Before a customer purchases a blog design package or theme, he/she often ask me what customizations I recommend. Depending on the brand goals, I point out a few recommendations that I believe would best fit their brand.
Sometimes customers ask for features that are not great for SEO or usability! Before I implement them, I definitely make sure that they know why I don’t recommend it. I always want clients to make decisions that help them grow their brand.
Identify and Prioritize Your Goals
Similar to last week’s post on blog design style, identify your blog design needs and wants. As you make this list, describe why you need each specific feature. Sometimes customers see another blogger with a certain feature, and they want to implement it for their brand. All customizations should be intentional.
I’m currently working with a premade blog shop client order for a style blog. She stated she was weak with her newsletter and rarely generated revenue from her affiliate shop. Thus, we decided to do custom widget areas throughout her content. These widget areas would be updated with RewardStyle widget shortcodes and integrate more seamlessly with her content than a static shop page. We also decided to do a custom post type for her outfits. Readers can scan outfits and easily interact with affiliate links.
Select Customizations to help you achieve a specific goal for your brand!
Determine Your Budget
Once you list and order your customizations, it’s time to determine budget. In design, you get what you pay for, but you can also get ripped off. I can’t tell you how many clients have come to me in tears because they worked with a friend, tried to DIY their blog, or went with some other design because she/he was cheaper. Research your designers/developers thoroughly before you start to work with someone! Remember you don’t need a custom blog to have a successful blog. A successful blog comes from your content. Some of my Blog Shop customers get several hundred thousand page views per month using the premade packages!
Common Customizations for Food Bloggers
With food bloggers, the typical goals include the following: grow the email list, curate the home page, and integrate advertising opportunities. Most food bloggers get their traffic from third-party sites like Pinterest, Yummly, and FoodGawker. They tend to have a higher new-user ratio than most bloggers. Therefore, the most popular customizations for food bloggers include the following:
- Additional Widget Areas
- Custom Slider
- Newsletter Setup + Integration
- Custom Post Footer
Consistent and distinct branding is important throughout the design, so custom colors and fonts are important as well, especially with recipe cards. Ads also play a significant role in food blogging, and so it is important that the food blog design optimises site speed and relies on fewer plugins.
Common Blog Customizations for Style Bloggers
Style blog designs tend to focus more on monetization opportunities. Style bloggers tend to be brand and trend ambassadors, so their photographs are the primary emphasis of their content. Fashion blogs have loyal, regular readers. Therefore, the most popular customizations for fashion bloggers include the following:
- Optional Post View
- Affiliate Shop
- Post Footer
These add-ons put a focus on monetization opportunities. For example, when I customize the design of the post footer, I’m doing it to call out certain details about the post depending on the client.
Want more Blog Design tutorials? Check out these posts!
Interested in working together?
I’d love to hear about your project!