Today, I wanted to talk about my experience of giving my blog a little makeover and what things I changed, and why! I’m by no means an expert, but I wanted to share the process I went through so hopefully anyone else out there looking to revamp for the first time might feel a bit more confident in it.
First, be sure you want to do it. I was getting to a point where I wasn’t happy with my images and graphics across platforms, and that was the big push for me. If you have an established way of doing things, and templates set up and all of that good time-saving stuff, a revamp can be a big project, so make sure it’s something you definitely want to do and have time for before you get started.
The first thing I did to prepare for my revamp was to make a mental list of things I wanted to change. You can totally make this a physical list, and I would recommend actually making a note of it somewhere so you don’t get muddled up. My mental list of things to do was something like this:
- Redesign my blog header images
- Redesign my pins
- New instagram theme
- Redesign the pictures I tweet to accompany blog links
- Create a book review bank
- Rewrite my pages and give them a better layout
- Use Notion to keep organised!
Now, this is a pretty long list, and it wasn’t going to happen overnight. I started keeping an eye out for styles I saw other bloggers using that I liked, so I could work out what aesthetic I wanted for images etc. Obviously, you shouldn’t copy other people, but if you realise you like X style of font, or X feel for your images, there’s no harm in taking inspiration in that way. One of the first things I did was create a new preset on VSCO for my images. I wanted to make sure that creating images for different platforms was really quick and easy because last year, I would take one photo for instagram, one for pinterest and one for my blog header. It took a long time to edit three photos for each post, so I decided a priority would be making sure that I could use the same image with the same editing on all three platforms. This is why I have my blog header featured image as a little section of the overall graphic! By doing that, I can take all my images portrait (which is best for Pinterest) and then simply crop the image for Instagram and my blog. I don’t use stock images personally, I prefer to take all of my own, but stock images are also a good way to make your graphic creation more streamlined.
Alongside creating my new VSCO preset, I started to work on making my new blog header images and twitter images on Canva. Part of this was creating a colour palette, and Google is definitely your friend for helping you to find websites that will generate hex codes for colours that will work with your existing colours! I now have a list of hex codes for colours to use in my images to make sure they’re consistent, and work well together. Changing colours of pin templates is a really easy way to make a template go further. While I was doing this, I also realised I wanted a new header image for my blog itself, and for my Twitter, so I created new header images for these to match everything else.
The main thing I wanted was for everything across my platforms to look cohesive, which did mean I found more and more things on the way (like my twitter header!) that I also wanted to change. I created Instagram highlight covers to match my pink theme, and made some Instagram story templates as well! I made some small changes to my theme of my blog to fit this, but mostly just editing the colour palette to fit with everything else, because to be honest, I really like my blog theme and as I’m a free WordPress user, there’s not that much I can change about my theme without, well, changing the whole theme.
The part I enjoyed the most about the whole process was creating my book review bank, and rewriting my about and review policy pages, because my strength doesn’t really lie in graphic design. I used some of the WordPress templates for my pages to help me get the layout sorted, and going through this process has really helped me to understand the block editor better, so hopefully my posts will start to get a bit of a layout upgrade too!
The most stressful part of the process for me was creating new pin templates because I needed quite a few (as opposed to only a couple of blog header/twitter image templates), and Pinterest is such a visual site that there’s definitely more pressure there. I’m not necessarily 100% happy with all the templates I have, and I do plan to keep adjusting them, but I definitely feel much happier about my new designs than I did my previous ones.
The last thing I did, and the one that I’m most proud of that nobody will ever see, is my Notion setup. I’ve created a page for my blog with my schedule, my goals, and my branding (eg my list of hex codes!), future post ideas, and a subpage for each month. My subpage for each month has a calendar where I add all my blog posts I’ve planned, a table where I plan my instagram content, and to-do lists and TBRs. It looks super pretty, it’s even got a pink theme to match, and it makes my life so much easier because I can see at a glance what I have to do, and when I’m posting things.
I made the decision to wait until I’d prepared all my new templates before actually revealing the new look, because the thought of things not being cohesive frightened me a bit! I feel in hindsight maybe I would have done some things a bit earlier, but with the new year approaching, I thought revealing everything all at once on January 1st would be fun. Now I’ve had time to get settled into the new look, I’m going to be focusing on using Pinterest and Instagram more effectively, and also making sure my blog post layouts are clear and easy to read.
Have you ever revamped your blog? Do you want to? Let’s talk about it down in the comments!