Hey Web Designers and Web Developers, Are You Blogging Yet?

Are you a web designer or a web developer? Are you blogging yet?

There are several thousands of web designers and web developers actively seeking new opportunities online. A lot of them are excellent at what they do, but among those many excellent designers and developers only a hundred will actually be known on the internet.

It is depressing to know that you probably won’t get noticed.

What if I told you that you can change the course of your life simply by blogging?

Why Should Web Designers and Web Developers Blog?

You are probably very limited to what you are currently doing. 9-5 job as a web designer/developer, and the people who will be awestruck by your work won’t probably even know your name.

If you are a freelancer, then it’s a bigger problem if you don’t have a blog. Admit it, you want to be famous someday in your field, but how?

Why not start a blog? A blog can act as three things, as a repository of your daily life, both work and personal, as an archive of ideas that you’d want to realize in the future, and a place where you can teach your trade to people.

Question: Should I Blog?

Being a web designer/developer means working alone most of the time, even if you are on a team. You have your own ideas, own methods, and own preferences of how things should go, and being limited by rules is everyone’s nightmare. Now, where does blogging enter?

I have a friend who is a great web developer who works with a team, and frequently he would tell me his ideas of how he could have done their project faster and better, or in many cases how he felt utterly confused trying to read someone else’s code to integrate their modules. I was, to say the least, his “blog” where he shared his thoughts and ideas.

I am pretty sure you have similar feelings. You have friends around you that you can speak to anytime about your work, and about the future you want for it. That’s just one or a couple of people, but with blogging you can reach hundreds, even thousands.

By nature, web designers and web developers are creators. You create things. But you cannot create when limitations are set. With blogging, there is no limit to where you can go and what you can do. It is a stimulant, which can help you think of more bright ideas that could lead to your big break!

Advantages of Blogging:

1. You’ll get noticed

Blogging is one of the best ways to establish your online presence. It is not enough that you have a good portfolio, you also need to tell others that you are good at what you do and that you exist!

Google your name right now and tell us what the results are. Facebook? Google+? Twitter? Wouldn’t it be cool to have your name point to your own blog? Because if people are serious about commissioning you for opportunities, then they will first do a background check. It is always a plus to have a blog where you can freely talk about your life or the things you know.

2. You get to mentor others

So, you have great skills, that’s a given, but what are you doing about it aside from work? Why not share part of your knowledge to thousands of people out there?

As our favorite spider once said, “with great power comes great responsibility” which is not too different with your skills that you have acquired through years of experience. You have a responsibility to help and educate those who are dreaming of becoming the same as you.

I am neither a web designer nor a web developer by trade, just a hobbyist, but in my line of work as a writer I can’t help but share useful tips with everyone!

The main idea here is if you can alleviate others’ hardships, they’ll remember you and talk about you to other, and besides, blogging won’t take more then an hour of your day. Seriously! You get to exercise your writing skills too, which is very important.

3. You’ll have a personal, yet public, place

Below you will see blogs of established developers and designers where they speak their minds about their daily lives and work life.

A blog can act as:

  • your personal stress reliever
  • a place where you can ask your followers for ideas

If you haven’t started blogging yet, you will find sooner or later that it will be a necessary aspect of your life.

4. Extra source of income

Blogging is actually a good way to help you transition from being a full-time web designer/developer to being a freelancer, or full-time blogger. Websites like 1stwebdesigner  are usually created by web designers and web developers who have that passion inside of them to teach. Instead of designing and developing websites and applications, they have set their goals to teaching, which is a very noble act. Trust me, if 1WD isn’t here along with similar websites, where will you get your new techniques easily?

But the point is, you can actually make a living from blogging about your field!

Itching to Start a Blog?

Looking for a reliable hosting? See why we recommend Bluehost!

Top Designers and Developers’ Blogs

Ryan Carson, Treehouse CEO and Founder

Ryan Carson is the CEO and Founder of Treehouse, an online school that teaches people how to code for the web, make iPhone/iPad and Android apps, and how to leverage those to make a business.

Matt Mullenweg, Founding Developer of WordPress

Matt Mullenweg regularly blogs about almost anything WordPress related down to comments that have amused him. He left WordPress in 2005 to start Automattic, the company behind the great successes WordPress.comAkismetGravatarVaultPressIntenseDebatePolldaddy, and more.

Dan Cederholm, Dribbble co-founder

Dan Cederholm‘s blog is not updated regularly, but he understands the importance of having a personal blog where he can post about the important stuffs. He’s a designer, author and speaker, and his blog acts as his portfolio.

Chris Coyier, founder of CSS-tricks.com, worked at Wuffoo/Survey Monkey

Chris Coyier updates a lot about his work and personal life, which can easily be an inspiration if you want to start your own blog now. He has a huge fan-base, which is important in the online world, especially if you want to be competitive. It’s all about how many people follow you, and how many good connections you have.

