About Design Your Own (lovely) Blog

Hi and welcome!

To Design Your Own (lovely) Blog, or as I like to call it, DYOB. Let me tell you a little bit about who I created DYOB for:

You are a professional
You have confidence in how you serve your clients
You take yourself seriously

Does your blog or website reflect this?

Hello, I’m Marianne

A crazy busy full time web designer, on-the-side blogger, and mom (to a sweet 4 year old boy!) who helps creative female solopreneurs DIY beautiful online appearances that match their unique work and personalities through supportive, friendly feedback and helpful step-by-step tutorials, guides and courses.

Why do I do this? I do it because I want women to build the life of their dreams by building businesses that allow them to simultaneously support and raise fantastic families. This is something I am very passionate about and am also working towards myself.

Read More About Me

Follow Me!

Marianne of DYOB

Design overwhelm ends now!

Here on DYOB, you’ll find:

  • Tutorials on how to customize your blog’s design
  • Design trends in blogs for women
  • Practical guides on how to define and enhance your brand to reflect you
  • Exclusive advice on how to enhance visitor experience and get more traffic

A plethora of design ideas all in one place? You got it!

But first? Subscribe now and to get access to the growing library of guides, worksheets and behind-the-scenes details of a growing blog business.

The Vision

DYOB exists to teach & inspire female solopreneurs & bloggers to beautify their blogs DIY-style. While I don’t wish to replace web designers, knowing how to do your own blog customization makes you less reliant on one for all the little things you want to change on the fly. I see DYOB becoming a hub for women to learn basic design and coding skills while supporting each other in building their businesses.

The Mission

My mission is to show women like you that things like CSS and design are not scary things and that you can build the business of your dreams with a blog to match your aspirations. I show you how to do this by sharing free and premium educational resources, feedback, advice and inspiration.

Look, I’m a wife and a full time working mom to a toddler with a side hustle. Work/life balance? Ha! Does that even exist??

I believe so. I’m here to help you break free from the stress of being a working mom or end the monotony of being a stay at home mom with nothing to call her own. I want every mom out there to not only feel like she has the time to be a great mother, but the ability to create something fulfilling and share it with the world… and hopefully make a little money too.

Are you new here and wondering where to start?

Start Here

Designers are not always a necessary expense — let’s beautify your site together.

Having studied web design and multimedia at the University of Colorado, I’ve consulted with both large and small businesses. For over 12 years, I’ve worked with companies both on their brand design and online presence. I’m a design geek, color palette aficionado and feminine-design obsessive.

Through my years of experience, one thing that stood out to me is this: website design is paramount to how your customers see you. And first impressions? They’re even more important when you’re not physically there to make them.

Your blog doesn’t just sell your products or services — it teaches your children what’s possible, and shows your peers what you’re capable of.

Give your site an identity — yours.

You already have the imagination and creative vision. Let’s translate it onto your site.

Join our tribe of creative solopreneurs and get access to the growing library of resources by subscribing now:

Mentions + Accomplishments

Marianne Manthey and www.DesignYourOwnBlog.com is thrilled to have been chosen by her peers and followers as one of #100BestSites for Solopreneurs by OneWomanShop.com!DYOB has been chosen by my peers and followers as one of the #100BestSites for Solopreneurs (2nd edition) on OneWomanShop.com!

Read an article by Marianne Manthey of DesignYourOwnBlog.com in the Launch issue of The Independent Blog-in-Print magazine.I’ve been published in print! Check out my article, How to Have a Successful Launch Without the Post-Launch Crash, in the Launch issue of The Independent Blog-in-Print!

Thanks to Creative Market for recognizing DYOB as one of 50 Amazing Design Blogs Every Creative Needs to Bookmark!

I am honored to have been named one of 7 Cool Bloggers to Watch in 2014 by Mary Jaksch of Goodlife Zen and Write to Done!I am honored to have been named one of 7 Cool Bloggers to Watch in 2014 by Mary Jaksch! If you haven’t heard of Mary, you should check her out, she runs two very popular blogs, Goodlife Zen and Write to Done. She also started the A-list Blogging Bootcamp back in 2009 with Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.

Features on Other Blogs

Thank you to Rebekah Radice for including me in her list of 26 CRAZZZY Talented Visual Marketing Pros You Need to Follow (like RIGHT NOW!)! I’m truly honored to be mentioned among some of these visual marketing greats!

My popular Favicon tutorial was featured in the free guide, DIY Blog Critique, by Melissa Culbertson of Blog Clarity!

