This is just a quick post going through some changes you can expect to see at HauteFuture over the next couple of weeks.
Since getting back from my trip I've been looking at my blog and the blogs of others, just trying to work out what I can do better. There are loads of features which I'd like to remove, tweak, or add in order to make the page work better for me and my readers also. If we got from the top of the page and move down, I'll run you through some of the changes I would like to make... Some of you may even be able to help me with some elements if you like!
- I would like to change my header. Initially I liked that it was simple, clean and classy looking. However, since working more with my blog and looking at the blogs of others I can see that my header is a little plain and the image resolution isn't actually very clear at all. I would love for my header to have the same general colour scheme, and I really like that the shape of my border works well with the pink posh-wallpaper print down the margins of my page. However, I'm looking for something which will appear a bit more detailed, intricate and pretty whilst also looking like good quality. Something a little more professional I guess! If you are good at designing headers or computer graphics and art-work please let me know as it would be a great help.
- My little blurb about my blog isn't as clear or concise as I would like it to be. I think that the name 'HauteFuture' is a good one and I believe my page will always go by that name. But some people still can't quite get their head around it, meaning that my explanation isn't doing the trick. This is something I need to think about.
- I'm thinking of making the writing space larger and hence reducing the size of the margins. Just because I believe people need to scroll too much because of the lack of writing space, and I know that hacks me off about some people's blogs.
- My 'buttons' aren't real buttons at the moment, because last time I was fiddling with my HTML and layout etc I had spent ages trying to make my page look like it does right now and I couldn't be bothered to spend even more time learning how to format real buttons so they would work as I wanted them to. I currently have each of my different sites as an individual 'button' of their own, but I would like them all to be a part of the 'Contact Me' button. Also, I would like to make it easier for people just hunting for a specific thing to be able to find it by using the buttons. For example, at the moment I have a 'reviews' button in which the links for all of my reviews so far can be found. However, I would like buttons such as, 'Health and Fitness', 'Beauty', 'Fashion', 'Travel' and 'Lifestyle' so that the people who only follow my page for my travel stories can find them without having to sift through all the beauty tutorials and diet reviews.
- I would like to have a 'Search' box so that people can find what they are looking for just by typing in a few key words. I also want a 'Tag Cloud' so that people can see how often I post about certain topics and then if they spot something they like the look of such as 'Revlon' then they can click on it and find everything I've written about Revlon.
- I'm going to get rid of the HTML code for my 'Button' on my main page and will move it to the 'Contact Me' tab. I know that's probably a big deal for most bloggers as they might think, 'How can people put your button on their page then? You will be missing out on promotion!' I just think the code and the code box itself is lovely. Also, there's no need for me to have my own button on my own page, it's just overload! Plus, I don't know many people that have volunteered of their own accord to put my button on their page against my knowledge. Most people get in touch and ask if it is ok, or let me know they are thinking of doing it. Plus, technically, you don't even need the HTML code to make the button work, you could just copy and paste the picture and link it back to my page. I think my button is a bit void. Nonetheless, I will keep it in my 'Contact Me' tab so that those that do feel passionately enough about my page to get in touch will also find the button and be able to use it if they so wish.
- This is a big one... I want to get rid of my GFC button. I know many of you are shaking your heads right now in disbelief. I love each and every one of my followers, really I do and I appreciate the fact that they have been loyal and clicked to follow in the first place. However, I don't like the term 'followers'. That is the first reason I've decided to get rid of GFC. I know people 'Follow' on Twitter, but it feels more like they are following and keeping up with my life rather than on my blog I feel like the term 'Follower' when I'm talking about fashion or beauty to make things feel rather too dictatorial. Like I'm supposed to be some kind of leader telling you all what to wear or how to live. I'm probably looking into it too deeply, but I think HauteFuture is all about the way I choose to live my life and encouraging everyone to make their own choices also, with or without my guidance or influence. At the end of the day, we're all different and all I can post about is my own opinions. Sometimes they will coincide with those of my readers and sometimes they won't, but I absolutely don't want it to seem like people should 'Follow' me. Also, I've noticed that many of my followers don't actually click to read my posts. Furthermore, there is so much pressure in the blogging world surrounding, 'Ooooh, how many followers does such-and-such-a-blogger have? Oooh she must be terrible' that I just don't want to fuel that any longer. I find it is just negative and blogging shouldn't be a competition in my opinion. So I'm looking into having an email subscription means of allowing readers to keep track of my posts. Apart from that I'll just be writing for random readers that just click through. I hope you understand why I'm doing this, and once it goes ahead I hope my loyal followers with join the email sub service.
- I might get rid of my Bloglovin' and Hello Cotton accounts for the same reasons as above. Having said that I've never had an abundance of followers via either of these means, so I don't expect this to affect most people or myself for that matter.
- I hope to invest more time into my Tumblr and YouTube accounts. I feel like both of these are neglected a lot. With Tumblr I feel this was initially because I didn't really 'get' it and I still don't... but I just need to invest more time into learning about it. As for YouTube, I love recording videos, but I've often found it quite time-consuming to prepare for, record, edit and post my vlogs. Nonetheless, I would ideally like to get at least one video posted each week as I have a few subscribers at my channel who expect more from me.
- I am hunting for some more buttons to add to my sidebar and I will be getting rid of those that I feel aren't 'friends'. I know that sounds harsh, but when I first started blogging I just wanted to know everyone and be a part of the whole thing and one way to connect with others was to add their buttons to my sidebar. However, in hindsight, about 50% of the buttons I currently have aren't even from blogs that I 'follow' and I have virtually no relationship with the bloggers that used my naivety in order to get a bit of free PR. Having said that, I am looking for new buttons and I will be contacting my favorite bloggers to collect theirs. Please get in touch if you think you have a blog I would be interested in and a button which would match the HauteFuture image and I would be more than happy to stick it up there :)
- I want to make it so that on my main page each of my posts only appears in brief, to be clicked on if people wish to read on. Only because at the moment, my main page can only fit about three posts on it before people need to click and load another page. Some people only check your front page before deciding if they want to hit 'Follow' or subscribe to email updates so I feel I'd rather a larger sample of my work available for viewing in order to provide a wider overview of what HauteFuture is all about...
So I think that will just about cover most of the changes I'm hoping to make. I think I might also change my main image to a collage of pictures of me doing blog-related things, only because I feel the photo I have at the moment is a tad outdated and doesn't really demonstrate what my page represents in a clear enough way. A lot of changes really, and I'm sure it will take up a lot of my time to fiddle and twiddle with things before I'm completely happy with them. However, I'm sure I'll get there and the new image of HauteFuture will be more current and relevant across the board than it is right now. I actually considered crossing over to Wordpress at one point, but if I can make all of the changes I want to make and I am happy with the final result I will stay with Blogger, if only because crossing over kind of scares the living daylights out of me... In the long term I'm also considering paying the difference not to have '.blogspot.' at the end of my URL and perhaps offer advertising space for a small price. But that probably won't be for a couple of months.
Could you design me a chic, pretty and professional looking header? How do you feel about email subscriptions to a blog? Can you think of any other changes I should be considering for my page? Please let me know if you can think of anything, because this blog is as much for my readers as it is for me, and I really value your opinions on making the page run as smoothly and successfully as it possibly can.
Hope you'll bear with me through the changes, fingers crossed in a couple of weeks time you'll be looking at the new and improved HauteFuture.
Love and snuggles