Welcome To My Blog

Ever wonder what it's like to be in that moment between struggling artist and published author? Read on and find out.

Friday, July 8, 2011

So You Want to Blog: Customizing Your Blog

            What do you do once you’ve created your basic blog?

            Make it your own. If you’re like me you may a bit intimidated by the whole process and resist spending time and effort into customizing your blog page. As I stated last time – If I can do it so can you.
            I recommend that you check out a few of your favorite blogs. Make notes on what you like about each of them and what you dislike. Pay especial attention to the sort of features they are using and determine which of them feel right for you.

            Here are a few of the blogs I looked at when setting up my own.

            I took a good look at Tristi’s page when I started because she taught the workshop that got me started and I figured that with as much as she knew about the topic I couldn’t go wrong taking a few design tips from her.
            The first thing that I notice when I go to Tristi’s blog is the picture of her at the top of the page. Along with it is her salutation to all visitors that says: “Welcome to my little corner of the internet.”
            This is an important concept. As an author you need to connect with your audience and you can do that easiest with a picture of yourself and a greeting that is typical of you. Do this and you become more real to anyone visiting your blog. It’s the first step to establishing a relationship with your fans and people who will become your fans.
            Tristi also has links to other blogs, a link to her website, and a great application that tracks her works in progress.
            The blog link is a standard application that you can add to your blog in Blogger. I recommend you change the default title text to represent your own unique personality, but otherwise it’s a simple matter of adding whatever URLs for the sites you’d like people to go and check out. I have two groups of them on this blog; one has links to my fellow bloggers and the other is a list of internet sites that I find helpful in my writing. You can group or arrange them anyway you like.

            Rachelle’s blog has most of the same features that Tristi’s does, but it has a much different look to it. She has the standard elements: picture and short bit about herself, links to her books, an app that allows people to follow her blog, the ability to follow her on Twitter, information on how to sign up for her newsletter, and links to other blogs. In addition, she has a button showing that she is a 2010 Whitney Award finalist that will take you to that site if you click on it.
            Your blog is an extension of you. Take the time to customize it to fit your personal style, or even the theme of your writing. See what other people are doing with their blogs and adopt what you like from them.
            Now, if you like the look of Rachelle’s blog you’re in luck. There are plenty of free blog templates available that will allow you to set up a blog page that looks similar to this. In my interview with Tristi Pinkston she recommended the following sites:    

            Are you ready to go start customizing your blog?
            I hope so, because the real core of this post is to introduce you to a site that has instructions for adding some of the cool little apps and modifications that will allow you to customize your blog to be a reflection of you.
            Even if you only use one, or two, of the ideas that Jenie discusses to enhance your blog you will have set it apart from the others that are out there. Make it you. Make it stand out.

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