18 January 2011

Blog Tips and Tricks (for a Delicious Blog)


Today I am serving up a bunch of bloggy treats for you... Photo collages. Fancy Frames. DIY Buttons. Backgrounds. And Web Fonts. You don't need to be a graphic designer to have a beautiful blog. Here's a step-by-step guide to sweeten-up your blog with your own homemade goodies...

Firstly, fancy frames and collages. Go here and Download Photoscape for FREE.

This little photo editing gem is all you need to make your photos into cool-as collages or give them all rounded corners or fancy edges.



Once you have downloaded and installed Photoscape, here's a brief overview of how it works...

PhotoScape

Editor: Lets you add frames and manipulate individual photos. Turn your photos sepia or black'n'white, fix colour balance, contrast, brightness. Add Text, speech balloons etc...




Batch Editor: Lets you select a whole bunch of photos and apply the same style frame etc to all of them. Want rounded corners? Watermark? Do it in Batch Editor.




Page: Here's where you make your collages. Choose a layout from the menu on the right, and then drag and drop your photos into it. Then you can add a frame to the whole collage if you like. Save it and upload it as a single image. It's just too easy.



For a complete Tutorial on the ins and outs of Photoscape go here.


DIY Blog and Social Media Buttons
Have you spotted people who have those "Grab my button" things on their blog and wondered how on earth they do it? Your troubles are over, cos here's where to get/make your own. Just go here and follow the instructions. I promise that my code WORKS.


Greatfun4kids
 
Have you also seen blogs wearing cute collections of matching social media buttons and spent hours scouring the net for where to find them?  Search no longer, I have made some for you in a range of styles including Pinterest and email buttons, and even a couple of Google+ button designs. All you have to do is pick the style you want, grab the code and then enter your own details. When you paste the peronalised code into an html gadget... your buttons will work, I PROMISE.
Go here to grab yourself some...
 

New Blogger Features
I am guessing most of you will already be aware of the new Blogger "Template Designer".
Did you know that if you set your dashboard to "Make Blogger in Draft my default dashboard" you will get all the new features before everyone else?
OK, so do that first, cos there's some new features you'll want to try out. Go to your Dashboard. Click on Blogger in Draft. Then make it your Default Dashboard.



New Web Fonts
Now you can try out the new Web Fonts. Go into Template Designer and select "Advanced". All the font specs are customisable and there are a bunch of new fonts there you can use on your blog. You can't access them in your post editor, only by setting the fonts as post headings, page text etc in the Template Designer.

Warning: Different web browsers display the fonts different ways; smaller sizes of the web fonts are sometimes difficult to read in Google Chrome and Firefox. I suggest you stick to the standard fonts for body text and use the Web fonts for headings.


 



Upload your own Blog Background
If you are bored with the Backgrounds available in Template Designer or can't find one you like, did you know you can upload your own background? Yep, you can.
Select "Backgrounds", then click on the arrow to the side of your current background and it is right there at the the top: "Upload Image" It needs to be 1800x1600 pixels and make sure you unselect "scroll with page", so the background stays fixed.

I hope you have gained some useful gems from this lot. Here's those links again:

And check out the new photo-editing kid on the block... PicMonkey. Brilliant, easy and FREE.

Sorry those of you to whom this is completely irrelevant because you are blogless. {Er, have you ever considered starting a blog?? It's fun. You meet lots of great people and make freinds all over the world... but be warned, it's rather addictive...}

..........................

IF BLOGGY DIY ISN'T YOUR THING:
If doing this yourself seems too overwhelming, you can always take the easy way out and let me do it for you. Visit my Custom Blog Design page and request either a special custom designed button set (NZ$25) or an extra button in one of the styles pictured here (NZ$5 per button).
I can also create Headers, grab-buttons and even do a complete blog-design overhaul...




{P.S. If you're feeling eternally grateful right now... you can say *thankyou* by Following}

More Blog Tips...



FOLLOW ME ON Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Bloglovin //

21 comments:

LambAround said...

Thanks for the tips! I'm going to bookmark this post :)

Leonie said...

wow! awesome tips Simone!! I have just done as you said ..lol... cant wait to play with Photoscape :)

jacksta said...

Thanks for the great tips!

secretlifeoftrees said...

This is really interesting Simone, now I know what I'll be doing while John is in recovery!!

MNM's said...

Yay, I just love finding great tips. These are awesome. Might have to go make me a button. Been meaning to for AAAAAAAGES. I am a big fan of Picasa but it has limitations - sounds like Photoscape is a bit more flexible....but I also have Photoshop Elements that I'm trying to learn how to use properly so I'm not sure my brain can cope with a third application...aaaah! Definitely going to investigate the background/web fonts though :-)

Kathleen said...

Hmmm, I don't seem to have any of the pretty fonts in my advanced settings! Will have to investigate why...they're not linked to your template or anything, are they?

Thanks for the great ideas - love the photoscape programme, very nifty :)

Helen said...

Thanks for this Simoney! xo

weza said...

awesomeness right there!

GentlyEccentricMum said...

Awesome tips, Simoney! Thanks so much for your (really typically) generous sharing.

Little Kiwi Chick said...

Wow, thanks for sharing all your amazing knowledge. Now I need my Hubby to read it (so he can help me) because I am so un-technically minded :o(

Lyns said...

Great tutorial Simone...thanks x

Carey Morris said...

Thank you thank you thank you, I love Photoscape and have playing with it all morning. (sorry housework, kids and the dog...no attention today!)
I've updated a couple of posts already but still have a few to go.

mensajes claro said...

awesomeness right there!

Little Gumnut said...

oooh that photoscape ones sounds fab! Off to have a look!

Holly said...

Great tips. It is my goal to make my photos better to make my blog better!

tartankiwi said...

Yay! I just made a button! Thanks for the clear instructions.

Cecily R said...

If ONLY I had found you a year ago when I was slaving over the button thing!! Great tips--you have such an easy teaching writing style. :)

Young Yoga Masters said...

so much information - it's great. I'm going to check out that photo editing program, right now I use different programs for different things. Sometimes I wonder if I should just learn photoshop. But it's too big a learning curve for me. This one looks more intuitive.

christine @ quasiagitato said...

Am bookmarking! This is the motherlode!! Thank you!

Trees said...

It seems I replied here on Jan 18th but today I have finally made myself a button! You're a legend!!
PS Have you thought of putting all these blog tips in a tab? I linked from your sidebar list but you are so good at explaining all the techie stuff I wonder if it should be more widely available! xx

emilly said...

very nice informative post
photography forums

Post a Comment