Friday, 15 June 2012

Stripping Back My Blog and Showing more of myself

With everything that has been going on in my life lately, I really needed to have a re-think about blogging.  I still enjoy blogging.  It's good therapy for me, but I decided I needed to strip my blog back to just what I needed it to be, so I gave it a little makeover.

I created a new header.  I am no photo editing genius, I just used Picasa and followed the instructions at Blissfully Domestic.

I realise everybody has a different way of following blogs.  Over the past year my reading list in Blogger had become so large that I was missing posts from some of my favourite blogs.  I did a bit of pruning to my reading list (sorry) and made sure I put most of my favourites on the blog roll down the right hand side of my page, so I don't loose them.

I kept different ways for other people to follow this blog if they want to - Google Friend Connect, Blog Lovin', email, and rss feeds.  (I had no idea how many people use email to follow.  I found my email subscribers by going to my account - Hello!  I didn't realise you were there.) 
Following is a funny thing.
I love reading other people's blogs and I hope that people like some of my posts.  If you want to follow - great, if not that's fine too.  I blog because it makes me feel good.  In fact what I wrote in my first post, still stands true.  Whenever I'm feeling a little down about my home, I look back on the blog posts I've written in the past 12 months and I can see how far I've come.  I'm grateful for that and I've made some lovely blog friends along the way.

I got rid of some stuff on my blog.  I don't need to know what my ranking is on Blog Top Sites etc...  I blog for me.  I don't have a shop or etsy store.  I don't have sponsors or advertisers.  I'm not a nuff nang blogger, nor do I run competitions or giveaways.  There is NOTHING wrong with any of this.  Some bloggers work really hard and deserve financial reward, and I LOVE some of the online shops and etsy stores run by bloggers.  It's just that my blog's just for fun so I don't want to look at statistics.

What I do love to do is pin.  It was the perfect distraction for me when I was waiting for my MRI results.  So I added a pinterest rss feed to the right side margin so you can see what my latest pinning phase is. If you hover over the pictures, they get bigger so you can see them properly.  To add a pinterest feed to your blog, follow the instructions at Code It Pretty.  If you scroll down through the comments you'll see I was a bit of a wally and couldn't work out how to do it!

I also added an Instagram feed.  This is part of where the getting naked comes into it.  I am a pretty down to earth kinda girl, but I'm one of those people who likes things to look nice ... a little bit stylish.  My kids always say - 'Mum you're a little bit posh'.  That's where the name Stylish Settings came from.   I guess it might sound a little bit stuck up.  Anyway what I like about instagram is that it's photos of your 'real' life.  I've gotten to know other people better by seeing their instagram photos and I thought if I braved it and shared some of my real world, you might get to know me a little better too.

To add the instagram feed, Beth from A Welsh Girl In Australia wrote a good post and then helped me add the follow me button.  Thanks Beth.
OK - as for these two.  I set them up a while ago, and I'll leave them as they are.  They are synced to my blog so new posts appear.  If you follow blogs by one of these methods you'll see mine right at the bottom of the side bar.  I tried following people on Facebook but when you have a blog facebook account it's hard to 'like' things and comment - or at least blondie here couldn't work it out?  As for twitter - I got so sick of reading tweets for giveaways and promotions that I stopped reading them.  Maybe I'll work out a way around that?

Finally I added a Print It button to the bottom of the page.  You can see how to do that at Print Friendly.  I hate it when you want to print up some step by step instructions or a recipe and you have to print pages of ads and comments.

So that's it.  My longest ever blog post, and a fresh new look.
Now if anybody knows how to turn off the Google Friend Counter so it shows nothing rather than the number of followers, I'd be grateful if you could tell me how to do it.

Finally here I am - not hiding behind sunglasses!


  1. Nice blog makeover. Kudos for making it what works best for you. That's how it should be.

  2. Yes, sometimes I have to remind myself that this is for me-my therapy. When I see all the photos that yell perfection and homes that are only in my dreams and creations that I can' touch, I get discouraged. Then I remember, this is for me! So I let all those feelings of self-doubt go and just enjoy.

    I absolutely love you blog! I love it's simplicity. I find pleasure in the spoken word and you speak well. Keep it up!

  3. We are having a little rethink about our blog at the moment. I think its good to change and rethink as it keeps your blog fresh and interesting. Thanks for not pruning our blog! xT

  4. hi Kylie - thrilled to see my blog made the cut. LOL. and thanks for the tip about feedburner. I was wondering how to tell if people followed by email.
    have a lovely weekend
    cheers Fiona

  5. love the new look & thanks for the feedburner tip too. i didn't know about that either.
    have a great weekend!

  6. Another one who didn't think to check her feedburner account to see who was reading - thanks for the tip :)

    Great job with the blog makeover!

  7. Hey Stylish Kylie you are looking fabulous. So many great tips, thanks. Your blog is looking fab! xx

  8. Hiya Kylie :)
    I love this post! I recently did a cull on the blogs I was following too, for the same reasons as you and now I find myself commenting and interacting a lot more in the blogging community, which is awesome! Thanks for the tip re feedburner, who knew!?
    Cas x

  9. I like your new header and I like the pinterest idea- I might have to add that to my sidebar, and I will be looking up the feedburner thing too!

  10. Kylie:

    Kudos to you! I wrote a very similar post myself just recently ( - I blog for myself, not for everyone else, and I felt like it was becoming a competition of sorts, and I didn't like it!

    I cut down my blog reading list, too; I make it a point now to just have my very few favorites on my list, but I also make it a point to visit the blogs of those who leave comments on mine - as Cas above said, it *does* help you interact with your readers.

    I like your new header!

  11. Kylie I loved this post. Lots of great advice. I am so technically inept that I can't work out Pinterest but that's probably a good thing for my time management skills - I sense I could spend hours looking at lovely photos - if my Instagram addiction is anything to go by. Well done for "getting naked" - that's something I still don't feel ready to do, but who knows. Really like the new header. Fx

  12. Thanks for all your lovely comments. I have replied to most of you via email, but to those with a no-reply.blogger email address - Thank you!


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