Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Updating the blog

By Pamela

Several weeks ago, we decided it was time for a face lift here at WhatWomenWrite. The group photo from 2012 was feeling a bit stale, plus Julie was going on hiatus and it felt wrong to take her out of the photo or attempt a new one without her.

I offered to spruce up the design and when no one challenged me for the right, I forged ahead. If you'd like some pointers for updating your blog, read on. While some of these steps are exclusive to Blogger, I came across a helpful resource that can make you a design pro, even if you're a relative newbie.

My first step was checking out other blogs I follow. Most I found had opted for a clean look, so I began by setting our background to white. On the main page at the top right hand side, I clicked on the design option that allows me to change our blog and view stats. From there, I chose 'template' and then 'customize.' The template I chose is appropriately called 'Simple.' (It's also the template I used to update my personal blog.) From there I selected the 'Advanced' option to customize our fonts and colors of text, backgrounds and lines.

To change out our heading, I went back to the design menu and selected 'Layout.' This is also where you can add gadgets to your sidebar and make your blog as custom as you'd like. I clicked the edit button on header and removed our photo. But how to replace it?

I searched online for a way to make a logo and found a cool site called Canva.com.

Once on the home page, you can use templates already sized to fit social media, but I started with the option on the top right to 'use custom dimensions' and then set our header at 3000x1000 px and hit the 'Design!' button. From there I searched their vast library of images for a 'path' and ended up paying $1 for the photo above. Once I had it in place, I clicked on 'text holders' to design a logo for us. (In the screen shot above you can see the original version on the top far left.) The graphic was free and I was able to change the text and the colors to best complement the photo.

After getting the blog heading how I liked it (and after my fellow WhatWomenWriters gave me the go-ahead), I went back to Canva and used their templates for Twitter and Facebook so our look was consistent across social media. (In the screen shot above, you can also see in the middle bottom image the banner I created with Canva for my personal blog, and I wound up spending $10 for 11 images so I can have them for future projects.)

Putting the design on Blogger was simple. Under the 'layout' option, I clicked on 'edit' next to the header and uploaded the image, choosing the middle placement option:
and then hit 'save' before closing.

I'm a huge fan of Canva now. It's so user-friendly and an extremely affordable way to create a custom look for your online presence. In fact, there are free images available as well, so you can even spend nothing, if you're able to find something you like.

If it's time to update your blog or start a new one, I highly recommend Canva.com as a great place to start. Let me know if you do! I'd love to see your results.


  1. I've never heard of Canva - will check it out. Thanks for doing all that work! We appreciate you!

    1. Thanks, Joan. I really enjoy doing it, so luckily for me, no one minds if I do!


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