If you’re new to my Blogging 101 series, check out my previous articles:
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:
- The Cutest Blog on the Block (my personal favorite)
- Hot Bliggity Blog
- Leelou Blogs
- Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates (some are free, some are about $5 each; also has fantastic tutorials)
- Blog Designs by Dani
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.
- Open up your blog. In the upper right corner, click on “Design.”
- This will take you to the Template layouts.
- Underneath the “Live on Blog” box, click on the orange “Customize” button.
- Click on the “Awesome” template. I found that Awesome templates 2-4 work the best. Choose one of these.
- Click Apply to Blog.
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:
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!