Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Building a Better Beauty Blog, The Basics

Welcome to my happy little corner on the fancy little beauty block in the great big blogosphere. I have teamed up with the amazing, talented, creative and entertaining Laurie from the The Makeup Squid for a series we are calling Building a Better Beauty Blog, #BBBB. She has been writing some fantastic articles on the best ways to write and plan your beauty blog content. I will providing some technical tips on stylize your blog making it easy for the reader to navigate. 

I would like to share with you some tips and tricks I have learned over my 4 years of blogging.  Let me take a moment to clarify that I am only familiar with Blogger or Blogspot as that is where I have been blogging. Sorry, WordPress fans I don't know enough to be of assistance to you. Sure, you can find plenty of free, pre-made layouts with which to stylize your blog. However, you do not have the option of altering things as you see fit. You can also pay to have someone custom create a layout for you which is amazing if you don't mind spending the money. However, if you need to make changes you typically will pay more to have those changes made. All of my blogging budget goes into beauty products; therefore, I have no money left to buy a layout. I have learned that with a little patience you can create most things on your own since their are plenty of tools available for free on the internet.

NOTE: Beauty bloggers come from all walks of life and have varying degrees of computer knowledge. There is no way to write a single post for all of the different levels of knowledge. In order to provide everyone with the most detailed explanation possible, this post is written as if I am instructing a brand new blogger about this element of blog design. After all, if a blogger is seeking information this post would be of no benefit to them if I left them with more questions than answers. If you have some knowledge of blog design feel free to skim this post and use it as pictorial instructions as it is possible that I could cover an aspect of design that you had not considered before. If you are extremely familiar with this topic please feel free to leave me a comment so that I may learn from your experience. 

Today's topic will be learning the basics parts of your blog. Most of you probably already know these things but I just want to make sure we start off on the same foot.

The header, sidebar, body and footer are all part of your blog layout. Every blog always has a header, body and footer but it is not necessary to have any sidebars. However, they can be very useful tools in helping clarify things about your blog. 

HEADER The header can contain either text and/or an image which provides your reader with the name of your blog.

TABS Tabs can contain either pages or labels to help a reader identify different parts of your blog quickly.

SIDEBAR Sidebars contain smaller blocks of information which can be useful to both you and your readers. You can choose to have either single or double columns for your sidebar.

BODY The body contains your blog posts and can contain a post footer,typically a signature, which is not to be confused with the footer. 

FOOTER The footer can contain a single, double or triple columns which contain smaller blocks of information. 

You can change the layout of your blog by going to:


From here you can choose to have a right and/or left sidebar which can be single or double wide. You can also choose to have a single, double or triple footer. 

You can change the functions within your layout by clicking on LAYOUT 

In the sidebar and footer you have the option of adding a GADGET.

A gadget is a smaller box within the sidebar or footer. There are several different gadget formats for putting information into your sidebar. Throughout the Building a Better Beauty Blog, #BBBB, series we will explore these options and what they can bring to your blog.

Today we covered the basics elements of BBBB. In my upcoming posts, I will show you how to create a signature, create a 'Grab My Button', how to create 'Follow Me On' buttons, how to organize your sidebar, and much much more. 

In the meantime be thinking about a tag line or motto for your blog. It's an easy way to give your readers a quick blurb about the meaning or focus of your blog. For my blog, "Talk about Anything, Pray about Everything and Laugh about Nothing." came about long ago when my husband and I were living half a world apart and even though the blog has shifted to become a beauty blog we have decided to keep the motto. After all life happens to all of us and learning to talk about anything, pray about everything and laugh about nothing can serve everyone well.

Please go check out Laurie's posts for the Building a Better Beauty Blog series:

When Disaster Strikes, A Bloggers Survival Tip.

She also has a fantastic post about Starting a YouTube Channel, Things You Should Know.