WordPress Blog Designs For Small Businesses
Start building your online or offline brand by blogging
Are you a veterinarian, wedding planner, artisan, author, hair stylist, landscaper, painter, auto mechanic, bar or restaurant owner, or an owner of a service type business? If so, do you have a blog?
Why should you have a blog for your small business?
Here are five reasons why your service business should have a blog.
- provide value
- engage your audience
- build brand awareness
- answer common questions
Take a look around. Do you like my minimalist blog design?
This is just my own opinion, but the truth is that people don’t care about how fancy your website is, they just want to find information they are searching for or information that helps them find a solution to a problem. That is it!
They could be new to the area and searching for a doctor, dentist, restaurant, hair salon, or information on how to fix a leaky faucet.
My web developer experience
I created my first website back in 2002. Since then I have been creating numerous websites, most of them for myself. This is the first blog I have ever created. There are some differences between creating websites compared to creating blogs, mainly the sidebar.
You are able to see examples of pages and post by being on this site.
My strong points are being a good listener and providing excellent customer service.
If I have any weakness, it is not being interested in designing websites with lots of bells and whistles. I simply don’t like those types of sites so I won’t create them for clients. If something is flashing or moving I probably won’t use it on a website I create.
Another one of my weaknesses is not charging more for my work.
Other services I provide
In addition to designing websites I do the following:
I am not a graphic designer, but, I create graphics for FB, Pinterest and websites.
One of my Pinterest pins had about 400 impressions in about the first six hours it was on Pinterest. A day or so later and it had around 800 impressions.
None of my other pins have ever performed so well on Pinterest.
Of course, I can not, and do not make any promises on how well any pins that I create for you will perform.
The two examples shown below are not actual pins, they are only examples. These could be something you want to place on your website rather than on social media.
Two or three vertical graphics like these can be combined into one image and made rectangular as shown below. Maybe a before, during and after storyboard using three vertical images that are combined together into one?
Another thing I do is create and edit YouTube videos. If you need a cover banner for FB or a cover video I may be able to create them for you. My videos don’t include voiceover work.
Delivering the best user experience with a clean design that loads fast for better search engine optimization (SEO)
Did my website make a good first impression on you? If you like simplicity, I believe that the answer is yes, otherwise you would not be on this page.
According to Google Analytics, 1/3 of my blog visitors return. They view an average of 6 pages on this site per visit. My bounce rate is zero, which I find hard to believe.
The average time a visitor spends on my site varies each day. Being conservative, I would say that the average time on site is around one minute and twenty seconds, give or take about ten seconds.
I rarely see the average time on site at less than 30 seconds.
I don’t know about you, but I like those numbers. I put a lot of work into each and every one of my blog posts. That includes this page. I can’t stop revising it. This page is now over 4,000 words. But, I think that is actually a good thing.
Check out the numerous comments I received about the content on my blog. You will find those comments at the bottom of the right side bar.
I designed my blog to have a clutter free layout and to look good on both mobile devices and desktop computers. Having a clean web design with easy to read content will make it easier to convert visitors into customers.
Do you have a service type business such as one of these?
- pet care
- beauty salon
- jewelry making
- home service contractors such as painters, plumbers, landscapers, window replacement, etc.
Small business blog design. Would you like to have a blog for your small business?
As a small business blog designer I would like to have the opportunity to discuss blog creation with you to see if we would be a good fit.
I will guarantee that I will never try to pressure you if we talk. That is not my style. You either like my work and design style or you don’t. Either way is fine with me.
Your expectations and my expectations
Before I go any further I want to say this. I don’t want just anyone for a client. You see, I want to provide an enjoyable working business relationship for both my clients and myself.
This relationship has to be something we both enter in good faith.
Here is what I mean by that.
- Quality work.
- Mobile responsive blog.
- Pay a reasonable price for your blog.
- Someone that is honest and upfront with you.
- Good working relationship with your designer.
- Work to be completed in a reasonable amount of time.
- Memorial experience along with ease of use for your visitors.
- Good communication and updates on progress being made as well as any problems that occur.
- Designer that is easy to get in touch with either by email or by phone both during and after your blog has been created.
I can incorporate social media icons on your blog that will link to your social media pages. I don’t have any of mine on this blog right now.
Once I am finished creating you site, I will provide 10 days of reasonable modifications at no additional cost to you. Reasonable does not mean making major changes to the blog layout.
