It’s Day 2 of Bloggy B-Card Week! If you missed it, be sure to catch yesterday’s post about what to put on a blogger business card.
Today’s post comes from my good friend Fadra (more about her at the end but I’ll tell you that it’s pronounced Fay-dra).
I almost titled this post, “If That’s Your Business Card, I’m Scared To See Your Blog.” It’s much easier to pick out the negative than focus on the positive. It’s especially easier to do when you’ve freshly returned from a conference and have a whole stack of business cards to wade through.
Along with Melissa, I attended the Type-A Parent conference in Asheville, NC this past weekend. I’m pretty happy to say that almost everyone had a business card to hand out. I even got a card from the blogger who first introduced herself as a “baby blogger” and then quickly changed her description to an “in utero blogger.”
(I was slightly confused about what she blogged about but quickly realized she was referring to the fact that she was a new blogger who hadn’t even launched yet.)
Based on Melissa’s post, What to Put on a Blog Business Card, if you’re a blogger that wants to be seen as a professional, you know you need to have a card. Hopefully, you also have a pretty good sense of what to put on the card.
So what’s next?
Let’s knock out a card in Microsoft Publisher and hurry on down to Kinko’s to have it printed, right?
In fact, it’s wrong on many levels. First of all, there are no more Kinko’s. They are all called FedEx Office now. But you knew that. Secondly, don’t use MS Publisher for anything if you can avoid it. And thirdly, Fedex-Office-Kinko’s-local-office-supply store is not an ideal place to get your business cards. And I’m gonna tell you why.
The quality of your business card is a reflection of you, your blog and your professionalism. I know some of you don’t want to hear that. You don’t want to be judged by that little tiny card. You want people to go to your blog and see what a warm, wonderful writer you are. The problem is, if your card isn’t memorable, no one may ever go there.
There are some key things to consider when designing and printing your business cards. And they don’t all have to cost a fortune.
As you know, Melissa has an excellent eye for design and I love the honest and constructive blog critiques she offers up every week (and kudos to those of you brave enough volunteer!) I won’t pretend to be a professional designer here and I understand that not everyone can afford one. However, keep in mind a few simple things when constructing your card.
- Don’t crowd the card. Too much information is simply too much.
- Don’t use more than 2 or 3 font styles.
- Watch your font sizes. Your sizes may print much larger or much smaller than you anticipate. If in doubt, print the actual business card design in the actual printed size on a printer to verify, or order a proof from your printer.
- If you’re using photographs, use high-resolution images. It keeps the pictures from looking too pixelated or blurry.
- Don’t use copyrighted images!
- Use color (but use it effectively). Full color photos are fine but the rest of your card should follow a color scheme.
- Leave white space. People often take notes on your business card when they meet you. Make sure you leave room for it.
And finally, if you do nothing else, make your design consistent with your blog! Use the same logo, or photo, or colors, or fonts. But make it part of the experience of who you are.
A note about templates: Many online printing companies offer pre-designed templates for business cards. While they aren’t my first choice, if you are looking for an attractive card with a professional look and are on a tight budget, consider using a template. Just be sure to select a design that you think corresponds to your overall blog theme. Then customize with fonts and colors, if possible.
Hooray! You now have a business card all designed. It looks good. You like the colors. You have all the right info. Now, is it time to go to Kinko’s? NO! I have nothing against on demand printing. In fact, I love it… when I need something on demand. But we’re telling you all this business card stuff so you can plan in advance and have fantastic cards!
Don’t ruin a good design with bad printing. Here’s where it can go very right or very wrong.
- Pick a thick sturdy paper.
Finding the right paper (or cardstock) can be a super confusing issue. Different print vendors use different measurements. Some measure paper weight in pts (points) and some do it in lbs (pounds). How do you know which one is better?
FedEx Online Printing typically offers 80 to 100 lb cardstock for printing. UPrinting.com offers 13 or 14 pt cardstock. Wouldn’t it be great if they used the same measurement? This paper weight comparison chart tells you that the 100 lb cardstock translates to 11 pt cardstock (roughly). Much thinner than the 13 or 14 pt cardstock. Bottom line? One is thin and flimsy. The other is a fairly sturdy weight. Make sure you compare apples to apples when looking at cardstock.
- Choose the right finish.
What does the “right” finish mean? That depends (of course). Typically, you’ll be offered a choice between glossy, matte, and uncoated.
Glossy is just as the name implies. It’s glossy. It’s shiny. It’s smooth. It’s also hard to write on.
Then there is matte. Matte is usually considered coated cardstock. It doesn’t have a glossy finish but it is very smooth. It’s a little easier to write on.
And finally uncoated is exactly as the name implies. It’s a typical paper texture. It’s very easy to write on but the color is duller than a glossy or matte finish.
So how do you know which one to choose?
Base it on your preference, your design, your style and your budget.
- Select a shape and size.
It used to be that business cards came in one shape: rectangle. These days, they can be round, square, slim rectangle, standard rectangle and more. Typically, the crazier the shape, the more expensive the card. When you get a standard-sized business card, printers are able to print and cut a large batch at one time for pretty cheap. For odd shapes, you may need a die-cut card and you will pay more. Also remember that many people put cards in standard-sized card holders and that odd-sized card can easily get lost or fall out in a stack of cards. Decide how important the size is to you.
- Go for quality printing.
Laser printing at home can be okay if you have the right settings on your printer. But you’ll probably have to use perforated card paper which can leave a messy edge. You also won’t be able to do a full bleed (when the printing goes all the way to the edge of the card).
While your local printer may be convenient, he’s probably going to be more expensive and possibly not the best quality. I recommend buying from an online printer where the overhead is less and the savings is passed on to you.
Okay. Now take a deep breath. Are you still with me?
I threw a lot at you. And I’m sure plenty of you are thinking that you don’t have the money to buy expensive business cards. They don’t have to be expensive. They have to be professional and a reflection of you, the blogger, as a professional.
Fadra Nally left the world of corporate marketing and fell quite accidentally into the world of blogging. These days, she divides her time between three different blogging endeavors. She writes about the world around her on her personal blog, all.things.fadra. Finally, she’s put her knowledge to good use by consulting with businesses on social media and the art of engaging with bloggers through Social Dialect. When she’s not behind the computer, you’ll find her at home in Maryland with her husband, young son, toy poodle, and fat cat.
Where Can You Buy Blogger Business Cards?
MOO Business Cards (this link will get you free samples so you can test them out)
Tiny Prints (lots of great templates)
By the way, a few of these links are affiliate links but I hope the content I provided was worthy of a click.
This post was part of a week-long series of blogger business cards. If you want more b-card goodness, check out What to Put on a Blog Business Card, Seven Trends in Blogger Business Cards and QR Code Ideas for Business Cards.
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