Hi everyone... again this past week there was a lot of talk, activity and still some confusion about using the new customized blog feature by Brad Carroll so to try and simplify things for anyone who needs help, I've designed some graphics that you can use as a starting point on your blog headers and... some ideas on how to use them.
First, let's take a look at the Active Rain Blog Header
I realize that some of this might seem overly simplified but just so we're all on the same page, here is a diagram to illustrate a few basic points.
The blog header is the rectangular area at the top of your Active Rain blog. It measures 950 pixels W X 115 pixels H. A pixel is basically a dot or a point on your computer screen. The most common screen resolution right now is 1024 pixels across X 768 high.
this is an illustration of the Active Rain header area
When "pimping" (designing) your blog header, you should keep a few things in mind...
- the AR logo & "members online" info takes up most of the area from 700 - 950 pixels (right side)
- try to avoid putting your own image or text in that section
If you use an image that stretches the full length of 950 pixels, make sure it's neutral in color so it doesn't conflict with the AR logo, otherwise it will just look like a mess. Here is a close up photo of my Pimp Your Blog logo as an example that leaves space for the AR logo/text...
If you look at the right side of this header, even tho I used a full length image background(950 pixels wide), the light, neutral color allows the AR logo/text to show just fine.
I don't want to get all "preachy" about any of this because it's none of my damn business what you do or don't do in your blog header. We all have our own personal tastes & preferences when it comes to this stuff, I'm just pointing out what has worked well for me.
Free Blog Header Background Images
Below are some header graphic images I put together for anyone who wants to use them. I realize that not everyone has the time, the software or the patience to do this stuff so these image backgrounds are a good starting point to experiment with. A few suggestions...
- to make your text easy to read, make sure it contrasts with the background color or image
- for a light background, use dark text
- for a dark background, use light text
- for a medium background (i.e. grey), use a very dark or a very light text
If your text or logo doesn't have enough contrast with your background image/color, it will get washed out and will be very difficult to read. Here's an example of what not to do using the words "Where's the text?"...
The color of text in the image above is too similar to the colors in the image so it gets lost and is very difficult to read. Not good! And now... here are the graphics.
From time to time I'll be designing/posting more stuff that you can use to pimp your Active Rain blog. Since we have people of various skill levels and not everyone has access to graphics software, for now I'm providing simple .jpg images that you can use and add your own text, logos, etc...
This week I'm putting out 10 images as a starting point. In the coming weeks I'll be adding more stuff in various colors, textures and styles. If you have ideas, suggestions, requests... let me know and I'll keep them in mind when adding more graphics to use with AR blogs.
Important!!! Read This Before Using These Images
# 1 - I designed these graphics from my artwork and photography, I am the copyright owner.
# 2 - You have my permission to use them in any way you like here on your Active Rain blog.
# 3 - The images are not to be used for any other purpose or on any other blog or website.
All of my header images are exactly 950 X 115 pixels so you won't have to resize them to use in your AR blog.
Below are some smaller preview images. Until I figure out where I'll archive them, for now you can download and see the full size images at...
Art Background Images
Balance # 1 (pencil sketch)
Grey Sphere & neutral background
Untitled Art with black background
Color & Textured Background Images
Blue Fabric texture
Dark Red texture
Green Leaves texture
Red Autumn Leaves texture
Soft Sky texture
Simple Background Images
White Shadow background
Grey Spotlight background
Are You Looking For More Tutorials and Sample Blog Headers? Check out...
- How To Customize and Personalize Your ActiveRain Blog by Brad Andersohn
- Dumb Real Estate Agent Finally Gets It by Margaret Woda
- Tech Support and FAQs for ActiveRain Customizer by Brad Carroll
- First Impression-ist Masterpieces Now Hang in the Active Rain Gallery by Craig Schiller
- Customizing Your AR Blog - 5 Design Mistakes to Avoid by Bobby Carroll
And now, some of this week's must read marketing posts...
In no particular order, here are some of the best Active Rain marketing posts from this past week...
- Ladies & Gentlemen: I Proudly Introduce..."Your Sphere of Influence" by Lindsay Pendleton
- Does your broker limit your marketing? by David Matney
- Do You Know The #1 Source of Your Business? If Not, You Should. by Fran Gatti
- Social Networking Brain Damage by Bryan Maynes
- The Proper Care And Feeding Of Agents by Katerina Gasset
- Don't Assume Anything About Anyone Inquiring About A Shortsale! by Midori Miller
- The pros and Cons of new business models in Real Estate by Ross Quintana
- How do people choose a real estate agent? by ARDELL DellaLoggia
- Zero Comments ... Three New Clients by Chuck Willman
- Unique Marketing Partner- A Little Bird Told Me by Allison Stewart
- 41 Cents, A Post Card & No Website by Chris Elizabeth Griffith
- Does Your Website Host Have Control of Your Domain AND Your Email? by Laura Monroe
- Craiglist 2.0? New Craigslist Competition by Justin Williams
- Craigslist considers Limiting HTML - "Goodbye vFlyers & Postlets!" by Rich Jacobson
- Services for Technology by Missy Caulk
- Google Uncovering Invisible Web Pages- Will Members Only Posts Be Revealed? by Katerina Gasset
- More Twitter tips... by Lane Bailey
- Tuesday Truths... All of Us Judge each other rightly or wrongly... by Kathy McGraw
- Blog It All!!Do You Click The Unsubscribe, Tell Me Why... by Vanessa Stalets
- The Magic Formula Of A Featured Post by Lindsay Pendleton
- Stung!!! by Advance Access Web Site by Pat Walmsley