Notice anything new with my blog?

The blog birthday bash revamp has commenced…

Last night I purchased my very own, personalized URL through WordPress. If you look up in the address bar, you’ll see it. I am now http://nataliehartford.com. I am so excited and it was so easy. A couple of clicks and it was done. And the nice thing is that WordPress will automatically redirect anyone coming to my old WordPress URL seamlessly.

It cost me $25 US (and it’ll need to be renewed each year) but to me it’s worth it. It’s a big step towards implementing the things I’ve been learning at Kristen Lamb’s Blogging to Build Your Brand workshop.

I have also created a URL-specific email to match (natalie@nataliehartford.com) through WordPress and Google Apps. This was a bit more complicated. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing but I just followed the WordPress step-by-step instructions and voila, it works.

I am so pumped!

Have you considered moving to your own URL? What made you decide to do it or what holds you back from taking that step?

I’ve also been working on a new header for the launch of my new theme/layout. I struggle with this because although I am familiar with graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, design is not my thing at all. I can typically “recreate” a visual but to start from scratch and come up with a concept hurts my brain. But, I did give it a try. I am still not 100% sure but I figure I’ve at least got something for the big blog birthday blowout and I can always change it later if I find it’s not quite “me”. I tried to make it fun, fresh, and fahhhbulous! I can’t wait to show it to y’all!

Sneak peek of my new header

Here’s a little sneak peek of the cartoon-type of image of myself that’s in my new header. Isn’t she uberlicious!?!

I updated my Avatar to match so when I post or add comments to other folks blog, this is the image that will appear to represent me.

What do you think?

Is it good branding to use the same image for the avatar that’s in a header to represent the person? Or do you think real pictures for avatars are better? What do you use and why?

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