Blogs are very easy to physically create. I created my latest one from the car (but, I colored it and created graphics one Saturday later for a few hours). Branding it, however, is another story. Blogging platforms like Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, and TypePad all provide you with free design templates to use. These are fine to start, but you may want a more refined, branded look for your business blog. All platforms will let you change the colors on these templates, and add a pre-designed header image at the top of the blog. But, if you want a professional to work on your design and don't want to tweak the colors, and can't create a header image, you'll need to hire out. When you are talking to your blog designer, come prepared with the thoughts presented below. Your answers, and a collaborative communication between you and your blog designer, will give you a very solid, well branded blog that you both are happy with. If you're looking for a great blog designer, we have several talented website designers in our Business Directory.
- When designing a blog, you can use templates provided from the blogging platform, or have yours designed from scratch. Using a template can be much more affordable, yet you can still customize pieces of it to your brand. A full service web design firm can crack the template and custom-design the areas you like. Be sure to listen to your designer as he/she guides you through which areas of the template are easier to customize than others.
Provide a list of websites you like and don't like, and reasons why. The "why" is key to designing the look and feel you want. If we know what you don't like about a website (ie the way a navigation disappears, for instance), then we can be sure not to recreate the problem. And vice versa. We can mimic a feature you do like, and personalize it for your brand, making it unique to your website.
Have a logo ready. You need a logo that the blog can be designed around. If you don't have this, but are having one designed by another designer, wait to start the blog project until your look is complete, as your visual will be designed around that. Or, you can always have your blog designer design one for you as an additional service to the project. Check to see that they can design a logo, however, as designing websites and designing logos are two different skills. Your designer may know someone that they can recommend.