Blogging 101: Making Your Blog Pretty

If you’re new to my Blogging 101 series,  check out my previous articles:

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Last week, I walked you through setting up a Blogger blog. Hopefully you’ve had time to play around with it and start writing! We’ll talk more about content and all those things soon, but today is about making your blog pretty.

How do I make it me?

We could just leave your blog as it is from Blogger, but if you’re anything like me, you want a pretty blog. Maybe pretty isn’t your word, but you want a blog that is you. Not a boring Blogger set up. And that’s what we’re going to do today.

Now don’t close your browser! You don’t have to be a graphic designer. I’m definitely not a graphic designer and I had a pretty blog long before I paid a professional to do it for me. There’s plenty of sites that offer free backgrounds/headers, etc. and tutorials to help you set it up. In return, these sites usually ask that you link back to give them credit. It’s a win-win situation because you get a free background and they get their work shown off.

One thing to remember with free backgrounds is that other bloggers are probably using the same design you’ve picked out. But that’s the catch for getting it free. If you want something that’s unique to you, you’ll need to make it yourself, pay someone, or get a talented friend or family member to do it. (In that case, lucky you!)

Where can I get a free blog design?

Keep in mind that you won’t be getting a complete design for free and you will have to install it yourself. But don’t worry, it’s not that hard. Here’s a couple of sites to check out:

You can also do a google search for “free blogger backgrounds” or “free blogger templates” etc.

My favorite free background site is The Cutest Blog on the Block. I used their designs for this blog, back when I was on blogger. They also have tutorials on how to set things up that I relied on many times in the past.

Look over the sites and pick something you like. It doesn’t have to be permanent so don’t worry too much about it being perfect right now. Once you figure out how easy it is to change your background, you’ll probably change it a few times anyways.

How do I install the new background?

Since I’m not a web designer (there’s a reason I pay someone to do it for me and/or have my husband help me), I won’t get into specific details. But I’ll help you with this first step and then you can follow the instructions on the design site from there.

The first step is to make sure your blogger layout is ready for the new background. I played around with this and found that Blogger Template – “Awesome” works the best. If you leave it with “Simple” for example, the new background won’t show up.

  1. Open up your blog. In the upper right corner, click on “Design.”
  2. This will take you to the Template layouts.
  3. Underneath the “Live on Blog” box, click on the orange “Customize” button.
  4. Click on the “Awesome” template. I found that Awesome templates 2-4 work the best. Choose one of these.
  5. Click Apply to Blog.
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From there, follow the installation instructions from the design site. Usually, you just copy and paste the provided HTML code, insert it into an HTML box in the “layout” section of your blog and save. Pretty simple.

This is what my “sample blog” looks like:

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Making your blog pretty wasn’t so hard, was it?

There’s also sites that will help you with your header, including The Cutest Blog on the Block. You’ll want to look at the design blogs/sites for that those details.

Which design did you pick?
I’d love it if you would leave me the link to your blog so I can check it out!

Just a quite note: I’ll be taking a short break from my Blogging 101 series as I get ready for my upcoming surgery and then recover. But I will be back to posting my tips and tutorial soon. And in the meantime, my best advice? Write, write, write! Content is the best thing you can do for your blog!

 

Erika
About the Author

Erika, the founder of Musings From a SAHM, is happily married and a homeschooling mom to four children. She lives in New Hampshire and has a passion for writing, encouraging other moms, her family, and Jesus. She also enjoys baking, spending time with friends, and is an aspiring photographer.

Comments

  1. Thanks for all the wonderful tips!
    Great post!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Michelle recently posted..Niagara Falls Family Fun TripMy Profile

  2. The cutest blog on the block was one of my favorites when I was on blogger. Even now for my 2 kids who have blogs, I have cutest blog on their backgrounds.
    Debi recently posted..You slept with her- Facebook FunnyMy Profile

  3. Awesome resources! Thanks!
    CinnyBBS recently posted..#MilkUnleashed & another family adventure US 09/07My Profile

  4. I really love this series, it is so helpful and so sincere! You are truly talking from experience. And yes, in the end just focus on content it will never lead you astray. :) Hope you have a quick recovery!!!

  5. Back when I was on Blogger, I did that a lot. I miss those days of easy blog design transitions and I like your favorite site too. I used it myself!
    Liz recently posted..ARM & HAMMER #SwitchAndSave Toothpaste Solution – Win $1000!My Profile

  6. Oh.. I am keeping this. smile.. more info..
    Michelle recently posted..Newest Project Updates..My Profile

  7. When I was on Blogger I loved The Cutest Blog on the Block. Such wonderful designs!
    Tesa recently posted..Warrior Dash ReviewMy Profile

  8. Angela
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks for the great resources! My sister’s blog is on Blogger. I will definitely share this with her.
    Angela recently posted..Pur Minerals Introduces Perfect Fit Eye Shadow Trios {Giveaway}My Profile

  9. Great list of free resources! It can cost an awful lot to get a customized design esp for new bloggers who aren’t really certain where their blog is headed yet.
    Emily recently posted..NutriBiotic Anti-Aging Skin Care Review and #Giveaway US 09/12My Profile

  10. Great tips, I love the variety of free designs that are avialble!
    Anne recently posted..The American Idol Tour and AT&T #ItCanWaitMy Profile

  11. Great resource and tutorial – thank you!
    Jeana recently posted..Perez Hilton Shakes It Up With Bella Thorne at 5 TowersMy Profile

  12. WidyaningA says:

    I am learning for blogging, so those tips are really help me.

  13. md kennedy says:

    Gosh, you make it sound so easy! I’m still struggling a bit with layout but thanks for the tips and links.

  14. Hi Erika, I just found you through Pinterest and I am so glad I did. I sell jewelry online through Etsy, have my own website, and also have a blog. But I am still new to the whole blogging world, and so I am very excited to learn whatever I can to write better and more blogs, so I subscribed to your blog. Please check mine out, if you get a chance, and let me know what you think I can do to make it more interesting and to get more followers. It’s http://www.awrdesigns.blogspot.com. Also wanted to share with you a giveaway that I am having right now, through July 4. You can enter at the following link… Thanks again!! And I am looking forward to some more blogging tips!! :-)

    http://cottonridgellc.com/2013/06/07/awr-designs-custom-handmade-jewelry-25-gift-certificate-uscan-74/#comment-6841

  15. Great tips! I’ll try to incorporate some into my own design as I’m still in the process of making my own blog pretty!

  16. I love free blogger resource just like mine I use one of the backgrounds from The Cutest Blog and made changes to some of the gadgets to look refine and I am happy with the results.
    If anyone needs help with your blog you can contact me and I can help you.

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