The evolution of blogging has been so dynamic since its birth in 1994. It started as an online diary, and then became how to manuals, and then a vehicle for the latest news and gossip. Now there are several types of blogs: personal blogs, political blogs, corporate blogs and more.
Blogs have changed the whole scene of marketing, creating millions of opportunities to all people, and to both small and large businesses. I personally have several blogs for many reasons–personal and business uses to name a few. Why shouldn’t we graphic designers bite a piece of that huge pie, too?
The Boons of Blogging
Why blog? The question you should ask is–why not blog? Blogging offers everyone the following advantages, plus more:
1. Establishes relationships and builds community
Blogs provide opportunities to talk to an audience, to build rapport to your clients and to share your knowledge and expertise to the same people in the industry. As a blogger myself, I have met several people in the industry including fellow graphic designers, journalists, creative hobbyists, professors, and more. I have learned many from them–like seeing graphic design in different eyes. Through blogging, you can cultivate your brand and grow as a graphic designer by learning from other fellow artists and designers. With blogging, you learn the art of networking–ultimately integral for you and your blog’s success.
2. Lower costs for marketing
Most people can start blogging for free or come at a low cost. There’s WordPress and Blogspot. It is the most cost effective way to achieve a strong and constant online presence. It’s a fast way to advertise yourself, to show your graphic design works, without the need to learn web HTML or CSS. It is an inexpensive way to get your name out on the World Wide Web.
3. Blogging as a Powerful Differentiation Tool
Blogging can help you get ahead from the pack. It’s a strong differentiation tool to set you apart from competitors. What do you have that your competitors don’t? Capitalize on your expertise, your strengths. Show them that you’re the only one who can provide them the solutions to their needs.
Blogging for Promotions and Branding
How can blogging forward your own personal or business goals? Blogging was created to sell the person, and not to sell a product, service, or ad space. You can gain a strong and steady customer base through effective blogging. You must, however, work hard to first establish the following:
Trust must be the very foundation for every blog. Most readers go back to seek services from designers they trust. I always treat my clients as someone I should help, not as someone I should sell to. I see myself more as a counselor to help answer the problems of my clients, rather than a businessman. In the world of blogging, a successful blogger is seen as close and trusted ‘friend’, not as a hard salesman.
Establish yourself as the expert or the go-to person for a particular niche. This is easier said then done–you can’t be called an expert until you earn the name. Provide unique insight and information, and make sure the knowledge you share is not found anywhere else online.
3. Quality and Quantity in Content
Just like the previous point, provide content that is high in both quality and quantity. Some blogs are abstract, and do not offer a practical, everyday use to the readers. I try to be as generous as I can and share all that I know. In today’s world, there’s no longer such a thing as “insider’s secrets”–everything is an open book and the person who shares it first is king.
Be consistent with your blogging technique. Avoid posting random blogs for the sake that they may be interesting. Maintain focus to be able to establish a relationship with your readers over time. Update at a consistent rate (once a day, once a week, etc.) so they can expect new information from you at a specified time.
5. Showing your Personal Self
Readers respond positively to bloggers who show a bit of a personal self. They feel a connection when they feel like talking to a person one on one, as if they are conversing to a real human and not just a computer. You don’t have to state your life story, but injecting a bit of humor or add a photo and short description of yourself. Personally, I try to relate the topic I am writing about to your own similar experience. It is a good way for readers to feel more comfortable with you.
Introduction to Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a way for bloggers to connect with fellow bloggers within the blogosphere. Guest blogging offers a win-win situation for all parties: it helps build relationships, grow your audience, increase traffic to your blog, and grow and learn from fellow bloggers. This is enough reason to start guest blogging more!
There are two ways for you to guest blog. One is by guest blogging via your own blog. A guest blogger will guest post for you voluntarily or upon request. Talk to a blogger or designer that you like and ask them to guest blog for you. Another is by guest blogging to someone else’s blog. You can publish a guest post for them, and you can ask their own guest blog contribution in return.
How can guest blogging possibly promote your blog? Simply, guest blogging is the best way to introduce yourself to the world of blogging. This is helpful especially if you are a newbie at blogging. Submit guest posts to other designer’s blogs to gain steady traffic into your site. When you are visible to other people’s blogs, you are increasing your online exposure, and thus, increasing your ‘sellability’.
Blogging is easy, cost effective, and far reaching. It’s a great vehicle to share information, and to showcase your works. In today’s world, it’s impossible to succeed without help from others–and blogging is the best place in the Internet to create establish camaraderie.