Creating A Successful Blog For Your Design Services: A Beginners Guide
If you’re a designer, you probably already have a website set up. If not, don’t sweat it – I have a few webinars to walk you through the process of setting up your first website. For the sake of this article, though, I’m going to assume you’ve already got your website ready to go.
I’m going to be real honest with you here so that you aren’t shitting your pants later on down the road when you see the sheer size of the market you’re about to enter; There are a ton of design blogs out there.
Don’t let that discourage you, though. I wouldn’t spend the time creating a piece about how to run a successful design blog if I didn’t think it was very possible.
Why do you need to blog as a designer?
There a lot of reasons you need to start blogging as a designer, but I can narrow it down to two primary ones:
1. Blogging helps designers market their services.
That may come off as odd since design is a highly visual practice, but blogging doesn’t deal only with words. Many designers post pictures of some of the work they’ve done – aside from the things already featured on their portfolio – and talk about the process that it took them to get there.
This is hugely effective from a self-marketing standpoint. You get to visually broadcast your work so your clients not only get a taste of the final product, but also the meticulous hours and thought that goes into it. The more clients know about your quality of work, the better.
2. Blogs are a great way to interact with other designers.
Designers are a creative breed, and it’s not a secret that creatives have a high tendency to be introverts. Blogging is a great way to not only break that shell a little bit, but it also helps you reach other designers across the world who you wouldn’t be able to talk to otherwise.
Online, the designer community is wildly active, so take advantage of the feedback, inspiration, and teaching moments that’ll arise from your design blog.
My 6 steps to creating a successful design blog:
1. Read, read, read, read.
Spend a ton of time reading other design blogs. By reading other designers’ blogs, you’ll get a firm grasp on what designers are already doing, how they’re approaching the medium, and the functions of it all. This’ll also help you start to work out where you can fit in the online designing world.
2. Find your niche.
Like I said, there are thousands of design blogs out there already, and new ones are just being created daily.
Your design blog can’t just be another design blog – you have to have a carefully thought-out niche in mind. This is a key marketing strategy in most forms of digital marketing: find a unique angle surrounding design and repurpose that angle for your blog.
For example, don’t create a blog that focuses on design as a whole – you won’t get far. Instead, create a blog about architectural design for major cities. That will generate some seriously targeted traffic, and put your name on the block as the go-to authority for that niche.
3. Market your blog as a valuable resource.
This isn’t going to be a blog about your random thoughts, experiences, and rants that go on in your head. In order for this blog to turn into a revenue/client-generating medium, you’ve got to market the hell out of it as the go-to resource for valuable content.
You need to be writing articles that inspire, persuade, and teach your audience about your craft, then hit social media hard with self-promotion. Don’t just shamelessly promote, though – promote your help. That’s what your blog is going to provide, and that’s what will draw people to it.
4. Use social media to connect with your audience.
Every successful blog has social platforms that they use to directly connect with their audience. It’s free, it’s immediate, and it’s personal. You can promote your content, lead discussions, handle issues – all with immediate, branded touches.
Your blog can be the greatest thing on earth, but it doesn’t mean a thing if nobody can find you. Make sure you’re following like-minded people and tastefully promoting your content with the value of it in mind.
5. Create golden content.
You don’t have to be a modern-day Hemingway or anything, but you do have to create interesting, valuable content. You’re a designer, so your strengths lie in the aesthetics of things – that’s fine. But, we aren’t talking about pure pictures, here. You have to create content that people are going to take time out of their day to click through and read.
At the end of it all, just ask yourself: is this something I’d personally click on and read all the way through?
If not – don’t post it.
6. Make sure your site’s design reflects your own professionalism aesthetics.
Yes, the blog is about your content – but what kind of audience is going to respect what you have to say as a designer if the very design of your blog is sub par? We judge books by their covers, let’s be honest. Make sure yours is clean, fresh, and visually appealing to even the most meticulous designer’s scrutiny.
It’s going to take some time to start generating real, definable results from your blog – that’s why so many people give up after a short period of time.
But, you aren’t like most people.
Stick to your chops, create original content frequently, and blast social media channels with your value; your designing service website will become a massive powerhouse within your niche in no time.
Make sure you stay updated on my content – I’ll have more design-oriented articles to come – just sign up for my newsletter! And, as always, I’m ready to help you if you need anything.