I often get asked how I became a web designer and got into blogging. In 2009 my husband and I had a huge life changing experience ….We went from a 2 income family with no kids and hardly a care in the world to a one-income family, twin newborn baby boys and having our world turned upside down. My new life as a stay at home mom was a big adjustment and the one thing that I found as a great outlet was starting a blog.
I started writing about my experiences as a mom to twins, my relationship with my hubby and my relationship with God. In the process of starting my blog I “met” other moms and found a new connection online. After a couple months of discovering blogging and other bloggers I noticed how some blogs I came across had SUCH cute designs and I wondered how they got those great cute background, headers etc…
My first discovery in learning to add some creative flair to my own blog was finding FREE BLOG TEMPLATES online. I ran across places like The Cutest Blog On The Block and Shabby Blogs . That led me to pursue more info on designing my own blog. Below is a mini break down of the process:
1. A LOVE FOR DESIGN: I always had a leaning towards design. In my previous job as an administrator I always wanted to do the more creative tasks like creating flyers and trying my hand at graphic design. I really believe there has to be a core foundation for the love of designing to be a successful web/blog designer.
2. LEARNING BASICS: Eventually that led me to wanting to learn how to create my own blog background. I found tutorials on sites like Kevin & Amanda and Cutest Blog On the Block (again!). Let me just insert here that making my own background was a challenge at first. I never felt I could create my own super cute background like the ones I saw online. Definitely practice makes perfect(or better!)
3. UNIVERSITY OF GOOGLE: After a while I noticed so many great ways people were tweaking their blogs and adding neat gadgets…I wanted to learn how to do that too. So off to the University of Google I went…I searched and found tutorial after tutorial to learn how to add my own cute post signature, create my own cute sidebar titles, and make my blog stand out from the rest. I learned about HTML/CSS through sites like: W3 Schools Online Web Tools,
4. ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE: Eventually I decided to take a class to learn some graphic design programs at my local junior college…I took an Adobe Creative Suite Course that touched on a handful of Adobe Design Products. Although it was a good introduction for me…I truly learned by doing and exploring these program on my own. The two main ones I tinkered with were Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. I was able to purchase the Creative Suite at a great discount due to being a student. Student discounts are the best I have to say! Now the big thing at Adobe is called the Creative Cloud. You can get a free trial here!
5. BLOG DESIGN COURSE: One of the most helpful online classes that boosted my confidence to dip my toes in blog design professionally was from another blog designer named April Durham. This class helped give me a clearer understanding of how to design for the web.
6. MY FIRST DESIGN: To get my feet wet in blog design I asked one of my blog friends if I could give her a free blog makeover. That my friends is how this all started for me. From that first free design I received several referrals, it was a domino effect.I have to say that practice makes perfect ( or better)! When I look back on some of my first designs to where I am now, I have to say I have improved by leaps and bounds.
7. IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY:When I first began designing for the web I began with the Blogger Platform. I learned the ins and out of designing for this platform. Once I became comfortable with Blogger I then knew that I wanted to delve into WordPress. I admit I was a bit apprehensive at first because it was another world for me as a designer. Yet what really catapulted me to the next level of confidence was becoming a part of a network of designers. This great group of talented designers gave me a place where I could ask questions, learn, help others and build professional connections. These great individuals were there to encourage me to try WordPress and helped to instill confidence in me to succeed.
All of these things above are what helped me to grow in what Sweet Simplicity Designs is today. My goals are to continue to evolve as a designer, grow, and dream bigger.
If you have been thinking about going into graphic design and or web/blog design, shoot me an email or leave me a comment here. I’d love to chat with you!