My blog has a makeover + {4 makeover tips under $50}

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hello all. Finally I have a new look for my blog, I still need to do some minor editing, but at least it looks much more organize now. I love the new look of my blog, it is fresh, minimal and simple. Gives me a really positive vibe to write more :). Do you like the new look as I do? What do you think?

I forgot to screen capture my previous blog, but it look likes the picture below. I purchased pre-made template for both; previous and current template. If you noticed, the overall feel is the same (pastel color, feminine and subtle) except this time I opted for simple topography and graphic. My blog is my personal space that I really love, I do not have big budget for makeover, but I cherish everything that I do, so I want to dress them nicely. If time allow with self exploration, I do not even need to spend money to dress up my blog, but seriously, buying an affordable pre-made template is really time saver and does not hurt at all. I want to share few practical tips for revamping personal blog without cause me a bomb. This tips might only applicable for those who want to start a new blog using Blogger platform. I always believe do every little things with a great love!

{My previous blog template}

Template (up to $35)
I purchased my template on Etsy, I always purchase from Etsy site since the day one when I started to have a blog revamp. I  pledge to support an independent designer/small business, so Etsy is the best avenue to find them. Also the price is affordable, it range between $15 to $35 for pre-made template, pretty much dependent on the complexity.
What is pre-made template? The template is not made to order template, means we purchase as it seen, we pay then we could download and install it instantly. My tips when you start to window shop about blog template, please always see the buyer review and accountability of the seller. Read carefully the term and condition so you will have to know what to expect. Furthermore, some pre-made template can be purchase many times, some are just one time, means once the template sold then it only for you. I prefer the latter option.Even though I currently  could not effort the customize template, I still have an exclusive template only for my blog.
The very first time I set my blog, I utilize free blogger template, seriously they are easy to edit, plenty choices and pretty too. My 2 cents advise, If you choose free blogger template just go for the simple style because 'Simple is More'.

Social media icons (up to $10)
When we purchase a pre-made blog template, normally, it will come with social media icons (maximal number of icon applied), however there are many designer sell their handmade social media icons separately. Yes, you can also easily find the free one in the internet, but in my personal opinion handmade is a better choices  and it is affordable too, as low as $2 for few common social media icons. I found the free icons has a standard rigid look that might be suitable for business/formal blog. To install social media icon in blogger might be a little bit technical, but usually the instruction is easy to follow. I has zero knowledge about HTML coding, but since I often to do simple tweak with my blog then I understand a basic one, good enough for a novice blogger. You may want to learn it too, it is fun!

Widget installation (up to $15)
What is widget? it is a small gadget that normally placed on the sidebar. It's like latest Instagram or latest pins, etc. I love to include widget in my blog, but I don't overdo it, because I want to keep my blog simple, to wish that my widget is a compliment visual inspiration and to override the main blog post. Beside Instagram widget, I also love LinkWithin where you can display related post thumbnails below the current post. My new blog does not have it, I tried to install it but I couldn't, I contacted the support team of LinkWithin to get the solution. The good thing about these cool widget, they are free, They will generte the HTML code for you and just copy paste on your blogger layout. If your head feel dizzy knowing the words of HTML, then just opt for the second option, buy the widget installation add on :). Normally when you buy pre-made template, the seller will include with one or more choice of widget depending on the template price. Here are the link of free widget for Blogger that I use:

  • Instagram - Snap Widget ; Intagme (display as a slide show)
  • LinkWithin - Display the related post thumbnails below the current post
  • Pinterest - The widget builder is the official Pinterest side, also you can build pin it button.
I do not use Facebook widget, but you may want to read this blog to find out more, it might helps :). Other widget, i.e. number of visitors, etc, you can get it from blogger.

Pin It hover button (up to $15)
What is that? this is a cool additional touch for your blog, the pin it hover button will be appear when you hover your mouse on top of your blog picture. It also helpful when your reader want to pin our original pretty picture and promote to their Pinterest followers, the problem is some pinner do not give a proper credit. As I mentioned above, Pinterest provide pin it button builder for free and you can include your own design if you dislike the original pin button (which is the red color logo of Pinterest). But in my personal opinion, it is a bit technical for novice, I somehow screw up my entire previous blog template because of the HTML coding, so I decided to buy the add on for my new blog. It really safe me from unnecessary stress.

Profile/about me picture {free}
This is my first time to include my own picture at my welcome page. I feel a little shy, but I want to give it a try. I did not put my entire face, so it somewhat my face is still hidden :). Ok this is the most difficult part for me, taking my own picture without any help. Have you familiar about selfie? I unfortunately not too keen for it, but this welcome picture of mine is entirely from the result of selfie production :). I had to take many times before I finally figure it out how to take a selfie picture without looking too selfie..haaa...
I use my phone camera and  put it on the edge of my bed, set the timer then sit in the willing position till got it right. My friend introduced me to camera app for Android call Camera 360 Ultimate, I used the app and they really did the magic. No more blemishes haha.... And I recommend you use PicMonkey for free photo editor, it is very user friendly.

Overall spending for my blog makeover is $60, I did some minor tweak by my self, and really happy with the result. I hope I will continue to write a quality post that worth to share with all of you in my humble space.

Happy Monday.

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