It is usually easy to get a blog up and running. All the tools are available and you can also get online help if you get stuck. However, it is even better when your blog produces the required results within a short time and hopefully becomes a profit making venture. To get there, you sometimes have to hire a custom blog designer. The process can be intimidating, but with some few tips, you can get a good person to work on your designs. Consider using the following approach:
1. Identify Your Blog’s Main Objectives
Do you want a blog designed to achieve more sales, increased traffic or better website rankings? Depending on how you answer any of these questions, you can determine who is the best fit designer for the contract. Some designers will also work on your site’s SEO, and that can help you achieve the objective of better search engine rankings. Others are better at creating a compelling design.
Once you know which objectives you are after, shortlist the most qualified candidates for the job. To achieve this may mean you have to go through the portfolio of each candidate and also get some recommendations from your peers. Portfolios are a good way to measure the exposure and adaptability of the designer to complex designs.
3. Be A Great Client
Have a write-up that explains your idea clearly and concisely and also elucidates the deliverables you will be looking for from your designer. You should also describe your business needs and brand image in a clear way, using as many descriptive adjectives as possible. Once you submit your idea to various candidates, be open to accepting constructive criticism as this will further refine your idea for free.
4. Look For Similar Experience
This does not work in every case. Remember that some of the best successes online leverage innovation. Your designer must mix experience with innovation. However, it is always a safe starting point to have experienced hands on board. Narrow down to designers that have implemented a website similar in functionality to what you are looking for.
5. Site Navigation
Many blogs lack a refined and intuitive navigation menu. This means that users get lost or never get what they are looking for. Ensure that’s your designer can create navigation that is easy to use for the clients. Specifically, check if the designer creates blogs with intuitive and clean navigation.
6. SEO Experience
The internet is awash with numerous search engines indexing new sites. Your blog should be designed to be easily found and indexed (stored) with the right ‘bookmarks’ for easy retrieval when potential clients look for specific information in your domain. A designer with great SEO exposure can make this happen for you.
7. Consider Special Functionality
Not all blogs provide simple information. A good example of a blog with special functions is the HuffingtonPost. This blog is now a highly credible news site. It started as a blog designed to carry out the special function of news reporting. And inevitably, a designer with the right skills was needed from the onset.
8. Business Results
As a business, you want to know what the designers work has achieved in increasing business margins. There is no easy way around this. You may have to research from the outside going in. Look for a website that does exactly what you aim to achieve and has the conversion rates you desire, and find out who made it happen for them hopefully, it should be a company you can hire. Sometimes such talent is kept as in-house staff.
9. Request For Budgetary Proposals
In some circles this is referred to as the pitch, where clients invite designers to develop a concept and the financial commitments required to complete the project.This allows you to gauge the range of prices offered for a similar website and choose the best pitch at the same time.
10. Research Ability
Great creative ideas need research to implement. What resources does the designer attach to planning and researching client markets, competition, best practices? This is a question you must place to your potential designers and also request for research reports they have done before. Be aware however that these may be confidential.
11. Project Implementation Plan
The designer should always provide you with the steps and timelines they foresee will be required to deliver your project on time.
Finally, you will need a testing plan to ensure that everything on your blog works perfectly. This is vital if you are going to make any successful headway online. It makes for an unpleasant user experience when one keeps running into bugs on your blog. The designer should allocate enough time for testing and debugging.