Whether just starting a blog or seasoned blogger, most people reach a point where they feel the need to get a professionally designed site. Today's post is focusing on the beginning stage - what should you (the client) do before reaching out to a designer. When answering all of these questions, I encourage you to do them away from a computer. Also start small. Write a few ideas, words, etc. Then expand into full out sentences and paragraphs. Also, revisit this at several times before you talk to a designer.
These questions are not about aesthetics or features. More often than not, I find that the most challenging projects come down to bloggers struggling with the core identity of their blog. These questions are here to help!
1. What is your brand? I encourage you to think past the typical "x-based lifestyle blog" and more into a mission/goal/purpose.
2. When people visit your site, how do you want them to feel? Use descriptive words. For most clients, I encourage them to describe how they feel when they visit their favorite blogs on a daily basis. Those feelings are often what they want to recreate with their own readers.
3. How do you envision your blog looking and functioning in 3 years? 5 years? This question is key. In 2, 3, or 5 years, do you think you would be interested in the same things you are writing about now. For durability and sustainability, I would encourage bloggers to brand themselves long term.
4. Think seriously about this one, is your brand a blog or is website? If it is a blog, do you envision your site to become a "website" within the next three years? If you are using your blog as a blog, then I encourage you to brand/design it that way. However, if you want your blog to function more like of a website (with a portfolio or other collaboration efforts), then you need to think about what the primary function of your blog is it. Is it daily readership? Getting your foot in the door for brand collaborations? Portfolio of work?
5. Who are your readers? Who is visiting your site? what information are they taking away from it? Blogging is partly about you showcasing a talent or hobby, and part inspiring others. Often people approach site designs/redesigns thinking only about what they like, not about what their readers like.
Do you have tech or design questions you would like answered? "Techie Tuesdays" is a weekly series written by Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative and The Garden Apt. In order to make this series as beneficial to Midwest Bloggers, you can email your specific questions to Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will answer them in her weekly series.