Entries Tagged as 'Blog updates'

Resources for Bloggers

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25.2.13

Hi everyone. Happy Monday. how was your weekend? Ours was super busy and productive, we made a trip to Ikea (I got some awesome stuff) and finished painting the living room. I can’t wait to show off our progress. I promise to take some picture and post soon. So today’s post is a little different than normal. I was going to put this just in a page at the top of my blog but I decided to make post out of it. Fair warning, If you’re a blogger or considering becoming one you might want to read this, if not it may cause your eye to glaze over 😉

Blogging Resources

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So you want to start a blog or you have one and are looking for ways to grow  or maybe you just are curious how things work. I’ve learned a lot through trial and error about cheap oakley creating and maintaining a blog since I first started. Here’s a list of helpful programs and resources I wish I had when I first started blogging.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use or have heard great things about all of the products listed below and recommend them because they I believe they would helpful to anyone looking to begin or grow a blog, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products.

Hosting options

DreamHost Logo Dreamhost has been our hosting company since starting Our Lake Life. We chose them because they have a really easy set up process for WordPress, very reasonable fees and are recommended by WordPress. They’re great for anyone that wants to start a blog on their own domain easily and economically.Oh and if you sign up be sure to use the coupon code OurLakeLife at checkout to receive $25 off a years subscription!
http://revolucionlapelicula.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/hostgator-logo.gif We’ve also heard great thing about Hostgator. They offer free migration if you currently are hosting your website on another service they’ll complete the entire transfer for you for free. Which is great in my mind. I’m seriously thinking about transferring to them myself. The number of free transfers does vary by host plan thought the smallest plan offer 1 free transfer.Oh and if you sign up be sure to use the coupon code OurLakeLife at checkout to receive 25% off!

Themes

Photography Tools

When it comes to photo editing in my opinion nobody does it like Adobe. There’s a reason why it’s the industry standard for photo editing. While the big guys use the full version of Photoshop which can be rather expensive Adobe also makes Photoshop Elements . It’s a paired down version of the pro software and great at editing pictures. I find it more user friendly that the full version and I use it everyday to editing, color correction and resizing images.

Shoot Fly Shoot One of my go-to resources for photography and photoshop tips is ShootFlyShoot. Launched by Kevin and Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage fame this easy to navigate course is great for teaching anyone how to shoot in Manual Mode on their DSLR cameras. What’s really special is that it covers an entire section on interiors, something that has been lacking in other photography courses I’ve seen.

Canon EOS Rebel T4i

Cameras can be expensive, there’s no way around it. I’ve recently update my camera to the Canon EOS Rebel T4i and I love it! It takes much better pictures indoors than my old camera and the touch screen is a great feature to have. I highly recommend it as a good entry level DSLR.
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 In addition to a nice camera lenses can really take your photography to the next level. Anyone ever wonder how the photographers get that nice blurry background? It’s all in the lens, The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 is a well priced option, great for low light product shots and takes a really mean portrait.
Photoshop Elements  When it comes to photo editing in my opinion nobody does it like Adobe. There’s a reason why it’s the industry standard for photo editing. While the big guys use the full version of Photoshop which can be rather expensive Adobe also makes Photoshop Elements . It’s a paired down version of the pro software and great at editing pictures. I find it more user friendly that the full version and I use it everyday to editing, color correction and resizing images.

Photoshop Lightroom

When I make my next photograph purchase I plan on buying Photoshop Lightroom . A lot of people ask the difference between the two (so have I). Lightroom is a photo management program and Photoshop is a photo editing program.You can still perform many of the same basic editing tasks, such as crop, clone  and levels adjustments but it also provides a way to organize your photos. Some people even skip buying Photoshop and only use Lightroom

Making Money and Affiliates

Join shareasale.com, Earn Cash!

Share a Sale is an affiliate marketing network that I use to place ads on the sidebars of of the blog. That provides pay per sale and pay per click advertising. What that means is anytime you buy a product from through one of those ad Our Lake Life receives a small commission.
image Google Adsense is another form of advertising we use on Our Lake Life. It provides both pay per view and pay per click advertising. What that means is anytime you click through one of those ads Our Lake Life receives a small commission.

