Sunday, January 19, 2014

Housekeeping! (Otherwise Know as Design Tips, Guest Posting, and Social Media)

Virtual internet points if you get this joke!
I felt like it was high time to post about a few blog-keeping items that may be of some interest to you.

1. If you haven't noticed, A Splash of Ink has had a redesign! After hours of toiling over photoshop documents and colour combos, I've pulled the proverbial trigger on this design.

If you are planning on redesigning your blog, I have a few tips.

Get yourself one of these Colour Indexes:
I (of course) got mine from the library, and I noticed that they had other books with similar content. The book has tons of different colour combinations and schemes, categorized into sections like "Intense Colours", "Muted Colours" and "Soft Colours". It's extremely helpful if you're having a hard time finding colours that match. 

My second tip is to create a tester blog. Make the blog private than make it exactly the same as your real blog (minus the posts). I made a few fake posts and fake pages, so I could see how the design would work before I started changing A Splash of Ink.

Then use to see what your blog will look like on different sized monitors, devices and computers. Don't be afraid to use the zoom out option in your internet browser to get a clearer idea of how it looks. A big goal of mine with this redesign was to have my design look the same on all devices. I quickly spotted a few issues with SOI the first time I used this site. It's a great tool. 

My third and final tip is to make your blog post area wider. This will make longer posts look more approachable and shorter.

2. I'd like to line up some more guest posts for 2014. I really warmed up to the idea last year and featured some different people. If you're interested in guest posting or working up some post trade of some sort, you can see all the details on my guest posting page which you can check out here. Above all, I'm looking for different voices with something to say, so don't be intimidated if you're a new blogger or don't feel 100% confident in your writing.

I'd love to add a few more to the list of guests I've had on SOI:
Purple Moon Blog Tour: Behind the Scenes of Brewer's Coffee
Tessa Emily Hall shares the back story of the coffee shop setting in her book, Purple Moon.
Interview with author Jamie Baywood 
Jamie talks about writing her book Getting Rooted in New Zealand and her writing process.
Caitlin Hensley and Self Publishing 
Caitlin talks about her journey to self publishing her book, Paranormal Legacy. 
Five teens answer questions on their experiences with writing.

3. I'm on the internet in other places! I don't just exist within the confines of A Splash of Ink. I've expanded quite a bit in 2013. I'd have to say that I'm most active on Goodreads and Twitter. Friend me, follow least check them out? Tehe. I love to see people outside of their blogs.

4. Oh and I almost forgot! I have some new profile pictures:

I wrote about how to take a good profile picture here, if you're interested in refreshing your own pics. 

Now, I think I've covered all the little things that I wanted to bring up. Let me know in the comments what you think of the new design! Good? Hard to read? Needs to go back to the old one? I'm open for suggestions!

Reading: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Listening: OneRepublic's album Native
Watching: Getting caught on up EVERYTHING!!! Arrow, Chicago Fire, Castle...


  1. The new design looks fabulous!! I love the peacock. Did you do it all through photoshop? I don't have photoshop (IwishIwish)...soooo, just a quickie: where do you get your images from? Like, off google or do you buy them or? I love the idea of a test blog! I do that too! Although I can't change my blog's design too much or Mime frowns at me. ;)
    And I understood that reference to housekeeping!!! XD

    1. Thank you so much! It's so encouraging to hear positive feedback. I'm always glad to find a fellow HP fan:D

      I got Photoshop Elements included when I bought a graphics tablet, but before that I used GIMP, which is like a free version of Photoshop.

      I used PSE to do this particular design. It was actually a fairly simple process. I drew out the header (I looked at some references for the peacock) from scratch and then for the background I just created the splatter effect through Photoshop. So I didn't have to buy or steal anything (which is a plus).

      I always try to use my own photography or my own drawings whenever possible, but sometimes I sneak in some images that I get from Google (like those Colour Index pics).

      I might write a tutorial post on it all since I feel like I've learned so much about creating designs, copyright rules and using free resources. Now, I'm sure that's much more than you wanted to know, but I hope it helped:)

  2. I always freak out editing my layout, what if I ruin it and cant change it back D: Loving the new look, so sheek and welcoming in a hey, chill but insanely artsy kinda way ;) also catching up on arrow and forgot how good it issssss!

    1. Tehe, thanks so much!

      Yes, Arrow is pretty amazing:) I'm not a huge superhero geek, but I love this adaptation. I'm a big fan of Oliver's broodiness/antihero-ness and of Felicity's character.

    2. Yeah the actor behind Oliver definitely does an amazing job! Just started season two and Felicity has been a bit cranky :/ but still awesome. Soooo many cliffhangers though!

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