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When Designing Your (lovely) Blog Becomes No Fun

When Designing Your (lovely) Blog Becomes No Fun
Not too long ago I had an email exchange with a long-time reader of DYOB where she expressed to me that she was about to give up blogging. It was too frustrating for her to find the right theme, too hard to make customizations, and her biggest problem?

The next shiny new thing!

Blog design (like any kind of design) is a funny thing. It is constantly evolving and changing and there’s ALWAYS something new. Last week it was chevron. This week it’s watercolor. Next week it’ll be gold and metallics.

How do you choose ONE style and stick with it???

Listen, I know what you’re going through, truly I do. It took me months to design the first version of DYOB and as soon as I decided to stop fiddling with it and go live, I hated it. Ha!

I want the next shiny new thing too! Why do you think I write and share about this stuff?? Because I can’t get enough of it!

If you haven’t experienced this yet with your blog, I’m sure you have with your home. Picture this:

You spent months designing the perfect living room, you picked out the colors, the fabrics, the textures. You went to Home Depot, the furniture and design store, got everything you needed and spent an entire month working on the living room. When it was done, it was amazing. Beautiful. Great job! You pat yourself on the back.


You opened up the next month’s issue of your favorite design mag and BAM! Just like that, you hate what you’ve done and now you want THAT!

OMG it’s enough to drive you mad, right??

But hey that’s the beauty of design. It’s hard to narrow down on a single design scheme when you like so many different ones!

So What’s the Solution?

You’re probably going to hate me for saying this, but at some point you just have to pick one and run with it. And forget the rest. Really. Forget it. The grass will ALWAYS be greener over there and that’s ok. It’s not so bad over here either or you wouldn’t have picked it in the first place, right?

A Few Tips to Pick a Design Style to Stick With:

  1. Start collecting inspiration in a Pinterest board.
    It can be private if you like. Just start putting screenshots of blogs you like, color palettes you are drawn to, anything that speaks to you. Do this for at least a week or two.
  2. Pare it down.
    When you’ve accumulated a good amount of images, step back and take a good look at what you’ve collected. Do you see patterns? Do you see some of the same type of styles or colors over and over?
  3. Pick the one or two styles that really stand out to you.
    Then move those Pins to their own separate boards and collect more images that fall into these two themes for another couple of days.
  4. Now it’s time to choose one.
    Yep, it’s time to just choose one and run with it! Forget about that other one and don’t “what-if” the heck out of your decision. JUST CHOOSE.
  5. Forget about the other stuff.
    It’s the only way to stay sane. Be happy and proud of your choice.

This is the fun part so don’t rush it! The more time you allow for your choices to marinate, the more likely you’ll be happy with your final decision.

What Then?

You’ve got your design style figured out, now what?

If you haven’t downloaded by newest book yet, you’ll want to do that now. In it, I’m gonna help you figure out your branding down to colors, fonts and details. It’s gonna be awesome! We even have a Facebook community to help you through the 50 steps.

Blog Beautiful: 50 Tips + Fixes to Make Your Blog Glow. An ebook by

Isn’t it time you finally have a blog you love and are proud of? Just do it, it’s a tiny investment into your online business!

And P.S. I will be raising the price soon. I’ve been told by several colleagues recently that I am charging way too little for it as the book really is more of a self-paced course than just an eBook. I hemmed and hawed about it for a while but I decided they’re right, I’m not valuing it at what it’s truly worth.

But I can’t just raise the price without warning so you’ve got a few more weeks to get it at the current super low price and then I’ll be raising it before the end of the month.

Have you fussed over design styles in the past (in your blog, home, etc)? What did you do to be happy with your choice? I’d love to here how you manage the next shiny new thing, so leave a comment below! And be sure to share this too!

Hey friend, want free DIY design stuff?

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  • Chris says:

    Great advices … but do you really think, that $24 is too cheap???
    IMHO it is far too much, sadly … most ebooks I purchased around blogging are around $10-15, and that’s the price most users will pay. But $24 or more? Then it is better to buy a REAL book for that price.

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Chris, I really do appreciate your opinion and will take it into consideration.

      I knew raising prices wouldn’t be a popular choice for some people, but in the end, I also don’t want to sell myself short. I know that this book is definitely more of a course than just a simple ebook and I know that the people who have already purchased it feel the same way.

  • Anna says:

    Chris, its more about the value of what youre getting, and the book really is more like a DIY ecourse than some “I made a list of 15 random things” – $24 is less than .50 per topic and they go into detail. Try to find an ecourse taught by someone as friendly and as responsive as Marianne for under $50. Good luck!

    And Marianne, good for you! I JUST made a post about knowing what youre worth and going for it! Proud of you for doing just that!

  • Lauren Baxter says:

    This is a great post! Great advice and something that a lot of people struggle with. We surround ourselves with to much choices, we should be proud and confident with what we choose. We put confidence in blog/business and we strive to stay unique and different. So why keep changing and trying to be like everyone else?

