The Evolution of an Online Presence {Blog Design}

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February 28, 2016 by Beth

I’m pretty excited to be in the process of relaunching The Little Magpie! Here is the blog design today:
LittleMagpie.org Blog Design 2015

 

Not bad, but I have evolving goals. From a marketing perspective, here’s a little more detail on the transition and evolution of my content hub(s).

 

  • 2007 – 2008: Started playing around with blogging. My avatar was animated and my websites were cartoonish!

 

  • 2009: My first real blog, Carpe Diem, was living on Blogger. It wasn’t pretty, but I was starting to find my voice and style.

 

  • 2010: The idea for The Little Magpie was starting to form. Fellow blogger Jasmine Banks helped me move to WordPress.com. I was intrigued by the process and started digging into what goes on “under the hood.”

LittleMagpie.org Blog Design 2013

 

  • 2011: Launch of The Food Adventuress. The process was a giant, fun experiment for me – I was hooked and started to build basic sites for others. This is also the year we debuted the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference!

TheFoodAdventuress.com Blog Design 2012

 

 

  • 2013: Design refresh for The Little Magpie.

MagpieMarketing.com Blog Design 2012

  • 2014: Relaunch of The Food Adventuress & other fun food sites.

RecipeDoodle.com Blog Design 2014

Whew!

It’s been fun, and I’ve learned a lot from those early, very choppy sites while defining my niche and sweet spots along the way.

 

I’ve pretty fiercely defended my need to have three distinct blogs over the past four or five years. The Food Adventuress and Magpie Marketing are both very niche-y. I still believe their content can stand alone, but it was time for me to take Michael Hyatt’s advice on having one “Grand Central Station” for your online life (source).

 

So earlier this year, I decided to make a massive move, partially inspired by my focus on writing goals thanks to kicking the year off with the Second Story Writer’s Workshop – more to come on that soon! A lot of factors (and talented people) have played roles in this transition:

 

1.  Move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org:
  • Why: More freedom from self-hosting, access to plugins and a hidden bonus: vastly improved traffic! More from Michael Hyatt on this here.
  • How: Can be done easily yourself, but I opted for a WordPress guided transfer, which took about 72 hours.

 

2.  Transition to a “multisite.”
  • Why: Keep distinct designs & URLs for other sites, one management hub.
  • How: After lots of vetting, I found the amazing Michael at Type 3 Web Design in Bentonville. I truly cannot recommend them highly enough! They are incredibly fast, affordable and an absolute delight.

 

3.  A new, custom & personalized look.
  • Why: It was high time to match the voice of The Little Magpie – developed over the past five years – with a distinct vibe.
  • How: Purchased a custom Genesis theme (Sassafras) from the Hello You Designs shop on Etsy, which is an incredible tech design hub! I also have a new logo to reveal… more on that soon!

 

To keep the entire process and all the moving parts and people focused and in sync, I did something completely new for me (inspired by this mini branding presentation from Jennifer Johnson, the designer of my new Sassafras theme).

 

I am definitely not a designer (and designers everywhere are probably having heart palpitations at my attempts), but this was a fantastic process to give me focus and clarity! I used Canva to develop it:
Little Magpie Brand Board

 

So there you have it – my entire blogging life summed up in a single post. I’d love your feedback, or questions you may have about tackling a similar evolution.

 

The new Little Magpie will officially go live on 02.29.2016 – what better day to make a flying leap than Leap Day? I can’t wait to hear what you think!

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