5 Mistakes that almost killed my design blog

mistakes making with design blog graphic design blender

Like some of you, I run a successful design blog.

But my success did not come easy.

I have had my share of failures. But I don’t look back at them with regret. They helped shape my blog and my brand.

In fact behind every success story lie a few failures that have had a positive impact on the overall outcome. Today I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight 5 things I was doing wrong with my design blog in an effort to educate and assist bloggers to run their blog more efficiently.

1. Getting too niched

I’ll start with my most taxing mistake first.

For almost a year, I only wrote logo design related posts for my blog. Even though my blog was on design in general, I myself created a micro-niche for myself to focus on.

While that is generally a good idea, focusing on just one area for an entire blog didn’t work for me. I soon started to tackle other more broad topics related to design.

I started writing on other topics such as web design, banner design, business card design, brochure and pamphlet design. This gave me more versatility while still keeping my blog related to the design field.

2. Not Allowing Guest Posts

It also took me a while to realize the importance of guest posts.

I had heard about them but I never cared much to post on other blogs mainly because I was so busy with my own.

In point of fact, guest posts are an incredible way to increase web traffic, boost blog rankings and gain trust and authority within your target audience.

Moreover, recent Google updates have made it even more valuable for blogs. I now allow guest posting on my blog. My readers love it because they get to see different takes and view points on design related topics and I get more diversity on the blog.

3. Lack of Socializing

I knew beforehand that I would need to incorporate social media in my blog to improve online visibility.

I installed the necessary plug-ins so that people could share or tweet my posts.

However, that’s as far as I went with it.

I now have a Facebook and Twitter account for my blog that I update almost daily. My followers don’t have to visit my blog to catch new updates. They get fresh right off the press news delivered to their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

4. Not Enough Informational Content

I had blog commenting enabled on my blog for a reason; to gather valuable feedback which came albeit in rare quantities.

One time, one of my readers told me that while he thought my posts were amusing, he wasn’t learning anything new from them.

This prompted me to rethink my content strategy. I started writing more informative posts such as How-To guides and short tutorials.

The main theme was to create something that readers can use instantaneously as they see fit and to make them better designers. Not only did this bring about critical acclaim from my followers, it also upped me in the rankings!

5. Not Establishing Authority

There are hundreds of graphic design blogs and while each may have a different template, and overall design, most of them essentially talk about the same thing, unless you do something that sets them apart from the rest like GDB (focusing on the business side of design).

You have to establish trust and authority of your blog. The search engines and the internet users need to know and believe you are the first choice to go to for information.

For the longest time I was unable to do something about it mainly due to time constraints but as the blog expanded so did my desire to do something different.

I decided to interview graphic design specialists and post their interviews on my blog. It generally takes some time to set up meetings with a noteworthy artist but afterwards, the response from the viewers is absolutely amazing.

This helped my blog become more popular and authoritative in the eyes of my viewers for graphic design.

If you run a design blog, you should pay close attention to the above five tips. They can essentially make or break your blog viewership.

One thing I have learned is that because of the internet, you don’t have to work harder, just smarter. So try these tips and let me know how it all went for you by leaving a comment on this post.

Image credit

Comments

  1. I am still very much in the growing process of my own blog, so these are definitely some helpful tips to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! : )

  2. These are some great tips. Glad I was able to read these since I just started my own design Blog a couple of days ago.

  3. I am looking for resources for my clients and came across your blog — this post will be a fantastic, quick reference for them.
    Thanks again for the post!

  4. I’m in the very early stages of building a blog for my design business so these tips are really useful – thanks for sharing.
    One thing I’m struggling with though is the etiquette when it comes to images. I read a lot of design blogs and use sites like Pinterest for inspiration. If I see a piece of work or a product that I’d like to share on my blog is it ok to just use the image in my own post (with a clear link to the source and a credit to the designer) or should I seek permission from the other blog/the original designer of the work first? I’d be really interested to hear what people think…

  5. Hi Jennifer.

    You’ve put together a great post here. I completely agree with your point about “socializing” when it comes to blogging. Posting links to your posts on Facebook and Twitter isn’t just a good PR exercise – it’s now a key factor in bringing quality traffic over to your blog.

    Best wishes, Alex.

  6. Awesome tips. I know it’s going to take a little time but avoid these mistakes will be priority…thanks GDB :)

  7. Sometimes, little things like above listed mistakes creates a very bad impact on the blog design so by taking prevention steps towards these mistakes, will help to create successful blog design.

  8. Thanks for sharing Jennifer! Would you be willing to share your blog site with others if it’s not GDB?

  9. Archana Hardikar says:

    Hi Jennifer…thx for the tips. I want to start my own blog and dont know how to start with it. Do we have to register with google? if yes can you please tell me how?

  10. What a great idea to interview other people in the business. It not only brings a new and fresh perspective but you that person can cross promote and introduce their audience to your blog as well.

  11. Great posts. It’s similar to any kind of communication channel, really, isn’t it? You would do the same if you were running a business Facebook page, a newspaper column, magazine…

  12. Hi – although I’m not in the same field – I always like to see others’ takes on improving their blog. My blog is about interior design and decorative painting. I love your idea of interviewing others in the same field for blogposts. I have already reached out to two people for this – one has said yes so far. The person who said yes is not a famous designer – but he is really good and very creative – so I know I will be able to bring some new insights to my blog with his input.

    Re guest blogposts – I was approached recently by a woman who writes a blog for a rather large online lighting company. She would make the post unique and it won’t be just an advertisement. If you were me, would you want to/try to get some kind of offer/enticement from this co.? I feel that it would get more interest and excitement from my readers if there was some kind of % off their products, for example. What is your feeling about this? Any advice appreciated.Linda

  13. Hello – Where is a good place to look for guest bloggers?

  14. Man always learns from the mistakes of others. The main thing I learned from your mistakes is that one should be versatile, writing about one thing repeatedly could bore the readers, even if you are writing differently every time. I will always keep this point in my mind.

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