"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Feng Shui For Your Blog!

Feng Shui---"The ancient Chinese practice of placement to achieve harmony."

Okay. So, you know how when you're expecting "visitors" you tidy up, wash down, rearrange furniture, and accessorize to accentuate the positive aspects of your home?

Well, a similar effort has been underway here at Pen and Prosper. This brought about by a few guest posts on influential sites and "online love" provided by links from fellow bloggers.

Though I had the best of intentions, I ended up exhausted from all the "mental" and creative lifting, rearranging, re-organizing, and re-assessing.
Over the last few months, in fact, you may have noticed that this spot has been blue, beige, white, and many of the colors of the rainbow.
Like a mad scientist, I experimented with different formulas, shapes, sizes, and styles.

Here are a few "decorating" lessons I've learned along the way.

1). Be true to your own sense of style, personality and expression. At the end of the day, just like your home, your blog is a reflection of who you are, and your personal preferences. Of course your readers should be taken into consideration, but in moderation.

2). Don't overcrowd your space. Too much "stuff" is more of a distraction than an enhancement. Sometimes less is more.

3). Recognize that there is a psychology to colors. For example, red and orange are invigorating colors, while beige and earth tone colors typically have a soothing effect. Make sure to choose complementary colors that provide for visual appeal and flow.

4). Don't overlook comfort. Regardless to trends, analytics, or what's going on in the Blogosphere.

5). Align your Blog elements in a way that is easy to navigate and user-friendly.

Keep these five tips in mind in any future make-over efforts. You'll be sure to achieve a state of Nirvana. :-)

Thoughts? Agree or disagree? How do you like the new look?

Image Salvatore Vuono


  1. You and me ='s simpatico. Here's why:

    I've improved the content and appearance of my blog recently, as well as made it more user-friendly.

    Further, my husband and I are in the midst of picking a new wall color for my home office. The old homeowners picked beige for this room, from top to bottom. The ceiling, walls, doors, trim and carpet are tan. It's like being encased in a sand dune. Tsk, tsk. Time for some life and personality. We're thinking a maroon or cranberry for the walls.

    So this post is relevant to what is going on in my life and home as we speak. ;-)

    Now to answer your question with one of my own: will you be irked with me if I said you have too much life and personality for a gray backdrop to your blog?? (I hope not!) Just my two cents...

    Have a beautiful week to come. :-)

  2. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 26, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Hi Janette,

    Thanks for starting the conversation off. No, I'm not irked at all. That would be hypocritical, considering my "tell it like it is" personality! :-)

    With that being said, I'm trying to present a slicker, more professional look as my career in blogging ascends new heights. Which is not to say I might not change it again...next week..next month. :-)

    After all, it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind, right? :-)

  3. 100% Agree. You have to love the way your blog looks and feels and it makes it much easier to express yourself and your writing on it. Really great and very important 5 points that you shared.

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 27, 2011 at 3:36 AM

    Hey Sibyl,

    Thanks so much. Your feedback is always valued and appreciated.

  5. Good tips, I agree. Have been thinking on some changes for my blog, actually. (What is it with you and your timing? Pure genius. :) Hoping to have the time soon to implement them.

    Have a wonderful week!

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 27, 2011 at 6:18 AM

    Hey Karen,

    Change is a sign of growth. Nothing wrong with that. :-)Looking forward to your blog
    make-over. Either way, you're doing just fine.
    Thanks for your thoughts.


    "Genius" in progress. :-)

  7. So true and your tips are great. I believe you have to tailor your blog for yourself and not because others have lots of flash. Nice post!

  8. Hi Cynthia,

    Authenticity and comfort are crucial factors for long-term satisfaction and success.

    Glad to hear from you today. Thanks.

  9. Before I read a word of your blog, I thought, Jennifer is going for a professional blog image OR that dang blogger has removed the color from the leaves on her template background.

    I understand your reasoning, but your personality is so colorful and creative.

    I know what I am about to say is so wrong, because each person decorates with personal preference, but at Christmas time I like colorful lights on homes, and when I see all white lights, I don't think 'crisp' and 'pure', I think the homeowners must have bland personalities. I know, I told you, this is so wrong. Color represents personality. Actually, I don't mind white lights if there is a splash of red or green or some color on a bush. It's just me.

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 28, 2011 at 4:23 AM

    Thanks, Linda. I always appreciate your input and your support. You were right: I was indeed striving for a more professional look. And to tell the truth, I'd have to disagree about the lights. :-)

    To me there is something to be said for the beauty of "simplicity." :-)

    Though my Xmas lights vary from year to year. Some years, I don't even do them. :-)

  11. Such timely advice! I just revamped my blog a little as well -- I took out an entire column, to make it look a bit streamlined. Less is more, as you advise. There was a recent post on ProBlogger that speaks to this issue as well.

  12. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 28, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Thanks, Nihara. I'll have to check that out.