I had no clue how a blog should look when I published my first few posts.
Buying or editing templates, sidebars, colours of links – it made little sense to me.
All I know is that I loved dresses and wanted to make friends with people that also loved dresses. So we could, ya know, show each other our dresses.
As I started reading more blogs, I got this pang of jealously and demotivation every so often.
My blog is ugly.
My blog isn’t good enough.
My blog doesn’t have a beautiful header.
My blog looks cluttered.
I hate my blog.
You might have felt like me in the past, or maybe not.
I started making small improvements to my blog over the months. Tweaking things here, adding widgets there.
I even dared to perform open heart surgery on skinnedcartree – I ripped open my blogs chest, peered into it’s HTML’s insides and snipped things out and added things in. Each time I hoped we wouldn’t end up in a coma.
Mostly, I remember these changes well as they were usually accompanied by a surge of motivation and new love for my blog.
I wanted to share with you the changes I’ve made when I’ve not been happy which hopes to say to you new bloggers, or those of you that aren’t happy with your blog:
You will grow your site into something you love.
Let’s start at the beginning.
30th December, 2012.
My blog was less than a month old here. I had a default template and header. I centred all my writing and used tiny photos.
My blog knowledge was zero and I was running around the blogging world like a bull in a china shop, making friends with bloggers and shocked to see the often visited my blog back. It was fun, but I knew my blog wasn’t fantastic. I just didn’t have any skills to do anything about it!
March 10th, 2013.
I discovered some blogger templates were free. I asked myself why I didn’t think of this sooner! All you have to do is google ‘Free blogger templates’ and you’re sorted! So easy to install, why did it take a couple months for me to figure this out? Some of you think I’m some of blogging expert, LOL you’re drunk.
I had also moved away from taking outfit photos in my dull room in front of my wiggly mirror to using a self-timer app on my iPhone in the bathroom, as it was the brightest room in the house.
The photos were still tiny though, I don’t think I’d ever heard about making your photos the width of the post before!
August 15th, 2013.
I bought my DSLR around April and started taking photos in my kitchen, then in my garden. When I moved house in July, we didn’t have a garden so I took them in my room again but this time I had a tripod and decent camera, so it was a lot better.
If I could go back in time and have a chat to myself, I would have told myself to LEARN HOW TO USE YOUR NIKON, STUPID! I was using an automatic setting and didn’t make the most out of what I had.
By August, I had figured out the code to make my blog just show snippets of each post so it was magazine style and easier to find posts.
This is also when I started using the square photos as a preview of my outfit. Mainly because any other shape would get stretched and look stupid.
February 8th 2014
In December 2013 and January 2014, I had a boost of motivation.
I figured out that it’s not actually that hard to make your own header! I made mine on PicMonkey. The difficult part was getting the green background to match the background of my blog!
I also figured out how to make the width of my posts bigger and also started taking photos in my living room and using my signature ‘circle photo’ – which I still use today.
I edited my HTML to change the colour of my text and links and also even made my own social media buttons and mapped them so they worked. I felt very proud and was ready to get serious.
This is when I decided I really wanted to make something special of my blog. I wanted to work hard and put a lot of time into learning how to use my camera and I switched from calling my site a fashion blog to calling it a lifestyle blog.
I started including beauty, lifestyle, blogtips and started #socialbloggers.
June 25th 2014
I figured out how to change the font and colour of my menu bar.
Although I was proud that I had changed the look of my blog and my photography had improved, I still wasn’t 100% happy. I kept reading about self-hosted WordPress. It was like it was haunting me.
August 1st 2014
Then, at the start of July at around 1am, I decided I wanted to do it. I bought hosting, installed WordPress, diverted my URL and imported all my blog posts, photos and comments over to WordPress.
I kept my header very similar and I fell in love with my blog again.
18th December 2014
This pretty much brings me to where we are now. Initially, I had the first blog post showing in full and any after were magazine style read more, then I changed it for all posts to be magazine style.
I also wasn’t happy with the font, so installed a plugin to change it to one I liked the look of.
I’m pretty happy with the way my blog looks now! Although I’ve seen a handful of other bloggers with my layout, my personal header and font change makes mine a bit different. I would like to have my own, one of a kind template at some point, but I know I’d want it looking how it looks now, so there’s no point really.
How has your blog template evolved?
I’m starting a 40 day fitness challenge today, you can read more about it and join in too over on my fitness blog.