Now that you have started on your pillar articles and have a blogging schedule it is time to think about design.
This is the fun part! You can do it all yourself, pick out a premade template and go with that, use a custom header on a premade template, or hire somebody to create a site from scratch! It all depends on your own vision (and your budget).
There are lots of free templates out there. For a cheaper, but still custom, option you can use a free template and have a designer (or yourself) create a custom header. If you can afford it then you can have the entire blog designed for you. That can cost as little as $30 or so to a few hundred dollars depending on what you want.
A good place to start for design is Beautiful Blog Design. She has over a hundred designers listed for both wordpress and blogger along with lots of resources for free templates and tutorials. Designers have their own style so you need to find one that has a style you like. There are scrapbooking blogs, vector characters (like my header), simple layouts, and more. Most designers specialize in a certain type. Click through a few to get an idea of the type you like. It is a good idea to write down the blogs whose style you like so you have an idea what you are looking for.
Another good place for blogger blogs to start is Our Blogger Template. That site has hundreds of free templates and they give you the dimensions of the headers so you can use the template with a custom header if you want. Using a free template and changing the header is a great way to customize your blog for cheap.
Make sure that you get a 125 x 125 button made when you do your site design! That size button is the cornerstone of most advertising networks and sites. You can make your own using Microsoft Paint or another photo program. Pick a picture that you like, add the text you want, and size it to 125 pixels by 125 pixels (in Paint you go to Image – Attributes to see the size and Image – Skew to change it). If you cannot find a picture that you like or do not have a program to create one than you can usually find a designer who will do it for $5 or $10.
TASK: Decide on a design. Either upload or use a free template or find a designer you like and get them started!
Tomorrow we will discuss setting up a feed and a newsletter.