I can easily make some changes to the layout very quickly and easily. That is not what I am talking about.
For something to be considered reasonable, I would need to be able to do the work in about twenty minutes or less.
Optional: Once I have finished creating everything and you are happy with your blog, I am willing to teach you how to create new blog posts so that you can do some, most, or all of the work required to create a new blog post yourself.
Whatever it is you can’t do, or don’t want to do, I will do. For example, I can add and place the images in their proper location.
- Build a long term business relationship.
- Recommend me to other people who may need my services.
- Client will pay quickly, when asked, for the services I provide.
- Client that is easy to contact and that will respond in six to thirty six hours to my emails on a regular basis..
- Client that will provide me with the information and content I need quickly so I don’t have to wait days or weeks for whatever it is I need from client in order to proceed with project.
Sorry, I don’t create websites with shopping carts.
I have never put a shopping cart on any website, for myself or anyone else. If you are looking for an eCommerce site I am not your guy.
Still reading? Great! Please continue reading.
Not all blog designers are the same
Today I some how stumbled upon another blog designers website. I don’t like knocking fellow designers, but this designers website was terrible.
I am being totally honest saying that, and I don’t believe that he or she is one of my competitors. I have no idea what country or city this blog designer is located in which is why I don’t consider this designer to be a competitor.
Let’s just say that I did not get a great first impression when visiting this site. Remember, you only get ONE chance to make a good first impression on your visitors.
The price was right but that was about all that was good about this website. This designer did not seem to care about developing a great LONG TERM business relationship with their clients. That is totally the opposite of me.
Their website text was very hard to read and a lot of the blog examples looked very similar in just about every way.
I came across another website designers website today, it was LOADED with lots of BELLS and Whistles. Think of all the attractions you see at an amusement park, lots of things going on everywhere you look. That is what this website looks like.
Every couple of inches I scrolled down the home page something is moving. I hate flashy sites like that.
A site like this is pretty popular, but I don’t like these types of websites. Since I am in my late 60s, I prefer plain and simple designs.
These kind of sites distract visitors who arrive at the site looking for answers or a solution to their problem.
They find it just about impossible to concentrate because of all of the bells and whistles happening everywhere on the site, so they leave quickly, don’t make a purchase, and move on to the next site. It is highly unlikely they will ever return.
When visitors leave your site quickly that hurts your website search engine optimization, SEO.
As you can probably guess, I did not get a good first impression visiting this site.
Visitors who arrive on this blog usually visit on average 3 to 6 pages, and many of them return. This is great for SEO.
Ever since I started this blog, I have been tinkering and learning. My blog creation skill level has shot way up by not being afraid to experiment, even if it is trying something out of my comfort zone.
I create clean and minimalist blogs designed for mobile device users
Over the past couple of years the number of people visiting websites using their smart phone has been increasing.
Cell phone users now make up roughly 40% to 80% of all website traffic.
If you are not reading this page on your smart phone, please take out your cell phone right now and take a look at any of my blog posts.
Look at this page on your phone too. Very easy to read, right?
Not all website designers take into consideration smart phone users when they create websites for clients.
I create my content for cell phone visitors first. That means you won’t see wall to wall text when using your phone.
I leave plenty of white space which makes the user experience enjoyable.
Visitors stay on my site longer. It also gives me a high number (20% to 38%) of returning visitors.
Building your brand by establishing an online presence
Don’t rely on just having a brick and mortar presence to bring new customers or returning customers into your business. Times have changed since Al Gore invented the internet.
He didn’t really invent the internet, but he claimed that he did.
Your brick and mortar business needs an online presence too. People are no longer using the yellow pages, the thick book that use to be delivered to your door to find your business.
Nowadays, when someone needs to find a business that provides a service they need, they are going to use the internet.
Your business needs to show up in the organic listings on the three major search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing
A blog would be a great way to promote a small business and to keep your clients informed on what is new with your business.
- Show off work you recently completed
- Promote special events and special offers
- Let prospects and clients know about new products and/or services you offer
For example, maybe you are a dog groomer, artisan, landscaper, painter or a restaurant owner.
As a dog grooming business owner, think of how great it would be having photos of your happy clients showing off their pets after their fur baby has been groomed.
When pet owner prospects see all of the smiling faces of dog owners along with their pet on your blog they will want you to take care of their pet too.
