DAY 25: ADAPT A CUSTOM DETAIL FOR YOUR BLOG
Even if you love your house, you’ve probably admired a detail at a friends’ place — a paint color you love, an end table you’d never seen, an interesting way or organizing book. Blogs are the same. You may love your theme and have customized it just so, but you’ve probably visited someone else’s site and thought, “Ooh, I wish I’d though (or knew how) to use a widget like that!” or “I love their logo!”
Today’s assignment: Browse the blogs you follow and note a custom touch you love. Tell the blogger you love it, and interpret it for your own blog.
Because there are thousands of bloggers doing millions of creative things with their sites — and there’s nothing wrong with being inspired by that.
Because visiting others’ sites sparks ideas for how to customize your own. The bolt of inspiration is what counts, even if you end up with something that looks nothing like the original.
Because inspiration deserves thanks. If you see something innovative, let the blogger know — you’d appreciate the same thanks. (And you might just get a new reader out of it.)
Even if you’ve been blogging for years, you’ve seen something eye-catching on another site and wondered about how you could improve your own. Today’s your chance to act on that.
You don’t — and shouldn’t — simply copy someone else’s header or widgets. You should take note of what you think is beautiful, or creative, or fun, and think about (1) why you’re drawn to it and (2) how you might adapt it for the blog you’ve already got going. Maybe it’s the idea of a customized Twitter widget, or the concept of using the same photo from different angles for your header and background. Whatever it is, it should fit with you blog.
Not sure what to look for? Here’re are some creative custom touches we’ve seen in our daily meanderings:
Quelcy Kogel’s clever link to her Instagram account resides in a text widget in her sidebar.
She uses image widgets featuring unique drawing to represent her Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, as well as for some of her regular features, like as “Juice of the Week.” We particularly love the awesome waffle/Instagram mashup. (Mmm, waffles.)
Lucy’s custom header looks great on her light blue background.
“I chose a group of houses as my custom background, so that the tiled effect would display rows and rows of a closely-knit populated town,” says Vanessa. “It creates the sense that every single place in this world is connected to each other in one way or another — that we are not too different after all. It has always been my dream to travel — this background also serves as a constant reminder to achieve this dream!”
The tiny, close knit houses that form Vanessa’s background denote community.
Here’s some more inspiration to help spark your imagination.
Once you add the touch to your blog, let your inspiration know. You can do this in a blog post if you’d like. If that doesn’t fit with your blog, feel free to simply leave them a comment, give them a shout-out on Twitter, or email them privately — that kind of one-on-one connection can be just as valuable as some public link love.
If there’s absolutely nothing you want to change or add to your blog, that’s fine, too! You can consider this a free day, although we’d highly recommend spending a bit of time visiting others and leaving a few comments, or figuring how how to use some aspect of WordPress (or whatever platform you use) that’s been puzzling you.
To chat with other Zero to Hero participants, visit today’s forum thread.