Friday, April 1, 2016

A Fresh New Look!


Hello there readers! So judging by the title of this post and the changed appearance of the blog, it is kinda obvious what this post is about right? 

Makeovers are refreshing! No, I didn't get a makeover myself (even though I think I desperately need one!) but I'll put that aside for the moment and talk about my blog makeover. To be honest, since the time my blog came into being, the only things I have invested in it are my time, effort and a lot of TLC. I didn't bother to set up a custom domain, I still have no idea what the heck SEO is and don't let me get started on understanding complex HTML codes (gah!). Whatever you saw on my blog previously - the content, design, layout, configuration, the imagery were the work of yours truly. At the time I thought I did a good job but in hindsight, not so much! I (smugly) never asked anyone for help or assistance, even though at times, I had no freaking idea what I was doing. I didn't deem it necessary to go the extra mile because at first, I didn't think anyone would read my blog. True story! I started blogging for me and only me. Not to gain followers, make money or to connect with like-minded individuals and interact with them but just as a creative outlet to express myself.

But after the first few months, my vanity wore off and I realized that it is fun to blog only if you have a loyal following. Appreciation and feedback from readers help motivate a blogger and push them to strive for improvement. It is a continually learning process and one can only learn when there is steady interest & passion. Blogging is really hard work and a lot of people give up on it prematurely. Perhaps, only the ones who are truly made for blogging, stick it out. I cannot predict my future in blogging with assured certainty but as of now, I'd like to believe that I'm in it for the long haul. Anyway, moving on, I wanted to blog about all my interests and not just restrict it to cooking. But I was in a bit of a dilemma because I didn't have a niche audience. Blogging about everything under the sun would be confusing to my readers so I narrowed my interests down to a few categories such that people visiting my blog would know what kind of posts to expect from me. Picking the name for the blog literally gave me a migraine. I dodged the words 'spice', 'food' 'recipe''kitchen', 'culinary' because they were too restrictive, I dismissed 'Singapore' in the title because of the possibility of relocation, I wasn't too keen on generic terms like 'adventure''world', 'life''space' and to make things more complicated, I did not want my own name featured in the blog title. It had to be something that would encompass all the blogging topics I had in mind and be unique at the same time. I finally settled on the current name - I wasn't crazy about it (still not sure I am) but over the years it has grown on me so it is here to stay.

Even after my blog was up and running, I did little to promote it. My priorities were ensuring my writing was satisfactory, the content was original, my posts had a personal touch, the subject matter was based on knowledge or experience and adhering to a fairly regular blogging schedule. Another thing that struck me as important was to provide a detailed 'About Me' page with a name and a face to back it up because from personal experience, I tend to lose interest in blogs which do not offer any insight into the author. Also, I did submit my food photographs to a couple of reputed food websites but that's about it. I was, and continue to be, a very lazy blog reader and even though I appreciate other blogs, I don't have the habit of subscribing to other them, leaving comments or initiating any kind of blogger communication or collaboration. I do however, make it a point to reciprocate if I receive appreciation. That being said, after 5 years of blogging (I say 5 and not 6 since I choose to discount 2010, the year my blog wasn't even open to the public and I was only testing the waters) I think there are a few people who do spend their valuable time here so making it look visually appealing seemed worthwhile.

So after staying in my comfort zone for so long, I decided to take the plunge and change things up a bit. And as you can see, I haven't made drastic changes. I wanted a catchy banner to replace the lacklustre, outdated one that I had before. But I wasn't sure how to go about it. It was around the same time that I was getting acquainted with the work of a family friend who works as a freelance illustrator in my hometown. She is also the brain behind Doodle Doo, an Indian online store for illustrated fun and quirky goodies. I really liked her signature style and so approached her to design an illustrated banner for my homepage. I wanted it to be simple, upbeat, vibrant and animated so it would represent my personality and at the same time showcase my many interests which include cooking, books, movies, travel and of course, my identity as a twin mom. I think she did a brilliant job! It completely met the expectation of what I had envisioned. The caricature of me even looks like me....talk about customization! The other itty bitty changes that you see are ones I did myself. The whole process was a hoot and I'm happy with how everything turned out.

I hope you like the new look. Leave a comment to let me know what you think!

Thanks for sticking with me through my blogging journey. Now it is time for me to jump back onto the bandwagon and churn out some more posts!

Here's to more recipes, reviews and ramblings!


Cheers,


3 comments:

  1. Congratulations for your new beautiful home!!! i have a suggestion. As right click is disabled, it would be nice if the hyperlinks open up in a new tab.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the appreciation and the suggestion. I have implemented it. Hope you find it useful :)

      Delete
    2. @Niranjana: Assuming you are using a PC/Laptop, holding the "Ctrl" key when clicking the hyperlink should automatically open the link in a new tab. This is a standard way most websites work.

      Delete

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