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A Sneaky Giveaway!

Blogs by Sneaky Momma
Those of you who are new to my blog may not know that I am a blog designer. I offer several makeover packages at affordable price levels. I also allow my customers to order individual blog components (buttons, signatures, nav bars), no makeover purchase necessary. If you have been contemplating hiring a blog designer for a full or partial makeover, I'd love to be your gal. Hop on over to Blogs by Sneaky Momma to see what I can do for you!

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Why am I telling you all of this? Because this week, I am participating in Build a Beautiful Blog Week! Up for grabs is a simple (basic) makeover by yours truly, plus 50% off additional odds and ends. Following this blog is one way to earn an entry, so you've already earned a chance to win! Click here to enter....and don't forget to leave a separate comment for following this blog.

Good luck! Perhaps I'll be working on YOUR blog soon! :)

Comments left on this post will NOT be counted as entries. To enter the giveaway, click here.

There are tons of other blog related giveaways going on by other designers during BABB week. Take a little time today to check them out. Who knows? Maybe you'll win a new look for your blog!

Related Post: Choosing a Blog Designer

Removing a Follower

A couple of weeks ago, I took a look at the followers list in my sidebar and was shocked to see a not-so-family-friendly image staring back at me. I immediately started looking to see if there was a way to remove the photo (and the follower) from my blog. Thankfully, there is!

I learned that you can block offending followers from receiving your blog posts on their dashboard via Google Friend Connect. Unfortunately, you can't completely block a person from viewing your blog. They can still visit by entering in your url (web address) directly or they can subscribe through another reader.

How to block a Google Friend Connect follower

1. Log into your blog and go to your dashboard.

2. Click on #Followers beside the title of your blog.

3. Find and click on the offensive follower's photo.

4. Click on 'Block this user'.

5. Click on 'Block'.

Bye bye offending follower! :)

I created another blogger account to show you how to do this. Just in case you were wondering, the coffee photo is mine.

My advice to you: Take a look at your followers list every now and then so that you will be aware of what your readers are seeing when they visit your blog. I hope you don't ever have this problem, but if you do, hopefully you'll catch it earlier than I did!

Related Posts:
Image Protection: Resize Your Photos!
Image Protection: Watermarks
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Have you been helped by my tips? 
Consider grabbing my button or adding this blog to your bloglist!

Want to share this tip with your readers?
I would be honored for you to link back to this post!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts.
I work hard on my tips and and wish for everything to remain on this blog. 
Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Choosing a Blog Designer

If you're thinking about hiring someone to work on your blog, these two factors are probably foremost in your mind:

1. Cost- What is your budget?
2. Design- What are you wanting your blog to look like?

These are the most important things to consider before choosing a designer. If you are like me, though, and hate to part with your money unless you are getting exactly what you pay for, you may want to do a little more research.

Questions to ask a potential blog designer (or look up in their FAQ/policy section)

1. Will I be able to easily make changes to my blog when you are finished? If I need to add extra blog components (custom sidebar titles, link in nav bar, sidebar photo, photo added to slideshow, etc.) or need to make changes to one at a later date, how much will it cost?

2. How long will my makeover take? When can you get started?

3. How much control will I have over the makeover process? Will I be able to view a test blog and approve the makeover before it is installed? Some blog designers ask that you fill out a design worksheet, then they do the work and present you with a finished product. Others have you fill out the design info and email back and forth with you to create the look you desire.

4. Do you give refunds? Most designers do not.

5. Do I have to display your button on my blog after my makeover? Linked credit to the designer of the blog as well as the creator of the images (design kit) used to create the new look must remain on the blog for as long as the images are used. Some blog designers will allow you to use their designs without credit for an extra fee.

6. Does the makeover price include design images? Some designers design their own images for use on their makeovers. Most designers work with digital scrapbooking kits (also called design kits) or istock/getty images to create their designs. Some designers are able to use design images on their customers' blogs at no extra charge, however, most designers are required to purchase a new design kit/images for each customer in order to stay on good terms with their digital designers. This cost will be tacked on to your order total.

