First, be genuine. When you leave comments on a popular design blog, don’t leave the comment just to promote your content or share your business information. Genuinely contribute to the conversation. Offer your view on the subject: if you agree, tell why and then add more insight. If you disagree, explain the opposing view and defend it well.
In addition to being genuine when commenting on other design blogs and content, be genuine in what you write about. If you are genuinely passionate about “75 egg beater designs that will blow your mind”, then blog about it. If you’re just doing it, however, to grow traffic on your site, perhaps you want to rethink your strategy. People are more likely to remember you and contribute to your conversation if you blog about issues that actually mean something to people.
The key to being genuine is to invest your emotions in your content.
I recently had a colleague who asked me why I thought his blog wasn’t taking off as quickly as he has planned. He had written a guest article on a popular design blog and thought that this would lead to the magical instant growth of his own site. While actions like writing a guest post can have great impacts on your site, they most likely will not fuel your traffic forever. You have to be consistent in contributing information that really matters to the design community.
Becoming someone who has a voice in the design community is not an overnight achievement. It takes months and years to generate your own spot in any community–and the online design community is no different. I personally have been blogging about design for quite a while, and I am just now starting to see real fruits of my labors.
It’s okay to be the little guy
Sometimes I see designers get really worked up because they aren’t generating traffic to their blog or they aren’t popular in the community. The fact of the matter is, it’s okay to be the little guy every once and a while. You most likely got into design in the first place because you like to be a little different: creative and unique. So why are you worried so much about fitting in with all the other designers on the internet? Enjoy what you do and try to realize that blogging about design and being a major player in the design community may not be for everyone. Find your niche and sit back and enjoy it.
A few more tips on finding your voice
Finding your voice in the design community is a complicated challenge. In addition to the information above here a few more tips on finding your voice in the online design community.
- Be unique. Don’t write about what everyone else is writing about. Find a unique angle on popular topics.
- Claim a niche. GDB is a place where designers can learn to master the “business of design”. What is your special niche?
- Give more to the community than you expect to get back. Content that helps designers grow and become better are the most successful.
- Instead of tweeting about the temperature of your pizza, when you share content on social media, make sure you share useful and valuable information.
What else have you found to be successful?
Before leaving, share with us your opinion on the matter. What have you done to successfully find your voice in the design industry?