Having a blog may be better than having a website with content that rarely changes
For me, the biggest problem that I found with having a website is that once I created my website I rarely added fresh content to the site. Maybe I would update something on my website once or twice a year.
But, now I have come to the conclusion that having this website set up as a blogging website rather than a traditional website seems like it is a better way to go, at least for this financial site.
Would you rather have a “plain and simple” website instead of a blog?
Contact me and let me know what you are looking for. Most, if not all, of what you see about having me create a blog for you would apply for a website.
In fact, I may even consider adding a shopping cart to your website, but that would only be for a small number of items, such as three or less.
I honestly don’t have any idea of what I would charge for an eCommerce store. Maybe $200 for a single item store page and $500 for a three item store page.
Those prices are just for creating the store pages for up to three items. The above prices do not include anything else such as a home page, contact page, etc.
By store page I am talking about a page that you can view the product, product image, product description, and the buy button.
For right now, since I have never done an eCommerce store before, I don’t think that I want to do products that come in multiple sizes such as T shirts. I probably just want to do one size type products such as caps and sunglasses.
If you enjoy writing you should have a blog
Rather than having a website with fixed content that rarely changes I think a blog may be a great alternative.
If you are an author, blogging about your work or an upcoming book may be just right for you.
Do you enjoy traveling around the world? Write about your travel adventures and post them for everyone to read.
A business owner who provides a service may be better off with a blog rather than a traditional website.
For example, if you are a restaurant owner, you can post the daily or weekly specials on your blog. If your menu changes write a blog post about your new menu.
Another advantage to having a blog is that from a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, Google likes to see fresh content on websites. The more often it sees fresh content on your website the better.
The reason I have a blog that talks about investing five dollars into mutual funds and ETFs is because I want to have new content added to my website on a regular basis.
Having fixed content pages does not make sense to me for this particular website.
In addition, I am learning something new about website design. Although I have created a number of websites since 2002, mostly for myself, setting up a blogging website is a brand new experience for me.
It’s not totally different than setting up a website that is not a blog, but there are some differences. For example, I had to get use to using a new WordPress theme as well as having a website with a sidebar.
I have created websites for myself with sidebars before but that was ages ago. Plus, I hand coded the website that contained a sidebar.
Anyone can start a blog. There is no age requirement or age limit. Your education and experience don’t matter. You can start a blog from anywhere and you don’t need to be a professional writer.
Biggest Blogging Obstacle
Before You get all excited about starting a blog, let me tell you what I feel is going to be your biggest blogging obstacle. No, I am not talking about having money to get into blogging.
In my own opinion, the biggest obstacle for a lot of bloggers is being willing/able to write more than a handful of one thousand to three thousand word blog posts.
Many people get all excited about starting a blog and find out shortly after they have started blogging they don’t really have the time or they simply no longer want to write quality content blog posts.
I would say that it takes me anywhere from three to twelve hours to write a one thousand word blog post.
But, I am creating it on my computer, right on my blog, as a new blog post, rather than writing it on paper or using MS Word or Notepad.
I have tried my best to put everything I can think of, both good and bad, regarding blogging. Plus, I included a lot about my skills in order to help you decide if you would want to hire me to create your blog or for one of the other services that I offer.
Is having a blog right for you?
I don’t want you to spend hundreds of dollars for a blog and then find out after spending money to get into blogging that blogging is simply not right for you.
I am not trying to say that getting into blogging is expensive, but even for me the yearly costs to blog is around one hundred dollars per year. Hiring me to create your blog will cost you more than what it costs me every year.
Here is my suggestion. Doing this could save you money, keep you from getting overwhelmed, frustrated and giving up.
Write ten to fifteen blog posts that are a minimum of one thousand words each, before contacting me to create a blog for you.
If you can’t get more than three to five blog posts done in a couple of months, and after three or four months you are still unable to write ten blog posts, then blogging is probably not right for you.
By not spending any money for a domain name, website hosting, a blog theme, legal page templates, my blog creation fees, etc, you will save money.
The cost to start your blog is fairly low compared to having a website created. Basically, you will need a domain name, about $15, maybe less per year.
You will also need website hosting, about $35 to $75 per year.
Third, you will need a WordPress theme. The cost of a WordPress theme can range anywhere from free to $120 per year.
You may also want to have a logo created for your blog. The price can range anywhere from $5 to $100 or more.