Patrick McNeil, author and developer, featured on .NET Magazine

Patrick McNeil is a developer, author, teacher, and speaker. He was featured in .net Magazine. You might know him from his blog Design Meltdown and his book series The Web Designer’s Idea Book.

Will You Start A Blog?

Here’s a quick and solid guide on how to build a blog from scratch!

All the established web designers and developers have their own blogs, why shouldn’t you? Don’t wait before you get yourself featured in a magazine, start your own blog now and share your thoughts there. Say, update it at least four times a month or even more. What’s important is that you are then already anchoring your roots in the ground!

Already have one? Share it below!

Rean John Uehara

Rean concurrently served as the Head of Operations and Editor-in-Chief of 1stwebdesigner from 2011 up until Aug 2014. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development with a little touch of internet marketing here and there.

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Comments

  1. Surya Udayana says

    as i read this article, i have the same feeling too, but i just recognized it.
    so, may i ask something? to the author or everyone here please kindly tell me something about my doubt.
    before i start blogging, please let me know, which is best to use a free blog or not? should i create a free domain and hosting blog at blogger? or should i buy some hosting and domain to create a blog? which is best?
    i have this domain (www.suryaudayana.com) it’s my website, can i create a blog inside this domain. i mean i can create http://www.blog.suryaudayana.com ? please kindly tell my which is best, ofcourse with the reasons too :)
    thank you for your inspiring article John :)

  2. says

    As a traditional web-designer, I can attest the powerful leverage and effect of blog utilization for a site. For one it added content to our site and it helped traffic soar. I recommend thinking about topics and segments for your blog to vary it. It could be about industry news, coding tips and website design for website designers.

    Pipo

  3. Guillermo Mata says

    Blogging is one of the best technique to make your website noticeable and as well as Increase potential customers to deal everyday!

  4. T.G . Srinivasan says

    Really,This one is streaming and excellent information of blogging. It would be great if you can provide more details about managing a blog. Thank you

    • says

      Abdolutely true , i use to blog on resources and tools for designers and developers and this is very helpfull for me too!

  5. Simon Douglas says

    Blogging is a great way to create new connections and interact with new or potential clients. This will help you gain success and increase your income. Its always a good idea to diversify, especially when it comes to where your next client is coming from.

  6. Zind says

    Really Great article for all the website developers who wants to make a blog. I know the advantages of a blog through my personal experience at my blog too. Hope everyone will build there own.

  7. says

    I like your emphasis on teaching.

    If I were a web designer or developer, I would keep a list of things I wish my clients understood that would help us work together more effectively. Then each week, I would write one article about one of the items on the list. By the end of the year, I’d have covered a lot of ground, developed a library of resources that would help my clients work with me well, and greatly improved the SEO of my own own website.

    But I think one thing that makes people hold off on blogging is that they’re not confident of their writing. An editor who can also act as a writing coach can help them get unstuck.

  8. says

    Your article has inspired me to get back to work on my blog. I’ve had a blog for years, which is really out of date now, and I haven’t touched it for a long time. In the past year alone, I have learned so much and could have shared so much. I need to get back to work on it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. says

    Thank you Rean for this great article. Can you please tell me how to start a blog in my website. I will thankful if you provide me with some links for it.

  10. says

    Thank you Dainis!

    I started to write my blog, pushed by the thoughts while i had to wait in bejing for my next flight to new zealand.

    i was exhausted of working as a designer for 3 month hard work – and doing self marketing in the same time. i would like to separate the content – my design projects – from the self marketing like networking – for reaching new clients.

    here in munich – and sure otherwhere too – the selfmarketing by outfit and good look – is very important. in bejing – the people looked very similar on the street an in the airport. i thought the are not as much under pressure of investing so much time in their individual look.

    ok, that is our freedom – the individuality. but it is also a huge unvest of creating a own style.

    • says

      Uli, yes, a lot is expected from you unless you’re popular designer already with steady client base! Look matter, skills matter everywhere – after your looks (portfolio) people try to tell what kind of person you are, what to expect from you.

      It is huge investment, but it helps to develop your personality along the way with high rewards! If you look better, you feel better and most of all you are more self-confident wherever you go! This quality alone is invaluable!

  11. says

    As a freelance designer (or any designer for that matter) I think its now a necessity to have a blog just to showcase your works. Its also a great way to get clients and get feedbacks on designs you want to test out.

    • says

      Yep, and especially for freelance designers it’s a good place to direct potential clients, no need to send several links to your works. Also, a blog can work as an “exhaust fan” where you can dump everything you’ve done on the last project. That way, future clients will understand you better, right?

