Blog Design with Strategy: Why I Don’t Offer a La Carte Custom Items

Branding

As a blog designer, the success of my designs can easily be measured by my clients’ growth. Whether it is more traffic, affiliate increases, more sponsorship, or improved engagement, all of those metrics should be significantly noticeable after a rebrand. It might not instantly grow, but a blog rebrand should change the direction to a steady increase (at least 5% increase month-to-month).

With some designers, they never see these metrics. They either rarely work with bloggers, or they are not involved in the development process. Since I do both the design and development, I have always been immersed in the results of my designs.

Blog Design with Strategy: Why I Don't Offer A La Carte Custom Items

A Comprehensive Brand Audit

As a result, my custom package is truly rooted in strategy. On top of a brand questionnaire, I conduct a thorough audit of the client’s brand – blog posts, pages, social media, newsletter, and analytics. This audit identifies the concrete challenges that need to be resolved in the design process. Typically, the audit can take me anywhere from 2-4 hours to conduct, followed by at least 10 hours of tangible action items (clean-up).

Fixing problems with design is such a big component of my design process and philosophy. Designing collateral without that blog design strategy counters my whole philosophy as a designer.

Not Just a Designer & Developer

When clients choose to work with me for their blog designs, they really are not just getting a designer and developer. Our engagement includes brand strategy, SEO improvements, and art direction. When someone is looking for a standalone piece, they are looking for not necessarily a designer, but a production person. Someone who can make something quick, cheap, and pretty.

That’s why I created my shop! I knew that potential customers might want something quicker or more within their budget. So the shop provides quick, cheap, and beautiful WordPress themes, business cards, logos, and media kits for a fraction of the cost.

How Do You Know It’s The Right Time For You To Invest In A Designer

This question came up frequently at TBSCon. Here’s my policy with branding and rebranding. If you are just starting out, invest in pre-made solutions. Well made templates should be able to last you at least a year, hopefully, longer. I use the year benchmark for blogs. If you are not seeing significant growth, it’s likely time to revisit your initial idea or try something else.

Once your site is monetized to the point you can work with a designer, do it. If you’ve never made 10,000 from your blog, don’t spend 10,000 working with a designer. Your blog should already be profitable before you invest in a designer.

What questions do you have about blog strategy and design?

You might also like What Makes a Logo Perfect and Four Proven Blog Design Tips to Get Readers to your Blog.

Want more blog design tips? Check out these posts! If you have a question, leave a comment below!

Blog Design with Strategy: Why I Don't Offer A La Carte Custom Items