your PC and import the Blogger backup into that. However, it’s quite some paintings and won’t be well worth the effort. Perhaps a reader can propose a higher idea for offline reading.
Finally, there are online offerings to lower back up a blog or convert it into an e-book or maybe a published e-book. But, again, there may be limits on what you could do, except you’ve got to get entry to the Blogger dashboard.
The BlogBackupr internet site will return up to a weblog on an everyday basis, using its RSS feed.
Nepal will convert a weblog right into a PDF record and into an e-book within the Amazon Kindle, Mobipocket, and ePub codecs. However, it’s going to simplest convert five blog posts unless you sign up for the Pro version to convert 50. One e-book expenses $5.
Booksmith will convert as many as one hundred posts from Blogger or WordPress into an ebook and provide you the chance to buy a published copy. First, however, you need to give it your login and password.
BlogBooker will convert a Blogger, WordPress or LiveJournal blog into a PDF e-book. This appears a first-rate guess because you can add your Blogger backup (.XML) record. However, the website online is “donationware” and, pretty fairly, requests a donation in case you want to include pix.
I tried BlogBooker with an antique blog, and the result is quite book-like with an index at the front, exclusive chapters for one-of-a-kind years, left/right web page spacing, headers/footers, etc on. It also blanketed feedback. With an automatic spacing and layout gadget, there are sure to be mistakes that a human editor could accurate, but if you like the result, you can get the PDF published by way of Lulu. Either way, it is higher than nothing.
I also tried PDF my URL because it only entails pasting in the blog’s internet cope with. Almost instantly, the website online created a paginated PDF replica that seemed like my original Blogger website, with coloration panels and many others. However, it only picked up the ultimate 15 of 67 posts and no comments. If you need to modify the settings, you have to sign up for a paid subscription.
So, in preference to permit me to try to explain away to deploy the theme, I propose you read the technical gubbins at the BloggingCaseStudy.Com website Glen has created.
You’ll also discover a few homework there from Glen on mastering HTML basics, which might be important with the intention to manipulate your weblog (and yes, they’re genuinely less complicated to get to grips with than you may think), in addition to data on layout and logo assets.
Next fortnight, we’ll be telling you about some of the site-associated offerings and resources that will help you get your blog off the floor.