My New Blog Design!

Entrepreneur 18 Comments

Here it is! My new blog design is up and running! What do you think of it?

Although not completely unique, I think this design is just as clean as my previous design, but adds a little more color and flare. Please leave a comment here and let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your honest opinions.

Erik Karey New Blog Design

Theme Creation
So as I said above, the theme isn’t completely unique. It’s actually based off of the Hemingway 4u theme at UtomBox. When I downloaded the theme, I knew that I didn’t want to use it completely stock because I wanted something that stands out a bit and isn’t an exact copy of anybody else. So what I ended up doing was doing a few tweaks throughout the stylesheet to add color here and there. I then created a logo as you can see, just something simple to dress up the header. Lastly I wigetized the theme’s right column and made it wider to accommodate more information.

I also ended up tweaking how the single post and archive pages look. In the stock theme, it removes the right column and makes a little information box to the left of the actual post to tell you about the post. I found this to be kind of useless and wanted my right column bar to always be shown no matter what page you were on.

Why I Went With a Free Theme
I first started to look into buying a theme, but quickly realized that I wasn’t ready to spend $600+ on a theme. To be honest, there are hundreds of great themes out there that can be customized to a semi-unique look at a fraction of the cost (or free, if you have the skills for it). So with my decision to move forward with a free theme, I started to customize the Hemingway 4-u theme and it went quite quickly.

Why This Theme is Better
There are quite a few reasons that I feel this theme is better than my previous. First this theme has a much bolder color scheme. The colors are crisp and just pop as soon as you look at it. My previous theme, although just as clean and simple as this one, seemed washed out and boring at times. It was time for a change in my mind.

Secondly, this theme has allowed me to add in a bit of personal branding by incorporating a logo and favicon into the blog. I’m not graphic artist, but I did my best in creating something simple, yet iconic and I hope that’s what I’ve accomplished.

I’ve also been able to incorporate commenter avatars into this design which is something I’ve always liked on other blogs. I think it’s nice to see the MyBlogLog avatar of the commenter next to their comments…..adds a bit of personality and breaks up the monotony of the comment text.

Lastly, I was able to incorporate a sponsors section where I can have up to 4 advertisers, each with a standard 125×125 spot. With my RSS subscriber rate growing alongside my traffic I think now is the time to start monetizing, but I certainly don’t plan to overdo it.

Advertising
Since I’m on the topic of advertising, I would like to offer the 4 advertising slots that I have open at a price of just $10 for the remainder of November. Below are some the stats for this blog:

RSS Subscribers: 74
Unique Visitors per Month: 3,000
Page views per Month: 40,000

If you have any questions regarding the advertising or would like to purchase one of the 4 slots please contact me and I will get back to you with paypal information.

I think that about covers all of the information regarding my new theme. I really hope that you like it. Everyone that I’ve shown it to so far has said good things and thinks it’s a step up from my old design. Please leave me some feedback, I’d love to hear from everyone.


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    1. 1 Christine Senter November 6, 2007

      I like the new theme. I’d rather see blogs that are easy to navigate and don’t have so much going on that the theme takes away from the content.

      Very nice.

    2. 2 Erik Karey November 6, 2007

      Thanks Christine, I’m very happy with it. I know it will probably need some tweaking here and there over the next week or so, but I think it’s a step above my last design.

    3. 3 Jamie Harrop November 6, 2007

      Another thumbs up here for the design, Erik. The colour scheme is very nice.

      One thing I would recommend is darken the blog post text. Even with my good vision, I was having to adjust my focus to be able to read the text. The font colour of the comments is much better, in my opinion. :)

    4. 4 Erik Karey November 6, 2007

      Thanks Jamie. I think will darken the text a little bit. :)

    5. 5 McBilly November 6, 2007

      Hi Erik. I can’t compare your new design with your old one because I haven’t seen it but your design looks great IMO.

      Simple and elegant. I would suggest you start putting TLA, widgetbucks or Google ads in your 125 x 125 ads so that the boxes woudn’t be blank for now. :)

      Hope you all the best Erik.

    6. 6 Erik Karey November 6, 2007

      Thanks for stopping by McBilly. I’ve put in some temp referral programs until somebody would like to advertise there for $10/mo :)

    7. 7 Shama Hyder November 6, 2007

      Looks great Erik!

      Very clean.

    8. 8 rhyan November 6, 2007

      looks like you did a pretty tweaks on this theme erik.

    9. 9 Erik Karey November 6, 2007

      Thanks for the kind words Shama.

      Rhyan – I have done a number of tweaks to make this my own theme, but I think it’s worth it so it’s not just another clone. Thanks for stopping by.

    10. 10 Michael Woo November 6, 2007

      Hey great job in your blog’s design! :) Very nice!

    11. 11 Jamie Harrop November 6, 2007

      Just seen the font colour change. That looks much better, Erik. :)

    12. 12 Verne November 6, 2007

      Hey Erik, great improvements! Glad to see the new look! :) One thing I would suggest is to give the navigation buttons a little more of a prominent mouseover. I can see the text darken slightly, but it’d be nice to see the whole button light up or something. Otherwise it’s a great new layout!

    13. 13 Erik Karey November 6, 2007

      Michael – Thanks for the comment

      Jamie – Thanks for the suggestion, I agree it’s easier to read.

      Verne – Glad to see you back around here. I think that’s a good suggestion. I will try and implement it in the coming days. Thanks!

    14. 14 Verne November 6, 2007

      I’ve taken a quasi-vacation from the blogosphere much like you did… slowly getting back into the swing of things! Good to see you back as well.

    15. 15 Matt Jones November 6, 2007

      Great new theme, clean, crisp and has everything where it should be. Just keep posting the great content and you’ll have a winner on your hands :) Great work.

    16. 16 Wayne Liew November 7, 2007

      Wow, what a nice design. I guess we have some familiarity with a red/white complexion theme. The only difference is that you have a black header on top of your blog and you have a footer which I am looking forward to in my new theme in the future.

      I guessed I just got myself a competitor in offering ad space. Your prices is way lower than mine but your RSS subscribers are more than mine… Busted! :lol:

      I don’t feel like leaving your blog, it’s just too nice…

    17. 17 Erik Karey November 7, 2007

      Verne – Welcome back, it seems that a number of people took a hiatus.

      Matt – Thanks for the comments and faith in the blog and congrats on your recent sale!

      Wayne – I appreciate the comments. Don’t think of us as competitors :) I’m not trying to make a fortune off the blog right now, so $10 for a month of ad space sounds reasonable to me. Best of luck with your new theme and ad space :)

    18. 18 Deron Sizemore November 7, 2007

      Congrats on the new theme! I like it. It’s basic, but I like basic. :-) (as you can probably tell from my sites).

      You’re right, it does add a little more flare than your previous. Should work out well for you.

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