What every blogger should and should not put on their business card

Business cards are a very complex and personal thing. Your business card needs to work hard to grab the attention of its recipient whilst imparting the information that you want it to impart. And, it has to do these things in a style that it is inline with the style that you hope to project personally and professionally. A business card has to reflect you and work for you. Get your business card right, use it correctly, and you will reap the rewards. Get your business card wrong and it will end up with millions of others in waste paper baskets all over the world.

One of my many tasks for the new year is to create a press and publicity pack for Upstart Blogger and my other projects. In total I will have five press packs, one for each of the four main projects I have for 2009 and one general pack that can be used as a publicity umbrella.

Earlier this week I mentioned my desire to bring all my projects into line, in a cohesive online structure that would allow anyone hitting any of my blogs to instantly recognize the brand. Personal branding is one of the ways that I will link my projects together and something I will go into detail about as things develop.

For now, however, I would like to talk about how I designed a business card for Upstart Blogger in under an hour whilst enjoying my daily fix of caffeine this morning.

I started, as many millions of people do, by searching the web for inspirational business card designs. This search lead me through the inevitable slew of awful looking stock designs and the equally awful and endless list of Digg posts with titles like ‘killer business card designs’ and ’101 business card designs you have to see’.

Happily, I found a blog called oh my God it even has a watermark which, as its American Psycho inspired name suggests, is a showcase for just the sort of inspirational business card designs I was looking for. One thing struck my immediately. The most memorable cards were the simplest ones. Of course, there were business cards in various amusing shapes and sizes, some which were ingenious and some which were, frankly, too clever for their own good, but the ones that really stood out were the cards that imparted the information in a simple, stylish and effective way.

It occurred to me that as a blogger my number one aim was to get people to visit my blog. And, as that thought buzzed around my brain a light bulb appeared above my head.

The only information a blogger needs on their business card is their name and the address of their blog.

No telephone number, no physical address, no witty tag line and certainly no photograph. Superfluousness is the enemy when it comes to imparting information, especially when you only have a small piece of card as your delivery system.

The important thing to remember is that if your business is online then you number one priority should be to get people to visit your business online. If you are a blogger then your card has one aim. And that aim is to get people to visit your blog. Everything else just clouds the issue and gets in the way.

It then occurred to me that I could use a double sided card with my name on one side and my blog address on the other. I would design a different card for each of my projects, all of which would have the same basic design. The only difference between the cards, other than the blog address, would be the choice of font which would, obviously enough, match the font used for that specific blog. All of my projects are based online and are all blog powered.

My choice of fonts and reasons for choosing them, like my thoughts on personal branding, will be shared and hopefully discussed once all four projects are up and running. If everything goes to plan this will be before the end of January 2009.

I then fired up Photoshop and in a very short space of time I had the first two cards finished and ready to send to the print house of my choice. The other two will follow once the designs have been finalized for the other two projects.

And here they are, in all their minimalist glory, front followed by back and then again for the second card.

upstartbloggerfront.jpg

upstartbloggerback.jpg

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ashleymorganback.jpg

I’ll order some once the other two cards have been designed and take some photographs so you can see how they look as a physical product. Furthermore, if you have a business card that you are particularly proud of then feel free to leave a link to it in a comment below.

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