  12. says

    Now days you really have to blog just to distinguish yourself from everyone else. There are all of these people out there claiming to be a designer or developer, that don’t know what they are doing half the time, and charge ridiculously low prices making it more difficult for those of us who actually know what we are doing to.

    Anyways this was a very informative article, thanks for sharing.

  13. says

    I started blogging first, because I needed a place to share my thoughts with the world. After using a few templates made by other people and customizing them, I decided to just go ahead and design my own. I’ve been doing that since, and I’m trying to expand my field to hopefully do web designing for others too.

      • says

        The writing is going pretty good! I’m now working on a rewrite for a novel… Planning out the outline before I begin writing it again.

        Thanks for the advice. I actually do have a tumblog, but I tend to feel it’s more for pictures (even though I’ve seen a number of designers use them).

        • says

          Tumblog helps to focus more on shorter content, which can be good and can be a bad thing :) On more serious blog we tend to worry more about each post we get there!

          Don’t mention it! Good work rewriting novel, don’t take it too long and enjoy your weekend, Alicia!

  14. says

    I’m working on my site, and I’ll be blogging (I always loved to write!).

    I think the importance of blogging is not just selling yourself to prospective clients, but reaching out to like minded individuals and it’s a lot easier for people to connect with you through words. That connection is very important in my opinion, a connection that can’t be made through just testimonials or photos (it has a real human element to it, whether it is personal or professional subjects). Your portfolio is what you’re capabilities are, but your blog is who you are. A blog helps build and establish trust, and I think that ultimate gets a person to hire you over a pretty portfolio.

    I will have a place to show off completed works, personal projects, and testimonials. But most important, I’ll blog to reach out to people who have a genuine interest in the future and power of the web. If you want to be seen as someone who is a leader in a field, you have to position yourself there. What better way to do that, than through genuine trust?

  15. says

    I’m proud to say I work for a design firm that blogs regularly. It has really helped us position ourselves as thought leaders in our community as well as build a deeper connection with people who follow us online. We write one original post per week and have been getting great results from it.

    • says

      Thanks Matt for comment, but don’t try to promote your blog too much in comments :) Tell me about it, how it’s going when you post once per week?

  16. Aditya says

    Hello
    I have been doing the professional python programming and I have remained anonymous till in the recent years where I have real realized the importance and power of Blogging as it gives you fame and money apart from the recognition…Your article is an inspiration for all the developers and programmers like me….thank you once again and all the best for the future…:)
    Thanks
    Aditya

    • says

      Thanks Adityja for your comment – remember that you don’t need to post super advanced stuff, just to speak to your clients..and keep your personality to stand out! I am really grateful you found this article useful, because we are trying to encourage designers to write a bit to stand out!

      It’s harder to stand out just with cool portfolio and advanced code! :)

  17. says

    I have two and a half websites or blogs. One, that is my personal blog about golf and anything else in life that might drive you crazy . It’s been online for almost a decade now and therefore has the most traffic, but has nothing whatsoever to do with my personal life. Then there’s my portfolio site (www.thaerigen.net) with a blog/journal, where I mostly drop quick sketches and drawings and maybe links to (design related) cool sites. It’s fairly new, maybe a year old. And finally, I’ve started a tumblog (www.idrewfirst.com) a couple of months ago, where I put anything else that doesn’t fit into either blog. That one’s in English, the other two sites are in German (I am German).

    The trouble is: I would like to blog more about design related stuff and maybe a video tutorial or two, but I get disencouraged, as the design blog deosn’t get much traffic yet, the tumblog even less so and I really wonder if I shouldn’t mash the three into one. #sigh

    • says

      Kiki, what I would suggest is to focus just on one place, one blog instead! If you write and it’s not getting enough traffic, response – consider guest posting, commenting..link building techniques!

      I know from my experience how hard is to focus on too many blogs..you separate your attention and cannot push fully on just one. Focus is the main thing here what I would suggest!

  18. says

    I totally think designers and developers should either blog or work with others on a group blog.

    When I first set up my own portfolio site, I only showed my work and a resume. Kind of boring since that’s what everyone does. Plus often times it never shows anyone your full capabilities. When I redid the site a year ago, I added a blog I called “Knowledge” mainly as a means for me to talk about many issues and things in this industry, and especially to occasionally post “how to” articles in development.

    I know I don’t get loads of comments, but I see plenty of unique visits (on Google Analytics) and shares (via ShareThis). My main goal is to show capabilities with it. So a potential employer or client can see what I know and what I bring to the table. It’s hard to convince this in just words on a resume, but when you lay it out in detail in a blog, it shows.

    I think anyone wanting to blog should keep the topics on a wide array that centers around their line of work. I’ll talk about PHP development, or CSS tricks, but also try to educate customers/clients on why a website costs what it does and how now to get screwed. I’ll also talk about Photography and even just review new software or hardware I get to play with. I’ll talk about Social Media and well and give my opinions on who should use what, and why. Sometimes you should even just journal a job. Talk about what you did and why…so someone else can see how you work.

