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Mini-Bloggiesta: Working With Blog Designers

By Anovelsource @thenovellife


There is a lot to consider in hiring a blog designer than just the amount a designer may charge.  You are essentially inviting an interior designer into your home and you need to be certain that a. you like the portfolio of the designer and b. that you trust the designer with the keys to your house; i.e. back door access to your blog and content.  You also want to be certain you’re ready to invite a designer into your home.  Do you have a clue what you want them to work on?  While designers can be pretty darn creative and intuitive, they’re not mind readers.

In the five years I’ve been blogging I have worked with five different designers.  It is ironic {and true to life} that the one bad experience taught me more than the four good experiences all rolled into one!  Just to be clear – I’ve worked with so many designers because I’m forever moving my furniture around.  I like to mix things up every few months in my real life home and in my virtual one – I’m especially grateful to have readers who have stuck with me through all my changing! {y’all are THE BOMB!!!!}

Before shopping for a designer

Figure out who your audience is.  While you may be a book review blogger you’re probably not writing to both the science fiction aficionado who can speak klingon and the romance reader with the lifetime membership in Harlequin Monthly Series {are those even around anymore?!?}

Begin a mood board on Pinterest.  What do you like outside of blogging? Are you nature-lover? Enjoy whimsical knick-knacks? Love the water? Simplicity is your middle name?  Begin a collage of images that reflect who you are and what you like.

Pick 4 – 6 blogs with design elements that speak to you.  This is not to copy those designs but rather to incorporate the design elements you like and to translate through images to a designer what you like as opposed to trying to put it into words.  What do you like about their design specifically?  Is it lots of whitespace? a header that immediately captures the blog’s purpose? sidebars that are uncluttered?  Pinterest can be your friend here as well although some design elements don’t translate over {like whitespace} very well.

A few resources


Shopping for a Designer

Word of mouth is probably the best way I have found to discover the right designer for you and your blog.  Those 4 – 6 blogs with the design elements you like will typically be happy to tell you who designed their blog or you can find out by scrolling to the very bottom of the page where the copyright and design credits are usually found.

Check out the designer’s portfolio.  This one can almost go without saying!

Know what is included in the price.  Will your potential designer install the design on your blog or is it that an extra fee?  Are you trying to have your blog moved from Blogger to WordPress + a new design? Those are probably separate fees.  Will the design be readable on mobile devices? compatible with Safari and Internet Explorer?

A few questions to ask

  1. Will the designer provide you with references and not just testimonials?
  2. Will you own the art created or is it a limited license?
  3. What is the turnaround time?
  4. How does payment work – is a deposit required? refund available if you change your mind?
  5. What happens if there’s a problem after the design is installed? Will the designer still be accessible? for a price?

Working with blog designers can be scary and exciting all at the same time.  Walking into the relationship with open eyes, realistic expectations, and basic knowledge is key to making your experience as first-rate as possible.

Have you worked with a blog designer?  Any questions you would suggest asking a potential designer?

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