Ben Bleikamp is a freelance designer and blogs about business, college, and design at College Startup. He attends Ohio State University majoring in marketing and entrepreneurship.
I recently launched a new website gallery called Lovely Blogs. The majority of my client work lately has been blog design and it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that a blog is a few posts on the main page with a sidebar to the right. I began bookmarking blogs that were well designed and highlighted new content in unique ways and I would visit these sites when I needed some inspiration or new ideas.
A few weeks later I realized that a lot of people were interested in blog design and more and more people are coming out with new designs that force people to look at blogs as more than just glamorized diaries. Why not start a website highlighting the unique designs?
The site has been received very well in the past few days – I had 12 subscribers after the first day, 25 after the second day, and just under 100 on the third. I went from averaging 12 unique hits a day to over 200 very quickly. The site has grown much faster than my initial expectations.
In the next few weeks and months I’ll start opening up advertising spots, I want to add some more features to make the site more than “just” a gallery. Right now I am doing a series of interviews with some of the best designers on the web, it’s been getting a great response. Already Derek Punsalan and James Mathias have given me some great content. Expect some interviews from Chris Pearson, Bryan Veloso, Colin Devroe, and others to be added shortly.
Why Lovely Blogs is better than other galleries
Beyond the fact that Lovely Blogs is focused 100% on blogs, there are a few things I think seperate my gallery from the rest.
Part of the plan since the beginning has been to provide a unique review for each website. I look at the details of the websites that make it onto the Lovely Blogs homepage. I pay attention to comment design, good spacing, custom form buttons, and I try to make sure that the designers are doing something different with their blogs. I want Lovely Blogs to show people what blogs could be.
I’m doing interviews with some of the designers, trying to give readers a feel for what designers think about when they start a new design. I’m hoping aspiring designers will learn a thing or two about the process and the decisions involved.
I want to add some of the features that you see at CSS Beauty (a job board, event listings, etc) but I want the jobs and events to stay focused on the blog theme. I’ll also add a forum at some point, but I’m a bit intimidated by the idea of learning how ot customize a forum, so it might be a little while before that’s added.
Submit your blog!
If you like the idea, or if you don’t and just want some traffic and a solid link, submit your blog! I want to highlight the best blogs on the web, but I can’t find them all. If you think your design is unique, submit your blog.
A word of warning: if you’re using a template, such as K2 or Hemingway or any other “well known” template, it better be customized beyond belief.
Matt Craven is the former editor & publisher of The Blog Herald. Currently, Matt is the co-founder of Bryghtpath LLC, a consulting practice located in Woodbury, Minnesota. Matt's presently looking for new blogging gigs. Ping him at matt (at) bryghtpath dot com. You can follow him on Twitter.