I am so pleased that my Facebook Group, Blog Beautiful was mentioned as one of 9 Smart Facebook Groups For Women Entrepreneurs, Freelancers, + Bloggers over at Olyvia.co!


101 Tips From Top Experts On How To Start A Successful Blog on RaelynTan.com

43 Creators Share How to Find Your Voice Online on DanielaUslan.com

10 Amazing Facebook Groups Every Home Blogger Needs to Join on The Sweetest Digs

143 Fatal Mistakes New Bloggers Need To Avoid on Launch Your Dream

Blogging Success: 100 Experts Share Their Greatest Accomplishment on BloggingThing

Top 100 Blogs to Read for First Time Bloggers on CodrutTurcanu.com

PS Kristie Multi-award winning entrepreneur with 18k followers still works a full-time job? One word. Balance. Well, two, ha – My podcast interview on P.S. You Got This with Kristie Keever

Learn to Build Your Own Website From Scratch – My Interview on Startup Hub with Jeff Bell

The Ultimate Guide to Affiliate Marketing for Bloggers on Blog Ambitions

Over 100 Internet Business Ideas to Make Your Millions Online on Mad Lemmings

9 Things that will Surprise you about Starting A Blog on The Baddass Business Mum

How to Choose a Brand Name that Fits You Like a Glove. This is the DYOB naming story on The Branded Solopreneur

The Dangers of DIY Design and How to Avoid Them on Julie Harris Design

7 Steps to Creating a Consistent Solopreneur Brand on One Woman Shop

15 Visual Marketing Pros to Pimp Your Pinterest Feed! on Louise Myers Visual Social Media

An Excellent Blog Blueprint, a seriously wonderful write-up on DYOB’s design and purpose on Krista Rae

Building a Framework Interview: Blog Design with Marianne of Design Your Own (lovely) Blog on Just a Girl and Her Blog

13 (More) Newsletters for Creatives on Kayla Hollatz

Building Raving Fans with Design- My Interview with Marianne Manthey WPCP: Podcast 067 on Kim Doyal, The WordPress Chick

11 List Building Strategies That Actually Work on The Branded Solopreneur

91+ Outrageously Helpful Blog Posts That Will Make You A Better Blogger + Biz Owner on Olyvia.co

Are You Worried About How To Make A “Pitch” To An Influential Blogger? on Successful Blogging

7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Blog: Organize, Simplify, & Get Readers to Stay on Brilliant Business Moms

20 Visual Marketing Strategies To Help You Propel Your Brand on The Branded Solopreneur

50 Resources Social Royalty Use That Will Help You Stand Out on The Branded Solopreneur

5 Ways to Kill it On Your Blog with Images on The Blog Loft

Want to Know How to Delight Your Customers? 13 Savvy Business Women Share Their Best Tips! on Olyvia.co

Are You Using This Simple Way To Get More Shares On Social Media? 9 Tools To Help You on Write to Done


My Life in an Ordered List (Probably Way More Than You Wanted to Know)

About Marianne of DesignYourOwnBlog.com

Me // My Family // My Costa Rica Beach Wedding (Yes I was pregnant. Yes I was engaged first.) // Me learning to surf in Costa Rica // Our honeymoon beach walk // My blog photoshoot

