Last month I mentioned that I had been taking a long hard look at my blog and the direction I wanted it to move.

Last spring I gave out my first reader survey and the results were not good. Mostly, it said that my content was sporadic at best and it wasn’t a site that would be recommended, ouch!

Around this same time I had come across vintage magazines at several of my favorite antique stores and quickly acquired a good collection of 50’s 60’s magazines, most of which were McCall’s magazine.

After going through the magazines I started thinking back to when I started my very first website, and remembered the idea was to create a sort of online magazine. This was what I still wanted, my own magazine. So, I started to think about Akram’s Ideas and how it could be improved.

First I wanted to fix up the logo, the light bulb was always part of the original design, but I wanted it to be more prominent and iconic.

The previous Akram's Ideas Logo

The previous Akram’s Ideas Logo

I took the light bulb out of the text and made it a highlight of it’s own. I also started to play a little with the fonts. I wanted something readably but fun and girly. I really liked Sofia for my title, but wanted something more whimsical for the tagline. Eventually I settled on Emily’s Candy another great Google Font.

The new Akram's Ideas Logo

The new Akram’s Ideas Logo

After getting the logo squared away I began work on my brand board. A brand board helps you identify the key components of your site, from the colors to the fonts, to the repeating elements, like backgrounds, lines and icons.

Akram's Ideas Official Brand Board

Akram’s Ideas Official Brand Board

I am really happy with my choice of using the mint green polka dot pattern. Green is my all time favorite color and I hardly ever used it in my site design before. Also, I love polka dots; it’s so vintage and always stylish. Polka dots are not only classic but have a sense of fun and I’m all about being fun 😉

During this time I also started to think about the content on my site and how I wanted to organize it. I sorted out my categories thinking about the site as a magazine. I ended up with eleven categories, but I might end up adding one more, because eleven is an odd number.

Akram's Ideas header and categories drop down

Akram’s Ideas header and categories drop down

Then I got to work on the site itself. I use WordPress for my CMS (Content Management System) and since I’m a web designer by profession, I got to work building my own theme.

I started with setting up the posts very similar to how I had been displaying them, only now I divided them up by month, kind of like monthly articles of a magazine.

Akram's Ideas posts separated by month

Akram’s Ideas posts separated by month

Then I added a side bar that provided more information about me and what I was all about. The sidebar is kind of broken into three main sections.

Akram's Ideas sidebar sections

Akram’s Ideas sidebar sections

The first section is about me and includes my social media links. I’ve also included an option to sign up for a newsletter. I hope to issue my first newsletter in December.

The second section of the sidebar has a list of my most popular posts and the last show the challenges I’m currently participating in. I also hope to set up affiliate links in the coming month and maybe sponsored links as well.

The footer is at the bottom of the site, and I’ve added a few minor Partners and Affiliates. Along with some legal information I’ve also included links to other sites I manage.

Akram's Ideas footer

Akram’s Ideas footer

Over all I really like how clean the site looks. The header stays in place which makes it easy to navigate no mater what page you are on, and I’ve even made the theme responsive, so it should look pretty good at any size. Desktop mode is still the nicest layout, though.

My goal is to post 16 articles a month and to provide more meaningful and useful content. While I intend to post some throughout November, I hope to have my first real issue of new useable content out starting in December.

So, in closing all have to say is stay tuned for bigger and better things.


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