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.
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 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 have many, but some of them are: Just So Scrappy, Crazy-4-Monograms & A-Manda Creations, we all like & have the same styles!!