  1. I’m a Taurus. I was born on 5/5 at 5:55am, no joke. That’s 5 fives in case you didn’t notice. Can you guess my favorite number?
  2. I am the first of my family to be born in the USA. My mother is Belgian-born and my father is Swedish-born.
  3. My brother is the last in line to carry on our Swedish family name. He has two girls. :[
  4. My first language was French and I spoke it quite well all through high school because my grandmother came to visit every year. Now I’m quite terrible at it! 🙁
  5. I’ve always been a little unconventional. I told myself I would never work a desk job. Haha look at me now!
  6. I was mostly a tom boy with a little girliness mixed in.
  7. I’m overly emotional and cry or get angry at the drop of a hat (something I’m working on).
  8. I was born and raised in New Jersey and all my life wanted to move to California.
  9. My first major in college was music, particularly voice. I sang all my life up til then and I wanted to be a choir teacher.
  10. I was a hippie and used to follow Phish around the east coast. They are still my favorite band.
  11. Travel and relocation has always been in my blood (look at my parents!) It’s an itch I have to scratch!
  12. After a few years of college in NJ, I finally moved out west, but only made it as far as Colorado!
  13. I took “a year” off of school to get residency which ended up being 3 or 4 years.
  14. I started out in Denver then 6 months later I moved to Summit County where I snowboarded almost every day, worked as a lift operator, rental shop associate, waitress, etc. in Keystone and Breckenridge for 3 years.
  15. I now hate winter.
  16. Wondering what to do with my life, I moved back down the hill to Boulder where I enrolled in a Web Design continuing education program.
  17. I got my first “real” job as a web coder then got laid off 2 years later during the dotcom crash. (am I dating myself now??)
  18. There were no jobs at the time, so I went back to school at the University of Colorado at Denver where I studied design and multimedia.
  19. Shortly afterwards, I moved back to Denver where I’ve now been for quite some time.
  20. In 2009 I read The 4-Hour Work Week and it changed my life. I knew there was more to life than this desk job (see? I should have listened to my younger self!) and the rat race.
  21. I started my first blog that year called A Life Set Free. I gave up after about a year because the topic didn’t light me up, but I continued to learn about building an online business and continued to follow amazing bloggers who are still around today.
  22. In 2010 my then-fiance and I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and we started dreaming about buying a little hotel/cafe somewhere near the beach.
  23. In 2011, we got married on the beach in Dominical, Costa Rica and fell in love with it. We now have plans to move there in the fall of 2016!
  24. In late 2011, we welcomed our son Reider.
  25. I also have a step-son who’s about to graduate from high school!
  26. We have one pet: an 18 year old cat named Buster. He used to be the reigning bully of the neighborhood in his day.
  27. My husband and I are addicted to SUP (stand up paddle boarding)
  28. In late 2012, it finally hit me what I should blog about: web design for newbies, duh!
  29. After more than 6 months (I take forever to do things!) DYOB finally launched on July 29, 2013!
  30. We’re still on track to move to Costa Rica in 2016 and start a small retreat of bungalows where we can host camps, retreats and weddings. Be on the lookout for a DYOB retreat some day!

Congratulations, You Made It!

I didn’t really think anyone would read all that, but I’m glad you did. Here’s a gold star for you!

DYOB Rockstar!

Want to know how I made this gold star?


  • Beth Havey says:

    Hi Marianne,

    I realized when going back to ALIST that you had this blog. So here I am. I would be
    interested in your help and your price list etc. I’ll subscribe and hope to hear from you.

    THANK YOU again for all your help on the Forum, Beth Havey Boomer Highway
    Beth Havey recently posted…LADIES Are We Becoming Invisible?My Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hi beth! You should start by checking out my ebook download, I think it will really help you get off to a good start. Then if you have any specific questions, I am always happy to answer them. Currently I’m not really doing any side work but I’m open to working with you if you get really stuck, so let’s see how it goes!

  • Laurie says:

    Hi Marianne! Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing my SITS Day…even if it was late. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving. Sounds like a nice life, like you love what you do. How cool is that?!
    Laurie recently posted…Living Well Minute Communication is a Two Way StreetMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Laurie!
      Thanks for coming by! I loved your posts, they were very enlightening and fun to read.
      I do love what I do! Just wish I could do it full time! 🙂 All in due time though.

  • Prabhat KS says:

    Hi Marianne,
    I loved your web design and all your content in it. And I am pretty much getting along with the design works. I also want to go into this field of designing and all the stuffs around related to it. I feel inspired looking at the designs over online and get a feeling that yes i can also do it. So I am on this journey now. And now your content has also inspired me. Hope to know and learn from your end in this field. Anyway Good luck and best wishes to you and your work. Enjoy designing.
    #prabhatks #yodesign
    Prabhat KS recently posted…WelcomeMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Prabhat, that’s wonderful! Very happy to hear this is something you want to get into and that you’ve found my site to be inspiring! I highly suggest you subscribe using the form at the top of the page to stay up to date on the latest tutorials and my upcoming book on how to create a custom design for your blog.

      • Prabhat KS says:

        Okay. I will surely do and I follow your posts and updates. Really Interests me and fascinates me. Thank You for your time. Hoping to get more into it in the coming future.

        Prabhat KS recently posted…WelcomeMy Profile

  • Hi Marianne,

    I just visited your site for the first time and love the way it looks! It feels really inviting and I can’t wait to dig in and learn from you!

