The simple change that brought my design blog to life

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Is your design blog dead? Mine was too.

I’ve been a blogger for a long time, but I never really had one that took off. I mean, I’ve had a few readers here and there, a few comments now and again, and some traffic trickle in, but I never had a blog that allowed me to interact with people in my industry. I never had a blog that made me any money. I never had a blog that was read by more than a few people. I never had a blog that I considered successful.

Until I made one simple change.

After I made the change, comments began pouring in. Inbound links came easily. My social media profiles began to grow. And it all continues to grow.

And don’t worry, I’m not selfish. I’ll share my secret with you. If you have been blogging about design for what seems like an eternity without any serious results, or if you just want to give your design blog an extra boost, keep reading. This post is for you.

I know, it’s killing you. Here’s my (not-that-secretive) secret: find a SUPERNICHE.

The power of a superniche

You’ve probably read about the importance of blogging to a niche audience-and it’s true. You probably aren’t going to be extremely successful blogging to the same audience who reads the New York Times (average joes, businessmen, and all sorts of people). If you want a successful blog, find a niche audience.

The mistake most designers make is thinking that blogging about design is niche enough.

It’s not.

You see, there are thousands and thousands, and thousands of design blogs out there. There are almost as many design blogs as there are designers. But there are only so many designers that can be successful blogging about design in general. If you blog about logo design, print design, web design, freelancing, tutorials, etc. etc. etc., chances are, your blog will fade into the background.

But if you choose a SUPERNICHE, you’re bound to succeed. Take for example, this blog. Hopefully, I could ask you what the purpose of this blog is and you would respond, “to help designers succeed in business.” or something to that effect.

You see, I used to blog about nothing specific. I mean, I blogged about design, but that’s about it.

And no one cared.

But the day I found my SUPERNICHE (Blogging about the ‘business of design’), the blog started to take off.

Other advantages to superniche-ing

Not only do I get way more traffic now than I did before superniche-ing my blog, but it’s also easier to write blog posts, interact with my readers, and monetize my blog. I always know what I am going to write about, you always know what you can expect from GDB, and I love helping you all succeed in your design business as you help me succeed in mine!

Do you have a superniche?

Do you have a super-specific audience that you blog to as a designer? If so, what is your superniche? I’d love to hear what you all blog about in the comments. Leave a comment and even leave your blog URL if you’d like. Then we can all share the love and check out what we are all writing about.



About Preston D Lee

Preston is a web designer, entrepreneur, and the founder of this blog. @prestondlee

Comments

  1. Great post! It inspires me to continue my own superniche (the design of music marketing). I have yet to get a big boost in readers, but I love writing about design, and the comments and thank you’s I’ve received so far have been motivating.

    • @Kyle,
      That’s a great superniche! As someone who just got a marketing job at a record label a few months ago, I will definitely stay up to date on your blog. Thanks for sharing!

      What sorts of posts do you enjoy publishing most?

      • @Preston D Lee,

        Thanks for checking out RockBrand! I enjoy covering packaging quite a bit, but have become interested in how bands use Twitter and digital media to build their fan base. Love what you’re doing with Graphic Design Blender. Great content.

  2. Great advice! I recently started my blog in hopes of building up my business, and decided not to blog about design to designers. After all, I’m not really trying to gain designers as clients. So I decided to write about the business of design for those who NEED designers–specifically my target market (in my case, small businesses and start-ups in New York’s Hudson Valley). I believe the business of design is very foreign to those who actually need to hire a freelance designer, and my goal (my superniche, if you will!) is to help small business owners know what they need to market themselves more effectively, and feel more comfortable hiring creatives to do so.

    • @Katy,
      That’s a GREAT point! In fact, we tackled that topic here at GDB in an article titled “Designers, stop and think about why you’re blogging“.

      What kinds of things do you write about that help you get more business? Best of luck!

      • @Preston D Lee,
        Thanks! I’m new at this, but I’ve already seen an increase in traffic to my site, and have encouraged a few clients who’d fallen off my radar to return. I’m writing about making the process of working with creatives less scary to the typical small- or home-business owner. I hope that through my blog, I can give people an idea of my style and personality so they’d feel comfortable getting in touch with me and working with me, and maybe feel a little less like a fish out of water when working with a creative!

    • @Katy, how is it going so far? I landed on this same niche idea, but haven’t start moving with it yet. I’d love to know how it’s going for you so far!

  3. Good tip. And I like the notion of sharing good advice.

    My blog concentrate on the behind the scenes back-stories. I find it supplements a flick-through portfolio. It helps put a human being behind our oft misconstrued profession. And provide a few laughs too! http://day-ellison.posterous.com.

    Is that a niche?

    • @Gary Day-Ellison,
      That’s totally a niche! As long as there are people who are interested in the things you are saying, you’ve got yourself a niche!

      So what do you do to put a human face to our profession? What are your favorite kinds of blog posts to produce?

      • @Preston D Lee, Well they get quite a few views so I guess people find them interesting!

        How do you put a human face to our profession? I think a recognition that few jobs are an A-Z orderly progression. An acceptance that your life experience can inform your design solutions. And the mind is the most useful software.

        I don’t like thinly disguised PR puff. An honest account sheds light on both the design approach and the designer. A good pro will admit to intervention of serendipity sometimes. And share what they did to fix it when things did not go exactly to plan. That’s what I try to do.

        And I am quite enjoying writing too!

  4. Preston I was on the same boat as you, I had many website with few visitors and few comments here and there, I focus on film, photography…I mean as you said there is millions of blogs that focus on film and photography.

    And then I got into WordPress, well there are thousands of websites focus on WordPress themes, but not so much on WordPress themes only for graphic designers/illustrators with the modern/swiss look. So that what I did and now I get thousands of visitors a day, and hundreds of emails.

    Marios

  5. Great post. I found what I wanted. I recommend you to visit our http://www.designdirectuk.com/blog/ site, and share ideas. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

  6. This is really helpful! Thanks for sharing.

  7. What can be tricky is realising you’ve already started a broad blog but do have a couple of niches in there. You wish you had sites for each niche instead!

    My blog/portfolio seems to be heading toward retro sci fi art and tutorials/resources thereof. But I think that’s TOO niche. I want to share business/career tips too though but worry about my nice branching into two niches (as per my opening line!). Thoughts?

  8. I couldn’t agree more about the power of superniche-ing.

    I started http://lostandtaken.com three years ago and it was completely dedicated to giving free textures to designers, which is a “superniche” if I could ever think of one.

    Since then I’ve grown to be not only the most trafficked blog in my niche, but have reached the upper echelons of designer blogging status: I make a full-time income from it.

    And like you mentioned: it’s so easy to create content when your blog has a super specific purpose.

  9. Good Post!
    I am a web developer, And I am willing to write about Website Development basically Rails development Plus I like talking about the new technologies like the smartphones and latest software reviews and little bit Marketing tactics that I learn. Should I narrow down my blog to one of these niches? Is website development a super niche? And Yes, it has a great competition over the internet.

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