I'm sure you will have more questions than the ones listed above. Ask them! :)

Helpful Hints
  • Choose someone that you feel comfortable with. You will be communicating with the designer a lot throughout the makeover process. Trust your instincts. If you get a bad feeling after your initial email with a potential designer, I would go with someone else. There are so many great designers out there. Why settle?
  • Choose a designer who is highly recommended by others. Most people are so excited about their makeover that they can't wait to share their experience with others. Doing a search for 'makeover' on their blog will most likely lead you to a post written about the blog designer that they used. If you can't find a post, just ask! I'll bet they would be more than happy to share their experience with you.
  • Do your research! Don't choose a designer because they are cheaper than others based on cost alone. There are several talented, new designers out there who offer cheaper prices because they are looking to build their portfolios. Designers who have a lot of experience tend to be more expensive. Their prices are higher because they are highly recommended by their customers and there is a demand for their services. Either way you choose to go, do not turn your blog over to anyone before doing a little comparison shopping!
  • Make sure that you completely understand the designer's terms/policy and like the work in their portfolio before making any type of payment. Most payments are nonrefundable.
Check out this super long list of blog designers (Blogger AND WordPress!) over at Beautiful Blog Designs. While you're there, read this very informative post about choosing a designer and the makeover process.

Have you been helped by my tips? 
Help me out by grabbing my button or adding this blog to your bloglist!

Want to share this tip with your readers?
I would be honored for you to link back to this post!

Please do not copy and paste my words and images into your own posts.
I work hard on my tips and and wish for everything to remain on this blog. 
Thank you for your cooperation! :)

Removing Borders from Post Images

Not too long ago, I showed you how to modify your template to make a border automatically appear around the photos in your posts. The only problem is that it puts a border around every single image in the posts, even the images that are not photos (buttons, signatures, etc.). The built-in border looks good around a lot of stuff, but there are some things that you just don’t want a border around.

I recently discovered an easy way to remove the border from individual images. You’ll still have your built-in border around all images, but with a little post html tweaking, you can take the border off single images in your post. Cool!

This tip is for those of you who have already modified your template for built-in borders around your post photos. Click here for the photo border tutorial (intermediate).

How to remove a border from an individual post image/photo/button:

1. Upload the photo to the post.
2. Click on the ‘edit html‘ tab.
3. Locate the html code for the image that you wish to be borderless. Add the following code behind the URL (web address) of the image:

style="background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% transparent; border: 0pt none ! important;"

For example:
I have built-in borders on my blog. A solid 4px black line is automatically added to every photo/image in my posts. When I uploaded my new button to this post, it automatically looked like this:

Sneaky Momma Blog Design

I really don’t like the extra black line around my button, so.....

Here’s what I did to take it off:

1. I located the button html after clicking on the 'edit html' tab. Feel free to grab this code to display my new button in your sidebar (shameless self-promotion!)

<center><a href="http://sneakymommablogdesign.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp178/sneakymomma/buttonflwr4.png" alt="Sneaky Momma Blog Design" border="0" /></a></center>

2. I copied the code from step 3 above and pasted it directly after the quotation mark behind the URL of the image (not my blog URL):
<center><a href="http://sneakymommablogdesign.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp178/sneakymomma/buttonflwr4.png" style="background: none repeat scroll 0% 0% transparent; border: 0pt none ! important;" alt="Sneaky Momma Blog Design" border="0" /></a></center>

Sneaky Momma Blog Design

Voila! A border removed from an image in a post formatted w/built in borders!

Troubleshooting: If this does not work for you, try experimenting with the placement of the added code. All button codes do not look the same. Your no-border code may need to go somewhere else.

Related post:

It absolutely makes my day when this blog is linked to and mentioned in a post on another blog. I love seeing my buttons on other blogs and get downright giddy when I see Sneaky Momma Blog Design on a blog list. BIG thanks to all of you who have helped spread the word about my tips!

Please do not copy and paste my tips and/or images into your own posts. I work hard on my posts and would like for them to remain on my blog only. Thank you for your cooperation. :)