  • Sarah says:

    Marianne~ so grateful I found your blog. My sweet little blog needs some desperate help {such as- why in the world can commentluv only find my comment feed, not the actual most recent post!?… I don’t really know what I’m doing on the technical side of things}. SO, I am excited to look through your ebook. You found a kindred Colorado spirit in me- we live over in Lakewood. 🙂 I’ll probably be visiting back here quite often as I try to get my blog to look the way I dream it too. Thanks so much!
    Sarah recently posted…Comment on on being married nine years by thejellyjarsMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Sarah, we are practically neighbors 🙂 well I hope my ebook and articles help your blog’s design to blossom!
      I wish I could answer your issue with Comment Luv but I don’t know too much about that. Have you tried contacting them? They must support I’m sure.

  • Fajar says:

    Salam kenal mbak dari Indonesia 😀

  • Cena says:

    Hi Marianne, nice looking blog. There are lot of things that I can learn from you and your blog. I moving towards my goal that one day I can work comfortably at my home. It not easy for me as a non native English writer to keep writing and I struggle a lot. The only easy way out is to give up but this haven’t come to my mind. I will make my dream to become reality.
    Cena recently posted…Coffee Shop Millionaire Review – I Can Make Better CoffeeMy Profile

  • Hello Marianne !
    I would like to ask for your help , because I can see other people’s blog that their blog post is shorter while mine has a longer post like you can read the whole blog post while theirs.. you can click the continue reading and I don’t know what html should I put to be able to have a continue reading thing on my blog please help me 🙂 Thank you so much Marianne

    Corinne Molly Martinez recently posted…Born Pretty Store – Get a 10% Discount !My Profile

  • izzismail says:

    hello, im new with blogging, i recently started a fashion blog mainly for men, and Im still learning about designing my blog to make it myself.

  • Marianne, you have such a beautiful “About Marianne” page. Such a precious story about you and your family. I pray you and your family make that move and continue to enjoy life. I too, want to get out of the rat race, and am working hard and steady with my blog and digital products. Thank you for sharing. Kris Manley
    Kristine Manley recently posted…100 Pieces of Advice to My 17 Year-Old SelfMy Profile

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Kristine, thank you so much for your sweet words! I so appreciate your prayers and I hope for you to get yourself out of the rat race soon too! Life is too short!

  • Hi Marianne…so glad I came across your blog and this group on Fb….I am in so need of skills in this area. I am not very techy and find the design stuff of blogging VERY frustrating, some days that part of it really wants to make me just quit. I have hired some of it out, but was not so happy with the results…Looking forward to connecting ,engaging and learning more…

    Best to you,


    • Marianne says:

      Hi Valerie I am so glad you found me then! I am happy to help where I can, just let me know if you’re looking for anything specific at any time, k?

  • Saif says:

    Thanks,It’s Really cool… 🙂

  • Alicia says:

    Hi Marianne! I am a beginners beginner so bare with me please! You offer themes, logos, & fonts for websites that have already been built? This means one would have to already be tech savvy right?

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Alicia
      I don’t currently offer themes, logos or fonts myself but I do suggest ones by other designers and have some favorite resources to go to that I mention in my posts and tutorials. I try to make all of my posts for the non-tech savvy user, but would love to hear from you if you feel that you don’t understand any of my posts.

      Thanks for coming by!

  • Kristina says:

    Hi Marianne,

    Thank you for your inspiration, now I can do a little bit of web design, just bought a new theme and change it here and there.

    Kristina recently posted…How To Tighten Skin After Weight LossMy Profile

  • Move to Costa Rica? Oh fun! My dream is to have a small home somewhere in the French Riveria and run a little cafe… and listen to French music, drink coffee and read amazing books. J’adore tout les choses francais. (Did I write that correctly?)

    • Marianne says:

      Oh Suzi, you’re speaking my language, ha! Your dream sounds amazing, I’d love to end up in France one day, but I have to convince my husband first. For now, we at least agreed on the beach! Yes I believe you did write that correctly btw 🙂

  • Eric says:

    Just stopping thru to say hi!

  • Terri says:

    Hi, Marianne,

    I found your website while looking for web designers. I designed a Blogger blog four years ago for nine women Photographers to collaborate. It is called Focusing on Life and we not only focus on photography but other subjects of interest to women. I designed our blog as it is currently but we are wanting to do an update. I know how to do some of the things we want to do but others I am having problems with. Do you have a service where you assist people by helping them in certain problem areas? For example, some of the things I’m trying to do require HTML changes and I’m not by any means an expert in that area. We could discuss this further if this is a service that you offer. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Terri. I am about to start offering some custom services, but have not yet gotten into structuring packages. I would love to hear what you have in mind and see how I can help. Feel free to send me a message via my contact page and I’ll be sure to reply as soon as possible.

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