Design

The Ugly Truth Behind Starting a Web Design Blog

May 3rd, 2009

There is always a starting point for every major web site. No one reached where they are right now in one night. In this post, we will analyze what makes a good web design site and the role of the design community in this process.

If you are a web designer or web developer, who recently discovered the passion for blogging and want to share the techniques and wisdom through your blog , this is your ultimate guideline.

You Do not exist

This is first thing you should keep in mind when you are starting your web design blog. This statement might be harsh, but it is the truth. The blogsphere is big galaxy where so many sites and blog with quality have already claimed their places. If you are thinking your blog will just come out of no where and start making buzz , then forget it.

do_not_exist

If you already have an built up reputation among the design community that’s a different story. For example. Line25 is a newly launched web design Blog that was started by Chris Spooner , who is very well known web designer among the design community. Therefore, the readers already know what kind of quality to expect.

If you are someone who is starting a design web blog without any communication with your design community, what you should do is:

Communicate: Ways to gain exposure

The four best way to make yourself known among the design community are:

1. Well designed portfolio
2. Twitter
3. Guest Blog
4. Social Media

1. Create a Well Designed Portfolio

If you are a web designer, graphic designer or a web developer, having a well designed portfolio is a must. Also, you should consider submitting your portfolio (which should be well designed, flickr or deviantART does not count) to CSS showcase sites.

The Ugly Truth Behind Staring a Web Design Blog

If you have a good designed portfolio, most likely you will get featured in a web deign site and that way people will get to know your work. So when you are launching your new site, people will consider visiting your site. If you have no idea what a good designed portfolio are , here are some for your inspiration.

Useful resources for an effective portfolio

Twitter is the New Marketing tool

This Twitter thing has been coming on like gangbusters. The messaging site has been around for a couple of years, but its popularity seems to have exploded just recently. At first, when Twitter started it came across a false hope and joke, but it turned out to be one of the best marketing tools. It is simple, short and useful.

One twitter (secret) tip for web designers is that they should go to Wefollow’s Web design directory and start following the relevant web designers. You will come across so many post talking about guaranteed method to get you more followers, but honestly these method will work for certain number of people and they are mostly not going to get you 20000 followers overnight. It will take some time. When you follow more web designers you will get more useful information and can connect to more people.

03_twitter

Here are some Twitter ethics you might need to follow:

  • If you want to get more followers quickly, notice the difference between the number of followers and following people. If certain individuals has a big difference between those two numbers most probably they will not follow you.
  • Retweet useful links and Give thanks if someone retweets your links.
  • If you share useful links you will see that Twitterer will recommend you to other Twitterer. Anyone can get a good amount of followers if you play by the rules.
  • Make friends and join in conversations.
  • However, don’t except someone like Problogger, Smashing Magazine , or Copyblogger to retweet . Sometimes they retweet but we are following them for the resources they share. You get the point right?

You may ask how is this going to help when I launch my site? Well if you publish a post you will get more retweets and as a result more viewers.

Guest Blog will Help…Up to Certain Measure

If you google right now “Increase Blog Traffic“, almost all the articles you find suggests to guest blog. Guest writing on blogs can help you reach a new audience and build a better network. While it is a great opportunity you have to do it right.When you guest blog people get more exposure, you make money, get more followers and people get to know you. For example: look at screenshot of Matt Cornin’s from Spoonfied designs about the author section from a Six Revisions Post:

matt_on_sixrevisions_01

If you write a guest post for a bigger blog, with a link back to your blog, it will almost certainly increase traffic to your blog, at least for a couple of days. Most of time if you guest post you get “about the author’s” block where the author’s information is shown. This gives yourself and your blog more exposure.

However, guest blogging will help you up to certain measure. It will not give you a million page views. Well why not? When you guest blog for other websites many times the readers will not even notice about the author’s section. There are some many incidents where the readers thanks the blog owner for the great, not the author. That’s does not mean you should not guest blog. Aside from the direct benefit of increased traffic, you are also exposing your blog (and your name) to a new audience — and helping to brand your blog and yourself in the process.

How Does Guest Blogging Work?

Use the Power of Social Media Sites

Social Media is redefining the way people around the world communicate with one another. You can connect to people on personal level. Sites such as Facbook , Delicious, Stumbleupon, Reddit, DesignFloat can make you heard on the Web.

Create a legitimate profile about yourself and your profession. Have a consistency on your pictures and information. Do not put out 10 different information in differnt profiles. Consisteny on your profile will allow people to recoganize you more. That way you will meet people with same interest and again when you launch your site, you are covering more area on the web for promotion.

05_social_media-wagon

Notice that, digg is left out intentionally, because there is truly no strategy how you can make digg work for you after they pulled diggbar, users are really not in favor of digg. Nevertheless, It it also a social media platform, so use it anyway.

