Jazz Up Your ActiveRain & Outside Blog with an Awesome Header!

By
Real Estate Agent with Myrtle Beach Homes Blog

Have you been on ActiveRain for a while & wished that you could Jazz up your profile with some reall awesome graphics or picture?  Several members contact me regularly in complete frustration from trying to add a really great looking header to their profile. 

Have visited a blog &  come across a header that resembles one similar to this:

Bad Header Design

As you can see above, the photo I inserted does not even cover the whole bar & is so distorted & blown up that you really can't tell what it was.  So, I thought it was time to share with everyone how to design a really great looking header for your outside blog.  Granted, there are several ways to design a really awesome header, but for this exercise we are going to use a single photo.

There are so many different photo software programs you could use to create.  The key to making the process smooth & successful is using photo editing software you are familiar with. In the past I have used everything from Pro-Grade Adobe Photoshop to a cheap PC program called Microsoft Picture it 10.  In fact, my latest header was designed with a free online software program called Picnik.

How To Create an Awesome Header

The first thing you need to do is chose a photograph to work with.  You want to make sure that the photo you are working with is at least 960 pixels wide to start.  If not, things will become all distorted or not fill up the entire header box. Here is the original picture I chose to create my header.  The original size was entirely too large at like 1620 x 880.  So the next thing you will want to do is resize the photo to 960 pixels wide.

Myrtle Beach Sunset

After choosing a photo & resizing you will then need to make some cropping adjustments to the photograph.  The dimensions for your header need to be 960 pixels wide by 134 pixels high.  Most pictures are not going to fit these dimensions exactly.  In fact, 99% of the photos you chose are going to need to be cropped to fit properly.  So, what you need to do is open the photograph up in any photo editing software & find the cropping utility.  Enter the correct dimensions & move around the selected area to crop out the section of the photo you would like to use.

Myrtle Beach Sunset

Now that you have the photo cropped, you can either use that photo as is for your header.  Or if you want, you can add your logo or text onto the header.  Make sure if you are adding text that is a descriptive title & NOT Contact information.  All Your Contact info is on the side already.  If you place your email address or website URL people will become frustrated when they try to click on the header & it doesn't do anything they are expecting.

The Final Result?

My New Header

This is how it looks on my ActiveRain Blog

My New Header

Lastly, you can see it on my Outside Blog as well:

My Outside Blog

I hope this helps all of you that have been frustrated designing your blog header. For those of you who feel daring, you could using multiple photos like Debe Maxwell has on her blog. But process is much more complicated and advanced.

As always, do not feel overwhelmed by designing a Header!  This header was designed in less than 10 minutes time.  Also, Do Not Get Caught up on Photo Quality.   The photo I used was taken with my iPhone one evening while out on a bike ride through my neighborhood.  No fancy equipment, or editing software was used to enhance the photo.  I simply took the photo, did the simple steps in Picnik & uploaded.

So, now that you know how to jazz up your ActiveRain & Outside Blog, stop making excuses & get to it!

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Diane Guercio 08/02/2009 04:18 PM
  2. Stephen Garner 09/08/2009 03:58 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
The Art Of Marketing You
Dedicated Bloggers
HELP/FAQ (Read 'Purpose Statement' Carefully!)
"Whacked"!!!
Club Chaos
Tags:
outside blog
header
creating custom header

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Rainmaker
551,632
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com

Keith- Yes, the screen resolution will make a huge difference.  On some it may have a little bit of space.  However in order to get it to load properly on the network, make sure your image size is 960x134.

Gayle- I am working on a video tutorial of how to design one that should be up shortly.

Sep 09, 2009 06:24 AM #88
Rainer
96,415
Nicholas Goraczkowski
Aurora, CO
Your Mortgage Resource - (720) 83-RATES

I like it. It sure looks a lot better than the basic thing I made.

Sep 09, 2009 06:57 AM #89
Rainmaker
2,463,004
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Jeremy,m I remember when I first started AR and trying to do my header. Oh, what a headache. But Jesse Clifton from Fairbanks, Alaska provided me not just one but 4 headers.  I was just so amazed someone would help me and actually send me the headers.

When I got my outside blog, I redid my header...myself.  What an accomplishment.  I use Picnik.com and love it.

 

Sep 09, 2009 07:20 AM #90
Rainmaker
551,632
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com

I just finished doing a tutorial on this in video format.  You can view it here: Creating and Uploading a Custom Header to ActiveRain and Your Outside Blog~ A Video Tutorial.

Sep 09, 2009 07:29 AM #91
Ambassador
1,233,116
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Jeremy - I may give this another shot sometime. I used to have a great header that I loved, but it slowed down the load time of my blog tremendously.  I found out when I was forced to use a dial-up connection at my in-laws' house.

