Top designers discuss why they blog

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This post contains three great resources to help you understand the importance of blogging as a designer:

1. A list of reasons why all designers should blog. [jump there]
2. Opinions from top designers on why they blog. [jump there]
3. Resources to help you start crafting your first blog or make your current blog better. [jump there]

The Story

blogging designersRecently I sat down to lunch with a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while. Rob Johnson is a professor of New Media Strategies at a local university. Aside from teaching, Rob works closely with companies and organizations to boost profitability and recognition through the most recent technologies available. You can check out Rob’s web site here or follow him on twitter here.

As we sat discussing new media and other topics, the question came up “Why should designers (or any creative professional for that matter) blog?” After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of why you should start blogging and how to do it best. You should also add any insight you’ve gained by leaving a comment.

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Why should designers blog?

Many designers may be reading this and saying to themselves, “A blog? I don’t write, I design.” or “There are so many design blogs out there, mine will never survive”. To these people, I would suggest to you some reasons why all designers SHOULD blog.

Reason #1. Blogging is often more beneficial to the author than the readers themselves.
As I am a blogger and a designer myself, I can personally attest to this fact. A whole new world of information has been opened to me since I have started seriously blogging. I have found new insights, learned new techniques, created great new relationships with others, and I even forced myself to build my very first wordpress theme.

Reason #2. Blogging is not always about RSS readers, comments, or page impressions.
A lot of designers decide not to blog because they think they could never reach enough page impressions, subscribers, or comments to subsidize their income.  Much to the surprise of many designers, blogging isn’t all about making money. It’s about contributing what you have learned and sharing it with the online community. Here are some other simple motivations for blogging:

  • Gaining experience
  • Gaining writing skills
  • Staying up to date with the latest technologies (web design & blogging tools)
  • Impressing a potential employer- maintaining a blog shows discipline, hard work, dedication, and more.

Reason #3. Learning to blog can teach about more than just writing.
Putting your opinion about design (or anything else for that matter) can be nerve-racking. I have found that I try to learn something the best I can when I write about it. So far I have learned more about branding and identity, blogging, client relationships, web design, and more. The same benefits will come to you as you maintain your design blog.

Reason #4. Blogging increases your value as a potential employee.
Among the list of 25 Attributes employers look for when hiring creative people, you will find skills like writing, organization, time-management, and project management. All of which are openly demonstrated when you maintain a blog.

Reason #5. Blogging can lead to other beneficial experiences.
The possibilities to be had from blogging are endless. I recently read an article by pro-blogger, Darren Rowse where he mentions a conference he was invited to as a brand new blogger. He is now one of the most influential and successful bloggers on the internet. Aside from conferences, you might consider eventually writing an e-book, a hard-copy book,  or giving seminars. Blogging can also give you the chance to gain new clients, establish very beneficial friendships and relationships, and more.

Reason #6. Blogging helps you share your ideas with the world.
Although the internet is a very large place, you should always share your ideas with the world.  Never before has man been able to share so much information so easily with so many people.  Blogging is a great way to let your voice be heard. Even if not many people “hear” your voice, you have at least had the opportunity to work through your thoughts and opinions in a more organized and presentable way.

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Opinions from top blogging designers

As I was crafting this post, I thought it might be useful to ask other successful blogging-designers why they choose to blog. They were all super friendly and I some great answers. Thanks to all the designers who contributed. You can also contribute by leaving a comment.

Chris Spooner

blog.spoongraphics.co.uk & line25.com | twitter @chrisspooner
I started out blogging to give myself a place to experiment and give myself an incentive to try out new design styles or techniques. Now my blog has developed to a stage where it’s helping support me financially, so that’s certainly a good reason to keep it up! Overall through, it’s the opportunity to keep myself up to date with my skillset while helping out others in the industry that keeps me enthused about running my blogs.

I’d definitely recommend setting up a blog for any designer. It’s a great way to throw yourself into the design community and allows you to interact and communicate with fellow designers from around the world. The exposure it can generate for yourself and your business can also be very useful and can become a primary source of clients and business.

Jacob Cass

justcreativedesign.com | twitter @justcreative
Why do I blog? There are a number of reasons. I use blogging as a platform to market my design services and also as a platform to engage with other designers around the world. It provides a place to discuss and share information on design related paraphernalia which in turn helps one grow and learn as a designer.

In short, I blog because I enjoy it.

Jon Phillips

SpyreStudios.com | twitter @jophillips
I first started blogging out of curiosity and I think the reason I still blog is because it opened so many doors in terms of networking, contacts and opportunities (not to mention I learned a lot in the process). I simply cannot see myself not blogging, it’s now part of what I am and what I do, and I love the interaction and discussions with readers. There’s no way I would be where I am right now if I had not started blogging a couple years back.

David Airey

davidairey.com | twitter @davidairey
Why do I blog? Because it’s good to share.

Andrew Houle

myinkblog.com | twitter @myinkblog
Blogging allows me to share my knowledge with the design community who I’ve learned so much from. It also provides a helpful incentive for me to stay current on technologies and design trends.

Grace Smith

GraceSmith.co.uk | twitter @gracesmith
I started blogging earlier this year as both a way to cement my personal brand and to become more involved in the web community. I’m focused on immersing myself in this fantastic community we have around us and reaching out to other creatives.

