I blog about my experiences as a graphic designer every couple weeks, but I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a writer. So why do I do it? Couldn’t my time be better spent on well, designing? The short answer: not really. Here are a few reasons why blogging is valuable for a graphic designer.
Better exposure – Getting people to your site is important for all businesses. Every designer and design firm has an online portfolio, but these days most sites also have a blog. A lot of viewers will be there for the first time to check out your work, but if you provide your visitors with fresh and interesting content through the blog, they’re much more likely to return. Hopefully this will lead them to become future clients.
Fully formed ideas – Writing about things helps me understand them better myself. Whether it’s a how-to guide or a review of a corporate rebranding, turning my ideas into a blog post forces me to really think through what I want to say. I can evaluate my own procedures, and explain things in a way my audience will understand. In school, we went through critiques and were always forced to answer the question, “why?” In the professional world, designers are expected to ask themselves the same question, and I’ve found blogging is a really good way to hold myself accountable for this.
Long-lasting information – Other ways of sharing ideas, such as social media, are more temporary and can get buried in a sea of status updates and tweets pretty quickly. A blog post has a forever home, and you can link back to it as many times as you’d like. A fully formed, well thought out idea is more likely to be shared than the fleeting thoughts many people post on places like Twitter.
Professional reputation – While I never like to refer to myself as an “expert” anything, blogging about real life experiences gives myself and other designers more credibility. The fact that a possible future client could look back and see a well-documented history of my work is beneficial and hopefully increases the chance of them hiring me.
Personable appearance – Most bloggers tend to have a certain voice or tone they use in their posts. This gives clients a sense of the writer’s personality and can lead to more readers. I follow some really cool design blogs and read them on a regular basis, not only to see their work, but because they just seem like genuinely cool people. I know I’ll probably never meet most of these bloggers, but I feel like I know them through their writing. This is something that can be really useful, because people like working with people they enjoy talking to.
Blogging can sometimes feel like a chore, and yes I sometimes feel like my time would be better spent on design work, but if done right it can be a really useful tool. Sure, not all posts will go viral, but the exercise itself is beneficial for designers, and it can bring in new business at the same time.