How To Make Your Blogger Blog Look Unique.
Obviously, 16 templates, divided between 16 gazillion blogs, is going to create a problem for you if you're serious about blogging for business. Primarily, your blog won't look very unique. I've been putting together modules like this one to help provide the maximum value with my Profitable Business Blogging course.
What's the solution? A unique template! As with any format change, BACK UP your data completely prior to making any change. Trust me, you'll be glad if something goes wrong. Okay, that said, I'm not responsible for what you do with your blog. To get your own unique blog template, where can you look? I've put together a list of resources to get you started.
First, before you even change templates, consider changing the HEADER IMAGE, which gets inserted as a write-over of the existing blog header.
There are layout options in the blogger menu that enable you to change your image. I did this first, then tweaked it more and more until I had a graphic that looked almost like my regular site. I wanted the Blog to look a little unique, although I may tweak it more in the future.
The Top Ten Places To Find Blog Templates:
- Finalsense.com. - Quite a few choices here, including coffee, restaurant, luxury car, strawberry, and more. These are slightly less popular than the Blogger layouts. You'll get a lot of three column choices here and they're pretty easy to load.
- blogger-templates - There's not as many designs here, but what they've got is good. I like Grey Press and Deep Blue and have only seen each of those a couple of other places.
- mashable.com - I personally like the Neosapian red, white, and black design. Very hip.
- GeckoandFly - 23+ templates, easy to install: just download and upload to Blogger.
- blogcrowds.com - You'll find both new designs and retreads at this site with quality design and layout that makes you want to browse more.
- SuckMyLolly.com - Here's some nice, clean templates for blogger (don't let their name stop you!) They've got designs by color, retro designs, and more. I especially liked their retro designs for people with those types of businesses.
- BloggerTemplates.org - These templates are clean, with some interesting variations. Since this site is highly ranked, these have also been downloaded 16,000 - 32,000 times as of the time of this writing. I personally like the simple one on page 2 the best.
- kaushalsheth.com - These aren't free, but they're good. You'll find a huge assortment of both Blogger and WordPress templates.
Just In Case You DON'T Use Blogger
- TheStyleContest - This offers some interesting themes for other blog software besides Blogger, specifically: Moveable Type, Typepad, and Live Journal.
- Ehsany.com - For PersianBlogger, Blogger, Moveable Type, and others, especially those who speak Farsi, there are some options here.
Feel Guilty Getting It For Free?
For those who like to pay for their software, there's Elegant Themes. Nice themes, you will find these are definitely unique and not used as often as free themes.
BYOB (Build Your Own Blog) Create Your Own Template:
Want to get truly creative? The coolest tool I've found for blog templates is this one, where you can literally customize and create your own blog template for Blogger (or other Blog hosts):
- http://psyc.horm.org/ - what's great about psyc.horm.org is that the format is W3C (ranks higher in search engines) and requires little or NO HTML experience. Here's a groovy example of a blog originally in Blogger, but where the blogger got sick of blogger's look and wanted three columns: http://www.crazykinux.com/.
- Ahh. Thank you. - Pam Blackstone doesn't really offer TEMPLATES, per se. What she does offer is easy way to change the fonts and spacing in your existing template. Which, frankly, is all I wanted to do, anyway (I have my own graphic for the header).
Template Sites That Require A Second Look:
- Stop Design - These are the blog templates contracted by Google for the Blogger Platform. I'm going to recommend against them if you're serious about BUSINESS Blogging or making money from your blog.Let's start with where to find your blogger templates. Don't get me wrong (or flame mail me Stop Design!) because I'm not saying don't use Stop Design to design your custom blog, I'm just saying if you're serious about blogging for $$ that you might want a UNIQUE design. Stop Designs are VERY common, with thousands and thousands using them. If you commission them to create a unique template, you'll be in good hands.
- http://blogger-templates.blogspot.com/ - These are more templates by the Blogger team. Again, free, but they'll be used by many... if you want unique, you'll like the others better. There is a cool i-phone theme, for anyone geeked up on the new Apple i-phone. The reason I'm listing this is because they post widgets and "how-to's" for blogger here. Also, I noticed they're coming out with seasonal themes here, as well as movie themes, like Pirates of the Caribbean.
And, last, but not least, for those of you who want to remove the pesky navbar, there's a whole page dedicated to this, with some simple code inserts. Before you freak out and say HTML Code - uh oh - don't worry. This is not that complicated. It's as easy and copy, paste, for the most part: http://blogger-templates.blogspot.com/2005/01/remove-navbar.html.
A secondary way to test after backing up:
What I recommend to you is to set up a "trial" blog first, using a random, useless name (don't use anyone else's real name or a name someone else might want, just make up something so it is a polite test). Then once you have that blog, insert the same theme as you have now. You might want to also copy a couple of your widgets over, just to see how it would go through the transfer. THEN make your switch to the new design, see how it works. If everything goes well, you'll know how your new design looks without risking your current blog design or data.
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