Advice on Creating My Online Design Business

Need some advice on creating my online presence

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4 Replies - 600 Views - Last Post: 14 October 2009 - 04:48 PM

#1 dcloud  Icon User is offline

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Advice on Creating My Online Design Business

Posted 14 October 2009 - 10:41 AM

In the last cou­ple months I have had more clients than in my whole thirty-seven year career as a graphic artist. This has raised some press­ing mat­ters. Namely to define what it is I do and to pro­vide a place (online) for poten­tial clients to con­tact me regard­ing their design needs.

Right now I just have a hap­haz­ard blog design for my design busi­ness (http://dcfolio.blogspot.com/), but I would like some­thing more sub­stan­tial. I took a cue from one of Dar­ren Rowse‘s arti­cles (on ProBlogger) and devel­oped an 'ele­va­tor speech' to help me define what I do…

“Doug Cloud is a pro­fes­sional graphic artist from Michi­gan spe­cial­iz­ing in brand­ing, char­ac­ter design, illus­tra­tion, and per­sonal iden­tity development.”

Right now I just have this 'speech' inserted in the descrip­tion of my blog and in my Twit­ter pro­file. I‘m also try­ing to update it wher­ever I find it on the Web. Now that I have a good descrip­tion of what I do I‘d like to have a busi­ness site for my design ser­vices so I can focus on pro­vid­ing sam­ples of my work, con­tact info, and some kind of design sub­mis­sion form.

My port­fo­lio site (dougcloud.net) gives the impres­sion to vis­i­tors that I just do car­toon work. I want to move away from this impres­sion and also high­light my other areas of expertise.

What I'm looking for:

1. Where to build my design business? Lot of options out there and yet everyone keeps suggesting WordPress. I would like to have my site set up where I can tweak the content, code, and layout if I want.

2. What pages to include - About Me, Contact, Design Submission Form, etc.? These are the things I'd like to know more about.

3. Layout and design for a business type site? What works best and comes across as professional? My site right now on Blogger (D. C. Designs) has received some positive feedback, but does it represent me as a professional or simply a "guy who draws cartoons".

4. SEO of the new site? I haven't a clue about all this SEO business, but I know from reading about it that it's vital to a site's success. I would like to know how to implement SEO to make the most of my new business venture.

That's about it for right now. If you can offer anything else I should be considering please let me know. Any sug­ges­tions, ideas, and advice will be very appre­ci­ated.

Thank you.

This post has been edited by dcloud: 14 October 2009 - 11:39 AM


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#2 dcloud  Icon User is offline

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Re: Advice on Creating My Online Design Business

Posted 14 October 2009 - 02:33 PM

I just called MediaTemple to talk with them about hosting and it sounds like a good place to set up home. Their Grid Plan is a basic one and would have everything I need at $20 a month. I've heard a lot of good things about MT so I decided to start there. They also have tech guys knwoledgeable in WordPress and they even have a one-click WP install. The price is good and the customer support is around the clock.

Anyone else have any experience with MediaTemple as their hosting service?
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#3 W3bDev  Icon User is offline

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Re: Advice on Creating My Online Design Business

Posted 14 October 2009 - 04:19 PM

Truthfully, $20/mo is quite a bit to pay for Wordpress hosting, is wordpress what you are primarily doing, with some imaging/etc? Check out godaddy's offerings. There's plenty of hosting out there, I've used 1and1 as well, and a few others I'd rather not admit to lol. If you are looking for a single domain hosted, with basic wordpress, and some space for your designs, please don't pay more than $5 a month, otherwise you'll just be inflating the "not really needed" hosting market ;).

Good luck.
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#4 dcloud  Icon User is offline

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Re: Advice on Creating My Online Design Business

Posted 14 October 2009 - 04:24 PM

Thanks for the reply. Can you provide some links? Especially to where I can find WP and hosting for five bucks a month?

Thanks.
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#5 W3bDev  Icon User is offline

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Re: Advice on Creating My Online Design Business

Posted 14 October 2009 - 04:48 PM

No problem, above, there is a link to godaddy... but i'll link ya again...

Godaddy 4.99 /mo

1and1 - 3.99 /mo

Other hosters I have not tried:

Bluehost - 6.99 /mo

Dreamhost - 6.95 /mo

By the way, installing Wordpress is CAKE, seriously... just ftp the files to the server, click a few times, create a database on your server, link it up, your good to go. If you need help setting it up, PM me.

This post has been edited by W3bDev: 14 October 2009 - 04:50 PM

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