Whenever I am asked what my number one blogging tip is (other than post regularly and often!) I direct the questioner to www.laycockdesigns.com and the fabulous Michelle Laycock. Out of the goodness of her heart, Michelle provides beautiful, professionally designed sidebar buttons and badges for Stampin' Up demonstrators to use on their blogs--for free, and regardless of whether or not you use her design services.
I did have my blog made over by Michelle in the past and I was extremely happy with it. I have since moved on to creating my own banners and footers and such with My Digital Studio, but I highly recommend at least an initial set up by Michelle or another web professional specializing in stamping blogs, photo watermarks and signatures. Their fees are low and worth every penny. When I weigh the hours I spent trying to learn to do some of this stuff myself against what I paid for my blog makeover-- totally worth it!