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Blogging 101: Choosing a Layout – Part 1

Okay, admittedly I have gotten a little behind with the Blogging 101 Series, but my inbox has been overflowing with some great questions and topic ideas, so I have decided it’s time to get on the ball and create some new content.

I have enlisted the help of same amazing bloggers to assist with this series and we are hoping that you find the topics informative and useful. Together we will try to provide you with helpful and honest information as you step into the blogging world or make adjustments to your current blog.

We’ll also provide you simple and practical tips ranging from how to engage your readers more successfully to our tips on getting the best photo. We’ll try to give you a heads up on upcoming topics, so if you have questions you can ask within the post or email us at questions@mybakingaddiction.com.

One of the most asked topics in the past month has been about design, so I thought we would devote this week to blog layouts. Katie and I collaborated on this post and are discussing the basic elements of a blog layout: header, footer and sidebar(s). Tomorrow we’ll give our opinions of the Do’s and Don’ts of blog layouts.

What do I mean by Layout?

A Layout the way in which your blog is set up to display the information and images. Most blogs consist of a header, columns and footer.

What’s a Header?

A header typically appears at the top (head) of your blog. This area usually contains text (name of your blog) and image(s) that help identify your specific blog. It can also be used to “brand” your blog. The colors, images and fonts you select will combine to give your blog a certain feel and hopefully help your readers know what your blog is about just my taking a quick a glance.

What is a Footer?

A footer is the area at the bottom of a blog it typically houses things such as:

-copyright statement
-terms of use
-privacy policy
-link to web developer and/or designer
-contact information

But it can be customized to display a variety of information. MBA’s footer has the following elements: Recent Posts, Popular Posts, Links to Social Media, An Email Subscription Form, Copyright, a link to Chris (my designer) and some legal stuff. Some of these sections require use of WP Plugins, but we aren’t going to cover those today.

Katie’s menu links so readers don’t have to scroll back to the top of the page to access those links. She also displays Recent Comments which detail the reader’s name and a snippet of their most recent comment.

Whatever you decide to put in your footer, make sure you utilize the space. Mine sat empty for ages until Katie talked me into taking advantage of the area.

What is a sidebar?

Think of this area as a way to engage readers with content beyond what’s on the first page. Perhaps someone new has stumbled on to your blog by chance and sees something intriguing on the side bar – that information will keep them on your site longer, and hopefully convert them into a regular reader. It’s also a popular space for advertisements – which is something that we will definitely cover in a later post.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where we’ll delve into our Do’s and Don’ts of blog layouts.

Blueberry cheesecake cupcakes on a wooden surface
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Blogging 101: Choosing a Layout - Part 2

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Marnie

Thursday 25th of September 2014

Your recipes are fun slash delicious I really like the look of the tiramisu trifles I might be making them soon I can not believe they only take under 20 minutes thanks for putting in the effort to make your blog for all the natural cooks I do not consider my self one though cause I am only 10 but all my family say I am a very good cook today I made a white chocolate cheesecake it turned out pretty good

Jamie

Thursday 25th of September 2014

Thanks for visiting Marnie!

-Jamie

Baking Secrets

Wednesday 9th of January 2013

Thank you again for teaching! Could you please write something about food photography? I am curious about design. How do you prepare photography place? What is most import (without lighting)? How to make successful photos of our food?

Andy

Thursday 13th of September 2012

Do you copywrite your material? Use a copywrite company? Or just do the symbol and statement on the bottom of the site?

Jamie

Sunday 16th of September 2012

Andy- I am not using a copyright company at this time. Thanks for stopping by. -Jamie

Kayleigh

Tuesday 21st of February 2012

Hey. Thanks for these tips. I have another question for you. Sponsors/earning income from a blog - how? I love blogging and I love food, but I'm at the place where I could use a little extra money too. Any suggestions?

Jamie

Tuesday 28th of February 2012

Kayleigh- Thanks for stopping by. I would recommend looking into an ad network such as BlogHer. There are also several others like Federated Media, Plateful, Martha's Circle etc. Hope this helps. -Jamie

Anna

Wednesday 14th of September 2011

Thanks so much! These are really helpful! Would love to see some blogging 101 posts about financing and how you make content engaging

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