Friday, 21 April 2017

The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part 9


We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 

 A MAGICAL WORLD OF WORDS - AmyNikita 
BOOK REVIEWS BY DI - Di Hewlett 
 BOOKS.BAGS.BURGERS - Uma K


What do you think is important about blog layout? How did you decide on your particular one?   

I think the most important thing about blog layout is that everything is easy to find - that you can easily navigate from page to page and that things aren’t too crowded or visually messy. The first impression that people have of YOU is your blog design and layout and if your blog isn’t visually attractive, how do you get people to actually READ your content? 

 Another important factor is making your blog easy to FOLLOW - after all, what are we all-important bloggers if we cannot be followed and have our voices heard?

 My own layout is a sort of flowing work in progress - I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with it and I change things whenever I think of something that might make my blog nicer or cleaner or easier to read.

 I have two sidebars with a central ‘content’ area to allow me to keep all the ‘important stuff’ within easy reach. Hopefully that strategy is working!



Of course there’s no fixed way as to how your layout should be or not. Go ahead, edit it and make it “you”. I think the blog design is a way of expression and it should be your very own. Of course you can be inspired by other blogs but don’t try to recreate others’ blog designs. 

 That being said, there are some things that are important to layout. Some things that readers like to see and some things that can put off your visitors. One big thing to remember while deciding your layout and design is - 

 Blog layout = easily navigable and MUST NOT HURT EYES. 

 Things about Layout and design that make yours truly cry and burn down the building
-  Finding a wonderful blog but WHERE IS THAT FOLLOW BUTTON?! 
- Sidebars dressed in flashy widgets from head to toe 
- Fonts so fancy that I have a headache! 
- I love me some graphics but WHAT IS THAT THING GLOWING AND FLASHING? “My eyes! MY EYES” (Read that in Phoebe’s voice) 

- What an amazing discussion post, let me leave a comment -*searches for comment box* - *Can’t find comment box*- *cry* 
- So graphic heavy that the page takes an eternity to load. #messingwithmytimemanagement 

 As for my layout, I went with two sidebars because I didn’t want my readers to have to scroll down for too long to get to the links in my sidebars. Also since my header is kind of ‘filling’ and heavy, I kept my background plain to even it out. And I decided on flowers because well, I LOVE flowers. Even my bookstagram looks like an explosion of flowers! (but in a good way!)(I think?)



Is there one thing you wish you’d done differently to your blog from the start? 
One thing you regret?


There’s been a couple of times (when I’m fighting with HTML or would love to install different plug-ins) that I’ve wondered if I should have gone with a WordPress based blog. I’ve also thought about the blog name itself a few times (however I’m not the most imaginative and haven’t come up with anything I’d rather use at this point!). 

 If you’re looking to start out in blogging definitely consider and research those two things carefully! And if you DO want to change it I’d recommend doing it as early in your blogging career as you can! I can imagine it would be really tough to get hundreds of followers to move over to your new site/blog URL!



Okay this is going to sound cheesy but I’m gonna say - no regrets. Sometimes, like Di, I do wonder if i should have started off with a WordPress blog but truthfully I’m content with my blog and how it looks right now. I am kind of having some technical problems with blogger currently but hopefully I can sort that out soon. 

 I think blogging is a learning process and while some things like blog name, platform among others must be decided right at first, it’s perfectly okay to plan everything else as it comes. For example, I didn’t know about Bloglovin until quite later and I learnt a bit of CSS when I had some problems with my layout. Do I wish I’d known about these beforehand? Maybe. Do I regret not having known them? Nope.



What is the next item on your blogging ‘To Do’ list?


Other than finding more time to actually devote to blogging and being able to visit lots of blogs all the time, the thing that I’d really love to complete is my blog roll page. At the moment I have a small blog roll in my sidebar but I want to devote an entire page to the blogs that I love and love to follow. Unfortunately I don’t want this JUST to be buttons and a description but I also want it to contain links to the latest posts and graphics etc - so it’s not as simple as it might have been! I also want to create a Reviews Archive page listing all of my previous reviews. Hopefully 2017 affords me the time to get all of the above accomplished!



Writing more discussion posts, posting more about writing, and exploring the blogosphere more! I’ve been posting only twice a week lately due to having exams and once that’s over I hope to get back to posting 3-4 times a week. I also want to find new blogs and make more friends. Hopefully I’ll get to accomplishing all of these in the summer holidays!


If you'd like to read my answers, hop over to their collab posts! : 




 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 9 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!

8 comments:

  1. I love Uma, Di and your blog designs, so this discussion really helped! I've stuck to a more conventional blogspot design, that isn't custom designed... but I hope that it works effectively until I devote more time and effort to blogging.

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    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful!
      Thanks for sharing, and I have to admit, redesigning takes a LOT of time. You really do have devote like a whole day to get it all done!

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  2. Great discussions this week, ladies! I've changed my blog design a couple times, and the one I've chosen now is much more simple and stream-lined. I like it because it's very straightforward and easy to look at, although sometimes I wish it was a little prettier! I definitely like blogs that are easy to navigate and the pages load quickly. I like when there's good definition between the posts on the homepage.

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    1. Thanks Angela!
      Simple and straightforward is definitely good. And I agree, I also love it when there's a good definition between the homepage posts.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love these posts, you guys are doing awesome with these! I agree with all of this especially blog design and layout. So many things to consider but thankfully it gets easier as we go ha ha! And I need to update my blogroll and archibes SO BAD!

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    1. Thanks Greg, that's so encouraging to hear!
      Haha definitely ;)
      Ah shame that's a mission :( Good luck!

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  4. I love this, and I agree wholeheartedly with all you both said. I did a major design change on my blog, including changing the name, colors, header, and layout. I am much more happy with it now. I do agree, though, that we might never be 100% happy with our blog, simply because we follow so many other beautiful ones. We are our own worst critics, just like with writing. We just need to learn to love our own style and personalities, because we are all different. Wonderful post!

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    1. I'm so glad, Caitlin!
      I love your new design, but yeah, it is frustrating to admit that you'll never fully be satisfied. It really bugs me, but that's just the way it is.
      Oh so true! That definitely applies to my writing ;) Lol
      Thanks so much!

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