Have you ever wondered how some of your favorite fashion bloggers have such wonderful blog layouts? Well, it’s easy to guess, they get their websites designed by a professional. While that is one of the best things one can do to a blog, many of us are deprived of that kind of luxury due to budget issues. But that no way means that it’s impossible to have a beautiful and professional looking layout for a blog.
After the phenomenal success of my first two posts on Blog Tutorial category, today I am going to talk about creating the perfect layout for your fashion blog by spending very little or no money.
In my post on How to start a fashion blog? I had stressed upon using a beautiful blog theme/layout.
While content is the most important element for fashion bloggers, a professional looking layout creates the first impression of your blog. Needless to say it is an integral part of your blog branding and simply can’t be taken for granted.
Creating a blog layout is the next step after you have decided on your theme
#What’s your blog personality?
Assuming that your blog logo is in place and you have picked the right WordPress or Blogger theme, it’s time to add some personal touch to it. Visit some of your favorite blogs and see what appeals to you. Is your’s going to be a photo heavy site with a white background for all the beautiful images to stand out? Check out Posh, Broke and Bored for inspiration. Would you like to give it more of a fashion magazine look, like Who What Wear?
Now that we have checked out some inspirations, let’s move ahead. Left or right side bar? Or no side bars at all? How big should be the images? Would you like a blog banner and a slider? These are some of the areas where customization is offered in every free theme, be sure to take advantage of that.
#What’s your color?
Let’s move on to the next and everyone’s favorite step now, colors!
Pick one key color and one or two complimentary colors that will define your blog. For example, the key color of my fashion blog is coffee because I want to follow a coffee inspired color palate matching the name and the logo of my blog. My complimentary color is a lighter shade of brown that appears as a highlight when the mouse cursor hovers over links etc.
If you check out Good, Bad and Fab, you’ll see Jenny has used Pink as her key color.
However, customization of colors may not be available in all free blog theme. Therefore, if you are very keen on having a specific color palate for your blog, don’t forget to pick the right theme.
Having said that, color customization is optional. Many fashion bloggers stick to the basic colors available in a theme.
#Is your layout too cluttered?
Some of you may like a slightly busy layout for your blogs, just like Fashion Lush. But if you take a closer look, Erica has definitely created order out of chaos!
I have seen many new fashion bloggers cluttering their sites with little boxes of all the network sites they are members of, their past, present and future posts, affiliate ads and what not! I wish I could link some of those sites to tell you what not to do with your blog layout, but I can’t be that mean. But if you are reading this post, please stay away from unnecessary cluttering. There is always an aesthetic way of displaying everything that you want to on your blog. But your layout shouldn’t be distracting or worse, scary enough to drive readers away!
#How about the Images? Too big, too small?
Your layout is set, colors are ready and your blog is now aesthetically appealing. It’s time to fit in your contents into the layout. Ever seen stretched images on any blog and how ugly they look? Or images that are too small or too large for that matter? They are a serious turn-off and not at all professional. As a matter of fact, I myself was guilty of putting up really over-sized images on my blog until very recently. Resize images and adjust text sizes according to the layout. If your images are low-res, blowing them up would make them appear grainy.
You may need some trial and error before you achieve the right size and quality but it’s worth spending time. Images are once again one of the integral part of any fashion blog and we all work hard clicking or collecting them. Make sure they look as good on your blog as they actually are!
#Are the Navigation buttons visible?
Here is the final touch to your blog layout; the navigation buttons. Make sure all your blog navigation buttons are in proper order and easily visible. The main menu, the side bar, social media buttons and everything that is relevant to a fashion blog should be all within easy reach.
People have real short attention span and there are millions of beautiful blogs to visit and read. If the readers find it difficult to find out how to give you a follow in social media or how to search for your post categories, they are not going to spend much time and energy figuring it out. Navigation buttons have a lot of significance although they may seem to be the last thing most of the new fashion bloggers give any importance to. Ensure you are not one of them!
All of that being said, we are not web designers and getting the right layout requires an lot of time and effort. The key is to keep taking inspirations from your favorite sites and learn how to tweak yours. Learning a thing or two about CSS coding can go a long way in helping you change a few features of your free theme yourself. This CSS Beginner Tutorial might come in handy. I am currently using a free theme too and I have figured out a lot of things on my own. Yes, it takes a lot of time, but nobody said fashion blogging is an easy job!