Sep 09, 2009 11:18 AM #93
Rainmaker
394,850
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Jeremy, *MWA*  You are a genius...you make it seem so easy!  I may just have to tackle this.  Thanks for the crystal clear step by step explanation.  Much appreciated :)

Sep 09, 2009 12:17 PM #94
Rainmaker
394,850
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Jeremy, *MWA*  You are a genius...you make it seem so easy!  I may just have to tackle this.  Thanks for the crystal clear step by step explanation.  Much appreciated :)

Sep 09, 2009 12:17 PM #95
Ambassador
3,105,658
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I'm with Sis--you ARE a genius!  And, how long did MY header take?!  You know, I got a comment on one of my blogs about this post and VOILA!  Here I find you writing yet, another, awesome tutorial! 

Have a great weekend...

Debe in Charlotte

Sep 25, 2009 10:00 AM #96
Rainer
332,713
David O'Doherty
Raleigh Realty Inc - Clayton, NC
Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC

Jeremy I have followed the instructions on the video but the header won't load to my outside blog.

It keeps saying to try again later...any suggestions?

Oct 08, 2009 01:32 AM #97
Ambassador
428,885
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

Hi Jeremy, I keep coming back to read your post. I really need to Jazz mine up!

Oct 29, 2009 09:58 AM #98
Rainer
22,217
Jerry Hill
Hill Realty - Bryant, AR

Jeremy, man this is just what I need.  I have been wanting to add a little "life" to my site and you have just given me the motivation to do it.  Thanks a bunch!!

Nov 05, 2009 06:25 AM #99
Rainmaker
318,966
Tamara Inzunza
RE/MAX Executives - Alexandria, VA
Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living

I'm changing my header now, been on my to-do list for a couple of days now.  Thanks for the tutorial.

Nov 27, 2009 02:14 AM #100
Rainmaker
450,300
Eva Aliaga
Keller Williams Realty Boca Raton IdealFloridaLiving.com - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton & Delray Beach: SE Florida Real Estate

Jeremy, i just stopped by because I wanted to update my header and this helped me out. I was familiar with picnik, I made it cleaner and removed web and email contact so no one tries to click it and nothing happen. All the best in 2010.

Jan 12, 2010 02:58 PM #101
Rainmaker
8,823
Anthony Krall
Active Rain - Tacoma, WA

Thanks Jeremy for writing this blog. I am going to forward it over to members needing help.

Jan 28, 2010 12:16 PM #102
Rainmaker
214,121
Linda Graves Arnold
Coldwell Banker Gundaker-St. Louis, MO - Chesterfield, MO
St. Louis Real Estate Pro - 314-422-2762 - Referr

Thanks Jeremy.  You gave me the dimensions I have been looking for so I can create a great header.  Do you have instructions for making a collage for a header? 

Jan 29, 2010 03:01 AM #103
Rainmaker
551,632
Jeremy Blanton
Myrtle Beach Homes Blog - Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com

No Problem Anthony!  Glad I could help.

Jim & Linda-  I do not have a tutorial on doing it as a collage.  That does take a little more work.  One of the things I have started doing is creating headers for members.  If you would like me to create one for you, let me know.

Here are 2 examples:

Debe Maxwell

Lori Cain


Jan 29, 2010 03:10 AM #104
Rainmaker
262,932
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

Do you have simple instructions on How to add those cool buttons to each blog as I see them all the time (the twitter, facebook, etc.) and I just doubt that you place each individual photo in each blog? Thanks for the post and the simple instructions! Looking forward to putting them into action! Thanks - Nicky

Feb 21, 2010 01:04 PM #105
Rainmaker
262,932
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

Do you have simple instructions on How to add those cool buttons to each blog as I see them all the time (the twitter, facebook, etc.) and I just doubt that you place each individual photo in each blog? Thanks for the post and the simple instructions! Looking forward to putting them into action! Thanks - Nicky

Feb 21, 2010 01:04 PM #106
Rainmaker
262,932
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

Do you have simple instructions on How to add those cool buttons to each blog as I see them all the time (the twitter, facebook, etc.) and I just doubt that you place each individual photo in each blog? Thanks for the post and the simple instructions! Looking forward to putting them into action! Thanks - Nicky

Feb 21, 2010 01:04 PM #107
Rainmaker
262,932
Nicky Dou
Keller Williams Market Pro Realty - Fayetteville, AR
The BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT in Northwest Arkansas

Do you have simple instructions on How to add those cool buttons to each blog as I see them all the time (the twitter, facebook, etc.) and I just doubt that you place each individual photo in each blog? Thanks for the post and the simple instructions! Looking forward to putting them into action! Thanks - Nicky

Feb 21, 2010 01:04 PM #108
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Jeremy Blanton

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