Driving Traffic to Your Blog

Here is a list of the  submission sites I like to use. It can take some time to go through the process of entering a submission or linking up but the traffic you gain from getting a submission accepted can be great! It’s not unheard of to see 1,000 people visit your blog in a day based on a well placed feature on the right page. Here are some of my favorite submission sites in the Home and DIY niche:

Apartment Therapy
Design Sponge
Dwelling Gawker
Craft Gawker

Link parties are also another great way to drive traffic to your blog. I like to participate in a select few that have a proven record of sending traffic my way. Be sure to link up early though, The traffic driven to the 1st link versus the 101st link is dramatic.

Some last thoughts; these are just a few of the things I’ve used and have worked well for me. From now on this post will live in the menu and be available for reference. Periodically I’ll update it and add as I learn and grow. Finally, please remember that I’m no expert here and I’m just sharing the things I’ve found useful and I hope you do to.

New Projects Page

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26.7.12

Well it’s been a work in progress for a while now but I finally managed to (mostly) organize my projects page. I started having trouble finding my own posts. I figured it was about time that I organized and grouped them together for easier navigation.

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It’s sorted into multiple groups to make navigation easier, some of the projects overlap as they fit into multiple categories. Want to see what we’ve been working on inside? Simple now just click over to the Projects Page and bam all our indoor projects in one easy to view place. Curious about our Master Bedroom Makeover? It’s all there too.

 

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The groups may change over time as I figure out what works. I’m also thinking of adding of few of our lake photography and daily life  posts to the mix  to make viewing those easier. I think the thumbnails are a huge step for easier prettier navigation.

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I used inlinkz to create the gallery of thumbnails, the same tool used for all those link parties out there except it’s the link manager tool rather than the party tool. It was really easy and the best part is the gallery will update automatically when I add news links in the inlinkz dashboard. No messing with any code which is great. Yippee, oh I how I hate code.

Ah organization, I love it

Ch-ch-changes

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27.10.11

You may have noticed a few things have changed around here.

Yup that’s right. I thought it was time for fall house cleaning around here and a little color scheme update to boot. Here’s a little bit of the updates to the blog you can expect to see:

  • Update the look of the overall blog (colors/patterns/typefaces) to look a little cleaner and fresher
  • Update the header to add some more white space and let your eyes roam vs the old BAM! we slapped up an image look.
  • Lighten up a bit, since the old color scheme was feeling a bit on the 12 year old girly side
  • Overall just make the site feel fresher and more modern

Just for those who are new around here or need a little reminder here’s what it looked like before…

…and here’s what it’s looking like now.

When it comes to creating the actual header I looked around for some freebie blog headers I could use but nothing quite fit the bill. So in the end I decided to browse some of my favorite blogs and snoop around, mentally taking note of what I loved about each. You know generally grabbing bits of inspiration from everywhere sort of like what I do in life and what this blog is about.

Two blogs in particular really stuck out in my mind with grabbing bits and pieces of their style to emulate.

First up was the ever popular Kevin & Amanda. Amanda has such a great and simple blog design style. It’s clean, easy to navigate and not to mention the girl is a whiz at photography, Photoshop and making fonts so I figured taking a couple ques from the master couldn’t hurt.

A couple of the things I took away from her header were the simple and clean lowercase font and the three dots on either side of the blog title. The font I chose to mimic the look was Chaparel Pro Lite. On either side of the blog title is three asterisks arranged into the pattern of three.

The second blog header I liked was the ever fabulous Made By Girl blog by Jen Ramos

As you can see I borrowed the idea of underlining the blog title, adding in a tag line with a handwritten style font which is Lucida Handwriting italic.

Then it was time to search for a new color scheme. Luckily there’s all kinds of awesome sites that can help you out with this.  Some pretty creative people create the color schemes and post for all to find and use. The site I used which happens to be one of my favorites is Adobe’s kuler.

Who’s surprised that the go to Company that set’s the gold standard standard by making Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and every other imaginable cool program would also have an equally fantastic color scheme guide. Sorry I just Geeked out on you guys for a second.

Anyway it’s pretty awesome. The scheme I settled on is called The kiss by mariagroenlund and what’s perfect is the provide all the color values to use on the blogs.

So far I’m really digging the changes. Of course there’s tons more to do like updating all the thumbnails on the tutorials page with the new colors and updating the Popular Posts in the siderbar to the right. So that should keep me busy for a while. Blog tweaking is almost as fun as House tweaking. Has anyone been up to a little Fall overhaul on the old blog. Some Fall home updates? No, just me?

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