The Ugly Truth Behind Starting a Web Design Blog
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.
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
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.
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
- 10 Steps To The Perfect Portfolio Website
- 24 Kick Ass Portfolio Designs
- Build a Killer Online Portfolio in 9 Easy Steps
- How to Create A Better Online Portfolio
- Creating The Perfect Portfolio
- Create a Professional Portfolio Design in 17 Easy Steps
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.
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:
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?
- The Art of Blogging: How Does Guest Blogging Work?
- Why Guest Blogging is a Powerful Way to Gain Exposure for Your Blog
- How To Guest Blog Without Disaster
- 5 Reasons To Start Guest Blogging
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.
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.
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.