How many of you blog? I know a lot of you do. And I know that blogging can be a huge part of building your design business too. Not too long ago, one of you asked me what the best piece of business advice I ever received was (see my answer here). And today, I’d like to share with you the best blogging advice I ever received and tell you the story of how it transformed this blog.
Just over four years ago…
…I had been blogging at my personal design blog for about a year. I had like 3 readers–and one was my mom. But all joking aside, I didn’t really understand the ins-and-outs of blogging yet (some days I wonder if I even get it now). I frequently read blog posts from designers like David Airey, Brian Hoff, Jacob Cass, and the like and I thought…
I have something to contribute too!
I bet many of you have had the same thought. You have a voice and you want it to be heard. So I decided to launch my first “real” blog and called it “GraphicDesignBlender.com.” Maybe you’ve heard of it. I began with what I thought was the most important part of a design blog: the design. I designed draft after draft after draft of PSD wordpress themes. I tweaked and corrected and added and changed. A lot. One day, I was reading David Airey’s blog and he said something like this (I hope I’m doing it justice, David. This was 3 years ago.)
“Stop worrying so much about how perfect your blog design is and start providing quality content to your readers.”
That was a hard pill to swallow as a designer (we always want everything to be perfect), but I took his word for it and started producing some quality content right away. It was during this time that (using a terribly designed wordpress theme–by yours truly) I produced content like:
- 55+ Questions you should ask when designing a logo or
- 22 Logo design mistakes you might be guilty of or eventually
- Top design discuss why they blog
And people started reading. And subscribing. And coming back. It was amazing.
So I started writing…a lot
From there, I started posting content like a maniac. I had read from Darren Rowse at Problogger.net that a good blog should have 20-50 pieces of quality content before you can expect a decent audience. So I posted. And posted. And posted. And slowly, but surely, I began to grow an audience (one that, today, has grown to 50,000+ and spans across almost every country in the world!)
But imagine if I had continued to be a perfectionist
What if I had continued to wait until I had the “perfect theme” or “perfect site design”? Considering I’ve changed themes more times than I can remember since then (somewhere around 6, I think?), I would have been waiting a long time before I started building an audience. And I would have missed out on a lot. I wouldn’t have had the chance to get to know many of you: chat with you in the comments, exchange emails, or meet in real life. I would have gotten frustrated a long time ago and probably would have given up.
Blog design is important
How your blog looks is really important. But don’t let it get in the way of your progress. Blogging is about providing quality content to your readers. It’s about building community. You can continue to update your design as you go. And you will. But, if you’re smart, you’ll take David’s advice like I did and stop waiting to “launch” your blog until your design is perfect.
Here’s your chance…
So I’m giving you a chance today to launch your blog! I don’t care if it’s not perfectly designed. I don’t care if you still have design work to do on your theme. Post something amazing and then leave a comment on this post, linking to it so we can all check it out. I want to see what you’ve got. Even if you’ve been blogging for a while, leave a link and inspire us all to keep moving forward with our own blogs. Good luck!