Journal

Entry

Permalink

Ten reasons why designers should have blogs

Date

Saturday, 26 January, 2008

Content Although I've been working in the web industry for nearly a decade, its only within the last couple of years that I've really looked into web blogging technologies and set up my own blog sites. I've had a simple static website before, and typically, its my own site that is the last to be updated.

Sure, (even without a blog) as digital consultants, we can advise our clients on the world of blogs. But "doing" leads to knowledge. And "knowledge" is power, as they say.

Within my recent experience, I've discovered a whole range of things in the process of creating and maintaining a blog. These range from the technical aspect of manipulating blog technologies and hosting to the conceptual issue of having a blog in the first place. All of which can hone your skills as a designer working in the digital media - useful for conveying this knowledge to potential clients.

I came to the conclusion that designers should have blogs if they want to maximise their abilities. By designers, I also include graphic designers that work in non-digital media too, as they can gain from the benefits of a regularly updated blog, which could be over and above the use of just a portfolio web presence to market your services.

Examples of the content of blogs that designers could create include the following:

  • Personal and commercial work
  • Design news and industry discussion
  • Sources of inspiration

Any subject would probably do however, as long as there is a passion for it (essential to keep the motivation for running a blog in the long run) and the subject is "safe" enough to show to potential clients.

On this note, it's best if the content planned for a blog is always kept as professional as possible. You don't want to repeat the MySpace mistakes people are making at the moment - posting off-putting lifestyles to prospective employers. Particularly if there's a chance you'd be presenting how the archive works to a client in the future, and up pops a stag night photo you "forgot" about.

As to why designers should have blogs - I've come up with the following ten reasons:

Ten reasons why Designers should have blogs:

  1. Facilitates personal, creative expression
  2. Creates or expands on existing portfolio web presence
  3. Documents your own inspiration sources and at the same time, shares with others
  4. Encourages networking online, to meet other designers and potential clients (don't underestimate the power of who you know, and who they know)
  5. Necessitates learning blog technology, the implementation of which can then be sold as a service
  6. Builds web traffic to your portfolio - the more you post, the more will come - leading to prospective employers reaching your portfolio, and more importantly, your contact details
  7. Demonstrates your design knowledge and experience with ongoing regular analysis and discussion of the industry
  8. You become a perceived "expert" of the design industry - leading to more (consultancy) work that is potentially better paid
  9. Practises your writing - being a designer who can write is valuable - see this article on "Why designers should be writers".
  10. The future could lead to more professionally run (corporate) blogs. With the experience of running your own blog as a designer, you can combine your inherent problem solving skills, with relevant insight to offer a highly skilled weblog development service.

One last thing, if appropriate, you can consider adding and exploring various advertising options for your blog, which can help with covering hosting costs and can even make a bit of money. I've implemented a number of these including Google's Adsense program for publishers, and easily recoup the hosting costs for a reseller account I hold.

With the blogs I run, I have to highlight the fact that I have fun with them too - its not all serious, and it can be quite satisfying when visitors start to talk to you and show an interest in what you do!

If you've been inspired to start a blog in any way, please let me know!

Note : For those who are interested, I've been experimenting with Wordpress and Expression Engine and currently run OneInchPunch.net, VisualStreak.com and VisibleChinese.com, as well as this website.

Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • FriendFeed
  • Posterous
  • Del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
 
 

Comments

 

After a few conversations over lunch about what topic to base my blog around and week on holiday bondering, I've finally taken the plunge and started my own blog - http://mobiblogr.com/index.php?blogId=1394 Early. days but, so far so good. Picture of Luke Miller

Posted by Luke Miller in Chesham

on 19/02/08 at 01:12 AM
doing leads to knowledge and knowledge leads to power. great quote. Picture of Approaching

Posted by Approaching

on 28/05/08 at 04:53 AM
The other side is that it fosters conversation and discussion in a public forum - truly a realisation of the public realm as envisaged by Habermas. Even if you don't have a blog, you should participate in conversations on other ones.

Plus, backlinks drive traffic. smile
Picture of Dave

Posted by Dave in UK

on 10/06/08 at 03:18 PM

You
 
 
 
    Remember my personal information
    Notify me of follow-up comments?
  Enter the word you see below:
 
 
  Finish
<< Previous Entry
Next Entry >>