    Thanks for sharing!


    • Marianne says:

      Thanks Lauren, I’m glad this resonated with you. It’s frustrating being your own designer at times because of all those choices and that unfortunately keeps many of us paralyzed and unable to move forward. I hope that this will help some to just get started!

  • kaushik says:

    Often we become too choosy while deciding something that’s related to our pride. Same thing happened to me. I changed my blog design completely three times and finally decided to stick with one.

    • Marianne says:

      A familiar story Kaushik! Do you have any advice as to how you finally settled on the one?

      • kaushik says:

        Sometimes we get very obsessed with certain designs (layout, colors, fonts etc) that we want the same design for our blog. Many bloggers watch other popular blogs and try to imitate the design. Instead of copying others design, we should only get inspired from their design and not obsessed !

        For newbies, i would say – Observe and collect useful information(images, designs, colors) & deploy all that you have learned, in designing your blog.

        At first i selected a fancy colorful design but later realized that it could distract the visitors. Finally i decided to have a clean layout with uniform semantics for every element (Like blue color through out the blog for links, black for every h1 heading on all pages). This would ease the navigation experience of visitor thus decreasing the bounce rate.

  • Hi Marianne,

    I visited another blog of a designer and some of the colors you use on here, I saw there too.

    I’ll have to check how to put screenshots from blogs into Pinterest. Haven’t really used it, but started following some boards a few days ago. Not sure how much or until when I’ll use it, though.

    But, I’ll surely save the list from this post about picking a design style into Evernote.

    I’ll need some advice down the road about the colors I use on my blog, so I’ll contact you about this, later.

    • Marianne says:

      Sounds good Raspal. And an easy way to get screenshots of blogs/websites you like is to save a screenshot and upload it to Pinterest or install a browser screen grab/screenshot tool. I use Fireshot in both FF and Chrome.

  • Diana says:

    I just stumbled over your blog and I love it! It is really helpful and very beautiful. Wow!

  • MD Smith says:

    Good morning All,
    In response to the comment that an ebook is not a “real” book, I know that many are not. Some are badly written, poorly presented, and are completely ungratifying. They deserve to be cheap. However, a well researched book, clearly written, copyedited and proofread, well designed and full of usable information, delivered electronically, is as good as a hard copy book. We are being asked to pay for content based on the author’s skills and experience, not for the delivery method.

    BTW, my blog “Crumbs On The Table (rubble in the kitchen sink)” is brand new, with only one post so far.

    • Marianne says:

      Thanks MD, you’re absolutely right. Sometimes eBooks get a bad rap because they are pretty useless. I know I have been burned, especially on cheaper ones. I know that my book is valuable because of what people have told me. Plus i poured my heart and soul into it for months, including research, writing, editing + formatting, creating and finding images, etc. to make it as perfect as I could possibly make it.

      Anyway I appreciate you taking the time to share your point of view. Going to check out your blog now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rosemary says:

    Hi! I recently came across your blog in a google search for creating subscription boxes. Your site is so full of positive energy. It is really great. I have (very) recently started a blog, which is currently a bit of blank canvas waiting for color and design. Great advice in the above post and really everywhere on your website. Thank-you! I will be buying the e-book very soon!

    • Marianne says:

      Oh gosh thank you so much Rosemary, that means a lot! I have to admit, I actually like the minimalism in your site because it really makes your images pop. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Riette says:

    Hi Marianne

    I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and love receiving your newsletter in my inbox. I devoured your free ebook “3 Ways to ROCK your blog design” and followed along while you were writing your “Blog Beautiful” ebook. Unfortunately I live in a different country so the exchange rate doesn’t help me at the moment, but as soon as I can I will purchase your book.

    The reason I would buy it is because I learn something from every single post and newsletter and can only imagine all the great content you have in your book.

    I’ve tried and failed twice to start a blog due to my own perfectionism and wanting it all to be perfect the first time around I am inspired by your blog and this post especially.

    I am not giving up and will try a third time to do what I dream of.

    Thank you so much for all the knowledge you share with us, it’s so wonderful to learn from you.

    • Marianne says:

      Hi Riette, thank you so much for your sweet, sweet words! I am so glad that you find my posts so helpful ๐Ÿ™‚

      Don’t give up on blogging if you really want to do it. The truth is, I had an old blog I started a few years ago and gave up on after a year because it didn’t feel right and i wasn’t passionate about it. It took me another 2 years before I finally figured out what I should write about/share instead. Take your time to really discover what it is you want to share with the world that others would like to learn from or be inspired by.

      If it’s something you really want, I have no doubt you will figure it out! Be sure to join the FB group too and jump in asking for feedback when you have questions! Maybe we can all help you to figure it out ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I more or less stick with one redesign a year- and I always do it over my blog’s anniversary. That let’s me update, gives me time to grow out of what I’ve done, and also gives me a deadline for when I need to finished again.

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