I am in search of great ideas to design my new blog. Which blog do you girls like to visit and what content do you find appealing? I personaly like Ju Kneipp's blog.
I like Ginger Hewett's blog (www.gingersscrapsnpixels.blogspot.com) but that could be because I am part of her CT so I am a little biased. lol I also like Just So Scrappy, Crazy 4 Monograms & Sweet Pea Designs. They have wonderful kits & showcase as many of them as they can on their blogs.
I like ju kneipp's blog designs in the same way I like heidi swapp and a creative mint designs.
Like rhonna blog designs except for how her blog is positioned it's kinda off by space and SP, SMJ are still up there in likes too.
Edit: Contents I find appealing are design inspiration, tutorials, hybrid and gallery
Oh thank you for the inspiring suggestions!
Speaking from a strictly aesthetic and functional standpoint, I like the minimalism of Ju Kneipp's and Heidi Swapp's blogs: there isn't a lot of clutter and they are very straightforward. I get irritated by clutter a lot. Pretty much every blog that Kim listed I find to be cluttered.
I like blogs that have strong, straightforward navigation. I like blogs that are sleek and keep their graphics uniform. I like blogs that only have one side bar and a column for main content (it's the 3-column blogs that tend to look overly cluttered - I think that if you need 2 sidebars to hold all your stuff then you've got too much and should re-think what really needs to be there). I love blogs that let me view the archives by month and year, all the better if they list out the posts for the selected month, too. I like it when I don't have to go searching for the archives - especially if I am trying to dig up a blog train or freebie or tutorial. I like blogs with strong, well-used tags: if you're gonna have a blog train tag, tag ALL your blog trains and not just some of them!
I think Summertime Designs is very nice and well-designed, though the red on black colour scheme messes with my eyes and gives me a headache after a bit. DigiTee Designs has a nice clean look.
99% of the time, if there is music that auto-plays on the blog I will leave it and never ever return - I often am listening to music of my own while I browse the web and I find music on blogs to be a forceful invasion and downright rude.
Unless the blog has something fantastic on it, I won't bother with it if I find it cluttered or overly commercialized (honestly, I am a bit too picky with websites). I love the content on Delicious Scraps, which is why I suffer through the fact that the site is overly cluttered, internal and external links are not clearly defined, and I tend to get lost in it.
I think that if a designer wants to showcase their kits, they should put just a few previews up instead of lining a sidebar with 20 of them (or make a small slideshow that links to a page that does nothing else but showcase kits). I think that if a designer wants to list their favourites or tutorials and has a ton or wants to provide link-back buttons, then it is easy enough to make a specific page for it and link to it with a pretty graphic. If a blog is clean, I don't feel like the designer is being too pushy (with ads or music or tons and tons and tons of self-promotion), and I like their content, then I usually will seek out their favourites, tutorials, link-back buttons, etc on my own anyway. A couple of extra clicks is no big deal to me if it means that the main page stays clean and the blog is easy to navigate.
Wow, a lot of VERY useful information here, Mollie. Thank you so much! I tend to agree with everything you said. Never thought about putting music on my blog, what a weird idea, LOL!
Girls, what about the "about me" in the side bar, with a picture? Do you think it is a must? Do you find it more welcoming or is it just distracting you for nothing?
I really like citrus and mint (about me) in fact I like her whole web design beginning to end, it is so easy to navigate through. Then there's a creative mint (about me) where she shows where she works or what her studio looks like and some may feel it's showing off but it gives me a sense that she is organized and knows what she's doing. They both give out good impression, where I would feel comfortable and willing to trust what they say and put out. I don't think either one is better than the other they both work well, the only thing I might find irritating is changing the name a creative mint is not a scrap-booking site so there's nothing she's really selling other than show casing citrus mint on the other hand was Elle design and I have to remind myself the name has changed as with the kits that I downloaded before the name change. I really like the new blog look but I like the old name better (imo) Elle design sound like a good brand name. I like the clean scrap-booking look but I also don't mind the digital scrap sites like Shabby Princess/SMJ designs or others similar to the concept of those website designs it makes sense since they are digital scrap-booking company and the theme fits what they sell.
The about me I don't really bother too much about it unless your really going to brand yourself then yeah, you need it. I also put more effort into the ones that think of themselves as a brand first because they are who I look at, who to take seriously. (So, have some confidence in your-self is a must) Keep in mind you what your customers to remember your name 5+ years from now, not just tomorrow.
I like the way citrus and mint displays her freebies or kits in general, what the sidebar kit displayed on side of website says to me is your really desperate. That's what the subscriptions are for as for the blog post itself, where to feature display your kits in the blog post.
If you want to really reel me in there needs to be more out of the box thinking for 'challenges' in digital-scrapbooking.
Organization tips are also something I don't read nor see much of which is why I go searching else where in other art areas not related to scrap-booking all on vimeo to find better solutions then I take it, compare and try out some of the other methods to see if it does work and make sense.
What I would find amazing is if more branched out in other art areas and then hosted some on a blog post for things like discussing font/typography, interior design, video, photography, ps action designers etc.. people who really know their element of design and how it functions like you know how some photographers have the other photographers on their blog to discuss/interview and teach skills or how-tos. I just don't see why not in digi-scrapbooking plus some meaning audience are probably already familiar with certain font designers, photographers, fabric designers and so on. Just saying it's more of a good read then having to read up on ones personal daily life (imo) it could also benefit both, so it doesn't hurt to ask your audience and I would definitely sign up for something like that.
If I was in the business I'd mix it up in ways none have done nor tried before. Stand out.
I really like it when bloggers have a dedicated "about me" page instead of a blurb on the sidebar (though, a picture of the blogger and their name on the sidebar is often nice touch). If I like the blog and the blogger, then I want more than just a tiny paragraph snippet about them. And if I don't like the blog or the blogger I wouldn't read the sidebar blurb anyway and it would just become more clutter. I LOVE it when bloggers post a picture and show their real face (something that I actually need to get around to doing on my own blogs lol) and use their real name. If they don't want to show their face or if they want to go by a handle, then I a feel very skeptical of them and their blog - their blog will not feel inviting to me and I will not feel like I have made a connection. When I find a blog that I want to revisit and keep tabs on, it's because I have been able to make some kind of personal connection, however small, with the blogger or their content.
I agree with Fran about being confident in yourself and your blog, whether you are having your blog for a business or just for your own pleasure. If you love you and think your stuff is good, then I am more likely to love you and think your stuff is good. And even if you've just tried something new and aren't sure about it, having the confidence that you made your very best effort will actually make a world of difference. Also, I like to visit blogs (of all kinds) where I know that the blogger is having a blast and loving what they are doing.
I agree with Mollie too as I don't mind sharing personal life stuff if it leads to something like a project or how Mollie separates personal blog from her designing blog, I like the two different names that blend and connect together but not jointly connected to one. It's nicely separated.
I'm not a fan of reading scrap-sites where they blend both and it crosses the line of what is business and whats personal and they're sharing more of horror life stories, tmi stuff into their selling or giving away stuff on website. I look at it like your selling your audience an experience so selling someone a kit and then blogging about how crazy your kids are or life is in your business website is not going to connect with me in the way your trying to connect.
I have many, but some of them are: Just So Scrappy, Crazy-4-Monograms & A-Manda Creations, we all like & have the same styles!!