I’m back this Friday participating in another Let’s Talk Bookish post, as always hosted by the amazing Rukky @ Eternity Books and awesome Dani @ The Literary Lion! For this week, our topic is: Maintaining a Blog Aesthetic, recommended by Hayley @ On This I Ponder.
Maintaining a Blog Aesthetic
I really enjoyed some of the questions that Rukky posed to help prompt this discussion. Questions like: How much time do you spend on making your blog look nice? Is it more about making it functional? Did it take a long time to set it up? Are you still changing it around? Do you ever feel like your blog design is not properly appreciated (for example, are most people reading your posts via the Reader and not actually visiting your blog)? What are the best tools you use to customize the look of your blog?
So, let’s dive a bit into maintaining a blog aesthetic by looking at: how it came to be, my regular maintenance and if I think it’s worth it.
How it Came To Be
So, you may know, I started this blog almost ten years ago (!!). Originally, when I started this blog, I had no idea about the wider book blogging community. I had no inclination of how to look at graphics, how to create a brand or even why it was important. It quickly became something I wanted to do, however. Especially as my vision for my blog changed and grew.
What started as a blog that was like an online journal become, in some ways, a platform. Not just as I entered book blogging, with reviews and book recommendations. But I also share discussion posts, advocacy, supporting diverse books and creators, detailing and sharing the ups and downs of my publication journey, and more. Knowing all of that, I wanted a look that would support that.
Yet, I also knew my limits. I’m not a graphic designer (no matter how much Canva’s handy tools makes me feel like one). Luckily, I’d heard about the amazing skills of Kat @ The Bibliophile, who then, blogged at Novels and Waffles. I hired her to make my graphics, settling on a brand that felt truly like me. It incorporates:
- My nerdiness
- Favorite colors, red and black
- The desire to reflect my passion for fantasy
Then, I went self-hosted, to give myself more options and worked with Kat again. The rest…well, you can see it now.
In terms of the maintenance of maintaining a blog aesthetic, it’s been fairly simple for me. It’s definitely more work than not having one. Before I decided to incorporate a blog aesthetic, I simply wrote a post, edited it, posted it and hello, done. Having one now, I need to do things like:
- Making feature images
- Utilizing themed dividers
- Creating promotional materials with the same font and color scheme of my brand
Yet, despite having these extra elements, it doesn’t take a ridiculous amount of time. I use Canva, like I mentioned. After uploading the templates for each of my feature images, I simply use the template and fill out the details for the post. My divider images are saved within WordPress, so those are easy to insert.
I do admit that I could do a better job checking my main page and updating it. I also have a huge backlog project of now updating older posts to match my current aesthetic I’ve still yet to start. But, in day to day work, it doesn’t feel like huge maintenance to keep up with.
Is Maintaining a Blog Aesthetic Worth It?
Yes. Oh, 100% yes. The feeling of opening my blog and falling in love with it every single time is worth every frustrated cry I had (and it was more than one) moving to self-hosting. The giddiness and pure joy I felt when I first looked at Kat’s artwork she sent over for me to use is still with me. Having others tell me they recognize my branding is unparalleled.
I love this space. It feels like mine and I really love how that feels.
I’m super curious to see what other perspectives and thoughts there are. What do you think? Do you have a blog aesthetic? Do you find maintaining it challenging or rewarding? What do you wish you knew or what would you change? Or is it too much to consider? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you so much for reading!