    Now I know some might say “but my stuff will sound so ‘amateur’ to all the ‘experts’ out there”. I personally think though you’re not writing to experts though, but amateurs and potential clients. In the end, it just gives more to your website and even brings repeat visitors. Post links to your articles on LinkedIn and see how many recruiters/headhunters notice.

    • says

      Hello Amos,
      that’s an awesome and really useful comment for others! I like your point about saying that while what you write will seem amateur for other developers, but it is extremely useful for potential clients or existing ones!

      Blog is what makes you stand out and shows your personality! And that’s right you don’t need to write advanced stuff which will get you coding related awards, you need to speak directly to your clients! Use questions clients ask you as your post headlines and you will do even better on search engines!

      Glad to see you are doing good already, just keep doing that :) You don’t need to build blog like this, you just need to focus on your specification and your own personality!

  19. Nikhil Malhotra says

    Great article.I agree to the points mentioned in the advantages of blogging section above. Its true blog does strengthens your web presence.I started my own recently.Though still very limited number of posts are there but hope it will establish in time.

  20. says

    This is good post, but I think the blogs are losing their shines, they are losing the reason for which they are really meant for. People now a days, create blog for earning money only. Many of the blog owners are not actually writers but they hire others to write for them.

    • says

      That’s why we created this post, Jessica..blogs help to stand out..and with endless money making blogs..specific posts are standing out a lot!

    • says

      Indeed, but in the middle of the bustling crowd, you can actually stand out by telling people your experiences as a web designer/web developer. As I’ve mentioned on another reply here, people love reading about other people’s success stories. Just finished a project? Tell the world your experience about it. You won’t worry about losing the shine, since we all experience different things, and that’s the most important part!

  21. Emil says

    Nice article! One thing if I may: Matt is a founding developer of WordPress, not really a co-founder ;)

    Thanks,
    Emil

  22. says

    I have really enjoyed reading this post. I normally write a post any month, it’ s not a lot but It’s something, i prefer write less but deliver a better quality content to the readers. Well after couple of years write regularly it generates

    • says

      It is something..and you know, not for everybody blogging can be full-time job, you need to business to manage or client work to get done! Exactly..it also helps to maintain better quality!

      The same we are learning here..we tried to push to 2 articles per day..but soon realized we are really loosing quality and make a lot more mistakes along the way.. And also don’t make that much genuine conversations!

      Thanks Tommaso, for comment!

    • says

      For more personal blogs, it’s not really a requirement that you publish once or twice a week. You can write, maybe, after projects. Tell the people what your experiences are with that project, if all went well, and if not how did you break through the toughest part. People love reading those kind of thing, real life experiences. :)

  23. Jessica says

    I have recently started a blog for these exact reasons. It can be very time consuming though, and writing interesting things is quite an effort :-). Reading this article make me think I’ve made the right choice.

    • says

      Jessica, having some schedule or editorial calendar really helps! Even just once per month or once per week will be much better than most companies or designers do and will make you enjoy writing and also getting some good SEO rankings over time :) Seems like you are sticking now very well to weekly posts, good luck!

    • says

      I find this technique very useful: once a week, force yourself to sit down for a solid hour and write! If you can’t write, then that’s your punishment – sitting for an hour doing nothing…then you’ll be conditioning yourself that “you should write at this day, at this hour!”

      Or maybe it’s just me, but still a useful technique I find. :D

  24. says

    hey!

    i started to blog after travelling to beijing and newzealand – but i started a blog about my thouhgth of design and webdesign and individuality. in bejing i arrived some days before xmas – after 3 month of hard work as a designer. and i liked very much the un-individualism of the people i saw there. it was very relaxing not to have the opportunity and the pressure to be so special – but quite normal.

    so i had a theme to start – and because my business buddie told me to blog, because of SEO reasons.
    meanwhile i talk about design events and SEO and behavior between clients and desugners and contracts and many things around the business as designer.

    but my blog looks so ugly and is old wordpress – but i take no time to relaunch it because of the daily business.

    but one day – i wll relaunch and make my blog very nice looking.

    • says

      That’s a great story, Uli! But what exactly pushed you to start the blog? All experiences you got and wanted to share?

      And I can say that design is far less important then content! Having unique design is great, but updating blog from time to time with interesting articles is much more important!

      And hey..just get any free or cheap premium theme which suits your needs for now and you can design your perfect layout when you have time! I started 1WD with a bit customized template..but just got it out there! :)

  25. says

    Hi Rean ,

    Great article for all the developers who does not have a blog. I know the power of a blog through my personal experience at my blog too. Hope everyone will build there own.