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BlogTalk: Business Cards

by - Friday, March 23, 2012

I could probably count on one hand the number of professional business cards I've had in my life. They just never seemed necessary... my jobs never required me to deal with external clients or it was so seldom that I made new contacts in my day to day job that I never needed cards.

And then came the blog.
I've only had a blog business card for the last two years or so. In all honesty, in the beginning it felt really weird to have one at all. A card for my blog? Calling myself a blogger? Wasn't blogging just a hobby? Why would I need a card? 

Then I started being invited to media events and attending blogger meetups and I realized having a business card is a good idea. Like we discussed before, networking is a key component of growing your blog. Hit it off with a fellow blogger you met at a meetup? Give them your card and you may soon be collaborating on a project. Or maybe you had the chance to meet an editor from one of your favourite design mags? Your card can direct them to your blog (and your magazine-worthy home).

A preview of my latest business cards. The lovely Lindsay designed the back, and I designed the front. Printed by The rounded corners make me smile :)

But what to put on a business card? It depends. You need to have two things for sure: 1) your name, and 2) a way to reach you. Whether the best way to reach you is via email, through your blog, or on the phone - tailor the card info to the way you work. Beyond the obvious, here's a few other things you might consider:
  • QR Code: You've probably seen QR or Quick Response codes popping up with more frequency. These black and white square matrix barcodes can be scanned by smartphones, providing an quick and effortless link to any website. Why make someone type in your url when then can scan your code and arrive there instantly? Here's a site where you can generate your own QR code.
  • If you're like me, you are probably over-connected: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google+. But which of these do you include on your business card? You can simplify and create an page where you can link to all your homes on the web. It also gives a you place to provide a personal profile and put a face to the name - a great way to enhance your personal brand.
  • A tagline: Taglines are a great way to convey a lot about you in a few short words. They should be memorable and concise. Here's a great example from The Blog Fairy - "dazzling designs for web & print":

  • Creative design: In our increasingly paperless world, holding a beautifully designed business card is one of life's simple pleasures, don't you think? I saw a lot of great cards at Alt and some of my favourite trends were
    • packaged cards - individual cards in glassine envelopes or little hand-stitched linen bags
    • kraft/natural paper - gives cards a nostalgic, old school feel
    • gold lettering - Gold is everywhere, not just in interiors. This card is a lovely example.
    • painted edges - Aren't these persimmon-edged cards by Jordan Ferney so pretty? I'm sure you could do this as a DIY ;)

If you're in need of a bit more business card design inspiration, check out my Typography board, this and this Flickr collections of cards, or this fabulous roundup of business cards from Alt Summit attendees...

P.S. BlogPodium is just over two months away. You'll definitely want to have some business cards on hand ;)

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  1. Lots of pretty inspiration - love the hand painted edges on Jenny's cards. It's simple but the extra detail makes them stand out in a pack. I love the vintage/retro feeling of your BlogPodium card.

    I love my business card too - Lindsay did them for me and it looks identical to my blog.

  2. hahaha.i use to think about the same thing, why a business card? Maybe its because of my day job..i hate getting them...becomes clutter...but for blogging I guess its a 'brand thing'. Besides in the corporate world the rule is just carry 3 cards and be selective who you hand them out different in blog world.

  3. Auntie Shan12:23 PM

    Unlike a late Uncle of mine - who would get DIFFERENT Cards *every* year! - I've had the SAME one for almost a Decade...

    When I 1st started out my little "business", I knew I *needed* BIZ-CARDS to hand out at "Shows" and to use as "Tags" on my larger items... TheBusinessDepot [now STAPLES] had a "SALE"... :-D

    Despite not having all *that* much of a choice in Colour or Texture, etc. at the time, as it turns out, WHAT I chose worked out Perfectly! The embossed lettering & border design and paper texture all contribute to expressing "what I do" without having to "write it down".

    Keep it SIMPLE. Also, bear in mind, that certain INFO *changes*! So, unless you can afford to ORDER new Cards every year, commit to what will be CONSTANT - [your name, business, website/e-mail]

    Also, some times TOO much info ISN'T always a "good thing"... Especially, if you're running something from your Home. I have my Business Name, my Name, and my E-Dress *only* on the front. Anything else, I'll write on the back. I'll give out my "Voicemail" Cell-Number. NOT my Home one. And NEVER a Home Address!

    The QR-code sounds like a useful "tool" - IF used safely.

    At the end of the day, check out OTHER People's Cards... Make note of what IT "is" about *Them* that you find Eye-catching! [not blinding or unreadable!] -- Remember, YOUR Card reflects *YOU*!

  4. Stylenorthblog12:23 PM

    A business card is a must. It was one of the first things I did when I founded It validates and legitimizes my presence when I go into a shop and start asking questions and taking photos. I couldn't  do what I do without one.

