Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blog Redesign

I've been tinkering with the design of my blog, so don't be shocked, please, when you visit and find a whole new look. The biggest change is the name of this blog: Following the advice of Kristen Lamb, whose blogging class I am currently taking (highly recommended for writers wanting to build an author brand!), this blog will simply be called "Annette Gendler." This won't affect you much, unless you are subscribing to an email feed, in which case the email should now be arriving from "Annette Gendler" and not "Memoir, Writing & Life."

I haven't decided yet whether I will keep "Memoir, Writing & Life" as a subtitle or tagline. I rather liked this blog name, but I also want to keep the Helene Hanff quote, and keeping both might get too busy. We shall see.

The other main change will be switching to a white background for easier readibility. I personally am in love with the photo overlay I have had, and the white font on dark background template, but I've heard one too many times from readers that it was too hard to read, and obviously a blog's main purpose is to be read!

Lastly, I want to thank Mary Bowers of Ideas with Ideas for her help in designing the banner - you're a whiz!

So, brace yourselves. And please let me know what you think of the new design once it happens, and if there's anything on this blog design-wise that you'd like to have that I currently don't have.

24 comments:

  1. Love it! And I find the white background easier to read (although, I agree, I liked the overlay photo too!) And I'm soon changing the name of my blog to my name, too -- it's already in my header. Makes so much sense! Nice changes!

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  2. Oh Annette I love it! All of it! The header is amazing!

    I know what you mean about the dark background with the light print. I struggled with that too. But in the end the white background won out since it is easier to read.

    I know you went through a lot of work and it shows. You were worth waiting for. You Did It!

    Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for letting us know. I'll be back!

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  3. Annette, your blog looks lovely--very clean, crisp, and professional, yet the header gives it a hint of whimsy. I agree with the switch to black text on a white background. I find it hard to read text on a dark or multi-colored background. Nice work!

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  4. I really like the header and the quote! Looks great :)

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  5. I love it, Annette. It's clean, easy to read and navigate, and the header looks great. Wonderful job! :)

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  6. I am chiming in with an "I love it" too. I really did enjoy the photograph on the old style, but this version is SO much easier to read, looks more professional, and somehow I feel I get a better sense of who you are. Before was just a nice photograph. Now, I see snippets of your life - of you. It really is a pleasure to look around.

    My only comment about the Hanff quote is that maybe (just maybe!) if it's there in place of your tagline, it might be a little bit exclusive? While you write memoir and we're here because we love your words, it kind of excludes people who enjoy reading (or writing) fiction. I dunno, maybe I'm overstating things. And perhaps if you have a tagline and THEN the quote, it would make the focus more on you, and the quote is then just something you enjoy. Please feel free to toss out this five-cent piece!

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  7. Hi Annette! I don't know what your blog looked like before, but it looks great now. The banner is really cool, and so is the quote. When I first started my blog, I had the dark background with white font, too. Then I learned about how it's hard to read. I really like the look of it, but like you said, whatever is easier for people to read is better. Nice job!

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  8. Well I didn't see the old design but I like this one. Nice and simple and easy to read. Love the quote at the top :)

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  9. Love it! Easy to read and very inviting, makes me want to explore your blog further.

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  10. Love the change. Love it. Looks great!

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  11. I love love LOVE it!! Love the header, love the new naming convention, love the quote at the bottom, love the layout and most important, love the white background - so much easier to read.
    I LOVE IT! Great job Annette and congrats. It's new, inviting, and refreshing. Here's to you and the positive changes!
    CHEERS

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  12. The header is fabulous! I haven't had the time to take Lamb's class. I understand the idea of someone having his or her name as the name of the blog if the blog is about one thing only and the person is a known authority on that (e.g., Julie Farrar, the expert on everything you need to know about crocheting baby blankets). But if you don't have name recognition yet, how would anyone find your blog in a search on baby blankets if the title doesn't elude to it? And what if your blog isn't exclusively about making baby blankets? How do you convey your scope of topics (e.g., Memoir, Writing, and Life)?

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  13. Thanks, everyone, for the lovely feedback! Glad you like it, and thanks also for the thoughtful suggestions. Some of you don't like the quote that much, so I will consider that a bit more. A blog is always a work in progress, and that's the beauty of it, nothing is set in stone!

    As you can see, I've just added some pages as well, hoping to showcase my writing, and talk a bit more about the blog without having to clutter the Home page too much.

    Keep the comments coming! And thanks again!

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  14. Naomi - I realize the quote has a bit of attitude, and that's why I like it but I realize it might be offputting to fiction writers, so will have to weigh that a bit more. And I do read fiction, though not as much, but I don't write it.

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  15. Julie - the point of using your name as the blog name is to brand yourself as an author, because as an author your name is your brand. Kristen Lamb's class is specifically geared towards writers. If you were selling baby blankets, then by all means your blog name should reflect that. What topics you cover can be nicely captured by the labels, which is why I've edited mine and have placed them at the top of the right column.

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  16. yes this is wonderful- love the new name too- really makes it look professional. The header is great - will go and check out the link. I'm glad you kept the quote- as I absolutely love and agree with it!!

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  17. I love the new look. It's so light and has an uplifting feeling the minute you see it. I'd like to rename my blog, too, but I have been concnerned I'd lose all the followers, readers etc if I did that. I need to chat with you after Thanksgiving re this. Enjoy the holiday, Annette.

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  18. Good on you, Annette! I'm in the same process, thanks to Kristin Lamb's blog posts and Brooke Warner's class on platform. You've done a beautiful job - I'm inspired!

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  19. Anjuli - glad you like the quote.

    Nancy - no need to worry but let's talk after Thanksgiving.

    Tele - thanks and good luck to you as well!

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  20. Great look -- very confident and easy on the eye :)
    I had the same background for a day or two until Kristen advised to change it for a lighter one. But I still really like that look. Too bad we can't keep it, right?
    The banner looks fantastic -- all of the photos and Helen's quote are thought provoking. I don't think you need your previous title, although I've always admired it.

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  21. I love the look of your blog! I'm wondering whether you also changed the URL of the blog and if so, what happens to the people who subscribed using the previous one? I'm asking because I'm contemplating doing the same thing.

    I'm part of your WANA class, and I agree it's been amazing!

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  22. Angela - thanks for your feedback. I'm glad you appreciate the quote.

    Julie - glad to hear you like the look. I've always had the same url (my name), thankfully, which goes with Kristen's logic. So unfortunately I can't help you with the issue of moving a blog to a different url but I'm sure it can be done without losing your followers. If you do change, just post an announcement and link on your old url as well, just to be safe.

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  23. Looks really great! Glad to find another nonfiction author :)

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