Branding and Blog Re-Design

Surprise! My blog has a completely new look.

out-with-old-in-with-newOut with the old, in with the new.

For the past 8 years, I have had the same template on my blog. I thought if it wasn’t broke, I shouldn’t fix it. I loved the design and it worked well for me. Thing is, new people visiting my website didn’t seem to think so. Nobody knew what ‘spiffykerms’ was all about, let alone how to pronounce it.

In a community blogging thread over at Facebook, a friend notified us all about this free website analyser called Peek User Testing. A person visits your site for the first time, films their 5 minute visit to the site, answering 3 questions. First being their first impression. Two, describing their experience. And lastly, if they’d be back.

I can’t stand listening to the first video of my website being reviewed. I entered my website in twice, and both times the new visitors could not tell what kind of site they were visiting. The users equally suggested branding, proper navigation and an about page that was more of what the blog was about — not who I was. Mind you, I did tweak my about page to cater to both.

Upon watching the two videos, I became apprehensive of their reviews. I inarguably cursed on them a few times but it was evident to take the constructive criticism and change for the better. Second guy had some valid points to offer, without sounding condescending.

Hence, the branding and blog re-design of spiffykerms! What do you think of it all? Definitely cleaner, and easier to navigate through, right?

Finally I decided to go through and submit my blog for a final review after the re-design. Not impressed by what this woman had to say about my site for the first few minutes. The name sounds crazy and looks obscene? Therefore, she doesn’t know if she wants to continue reading? What?

I can’t win.

Not everyone will like what you have to offer, I understand that after 3 not so positive reviews. Is all this site for criticising? Or do they ever like a website they visit.

The turn-around for getting your site analysed on Peek User Testing is around 2-3 days. Think you’re ready to give your website a try?

This is clearly not a sponsored post. Thought I’d let you in on why I decided to randomly revamp my entire blog.

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How to name your blog posts


As a reader, the first thing people look at is the title of your blog post — especially on a blog reader like Feedly, or BlogLovin’. If the title doesn’t capture their interest, they’re going to skip on over to the next blog. Ideally you want to engage your readers and make them click on  your link to read further. Am I right?

Having a blog post title is massively important not only on readers, but especially so on your social media channels if you’re going to be tweeting, instagramming, and facebooking your content. Lure in your readers with that creative mind of yours! I know you’ve got it in ya. :)

Naming your blog posts

I know sometimes it’s easier to just name your blog posts whatever pops into your head like “A Beautiful Tan” but people are googling on how to use at home self tanner, or “The Best Self Tanners: Under $50“. The key to naming your blog post is to keep it practical instead of being random. I know it won’t always be fun and exciting to name your blog posts accordingly, and while I am guilty of not listening to my own advice, I have learned that if you have a good title on your blog post, you will get more hits and visitors this way. It’s also very easy to find your old content in your archives if you are searching for a specific blog post that you wrote months, or even years ago. If you have a couple of key words that both are appropriate to use, use a dash, or colon to combine the two.

Naming your blog posts in practical ways, is also beneficial for SEO purposes. How else will potential readers find your content? Just remember that the title is what gets your readers to click into your site. Are you travelling to Norway and want to find a place where you can gamble? Link to a Norwegian site like, in the first few lines of your first paragraph then name the post something like “Norway Travels: How to Find Casinos“.

Your first paragraph

Your blog is a powerful marketing tool, only if you know how to market it. Linking to websites in the first paragraph of your blog post is huge. It’s how Google ranks your site, and you want to be pretty high up on the first 1-2 pages for your blog posts. 

Let me know in the comments if you’d like to continue seeing How-To blog posts. It’s kind of a new feature I thought about doing on here.

This is a sponsored post.

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How to stay organized when you have a blog

Blogging takes a hard work and many people assume it’s not a huge deal. You must be committed, and organized if you want to blog often. Since I do blog 5 days a week, I need to know what sort of photos I want to take, write the posts, and note when I want them to go live. Not only that, I share everything that goes on my blog, on my social media channels.

When I was working full time, I had to have my schedule down pat. I stayed on top of it all, and I’m going to show you how to stay organized when you have a blog.

STAPLES Upholstered Leather Chair

Work Space

De-clutter your desk, get a comfortable chair to sit in. Once you have any distractions taken away from your work space, you focus more on the task at hand, your blog! My desk is a build-your-own from Ikea, and the chair is from Staples.


Winter and Spring time the weather is usually a little grey so photographs need a little more attention and a little photoshopping to brighten things up. Shooting photos in daylight is ideal and since most people are working or in school during peak times, I used to photograph my blog posts on the weekends.  The light in our current house is best around 1-3pm at the top of stairs on one of the landings.

Writing Your Posts

Whenever an idea pops into my head, I immediately e-mail myself the thoughts, or sit down on the computer to type something into WordPress. Currently I have over 90 drafts of blog posts ideas, where I have 1-3 paragraphs written quickly. This happens on days where my ideas are endless and I can come up with a handful of ideas for potential posts. When I have writers block, I turn to those random thoughts into a blog post.

Social Media

How else will people find a your new blog post? I like to share my posts on Twitter mainly, and sometimes Instagram or Facebook. I schedule my blog posts to go live around 6am California time (Is that called PST? I don’t know) so that I can reach my followers in Newfoundland at a decent hour since they are 4.5 hours ahead. I use HootSuite to schedule my blog posts to go out on Twitter a few times a day.

notebooksStay Organized

My top way to stay organized with my blog posts is write down the blog posts that are going live each day. I prefer the handwritten way but you can easily set up a calendar on your computer too. In the photo above, I have the date written out, the blog post topic and whether or not the post has been scheduled through HootSuite. This has worked for me since 2012, so I continue to do it this way. Bonus, is that you can buy many nice looking notebooks!

Now it’s time for a fun giveaway to my US readers for a piece of Staples office furniture up to $100! Enter the rafflecopter form below, and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received the chair from Staples in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

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