As you guys may have noticed, I’ve got a completely redesigned blog interface. A local business owner friend of ours runs a St Louis web design company, and does some pretty amazing work. The good news for us is that he also recently had twins, and needed some photography. Perfect! We had ourselves a service exchange.

Why a service exchange?
It’s simple. Service exchanges give businesses that are strapped for cash or business a chance to work and to get another professional’s talent in return. Obviously it only works if both professionals need each other’s services, but at least for photographers, you may be able to be picky about what you want to exchange for because so many people need photography services.

Before And After

Blog Before Revision

I had started with one of the built in wordpress templates, and had made minor tweaks to make the theme look different than the default. Honestly, I’m still learning about the wordpress world – especially about how to modify themes, code, etc. I didn’t really want to touch much because I felt like I might break something.

Blog After Revision

What a difference. Not only did ZakGraphix know how not to break wordpress, the design rocks the house! I feel like I have a respectable blog now. What do you guys think about the new design? After seeing this, I think he’s definitely got a promising future in doing future work with wordpress themes. In fact, if you’re running wordpress yourself and want yours redesigned, go to and make sure to mention my name when you contact Micah.

Extra Mileage
So the service tradeoff goes even further because now I’m promoting ZakGraphix, which wasn’t part of our agreement, but the job was so amazing, I couldn’t help but spread the word. That’s the magic to service exchanges. Aside from the obvious benefit you get from the other business, if you can prove that you do something spectacular, there’s a pretty good chance that the other business will spread the word about your business.

Final Thoughts
Don’t be embaressed to do service exchanges. In my opinion, it doesn’t cheapen your brand. It doesn’t mean that your business isn’t any good because you don’t have work lined up through next year. It just shows that you’re willing to work for what you want. That’s good work ethic to me, and that’s building a good name for your business. Now it’s your turn to join in the conversation. How have you guys used service exchanges in your business? Any genius ideas or good insight? I see exchanges listed all the time on Craigslist – has that worked for you guys?

12 Responses to “Redesigned Photography Blog – A Service Trade”

  1. Amr Boghdady says:

    He did make you a great job Larissa!
    Your blog looks awesome now, really professional!
    I specially love the header!

    I know this isn’t related to the design, but maybe you should work more on your ‘about’ page, cause it’s currently nearly empty, and some potential customers might actually check it out before they decide on giving you a call :)

    • TJ says:

      Thanks for stopping by to check out the new design. I definitely need to do something with both my about and contact pages. Right now they’re just placeholders until I get in and put all the info I need to in the pages.

  2. Hi TJ site looks great. Much improved, good work. Like the background image with the blurred edges. Grant

  3. Hi TJ

    My commentLuv does not seem to be applying on your site? Grant

    • TJ says:

      That’s weird – looks like it worked for you that time. What happened before? Did Commentluv find your last blog post before you posted?

  4. Fernando says:

    You nailed it!
    Looks so much better! :)

  5. It looks very good, your new design. A lot better than the old one :)

    I really like your background/wallpaper image as well. Are you going to replace it every now and then with a different photo?

    • TJ says:

      Yea, the old one was definitely not professional looking. The arch image will probably change as the image on our main website changes, so probably some time next year.

  6. Ken Ilio says:

    Your site is a great resource! I’ve been recently laid off and am thinking toward monetizing my hobby more and more. And thanks for visiting my site too (!

    • TJ says:

      Thanks for stopping by Ken! Are you thinking about monetizing as using your blog to get more assignments or monetizing with affiliate marketing, etc? So far, our blog has helped us out with our SEO, but the Adsense and such hasn’t done too well. I’m blaming Google for that. Bad ads don’t get clicked. Talk to you soon man!