This may come as a surprise, but I didn't design this awesome personal piece of the internet that I write about different stuff, all by my lonesome. Sure the content is all me, and the sidebar organization is all me, but the graphics? Yeah, no. I paid for that, and I'm really happy I did, because It. Looks. Amazing!
Wanna know the dead giveaway? That little button at the bottom that says 'Sparkle Out Loud'.
But, before I decided to spring for something that pulled my vision together, I was doing it all myself. I made my own header, intro, blog and social media buttons, learned how to center my date and post title, and some other rather cool and pretty things.
Today, I decided to be nice, and share with you some of those helpful bloggy how-to sites, that helped this blog go from "myspace look-a-like" to "I really do belong, so please read me!"
*Please note that almost all of the websites are referring to the Blogger platform, since I have blogger. Duh! But some of the widgets are universal.
Do you know how I made the above words? If not, "write this down, take a little note... use it as a book mark, put on it on your fridgerator door, hang it in a picture frame up above the mantel, where you'll see it for sure" (Thanks George!) Because Picmonkey will be your best friend, if you are Photoshop-illiterate like me! http://www.picmonkey.com/#edit_photo
Want to learn how to make a header for your blog? http://www.blogguidebook.com/2012/08/how-to-make-header-for-your-blogger.html You can also use the blank header to make words by adding text, cropping, and making the background transparent!
Do you like how I have four posts relating to the main post right underneath it? It's a LinkWithin widget, and it's really easy to use. http://www.linkwithin.com/learn Another one is Engageya, and they have a lot more options than LinkWithin. http://www.engageya.com/widgets/new/
Don't know how to add social media buttons? After reading this, you will :) http://www.projectalicia.com/2011/01/idiots-guide-to-adding-social-media.html#.UsdDQBjTnIW
Want to add an instagram feed widget to your sidebar? Bam! http://takingtimetocreate.blogspot.com/2012/08/instagram-how-to-add-feed-in-blogger.html
Ever wondered how I am able to embed/share a song within my post? Whitney's post will show you step by step! http://www.iworeyogapants.com/2013/08/how-to-put-your-backthatazzup-jam-in-bed.html
Want to know how to make a blog button? You're welcome! http://www.ehow.com/how_8405187_make-blog-button-blogger.html And then wanna know how you add the "Grab my button" code below it? http://www.mycoolrealm.com/sandbox/gbgen/ **This is a great thing to remember, because most blog designers will charge you $5+ for doing this. SO apologies to all the blog designers out there, and to my blogger readers, You're welcome, cause I just saved you money by switching to Geico. :) **
Left aligned dates and titles got cha down? Take a peek here: http://www.betatemplates.com/2010/11/blogspot-how-to-center-post-title.html
You can also find a bunch of awesome bloggy tutorials from Venus Trapped In Mars: http://www.venustrappedinmars.com/search/label/Freebies Wait, did I say, awesome? I mean flippin' amazing!
There are a lot of tutorials out there, you just have to search for them. I have given you some foundations, now it's time for you to get out there and build your blog and brand your empire!!!
Oh snap, before you go...
1. Captcha is the effin devil. Commonly referred to as "Word verification" this makes people NOT want to reply to your posts. I, too, had this on before someone brought me into the light!
To change this:
Settings ---> Posts and Comments ---> Show word verification ---> Make sure this says NO!!!
2. The blogger app is best thing since sliced cheese. I just wrote the whole intro to this post while sitting on the toilet. Ha! Just kidding. Or am I? But seriously, if you want to add all those super awesome instagram photos that are on your phone, but don't fell the need to email them to yourself, then download, and then upload them to your post, you can just use the app, because really, who has the time for all that shiznit?
3. If you are going to use Picmonkey to make your words for a post, leave open your project after you save it. That way you can go back in, and write different words, but still have the same font, size, and color. See my two words... yeah... I apparently didn't listen to myself.
4. If people comment on your posts, then be nice, and comment on theirs also. It's just good blogger etiquette. :)
Hope all this helps :)
If you know any other websites that offer tutorials, feel free to either leave me a comment, or drop me a line. I am always up for learning something new!