There are now a lot of blogs about graphic design and if you are a graphic designer who still isn’t blogging you could be missing out. There are a lot of reasons that designers should blog. If you want to set your own blog up you can download my free guide to setting up a WordPress blog (no email or sign up required)
1. Blogging Helps Designers Get Found in Google (SEO)
You probably already know this but google loves blogs and fresh content so when you blog about design you increase your chances of getting found by potential clients. I can by personal experience say that through both this blog and my personal design blog I have received several thousand pounds of work that otherwise I wouldn’t have got. Not only can potential clients see your work but they can get an insight into your personality through the way you write and the way you interact with people that comment on your blog.
Blogging can help you find both international or local work. Most people probably see blogging as an opportunity for designers to do work for clients further afield but I also use it to find local clients. By trying to optimise my personal blog for local words such as using my county in some of my post headings I will be more likely to be found by local companies.
2. Finding Full Time Design Employment Opportunities
Just as a blog helps a freelance designer find full time work it can also help a designer to find full time work. As I mentioned before a blog is a small insight to the type of person you are alongside a portfolio of your work. You could also go as far to create video posts showcasing you and your work. A blog is also somewhere you can direct potential employers to when you are sending out letters and emails to prospective employers. The potential employer can view your work and see your level of knowledge and enthusiasm.
Jacob Cass from Just Creative Design received a job offer via twitter which I should imagine was down to his very popular blog which you can read about here.
3. Designers Can Make friends and Contacts
The blogosphere enables you to contact any other blogging designer to both ask and offer advice. In the past I have contacted fellow bloggers who have helped me and in turn I have answered questions through emails and comments from novice designers. It never ceases to amaze me how helpful people you have never met before can be. You may also be lucky enough to find people to collaborate with on projects (not something I have done yet myself).
4. Opportunites and Design Exposure
When I first started blogging David Airey already had a fairly popular blog, though nothing like as popular as it is now. After his first blog – www.davidarey.com he launched his incredibly popular www.logodesignlove.com early 2008, which not only made him become an authority in the area of logo design and I am sure allowed him deservedly to increase his prices, but also led to a book deal with Peachpit Press which you can read about here.
Maybe not every designer blogger will end up with a book deal but there are also design magazine opportunities. Open up issues of Computer Arts and some of the articles you will find written by a designer blogger. I personally wrote a small piece “last word” for Computer Arts Projects a couple of years ago after being emailed by one of the editors. Not only was this cool to do but I got paid for it too. There are also opportunities to write for high profile websites – Jennifer Farley, Laughing Lion Design now writes for Sitepoint and John Boardley Ilovetypography writes Linotype’s monthly newsletter.
5. Extra Cash from Advertising and Affiliate Programs
So for most of us this is probably not going to make a fortune, but a bit of paid advertising can cover your web hosting costs.
If you are writing reviews about products you like, in my opinion, there is no harm in using an affiliate link to the product as long as the review is genuine.
6. Design Freebies
Be honest, everyone loves a freebie. If you write a design blog with reasonable coverage you will probably be offered some free stuff to review whether it be free ebooks, real books software or other equipment.Personally I have received a few ebooks whichI have read. I reviewed the ones I liked but not the ones I didn’t. I have also received a couple of books, a couple of bits of software (one after I had already done a review of a trial version) and most recently a Wacom Bamboo tablet which I will review when I have played with it a bit more. I can only imagine what some of the big design blogs receive to try out.
7. Blogging to Sell your Themes, Graphics, Designs, Tshirts or Designer Merchandise
Designers who create web themes such as WordPress themes can use a blog as a way of promoting their themes. Paid themes can generate a lot of revenue for some designers such as Brian Gardner who has developed a successful business selling premium themes, blog design and internet marketing. Blogs could also be used to generate traffic to sell vector graphics, photos, prints and posters or other merchandise.
8. Turning a Blog Post into a Business
Collis Ta’eed who was previously a web designer ran a blog called NorthxEast where he posted an article on his blog about freelancing. It was a big hit and realised that a site/blog about freelancing might be successful and set up the incredibly popular Freelanceswitch, he has also created Flashden and Tuts+. You only have to look at Freelanceswitch’s advertising prices alone (to see what a good business it is) not even taking into account the jobs board, ebooks and affiliate sales. You can also listen to a podcast interview with Collis here.
As a designer, do you think it is important to blog?For tips on freelancing straight to your inbox click here
Free guide to setting up your wordpress blog including SEO basics (from Graphic Design Blog)
Blog Profits Blueprint (FREE) : A free downloadable report from Yaro Starak on the best ways to create a profitable blog
Hosting: Hostgator, A good hosting provider for a blog who have one click WordPress Install and video tutorials to get you started. I have had very good customer support from them.