Whether you’ve been blogging for years, or are just starting out, you will probably toy with the idea of getting a professional to design your site. Here are a few things to consider before you take that leap.
1. Find your voice and style.
Before anything else, you should be clear on this. What do you write about? Do you have a target audience? You should know your goals and vision for the blog before you can communicate to your designer what you have in mind. Be very precise in explaining what you want and use visual references when you describe it. To be able to do that, you have to really know your style and what works with your target audience.
2. Build traffic.
I get a lot of inquiries from people who haven’t even started blogging yet. Before you hire a designer to design your blog, make sure you have a blog and a readership first. If you’re just starting out, you can use premade templates to prettify your site.
3. Have a budget.
I know it’s pretty much common sense. But seriously, a custom blog theme is still a serious investment. Either you monetize your blog so it covers the fees, or set aside a budget for it. If you don’t want to spend a lot, you can opt for basic packages to start with, and just add elements and functions later on as your blog grows.
When you feel ready to take your blog to the next level, approach a designer and discuss your requirements. Believe, me, I’ve had several clients tell me that their readership grew far more than they expected after they had their site designed professionally. But you have to be sure and ready. You are the one who will set your design direction, not your designer. The designer will only translate your vision for your brand, so you have to have a clear idea of your vision first. Don’t expect your designer to be able to read your mind. You will waste time and money if you are not sure of what you want or are unable to communicate it in a clear manner.
If you need help with finding your vision and developing your brand, there are a lot of blog coaching workshops and online courses available out there. Join one. Once you find your voice and develop a clear direction, then you are ready to hire a professional designer.
Let me know what you think! When did you feel ready to hire a professional designer for your blog?