Be Brave and Take Risk

If there is a new project or new blog you want to create, do it! There will be lots of obstacles, sleepless nights. You have to be committed to it. If you want to start the site for the sake of blogging, your site will never make it . People always look for new and innovative ideas. If web designing , coding is your passion and you want to share with rest of the community you will succeed.

be_brave

No matter what anyone says, the major keys for making web design blog successful is their readers, viewers and subscribers. There are some trend and factors the reader leans toward. In the second part we will discuss those factors and steps you should follow after you have launched your site.

Author: Kawsar Ali

Kawsar Ali is a web designer, graphic designer, and wannabe photograper based in NY, U.S. He’s also the founder of Desizn Tech, a site for web designer and web developer. If you’d like to connect with him, you can follow him on Twitter or at his Personal Website.

Write for Us! We are looking for exciting and creative articles, if you want to contribute, just send us an email.

The jungle is alive: Be it a collaboration between two or more authors or an article by an author not contributing regularly. In these cases you find the Noupe Editorial Team as the ones who made it. Guest authors get their own little bio boxes below the article, so watch out for these.

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loolazoola
Guest
loolazoola
7 years 2 days ago

Great article. Thanks

Television Spy
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Good article, but I’d suggest be true to your own style. Don’t try to imitate someone else’s style simply because it’s trendy or to gain notoriety or attention.

Tschai
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

I’m with the tips for the most part and I’ve had my own share of experience with (web)design/-development. Some general tips can be found on my blog…my advice is “Aim for the stars and you may reach the sky”…I haven’t just yet, by the way.

PS: this comment is also a experiment to show that threaded comments will be the next lame ‘first post’ thingy… ;)

Hillbilly
Guest
7 years 22 hours ago
I think an important thing to identify is if you are made to be a designer. There is a difference between developing a website (and having a designer design it for you) and trying to design yourself (assuming you’re not a pro designer, which is the case for many of us would be bloggers). So realize what your skills are, what you want to do on your blog. It may be worth it to have someone do your design for you, if your skill is writing. Or visa versa, perhaps you are a rockin’ designer, but not much of a… Read more »
oi web designer
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

thats good tips for me as newbie web designer. i have blog with my portofolio, but my blog is not perfect. i hope this article can be inspiring me. theanks.

Jonesy
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

I am not trying to be a killjoy here, but you really have to tighten up the punctuation and grammar in this article.

izzat aziz
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

don’t mind that.. as long as the idea is understandable it enough.. :D

Jonesy
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

While I understand your point (that as long as the message and overall idea of the article is being conveyed then the rest shouldn’t matter) I am going to have to disagree with you. By going over your article, or even having someone else go over it for things like spelling, punctuation and grammar you are adding that extra level of professionalism to your work. It shows the reader that you want to deliver the best product possible.

Chris
Guest
Chris
7 years 2 days ago

I have to agree with Jonesy. This guy loses credibility when he misspells Twitter in a headline and gets all too comfy with us instructing us to “unfollow his/her”.

The web’s a big enough place that if you publish in English, then edit for readable English.

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie
7 years 1 day ago

I agree. I always proofread my posts three times or so, and to have a “professional” blog with poor grammar smacks of laziness.

I tend not to follow blogs with spotty grammar; it annoys me too much. I stumbled here through a twitter link, and I don’t think I’ll be coming back. That’s not to say that the post wasn’t well-written in terms of content (it was!), but proper English is a pet peeve of mine.

(I love it when other people point out grammar issues, btw. Too many people are lazy.)

Noupe
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Thanks Jonesy, I am sure you have a very good point here but don’t deny it, Kawsar has some great tips over here :)
We will make sure Grammar is taken care of in any guest post in the future.

Jonesy
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

I agree Noupe, the content is gold, it just needs some polishing. =)

AHaN
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Great!The idea is there.

Alex Peterson
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Not a bad article. Although you’ve not mentioned anything about the quality and uniqueness of content – articles that people will want to send to friends and colleagues. I think any successful blog is down to the top quality content it offers. If you’ve got that sorted then it’ll find it’s way out there.

Noupe
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Thanks everyone for leaving your opinions.
@Alex I guess you missed the part in the beginning of this post that this post is divided into 2 parts.
The second part will explain the characteristic of a good web design blog and how to market and promote your newly launched site.

Callum Chapman
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Excellent article, some real helpful tips! Should come in handy as I’m promoting my blog now :)

amrelgarhy
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Nice Post, great tips

Paul J
Guest
Paul J
7 years 2 days ago

Why are there short, dashed lines under the “Reply” buttons within the comment blocks? they look out of place. I’m viewing with the latest Firefox version (3.0.10) on PC right now. it looks like the underline is part of the “comment-reply-link” style, which seems to wrap over the reply button image. there also seems to be an inline style of “border-none” on the image, but it’s not taking effect.