  5. thebookofjimmy12:23 PM

    Rats.  I thought this would be one area where a business card would not be of any use.  As a lawyer I am pretty sick of business cards at this point in my life.  Oh well.  

    A good friend of mine is a graphic designer.  I went to her for my law firm's business cards - she does great work.  You can google or facebook her at Blue September Designs.  

  6. lipstikevents12:23 PM

    Oops...the comment from Blackstone Paving was from me...accidently signed in via my full time job twitter :)

  7. safdar ali12:23 PM

    These are looking awesome. I have to print plastic business cards for my new business and these cards will help me so much in choosing best design.

  8. Auntie Shan12:23 PM

    BTW, just a little FYI for first time Card ordering - especially at a place like STAPLES... When you order, say "1000", EXPECT about "950"! Due to offsetting, smearing, etc. a number of them will be pulled. And, if THEY're embossed, those "boxes" that THEY'll be packaged in are designed for FLAT cards! So, a "few" more might still go "missing"...

    And, YES, I *DO* COUNT THEM!! -- just a tad *nal that way... ;-D

    Actually, it's a point to keep in mind when ordering "Invitations" and such as well... INSIST on a Minimum Number of PERFECT "units"! Screw-ups should come out of THEIR pockets, *not* YOURS!

  9. Okay seriously - thank you, thank you, thank you...for jumping inside my head and answering my questions in this blog post! Ever since I bought my ticket for Blog Podium I've been thinking "Should I have a business card?" Like you card for my blog, why? It's a hobby...I'm not that important...Who would want one...etc, etc. Anyways, I've heard wonderful things about and I'm going to go design something for it right now :)

    I'll give you one at the meet up ;)

  10. April @ Money Pit Love12:23 PM

    I've had business cards for my blog since an uncomfortable experience with security in a store well over a year ago (I asked to take photos, explained that I had a blog, went through my whole spiel and assured them ~ multiple times ~ that I was not a competitor, and they still had security stalk me around the store like the Gestapo, popping up from behind displays and from around corners to surprise me with questions like, "What did you say your blog's name was again" and "What are the photos for?"). Since using the cards, I've never had an issue with security: I find offering a card, especially to vendors, puts their mind at ease that I and the blog are legitimate and not just a competitor (or thief) in disguise.

    That being said, my cards are really cheap! I designed them myself (and I am NOT a designer) using the image I use on the blog, and had them printed at The Printing House. At the time, it was more for practical purposes and less for "branding". But I've seen some of the gorgeous cards out there and am starting to feel a little inadequate, so I'm definitely considering getting new cards custom-made.

    Aside from the whole security issue, having a card helps ME to feel more comfortable and legitimate as a blogger. I'm not a professional ~ far from it ~ but like anything, if I take it seriously so will others. It's important to me that people understand that the blog is important to me, and having a business card is all part of that.

    Wow. Sorry for the rant!

  11. ramblingrenovators12:23 PM

    Excellent point! Yes, folks are more apt to let you take photos if they know where you are posting them.

  12. ramblingrenovators12:23 PM

    Ha! I do that all the time. Now I know who to go for paving if I need it ;)

    I love! Their business cards are nice thick cardstock and sharp printing.

  13. ramblingrenovators12:23 PM

    Surprising, right? Somehow I've convinced myself that "the blog" requires me to have business cards - and a DSLR camera and maybe an iPad too ;)

  14. This post couldn't have come at a better time, I'm on the hunt for new business cards! I'm off to check out right now.

  15. Faisalm25512:23 PM

    Your simplicity in cards and some of the designs are really different.

    Plastic Business Cards
    Plastic Card

  16. Love your new BlogPodium cards. You and Lindsay are such a great team ;) I had Lindsay customize Penny Paper Co.'s Chevron calling card for my blogging / writing / designing ventures to coordinate with my chevron blog header. I love how the brand links their so pretty! xo

  17. ramblingrenovators12:23 PM

    I must grab one of your cards then so I can see the pretty!

  18. ramblingrenovators12:23 PM

    So different! But then blogger cards are so much prettier than corporate cards so you want to hand them out and collect them.

  19. ramblingrenovators12:23 PM

    Great points Auntie Shan. Texture is important especially when your work/products are tactile.

  20. Christina Attard12:23 PM

    Re. being over connected and where to look online...met someone last week. His card was simply "The Kilted Broker" "Google Me" - risky, but cool!

    But you're bang-on here - the bottom line is that you need cards! I don't care who you are! :-)

    I'm into the idea that many of us even need two sets - one for my personal brand, one for my employer's brand - use the appropriate card when doing business for one or the other.

    Thanks for your awesome series of posts!


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  22. plastic00212:23 PM

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