I’ve designed quite a few blogs over the last year or so, and I recently worked with a client who I thought did an extremely thorough job of planning for her new site, Remarkable Parents. The process she went through provides a good case study to look at, as the preparation for a blog launch can make a big difference in your success both in the early days and long term.

First Steps

Before Vicky even got to the design process, she consulted the experts in how to prepare for a blog launch. There are many great articles out there to help with the planning process, but Vicky chose to go straight to a master blogging authority and consult with Chris Garrett. As a result, when she came to me, she had many of the pieces in place which made translating her vision into a blog design enjoyable.

Ready to Design

So, what are these pieces that made my job so much easier?

Concept – she knew what her blog was going to be about and she had an idea about how that might translate into visual terms. She didn’t tell me exactly what she wanted the header to look like of course. Rather, the concept she gave me for designing the header was somewhat abstract, but provided guidance enough for me to work with.

Target Audience – she knew who she was going to be writing to, and knowing this made my search for images that would work well in the header much easier. She even had an age range in mind.

Look and Feel – she had scoured the web for sites that appealed to her and had elements she thought would appeal to her target audience. She didn’t just have one inspirational site and color scheme, but several and she described what she liked about each.

The result

So much thought and preparation time made the design process go very smoothly, and the final result is a site we’re both very pleased with.

If you visit Vicky’s site, you’ll see that her first post is up and she has received 35 comments on it! Not only has she put a lot of time into the preparation for her blog’s launch, she is following it up by networking, the use of social media sites like Twitter and even some offline promotion using some MooCards that have her blog’s header on them.

Even if your budget doesn’t allow for professional consultation and design, taking the time to be very thorough in planning and preparation before launching a blog can make all the difference.