You have started your movie website and you are ready to launch it. You just have one more, crowning, identifying item to take care of: your movie website’s logo. This is something most novices do not realize they need. You and your website need a symbol, an insignia that tells people when they see it, this is who I am, this is what I do. Many people use the default ability of their website to generate a text logo for their website. This is fine in the beginning but if you desire legitimacy in the movie blogging field, your site will need a logo, a professional-looking one.
Why do you need a logo? One word: Branding. In marketing, branding is the use
of logos, symbols, or product design to promote consumer awareness of goods and services. [A brand is a] trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer.
If people come to your movie website and see a cheap header, unless you are offering quality content, they will think you are just another movie website. If you have a snazzy logo adorning it, it will give them pause. They will think that if he or she put this much effort into their logo, perhaps they show the same attention to their posts. Guaranteed the site visitor will at least scroll down below the fold of your page to see what front page content your site is currently offering. That’s what I do when I see a nice header on a foreign page I have never been on before. Its psychological, also I am curious to see what the rest of the site looks like. Bottom-line, this website will get a lower bounce rate off of me initially and maybe even few post clicks out of me.
It all starts with your website’s logo. Think of all the places your movie website logo will potentially appear once your up and running properly: your website home page, letterhead, business cards, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, Friendfeed, Disqus, Flickr, Digg, StumbleUpon, Gravatar, et cetera. The list goes on and on for the potential areas where your logo may be seen. That little image on those services represents your website, you, and your brand. Since that is the case, make it a strong representation of your brand. Gary Vaynerchuk talks all about branding oneself in his quick read Crush It!. This and other branding books can be found in the Popular “Start” Book section of our Movie Tech page.
Most people do not possess the Photoshop skills to produce something resembling a professional logo, unless they decide to take a course or two. Instead of spending your hard earned money and time in class, paying someone a low price to produce the same is probably your best option. Besides, if you are starting a movie website you should be doing one thing and one thing only: Writing Consistently. Period.
Outsourcing as an entrepreneur is an everyday, commonplace occurrence. You can search on Craig’s List, movie or college graphic design forums (this is one of the methods I use. Multiple designers enter a contest you post and try to win it by designing the logo you like the best), and post ads looking for a free logo designed for your site and who knows, you might actually get takers. The likelihood that the freelancer will not want something in return for their creative efforts is very small though. The benefit of a freelancer is that the logo that they design for you may be wholly unique. The cost of that uniqueness may run you in the low hundreds but will come with the peace of mind of having been produced by a professional. Freelancers work by word-of-mouth. They want you to become their advocate to others so their work will have a certain panache (hopefully) to it. Another way to get a free logo designed is to join a network that offers a store of some kind with a services section that includes logo design. This was how I got one of my first logos designed at a zero dollar cost. That particular network and store are now mismanaged and rancid (notice I have not named them) so it would do you no good for me to send you to them. Their time has passed.
There are services that will create a logo for you and deliver it to your email in-box. Some of these logo producing options include LogoNerds (I used them to design the logo for this site), DollarLogoDesign, LogoDesignGuru, LogoDesignTeam, LogoBee, LogoMojo and TheNetMenCorp. There are many other logo services out there to choose from of course. The ones I mention are services that I have come across.
The point of this portion of the Starting a Movie Website series is to stress the fact that when you launch your website, launch it right, powerfully, and brand instantly. Adorn your website with a logo. It will separate and differentiate you from the homogeneous pack.