I’ve given my blog a little makeover: what do you think?
My blog, like me, is something that is constantly evolving, and I like the way it looks to reflect that evolution. The makeover is something I’ve been pondering for a little while, and I’ve spent time thinking about how I might like it to look, as well how I would go about making those changes.
I asked myself some questions:
What is important to me?
How do I make sure my blog reflects who I am?
What kind of image do I want to project to my readers?
The answers to these questions are complex yet simple:
What is important to me is Hugo, his legacy, writing, creativity, and having a creative cathartic outlet through the blog that not only helps me but reaches out to others. I want to make a difference to the world, break stigmas and taboos. Nothing can change what happened to me, but I can use my blog to help make a difference to others.
I am a mummy, an empty-armed mummy. I am moving forward through grief and trauma.
While those things are part of me, they do not define me. I am also a woman, a human being. I am interested in all kinds of things. I want my blog to be accessible to all kinds of people: to not pigeonhole myself in to a particular niche.
I love bright colour, flowers, vibrancy. I love abundance: passion, creativity, wellbeing, friendship, love, kindness. I want to thrive, to blossom, despite (because of?) devastation, sorrow, traumatic things that have happened in my life.
The blog is one space in my life over which I have control, a place to explore possibilities, to flourish, to realise my potential.
I want my readers to learn, to be inspired, to gain new perspectives.
My blog has come a long way since its inception more than three years ago.
At first, it was a free theme on WordPress.com. The site was very basic, and I learned as I went along. Categories were built up, a header and sidebars developed. Fast forward to last year, and I took the self-hosted plunge (not nearly as scary as I had feared, and I haven’t looked back!) and bought a theme (Lynette from Bluchic).
A new, custom header was designed by a fab designer I found through Etsy. The site as a whole looked professional, and I was proud of it.
A year on, and while it still looked professional and I remained proud of it, it felt a bit flat. Part of the brief to the header designer was that it needed to look ‘serious’. At that stage, I was still very much in the depths of self-hatred (thanks, PTSD).
I was stuck in the vortex, unable to let myself go.
Thanks to the EMDR therapy I am now able to loosen the grip on the self-hatred, let myself go, and let the awesome, strong, kick-ass Leigh have more breathing space.
The result is this flourish of bright colour.
I spent a few pounds on some clipart from Etsy – I first had to overcome my aversion to even the word ‘clipart’, because it makes me think of the crappy stuff that is in Microsoft Word…but this clipart is so pretty it banishes that thought well away!
I took my pretty new clipart over to Canva, where I designed a new header incorporating stars and flowers. The widget headers of the sidebar felt a bit boring so I created some bright new ones using similar watercolours, and made some images that link to the main categories.
The rest of the sidebar got a good old tidy, with the social media and blogging network badges moved to the footer.
My blog theme has the facility for a ‘latest posts’ homepage, or a static one with a magazine look. I started off with the latter, but disliked because it was difficult to identify which were the latest posts – so I changed the homepage to show latest posts.
But wait! The homepage is back to magazine style after having a brainwave, figuring out how to use the categories to show the latest posts. A stroke of genius, even if I say so myself…
The rest of the homepage features posts from the main categories. The exercise showed me I need to become
a bit more a lot more disciplined at managing the categories!
Last but not least, I deleted the slider because it felt a bit untidy. Instead, I designed a picture featuring my favourite Maya Angelou quote, which provides inspiration to me every day.
I’ve enjoyed working on the makeover: it has been a great way of getting my brain back in to gear after my recent miscarriage. I love being creative, and problem-solving, and having done it all myself gives me a feeling of satisfaction. It was pretty stress-free – I swore at my computer only a couple of times!
It feels like it represents ‘me’, what is important to me, and the image I want to project to my readers. Mission accomplished!
What do you think of the makeover? I’d love to hear your feedback – if there is anything you particularly love, or doesn’t work for you (especially if there are any gremlins loitering!).