There are many graphic design bloggers on the web, but not many articles on what it takes to be a good graphic design blogger. While there are some excellent graphic design blogs out there, many graphic design experts are not expert writers. Some tips may be found here: Writing Tips for Graphic Designers.
These are my top 14 tips to help you write your own graphic design blog. These tips are effective for web design & photography blogs as well. By writing well and paying attention to the essentials of graphic design blogging, you can increase your traffic and create a presence on the web with your graphic design blog.
1. Be Passionate
If you want to have a good graphic design blog, you must have a passion for your work! If you are not passionate about your subject, readers will sense your apathy and your blog will not grow. Readers will move on to another blog. Passionate bloggers share their expertise, but they also share their excitement about graphic design. Write every day, and write what you know. Presumably, you’re writing about graphic design because you love it. Share the love. Blog with passion.
2. Be Honest
A good graphic design blogger will share the resources used in writing the article. Good graphic design bloggers, (and good writers in general), use backlinks to the material they use. Giving credit to the resources you’ve used isn’t just ethical, it’s smart. Blogging is all about networking. Providing backlinks to the resources you’ve used increase your integrity in the blogging world, and your traffic.
3. Write Some Draft Posts
Unless you plan to hire a writer to provide you regularly with fresh material, you should write some draft posts to have on file in case you become too busy to write. It’s a good idea to have 3-4 new posts in reserve all the time. Not only does this help ensure you won’t run out of material for your blog, it gives you a chance to review your posts for errors in grammar or spelling before posting them. Remember, your blog is part of your total presentation online. You want it to be as professional as possible.
4. Post Frequently
Posting frequently ensures you always have fresh material when your readers visit. Fresh material keeps readers coming back. It’s a good idea to post on a regular schedule. A new post every 2-3 days is common. You can post every day if you are prolific enough. Speckyboy.com posts almost every day. 3-4 posts a week give the readers fresh material without overwhelming them. It’s more important to post on a regular schedule than to post frequently, so be honest with yourself about how much time and effort you can commit to writing your blog posts. Be consistent.
5. Be Active in Social Media
Social media such as Twitter, Digg, Stumble Upon, Delicious, Mixx, etc are a blogger’s best tool for building awareness and traffic. Be active in social media, but be careful not to spam! It’s a huge turn-off to potential readers and will give you a bad reputation. The secret to social media is to be active. You will get more traffic from 200 friends who you interact with regularly and sincerely than from 2,000 who you barely talk to except to announce that you’ve posted to your blog. The more active you are on Social Media, the more traffic you’ll see on your blog. Learn more about Social Media in Mashable.com
I’m now active on these Social Media. Feel free to add me to be your friends:
6. Provide High Quality Images
If you want to be taken seriously when writing about graphic design, use the highest quality images you can find. Don’t compromise by using low resolution images lifted from Google or other search engines. Make the best use of your space and bandwidth by using really good-quality images. Be aware of copyright! Use images that are either available under creative commons licensing, images you’ve purchased rights to from a site like StockPhoto.com, or that you have permission to use.
7. Be Sure That Your Articles Is Easy To Read
Nothing turns a reader off faster than hard-to-read articles and confusing content! Use a standard font in a reasonable size. Don’t over-size or under-size your text. The temptation may exist to create a unique look, but your text is not the place to fully unleash your visual creativity. Text should be easy to read, not distracting. Save the creativity for the actual writing, and your readers will keep coming back for more.
8. Do Not Steal Bandwidth – Hotlinking
If you want to use image on your post, save it in your own web hosting. It’s not nice to steal people’s bandwidth, and other bloggers will not appreciate it. (You wouldn’t, right?)
Good graphic design bloggers use images under their own web hosting. Use a hotlink protector such as WordPress Automatic Hotlink Protection plugin (for WordPress users). Hongkiat.com also uses hotlink protection for his images. I used to hotlink to some of his images long ago, I’m sorry Hongkiat :D
9. Use Good Looking Template
If your blog doesn’t look good, readers won’t come back. Contests, great content, special offers… none of it will mean anything if your layout is not attractive and easy to navigate. I really like Psdtuts.com‘s layout. It’s simple & nice looking.
If you don’t understand about web design, there are several options for you:
- Ask your friends. You must have at least 1 of your friend who is a web designer
- Take the time to study other web design blogs and web design forums. Notice what works, and what doesn’t, what designs seem effective, and which ones don’t work very well.
- Use professional template provider such as Elegant Themes & Theme Forest.
10. Place Subscription & Social Media Buttons On The Right Place
It’s important to place your subscriptions and social media buttons prominently. The buttons should be easy to find and eye-catching to help generate more traffic. Readers will not hunt for “share” and subscribe buttons. Speckyboy.com has a good layout of subscription & social media placement above and below every posts.
You are a graphic designer, right? Use your own design for those buttons. I learned a lot from Hongkiat.com & Tutorial9.net about making my own button designs. Creating your own buttons will raise your credibility among other graphic design bloggers.
11. Be Active & Find Buddies Who Have Similar Interests
Want to increase your traffic and raise recognition of your blog? Use the buddy system. Comment on other blogger’s posts- and take the time to read and leave a meaningful comment, not just “great blog! check out mine at *link*!”
You want people to read your blog, right? So take the time to read their blogs as well. Offer to write a guest-post for other blogs. The extra exposure can help raise traffic numbers for your blog as well. It’s a win-win situation. You get to share your blog post with a wider audience, and you increase traffic to your own blog as well. I’ve also applied to be a guest writer for 1stwebdesigner.com. You may also apply to be a member of Smashing Magazine Network to drive more traffic for your blog.
12. Ask Readers To Share Your Post
Design a special “share” banner. Make your sharing buttons visible. Not all readers will share your post, but those who do will bring you additional traffic. High-quality posts with truly useful tips are more likely to be shared, so be sure to pay close attention to writing quality content!
13. Learn From Other Graphic Design Blogs
Study other graphic design blogs. You may discover unique features that drive traffic to their blog. Observe their design and presentation, how they decorate and design their blog. If you find a blog you really like, ask the person how you can improve your own blog. Hongkiat.com is a great resource for learning more about writing articles and designing a blog.
14. Submit Your Article To User News
Many blogs have community user links to submit your articles to be published in their blog. New graphic design blogs can benefit the most from sharing articles with community user links. I have about 80 blogs on my list. Submitting to all of them takes time, but it pays off in increased traffic.
These are some of lists compiled by our friends:
- 53 Promotional Websites To Gain Traffic Quick And Easy – 1stwebdesigner
- 44 Sites To Submit Links To Increase Site Traffic – Tweeaks
- 75+ Websites To Submit Your Design News – Webtoolfeed
Additional Tips: Use Proper Web Hosting
When I was still using my local amateur web hosting, my blog ended up being blocked due to high traffic. My blog was blocked without any notice, and the hosting company blamed me for causing errors on their server with my traffic. I realized that I needed better hosting, and left that service the very next day.
Use good web hosting which recommended by WordPress or some famous blogger. If you want to know where famous blog hosted, use this very helpful website: www.whoishostingthis.com. It also offers some bonuses worth $750.