One of my foremost aims has been to improve my writing skills and challenge myself to constantly improve the quality of my posts and implementation. I also blog to expand my knowledge and skill base, this is accomplished through researching blog posts and learning from other talented bloggers. Of course the blog has also been a great resource for generating business through my increased exposure as a designer which has led to more inquiries into my web design services … I wonder why I didn’t start earlier!

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Resources for starting or improving your blog

There are countless resources out there for anyone who wants to start or improve their own design blog. Here are just a few I suggest.

Blog Hosting:

  • Dreamhost‘s One-Click WordPress installation.

Tips on blog design:

Tips on EVERYTHING blog-related:

What other reasons can you share with us on why designers should blog?

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About Preston D Lee

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

Comments

  1. Thanks again Preston for asking me, i loved reading through everyones answers, especially given that i’m a fan of their blogs! I love David’s answers because it really sums up what the community is about sharing.

  2. Fantastic post Preston! Thank you for mentioning our meeting, its always great catching up with you, bouncing ideas back and forth.
    I really enjoyed reading the responses of some prominent design bloggers.
    Writing a blog is one of the best places to start improving your writing skills, solidifying your personal brand and learning from others in the blogging community, there is just so much information freely available now!

    Thanks again!

  3. Great post. I blog to work out my thinking because having to express something in writing requires you to organize and clearly communicate ideas. When someone is gracious enough to leave a comment it helps me to learn something about both of us and have helped me to improve the way I explain what I know.

  4. I haven’t gotten into blogging yet but I definitely have a steady contribution to a wide range of blogs that I frequent.

  5. I think its important because it shows that you are 1. human, and 2. that you are committed to teaching others about design.

  6. Very nice article Preston. You inspire me to create a blog not just to design. Thanks for your tips!

  7. Thanks for the article Preston and to all those who collaborated with you to share their thoughts. I have a few different blogs that I contribute to simply because writing is a mental aesthetic for me. It not only helps me formulate ideas into new concepts, but it also allows others to develop with me so creativity becomes a community project rather than individual ambition. I gain so much from reading other people’s blogs and appreciate the opportunity to share that with them. Thanks again.

  8. Great Post! I am relatively new to the blogging and design world and every step I’ve taken so far as been a big learning experience. Its absolutely amazing all of the information and support out there from other designer’s blogs. Plus the unlimited opportunity to network and share different ideas with others furthers the growth of the industry.

    I just came across your blog and will make sure to keep it on my regular reading list.

    Thanks.

  9. excellent article! i never expected how much i would grow as a designer while blogging. i believe it is critical for designers to blog and be active through social media. after being in-house 15 years, i love sharing what i did in-house to a larger audience…and at the same time have interaction and conversations with a broader design & art community.

  10. What a great read! I feel a article coming on myself, I’ve never really been one for blogging myself but ever so recently Ive started. I love how great quality community’s are formed from it and he endless inspiration thats available.

  11. Its always great to share!!!

  12. I have only been blogging for about a year, but during this time I feel like I have gained so much valuable insight.

    I mainly started just to share work and explain my process, but as I posted more often I found myself growing as a designer. I wanted to be more involved in the community, share my opinion, read others, find inspiration and educate myself. Since blogging, I have started to read about the history of graphic design. I am sharing my findings online and comparing them to things going on it the industry today.

    Blogging is something I do for myself. I am not concerned about making money from the site; I just like the idea of contributing. Hopefully it continues.

  13. Thanks, Preston! Great article! I started blogging a little last year, then fully committed myself to blogging at least 2x/week at the beginning of this year. I enjoy sharing, but really, I enjoy learning from others and increasing my knowledge. I know if someone responds to what I’ve read, it’s either because I said something worthwhile and meaningful, or I’ve found a teacher to learn from.

  14. Thanks Preston. I’ve seen your work progressively get better, and that impressed me. But watching what you’ve done with blogging, has inspired me to do my own. I’ve been doing design, programming, and motion graphics for years but never saw the value in blogging as self-promotion. I don’t know why I never did, but now I do! You’ve truly inspired me.
    Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

    • @Ryan Haworth,
      Thanks for the kind words and for all your help and support. Good luck in your blogging adventures. Please let me know if there’s any way I can help you. I hope to see you back here at GDB frequently!

  15. I always thought of blogging as well and had 2 unsuccesful blogs which i stopped after just 1 week of writing. hehe

    Now, feels i should start again and it will be great to integrate it to my current site. Wish me luck :)

    • @cooljaz124,
      First of all, good luck. Second of all, be sure to stick it out for a while. It’s pretty hard to tell after just one week how successful your blog is. :)

  16. Wow… I’m stunned you could do that.

  17. Thanks for the excellent article. It can be really hard to find a good designer, and blogging is a lead that I use frequently!

    Keep writing, cheers!

  18. Really love this post. I believe that sharing is the best way to fulfill our knowledge. This is the main reason of my blogging. Happy blogging everybody.

  19. Samantha Woods says:

    Hello!
    Thank you very much for sharing such useful information.
    I want to start a blog, but I’m so lost on how to do it, and more important on what content should it have. Since I’m interested in photography and design (and I’m a beginner at both of it. as in I’m taking graphics design classes), would it be alright to have a blog that focuses on both themes? and what was the first post you wrote on your blog?
    P.S. sorry for my english

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