Whomever it concerns may want to fix that.

Paul J
Guest
Paul J
7 years 1 day ago

Wow, already fixed. nice response time ;)

Tyler Henson
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Great article!! Definitely watcing/waiting for part two!!!! ;)

I love this site!!!! LOL!

web2000
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

Wow. Great article! very inspiring to my budding web career Thx

Jarod Taylor
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

This couldn’t have come at a better time. Though a lot of what you said can be perceived as common sense, it’s still helpful, to not only the novice, but a good “checklist” of sorts for veteran bloggers.

The only thing I’d recommend is proofreading, and spell checking your articles; that way they come across a little more professional and well thought out.

Thanks.

pelfusion
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

i just thanked to twitters who retweet my post :)

Mike
Guest
7 years 2 days ago

true, true!
thank you :]

Tim Wright
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

Good read, thanks.

Kelly Cook
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

This article is just what I needed. When I first found Noupe, it inspired me to start a blog of my own in which I would post all of the web design resources I have used, along with snippets of code that I frequently use.

I found that this was no easy task; I’d have to say that the hardest part of a web design blog is keeping up with the posts.

Thanks so much for all of these tips! I’m sure they will be very helpful in the future. :)

joyoge designers' bookmark
Guest

Great article, thanks a lot..

Liam McCabe
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

A truly inspiring article!

There are many sites out there including noupe which wanted me to start my own blog type website! Just need people to find out about it now!

Liam McCabe
CreativityDen

Paul C. Shirley
Guest
Paul C. Shirley
7 years 1 day ago

I am thinking of starting a blog, so thank you for a useful and informative article.

Bakhtiyar Uddin
Guest
Bakhtiyar Uddin
7 years 1 day ago

Thanks Ali for sharing your valuable thoughts, Though I am not into web design, yet still learning, I think overall your idea can help new designer.

Nikki
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

This is a really great article – thanks for sharing so many resources. I appreciate it.

LeisureSuitLawl
Guest
LeisureSuitLawl
7 years 1 day ago

great little section on twitter ethics there!

Patternhead
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

Some great tips here, thanks for the article

Design was here
Guest
7 years 1 day ago

Really Great Tips!

Thanks for sharing, will need to improve on some and try some things.

Thanks again!

The Allin1der
Guest
7 years 21 hours ago

Awesome! You guys are always helpful. Where’s part 2?

tucson web design
Guest
7 years 13 hours ago

Love it! Well put outline on blogging. Love the social media bandwagon…too funny!

Al
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

Lots of useful information :) Thank you for this great article.

RD
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

Woah! So true, a friend started a blog for riches and glory but went up in flames in 3 months flats. He is planning a comeback and your tips will help a lot!

Thanks,
RD

Paul Anthony
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

Great post. I would add to this that guest blogging can be even more effective when you have built up a respectable amount of content yourself, that way you are more likely to convert the traffic from the guest post into a subscriber.

A post which complements the guest post (on your own blog), and draws visitors in – is also a great idea, as chances are your traffic will be set in a particular mindset, and be enticed to read.

Thanks,
Paul.

nugroz
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

yeah….
thanx for sharing…..

Adam Pieniazek
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

Major take away point for all bloggers, it’s not easy and success won’t come overnight. However, with most things worth doing, if you put in the work consistently you will eventually be rewarded, but don’t expect it to be easy or instant. Blogging is about continuously sharing your expertise, promoting yourself and connecting with others in your niche/community.

Tom
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

good read, kind of inspiring I think I will finish a bunch of projects that I just sort of never put the time into finishing.

hybridanime49
Guest
6 years 11 months ago

Very well written. Content is the main factor behind it. All the tools to build it are there, but if there are no content behind a great design, users will not come.

Anne
Guest
6 years 6 months ago

If freelance designers are only trying to build up a “reputation among the design community” then that is a problem, because they won’t make any real money promoting only to the design community. The focus of any serious designer/developer who wants to make a living from their craft should be “building a reputation with their client base”. Just my 2 cents.

arizona search engine optimization
Guest

Lots of useful information.Thank you for this great article.

Luke Larosa
Guest
6 years 1 month ago

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Guest
6 years 1 month ago

For one, this is a really good resource for all internet users, and thank you for producing such a thorough post – I know how painstakingly boring it can be to go through social media sites.

Social media interaction is one of the most popular key elements to get traffic to your site alongsite blogging etc.

Nitya tripathi
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

This article will help me to improve my blog

Thanks
-Nitya tripathi

aditia
Guest
5 years 9 months ago

thanks for the tips, completely still long way to go for me

Venn Web Architects
Guest
3 years 8 months ago

Interesting collection, I am working with my wife (traditional graphic designer) on web sites and we are trying to get some novelty in layout, design and functionality into the sites. Would appreciate any feedback if you have the time.

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