After nerding out during the intellectual property panel at BlogHer, my other favorite panel had to be Good Blog Design: The Role of Layout In an Online Medium. Headed up by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge, Gabrielle Blair of Design Mom and Kirtsy, and graphic designer Alex Vega, the panel offered up some great real-experience tips to the crowd. As crafters, artists, and makers, a creative blog, web site, logo, etc., are all so important to our overall offering. Here are some of my top takeaway nuggets from the discussion.
We started out the presentation with these guiding points:
- Original designs set you apart from the crowd (We’re crafters – we know how important it is to have great ideas!)
- Invest in a custom design (Yep!)
- Never let form trump function (Don’t go too crazy…)
- All social media places should have a cohesive theme (Make sure your Etsy shop has a similar logo to you blog)
- Plan for the future – where will your blog go in 5 years? (Who knows?!)
Print Design’s Impact: As more print goes out, we’ll start to see their influence on blogs. I used to be a newspaper designer, so I’m often teased for wanting blogs to look more like newspapers. Ha, I was right! (Kidding?!) Be Unique: The blogs that stand out the most are the ones that are original and reflect who you are and what your blog’s about. Custom designs have a huge sense of professionalism. As you develop your blog and it grows, look at getting a custom design. Ask friends or family members if you’re concerned about price or difficulty. When Grace redesigned Design Sponge, she saw a huge spike in traffic. Her $6,000 investment really paid off in the long run – she said it was the best money she’d ever spent. Try starting a blog savings fun for big spends like this. If you have redesigned your blog recently (congrats!), Gabrielle stressed how important it is to take some time off from focusing on all those decisions that go along with such a big task. However, make it a quick break – soon it will time to start thinking about the next version of your blog! Know Your Readers: Pay attention to analytics, especially where your readers click on your blog. You might be surprised where your readers are hanging out. I felt very motivated after I left that session. For all you bloggers out there, what are some of your favorite blog design pieces of wisdom?