Friday, January 23, 2009

Increase traffic by blogging - Art Car Central Redesign

When times are slow it's time to get busy and get ready for the next wave of work. Last December it was painfully slow and I decided that the extra time on my hands was a gift to help me catch up and reorganize my business. So I decided to redesign my art car central blog and take it to the next level. It went from a boring template to a fully customized web site with lots of image buttons, videos, useful links and social network bookmarks on every blog entry. I had a ton of art cars I categorized for easy access, so I broke it all down by medium used, type of vehicle, popular tags, and a few other related categories.

I also designed the banner to reflect my love for typography and the movie marque. Art Car Central is cross between going to the movies and the circus freak show. I do all the non traditional looking art cars and beyond, mutant vehicles, crazy car modifications, and some new ones not yet up. My goal is to allow my readers to have fun exploring all the different categories of art cars for hours. In January my site was listed on Blogs of Note by Blogger, which was a nice way of saying "Good Job" and it sent my stats through the roof.

The lesson learned here is that when you get sense that it's time to move ahead with a project, you better listen to your gut feeling. Because missed opportunities stink and they set you back every time. The upshot of having redesigned the art car central is that, traffic increased, I gained valuable skills and sold advertising on my blog. The best part was that I picked up more work from a big internet company wanting to take their company to the next level.

I believe that every one and every business should have a blog because its one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site through current and relevant information. If your are not blogging, then you're missing out on an amazing online opportunity.

Art Car Central Blog Screen Shot
Art Car Central Blog Screen Shot

The Pen Guy 4x6 Postcard

The Pen Guy 4x6 postcards have been out now since last summer and so far I still have 8000 of them to give out. One of the goals of this project was to continue the "Pen Guy" brand and explain the story of the Mercedes Pens as a road trip spanning the last 3.5 years. The art on the back was from another project that never happened and felt it was a shame to waste all that time. So I actually recycled some design work for the first time ever, but it seemed to make sense in this case. I basically stopped short of the kitchen sink and put all the info I needed to have and I got some feedback saying it was too busy. I meant it that way, because if you noticed the car is pretty much the same way. I also added some important quotes along the way that came out of the buildings, and a few road signs as well. The ironic thing is that I got shot in the eye with a marker the day these came out, ironic since I had put up a sign on the back that said "caution flying pens". Full story here.

Pen Guy 4x6 Postcard Front
Pen Guy 4x6 Postcard Front

Pen Guy 4x6 Postcard Back
Pen Guy 4x6 Postcard Back

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