A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Why is that? Because the ability to quickly visualize the details in a graphic representation is a much more efficient way to process what’s being communicated. Reading blogs, especially ones that are well-written, is a fulfilling way to spend time. However, there are obvious advantages to mixing well-written advice, stories, or journal entries with a theme that has been designed to enhance the content on your blog.
Here’s an example. I recently set up a recipe blog for my wife on Blogger. When I set up the blog, there were only sixteen different default blog themes to choose from. Having those basic Blogger themes available is helpful enough, but strangely enough, none of them had much to do with blogging about recipes. Here’s what the blog looked like after I went with the Minima template, which is selected by default among the standard sixteen Blogger templates.
Not that I’m trying to knock Douglas Bowman, who created this template, but it’s definitely lacking something, especially for someone who want her blog followers to think “recipe” when they come to her website.
Fortunately, Blogger allows users to customize the look of their blogs beyond what’s available in their limited selection. The simplest way to alter the look of a Blogger blog is to change colors using Blogger’s “Variable definitions” section, accessible from Layout->Edit HTML in the Blogger admin console. If you have some experience with CSS, you can venture into the style definitions section of the template code, and make some changes there. However, if you really want to make your Blogger template really conform to your content, you need to either create your own Blogger template, or find one that matches what you need and use that.
My wife created a custom Blogger template specifically for recipe blogs. Her recipe template can be downloaded from the WebsiteTemplateDatabase.com Blogger downloads page. I uploaded her template to her recipe blog using Blogger’s template upload feature, which allows you to browse to the location on your computer of the XML file representing your Blogger template. Here is the result.
What a difference, eh? And I promise I’m not just saying that because my wife created it. Now the blog entries look as if they were written on one of those old fashioned recipe notebooks. The look of the blog using this template gives the impression of a recipe collection, whereas any of the sixteen default Blogger templates didn’t come close.
The reading experience for visitors to a recipe blog using a customized Blogger theme such as this one is bound to be much more satisfying than using the Minima template. Especially for blogs that focus on niches, which many of them do, a custom blog template is essential.