Last week I asked a few of my readers what they would like read more about or less of on design blogs. While I received a wide variety of answers, one in particular stood out to me – How do designers personally benefit from their blogs and how does it benefit your graphic design business and reach outside the design community?
Before starting the Design Cubicle, I had read a number of articles supporting the start of a company blog, so I thought it would be interesting to gather various responses from a few recognized designers.
In this article a few successful and some of my favorite bloggers offer excellent insight how blogging personally and professionally benefits their design careers.
Jacob Cass, Just Creative Design
Blogging has helped me learn so much more outside of what I could ever had learned inside a design school, such as networking and the business aspect of design. Approximately 70% of my new work comes as a result of my blog. Before I started the blog (12 months ago) it was all through word of mouth (although that work still comes in, the exposure and money isn’t there compared to what comes in through my blog).
It also exposes me to a worldwide audience — I would have to say that also about 70% of my clients are based overseas. Blogging is a powerful way to get your name out there and while your at it, teach others. To start blogging was the best decision I have made in my career to date.
David Airey, DavidAirey.com
I enjoy sharing what I’m passionate about and it’s an important way of building my brand and interacting with my target audience. Also, it enables me to strike up conversations with so many like-minded people and learn new things every day. Blogging prompts me to learn more about the design industry, as I’m always on the lookout for new blog topics. The design feedback I receive from those who visit my blog also helps, particularly when any criticism is constructive.
Lauren Krause, Creative Curio
Writing articles for my blog has totally made me a better designer! I’ve learned the most when readers ask questions that I don’t know the answer to. I also break down designs, analyze them and then share my thoughts with my readers. Blogging makes me more conscious of my work and better able to pinpoint areas of improvement… I read my own articles when I’m stuck sometimes.
Although I don’t do much freelance, I have made many contacts around the world. I’m sure if I needed it, they could provide me with some work, either through sub-contracting, passing along extra work or recommendations. I also have a network of people I can go to with questions and critiques.
Kristi Colvin, Design For Users
I don’t know that blogging has made me a better designer, but it has definitely made me a better writer and researcher and being more informed indirectly enhances the design, workflow and information architecture work I do.
The business benefit of blogging have been very clear. People now find me that did not know I existed in the world before, and I have obtained one consulting gig from a blog post I wrote about a company’s product. I have also done several proposals for people, simply because they discovered me via an article I had written.
Graham Smith, ImJustCreative
The benefits are just huge if you tap into them right — After changing my personal blog focus over to a business venture, I have turned things up over the last 6 months and now really pleased with how things are progressing in terms of how much exposure the blogging aspect is bringing.
I know first hand how powerful a medium Twitter, for example, can be. I have been approached a number of times directly through Twitter to take on work. Not because they know me, not because they have even seen my website, but rather because of the time I spend chatting, sharing information on Twitter and similar services. It really doen’t need any more convincing for me… unless you really harness the power of all things internet, you are truly missing out on some wonderful opportunities.
Blogging mixes you with people, so many great people with good hearts. It’s bound to rub off, so you learn how to do things with more heart. And as they say, what goes round comes round.
Adelle Charles, Fuel Your Creativity
I really enjoy the interaction from the readers and it feels good knowing that I could help inspire someone through things that I like or say (advice). I also wanted to get my name out in the community since the online design community is so much bigger than the city I live in.
Personally I have gained a lot of great friends and contacts and can say that I’ve learned something from each person. I think I have grown as a designer since starting to blog as well. Interacting with the community has opened up a lot of doors (websites, advice etc..) that I may not have found otherwise.
I’ve gained lots of exposure professionally and have found a lot of great designers and developers that I can trust and outsource to if needed for projects. I have recently started writing for other blogs within the community and that is one thing I can say I probably wouldn’t have ever had the chance to do if I hadn’t started my own blog. I’ve also learned more of my likes and dislikes through writing and research for Fuel Your Creativity.
Tracey Grady, TraceyGrady.com
I’ve gained so much from reading other designers’ blogs that I knew I wanted to be an active part of the community. It’s like a third tier of design education – first was study, second was real world experience in the workforce, third is blogging about design and reading design blogs.
My everyday professional experiences provide the ideas for my blog posts: questions or problems which arise, or which I’ve experienced (and hopefully solved) in the past. I have a lot of experience in writing for an audience (I previously worked in journalism), however writing a blog has been a whole new ball game.
It’s making me think more deeply about the work I do and – most importantly – the direction in which I want to go with my career. The opportunities for professional exposure and making new contacts are also impressive, and are a great incentive for starting a blog.
What I’ve learned and gained in just 3 months
Being one of the new kids on the block, I’ve not yet experienced much of the professional benefits of a blog in terms of income, but I have experienced many personal benefits in just 3 months – more than I ever thought I could in such a short amount of time.
Through starting my blog I’m able to teach and interact with other designers and clients. It gives me the opportunity to learn, reflect, share and apply new principles. I’ve become more analytical of my own work, my networking and presence has increased and the interactions and comments left by all of you has helped me learn some many new things. It’s made me want to become a better designer. In a quickly changing creative field, it is extremely important to continue growing as a graphic designer and improving your creative skills — blogging is another way to help me to grow on both a personal and professional level.
What are some benefits you’ve experienced as a professional with a blog?
Would love to hear all of your experiences and benefits. Feel free to leave a comment about what you would like to read or learn more about on tDC (the Design Cubicle).