Check out my resources page for more information on how you can have an attorney provide you with templates for these three very important documents at a very affordable price.
You may want to also have a way to build an email list. This can be free or around $50 per month, depending on the number of subscribers you have. Sorry, but, this is not something I am offering. I don’t even do this for myself and I have never done this.
That is about all you really need to be a blogger.
My blog creation fees
These fees are in addition to the costs mentioned above. You are responsible for all of those costs plus my fees.
First, my hourly rate is $36 per hour, with a fifteen minute minimum. In other words, I do some work on your blog and it only takes me five or six minutes to complete this work my fee is $9.
For example, to add or make a correction to a sentence or paragraph, for one of your existing blog posts would cost you $9.
I reserve the right to charge an additional fee, up to $25 per week, for any of the following reasons
- you do not respond to my inquiries
- you do not provide me with your payment in a timely manner when requested
- you don’t provide me with the content/information I am requesting in a timely manner (within 3 business days)
I also reserve the right to cease working on your project for any of the above reasons and send you an invoice for any unpaid work.
Setup fee is $350. This does not include any images other than the header and logo images. All other images are billed at my hourly rate.
You will need to pick out and pay for a theme, I can help you with selecting your theme.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is not included, and it is not a service that I offer.
Although I don’t claim or consider myself to be a search engine optimization expert, I will try and help you optimize your blog posts for the search engines.
No blog posts are included in my setup fee.
Blog maintenance and updates
One of the services I provide to my clients after their blog has been created is monthly maintenance and updates to your blog content.
WordPress themes and plugins needs attention every month.
Themes and plugins are updated by their creators for a number of reasons.
This is done on an irregular schedule and there may be times when a theme and/or plugins may have one or more updates during a month and not have any more updates for several months.
WordPress sites are targeted by hackers because some of them are very easy to break in. The hackers can do anything they want to your blog once they gain access. That is why it is extremely important to keep your blog them and plugins up to date.
I charge a small monthly fee to keep your blog updated. The fee is $20 per month and the only thing this service covers is updating the theme and plugins. Any other services you need will cost extra.
I can update your text and images at my hourly rate of $28 per hour, billable in fifteen minute increments.
How I operate my WordPress blog design business
A $200 deposit is required before I start work.
The first thing I will do once I have installed WordPress and your theme is create your header and footer content.
After that I will create your About Us page.
Here are the items I need you to send me before I even begin working on setting up your blog, no exceptions.
- your logo
- domain name
- website host name
- banner graphic or image
- blog theme and child theme
- About Us image and page content
- A copy of all of the emails your website hosting provider sends you
Any item not listed above for the blog setup is not included. I will be happy to give you a quote for any additional items you are requesting.
I reserve the right to change my pricing at any time without notice.
The only type of blogs and blog posts that I create are “plain and simple”.
I will price each blog post depending on the amount of content each blog post contains. A rough estimate is somewhere around $87 to $300+ per blog post.
If I were to charge you $100 per blog post, and I created ten blog posts for you, that would come to $1,000.
This would be in addition to the setup fee and the other expenses you have before you get up and running.
That is why it is extremely important for you to be able to write ten blog posts before you hire me, or anyone else to create a blog for you.
Otherwise, you may be throwing a grand, or more, of your hard earned money out the window.
Congratulations on making it this far down the page.
Ideally, you want your site to look great on mobile devices, rank well organically and convert well
Unfortunately, there is no way that I can promise you that your website will rank well in the search results. SEO is not included as part of the blog creation service I provide.
I will do my best, but much of the ranking and converting will depend on you. In other words, your site needs great content to rank well.
It takes time for your site to rank. It won’t happen today, tomorrow and probably not in the next week. Your site may not even rank on the search engine results pages within the next month.
Patience is required when it comes to SEO.
Just because your website ranks at the top of the search engines does not mean that your site converts prospects into customers well. Ranking well and converting well are two separate issues.
Let’s make this a win-win experience
You respond quickly each time I contact you, provide any information I request in a reasonable amount of time and pay me quickly.
I will let you know when I would like to be paid.
In return, I may be willing to charge you less money for my work.
We can both benefit if we work well together.
In consideration for blog/website design creation, maintenance and/or any other services provided by Jim Juris, any payment you make to James R. Juris signifies your acceptance of the content found on this page in its entirety.
I would love the opportunity to work with you. Contact me by phone or by using the Contact Us page.