For those of you who haven’t known me for long, late last year I got a job. Yes a job.
No, I’m not a freelancing sell-out. I still freelance on the side and I still stay in contact with a lot of my freelance friends which is why I still love to write about managing a successful freelance design business.
Anyway, when I got my job I realized there would be less time to continue writing frequently for GDB and was afraid the blog would die quickly.
It seemed to me that I either needed to make some serious changes to how I blogged, or I needed to give up the design blog all together.
Luckily, I found a situation that worked and the past two months have been GDB’s most successful (mostly thanks to you guys- the readers).
Here’s how I manage to run a successful design blog without sinking my business:
Make effective plans
When I was freelancing full-time, I loved the idea of having all the time I wanted. I was king of my world. I was awesome at time management.
Or so I thought.
The truth was, I spent a lot of time trying to come up with good design blog posts. This included wasting a lot of time in forums, social media or just around the internet.
Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things to do, but I was using way too many hours each day just trying to keep my design blog alive.
When I got a full-time job I was forced to make more effective plans. Now I spend 30 minutes each Monday researching and brainstorming new ideas.
Then I spend 60 minutes on Tuesday writing the content for the rest of the upcoming week’s blog posts.
All I have to do after that is manage the blog: moderate comments, interact with readers, network with other designers. It’s much less stressful now and the blog is taking off!
Why? Because I made effective plans and stuck to them.
When I first started blogging I read a lot of posts from successful bloggers who said I should shoot for around 1,000 – 1,500 words in each post. For the first year I ran the blog, that’s what I tried to do.
And it was hard.
Not that blogging should be easy, but I wasn’t seeing the kind of results I was hoping for. When I got my job, my blogging time was limited to around 60 minutes per day. That includes writing, managing, promoting, interacting, and everything that goes along with running a successful blog.
So I made an important decision: I stopped rambling.
Instead of writing three 1,500-word posts each week (a total of 4,500 words per week), I wrote three 500-word posts per week (a total of 1,500 words per week). I was worried that GDB readers would start to resent me for scrimping, but guess what.
You’ve loved it.
Or so it seems. Comments are up. Interaction is up. Pageviews and Visits are up. Sharing is up. And frankly, I have you to thank for it. So, thank you. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from you and interacting with you. You guys are great! Keep it up.
If you want to be a successful blogger and run a successful design business all at the same time, stop rambling.
Enlist the help of other people
One last thing I did that really helped me get through the transition period was to enlist some friends and colleagues to help me write a little bit of GDB content during my busiest times.
This helped lighten the load so I could refocus my energy, get my ducks in a row (so to speak), and get ready to have a successful 2011 at GDB.
Thanks to everyone who helped me out.
If you want to be successful as a designer and as a design-blogger, be sure to build meaningful relationships with people and help them as they help you.
How do you manage a blog and a business?
Ok, you master bloggers/designers out there. How do you successfully run your design blog without sinking your design business in the process?
What are the tricks of the trade that you have been holding on to?
Share them with us by leaving a comment!