The Personal Side of Personal Blog Design

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Personal blog design. In the hubbub of blogging advice and tips, personal blogs often get overlooked. Business blogs seem to take all the attention, even though there are a good deal more personal blogs than business ones online. This seems to have extended into design advice as well but let’s change that.

What makes personal blog design unique?

To answer this, ask yourself: what makes a blog a personal blog? The answer: anything and everything! Your personal blog can be whatever you want it to be. It’s yours. The level of freedom you have with your content is unparalleled and that same level of freedom extends into your blog’s design.

That is what makes personal blog design unique.

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Make Your Template Unique

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Unique Template
Image by Thiru Murugan
There are some obvious dangers to using a template, like malicious coding and such, but there is another, not so obvious danger. What if your template causes your blog to vanish into the blogosphere? What if it makes you boring?

The very best looking template in the world is the very worst template you can use, because everyone else is already using it. If your blog does not stand out from the dozens of others in your niche, how will your readers remember you? And if they do not remember you, why will they come back?

The key to successfully using a template is to make it your own. The great thing about a template is that the bulk of the work is already done, but the finishing touches are still up to you. You need to make enough adjustments to make your version clearly distinguishable from the original.

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Personalise Messages and Stand Out

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Personality
Photo by Aki Jinn

There are millions of blogs out there. You need to stand out from all the rest; be different to be remembered. However, standing out doesn’t just mean using a custom theme, it means customising every part of your blog, including the default messages.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2007 at 9:17 pm and is filed under General Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

We’ve all seen that message on blogs before, and what opinion does it give you of said blog usually?

It doesn’t. That’s the problem. The owner hasn’t bothered to put some personality into the blog, and as such, you have nothing to remember it by.

This is the most extreme example of course. The quoted paragraph is usually changed (removed?) by blog owners, simply because it is so over-worded and unfriendly to readers. What other lines in your blog can be given a personality of their own?

Encouraging Comment Messages

When your post has 0 comments, you want to do everything you can to encourage that to change. Wordpress offers an easy method of doing this through comments.php. Simply enter the message you would like to display where you see the line:

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5 Ways To Jazz Up Your 404 Page

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Sorry I lost Your Files!Inevitably, someone will wind up on an error page on your website. It has to happen. It just wouldn’t be the internet if everything worked out perfectly. So, how are you going to prepare for these visitors?

This article isn’t a guide to how to create custom 404 errors pages. It’s very easy to do, just Google for it and you’ll find a million results like this one.

1 – Be Funny

Your reader has just been landed in a dead end. They’re annoyed and aggravated at the loss of their time, not to mention the fact that they now have to resume their search for whatever information they were after in the first place. What better way is there to cheer them up than to make a joke?

My favourite example of this is at Lizzdmc Productions, where the 404 page offers a psychiatric analysis before advising you on what to do next. This is also the approach I have tried to take with Pro Blog Design, where you’ll find I modified a popular parody of The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe.

2 – Be Helpful

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