I’ve been renovating. I was feeling dull, tired, lifeless and in need of inspiration so I did what any self-respecting blogger would do, I renovated my blog!
I’ve heard that renovating a house can be stressful, not that I would know, we didn’t live in our first house purchase long enough to find out! But I can tell you renovating a blog IS very stressful.
Here are 10 tips to help relieve some of the stress of a blog renovation:
- Research other blogs and websites that you like. What features do they have that you want? Some of my favourites were Katrina from the Block, Allison Tait and Kelly Exeter’s A Life less Frantic. Your thing might be fashion and maybe Lady Melbourne is your go to blog, although I have to say I also love her having heard her speak at Problogger!
- Write up a wish list of what you’re looking for in your blog redesign. You’ll need a design brief or scope of works, as it’s commonly called. Include things like: the features you want on your blog – social media buttons, email subscription, purchasing ability etc, the look and the feel you’re after – are you selling products or services like photography? Does it need to be very visual? Are you a writer, does it need to show lots of samples of your work?
- Decide on a rough budget. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, but DON’T go spending thousands of dollars if you’re just starting out. Start small you can always go bigger and more professional as the blogging buck’s roll in! Mine was $1000 but when it came down to it, I was only really wanting to spend about $500 after all I’m not an uber-blogger yet
- Research blog design companies and choose one. Email the owners of your favourite blogs, ask them who designed their sites. Have a look at sites like Problogger, etsy and talk to your facebook friends, have they ever had a blog re/designed, who did they use? Then take a look at the designer’s portfolios. Have they designed sites that you like the look of, could you see them designing you blog? Keep going until you find three designers you like and then send them your Design Scope. I got four quotes. Three were very close and the fourth was not in my budget at all. How did I find them? One was a blog I followed, one I found by googling Australian wordpress designers and the other two were recommendations through Problogger sources.
- Appoint your designer and start! I started by paying a one-third deposit of the total quote
- Prepare a list of all your log-ins and passwords to the social media platforms you are connecting to your blog and submit them to the designer. In this day and age of hacking, it is very confronting to have to give up this privacy but there is no other way the designers can revamp your blog. My tip is to change the password of all the sites that they may need to access like wordpress; facebook, twitter to something that you don’t use on any other site. That way no one has access to a password that you probably use all over the internet. Once the design process is complete, make sure you change the password again. So that they aren’t able to access your blog for all eternity.
- Wait for the initial design concept and provide clear and detailed feedback about what you do and don’t like on the initial design. I got a real fright when I saw the first version of my blog I think mainly because it was so different to what I used to have but Mike at The Blog Designers was great and worked through my concerns with me.
- Tweak the finer points with your designer. You both want to be happy with the result, make sure you speak up if you feel some things in the new design need to change and explain your thoughts behind why.
- Write about you redesign, let your readers know that your blog will be changing and when. This is especially important for established bloggers with a big following. Some people just don’t like change and they especially don’t like surprises. If they know what’s about to happen they can prepare themselves. There will still be some who don’t like it but you can’t please everyone
- Get posting! A beautiful blog without great content won’t get read! A blog is only as good as the content you put into it and great blogs have great content! Get writing and if you’re not good at writing get someone else to help you, like me!