Sunday, 21 August 2016

How To Launch/Redesign Your Blog In 5 Simple Steps

So last month I feel I was so wrapped up in my own birthday celebrations that I feel my blog's third birthday probably looked completely dismissed. However behind the scenes I've been working on this new relaunch of what was once 'Aine's Wardrobe' and is now 'Aine Tagon'. Although only a subtle change in name there has been a big change in design and layout which you may have noticed. As I'm currently doing this full-time I've wanted to take my little space on the internet more seriously and make it something I'm super proud to share. With a little help from some amazingly talented people, my vision for this space has been brought to life and thought I'd share with you the steps I took incase you wanted to know more.

Direction


First things first, whether you are just starting you blog or you or three years down the line it's important to think what am I doing this for? This will determine the direction of your blog. You need to answer questions like what will I blog about, how do I want to represent myself and who is my target audience. After this you will a clearer picture of what you are trying to achieve. My main goal is to inspire and motivate my readers by sharing my knowledge and opinions on topics including fashion, beauty and lifestyle (however not limited to). Actually writing down this information will help your style of writing, photography and all the little things that add to the direction of your blog. 

A good way to do this is by writing a mission statement, objectives and aim. That way you can refer to them after every post and think I have I done that? I can already see how much it's helping me recently with the consistency of my posts. This will also help in the future with collaborations or sponsorships from a brands perspective. That way you can determine who will be a good fit for the message you are intending to promote.

Design


This for me is the fun bit. Being a creative myself, designing graphics in particular is something of high interest in my day to day life. After being marked constantly during my time at university on professionalism, creativity and originality, this was hands down the most exciting part. How your blog looks is just as important as the content. Remember it's the first thing people see when they visit your site so make it special and even more important make it you. It needs to represent your taste, personality and sense of style. 

For me I have always had a very distinct taste for as long as I can remember! I'm sure all of you are sick of hearing about my love for pastels and for most it's somewhat predictable, but it is undoubtably me. If I was to go for anything else it just wouldn't fit who I am and certainly wouldn't match what I like. I wanted something sleek and classic to stand the test of time, hence the white background, simple grid formation on the home page mixed with alternative information everywhere else. The colours I focused on were a pale blue and soft pink which are appealing to my mostly female audience but aren't anything to overpowering or distracting to take a way from each and every post. I've changed my font to sans-serif as this is easier to read, especially on a web based platform. This also provides a more modern and up to date appearance to what I originally started with all those years ago. There are so many aspects that come under design I could type forever but I'm sure you get what I'm saying.
Help


I have a lot of idea's but sometimes trying to do exactly what you want all by yourself is near enough impossible. Us bloggers can do a lot but not everything! To keep things going and running smoothly it's easier to split the work load. I've had help from lots of talented people along my blogging journey and I knew I would have to collaborate in order to achieve what I had in mind. I owe three people a very big thank you:

Poppy Almond
Poppy is an old school friend of mine and we actually studied A level art together. I have forever been in awe of her talent since I walked in to the classroom and to see her go on to study Print Textiles and Surface Pattern Design at Leeds College of Art has been a joy to witness. I saw some of the print designs she was doing and posting on her Instagram (@Poppy_Almond) and I loved them so much I asked if she would design one for my blog. You may have seen it before from my old youtube intro or my birthday cake but I wanted it to be more of a focal point in my new design. Therefore the design has been taken apart and broken in to so many different things. For example you will see a number of these what I'm referring to as 'Page Breaks' which in this post is the nail polish you are seeing across your screens. Her fun and colourful illustrations add personality in to my blog and you only have to look at her designs on her website www.poppyalmond.co.uk to want one for yourself.

William Marler
New blog means new Youtube intro. As I was so impressed with my last one which you would have seen repeated times if you watch my videos frequently I knew exactly the man for the job when I was in need of a change. To be consistant across both platfroms I needed to adapt the intro to match my new name and branding. Again I wanted something simple, classic and timeless in design to start off my videos. 

Will always delivers, first time he hit the nail on the head and this time I only made one alteration before I was 100% happy. His abilities in animation are endless and I'm excited for this to be revealed in my next video I post. I really think this makes my videos that extra bit special and re-enforces my branding. I would highly recommend Will if you are wanting to step up your Youtube game. You can find him and his contact details on www.wmad.co.uk.

Phil from Pipdig
Lastly but certainly not least is Phil, better known as the man behind Pipdig. He has done countless Blogger and Wordpress designs for some of my favourite and most visited sites. As soon as I had my heart set on a new design his site www.pipdig.co was the first place I went for some inspiration. I couldn't make my mind up between the Equinox and Galvani templates as they both caught my attention. After a lot of deliberating and discussions I decided to mix the two templates making this a semi-custom design. That way I would get the best of both worlds and also have something completely unique to my site.

Not only did Phil kit me out with a beautiful new design but he showed a lot of patience throughout the whole process. Coding is something beyond what I am knowledgeable about and really wish they taught it when I was at school like they do now! I had so many questions and queries and was forever sending them his way to ensure everything was exactly how I hoped it would be. In nearly no time at all I would have a response to every single thing with an easy broken down step by step guide. They also provide an installation service which I used as that is another thing I wouldn't even know where to start so another helpful thing to take note of. Overall he's made this redesign a breeze for me and made it all happen.

Costings


If you aren't whizz at all things digital and want a professionals touch you have to take in to consideration their payment. These things don't come for free unfortunately and you have to be willing to pay for what they bring to the table. Everyone charges something different and mostly depends on what it is that you require from them. The best thing to do is describe what you want and ask for an estimate or quote before you get started on any work. That way if you need to save your penny's for a little while you can start right away. There are other options like getting pre-made designs for a set price or starting with something more basic until you feel happy to invest.

In case you were wondering overall I spent about £150 for everything which I understand does seem like a lot of money. On the other hand I do believe that what you put in you get back. This is something I spend a lot of time on and look at every day. I was lacking inspiration with my old design and it was something I felt was bringing my aesthetic down. Now I couldn't be prouder to hand out my link and that makes every bit of money spent worth it.
Refine


The last step is to refine. Blogging and Youtube is constantly evolving and at such a fast pace. You may begin using your new design and find something difficult to get to grips with or someone might suggest something that could improve the quality, this is when you need to evaluate and make notes for next time or something you need to practice. Always challenge everything, ask for a second opinion and if it's not what you wanted don't be afraid to speak up. If you are paying for a service you want to make sure it's something you can use and love, don't ever settle. As a creator myself I would hate to think I'd left someone dissatisfied and we don't bite, honest. 

Hope you love the new layout as much as I do, please do leave me a comment and let me know what you think! I look forward to sharing more of my new design features in posts to come.

Share:

4 comments

  1. Your blog looks great, I wish you all the success in the future!
    http://www.flareaforte.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks lovely, I really appriciate your comments x

      Delete
  2. love your new layout it looks amazing, looking to revamp mine soon too! x

    www.sonias-style.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and good luck, hope my post has helped lovely x

      Delete

© Aine Tagon | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Crafted by pipdig