These days, having a blog is about as common as having a cup of coffee. Many graphic designers will list that as their main reason for not blogging themselves – ‘what’s the point – there’s no way my blog is going to become popular amongst all the thousands of other design blogs’. And they’re probably right.
But what if we said, despite the probable truth of that assumption, there are still at least five rock solid reasons why graphic designers should seriously consider writing a regular blog about their craft?
Read on to see if we can convince you.
1. Having a blog is a lot more about YOU than your readers
If you take away the pressure to make your blog popular, suddenly the other, more personal, benefits start to shine a little brighter.
Blogging is a great way to bring discipline to your working practice – and discipline is a hugely useful skill that will pay dividends across your professional and personal life. By keeping to a strict blogging timetable of, for example, one decent post per week, you’ll probably find that other tasks that fall into the ‘important but not necessarily that enjoyable’ bucket suddenly start getting done too. Like going to the gym, staying up to date on your finances or cleaning the kitchen. In other words: discipline is the ultimate transferable skill.
Check out the personal blog of Designer Darren Hoyt
2. You’ll learn a ton of other useful skills too
People often think that blogging just means writing. Of course, starting a blog is a great way to improve your writing skills – something that many designers struggle with – but there are other solid skills it’ll help you improve on too. These include:
- Research: unless you want to be the kind of blogger who just writes about what they had for breakfast, getting a blog post together will require you to do some research. Perhaps you’ll be looking into a new piece of software, or other design-related news, or maybe you’ll be researching the history of geometric shapes. Either way, learning how to find relevant information quickly is a useful skill.
- Communications: good communication is about knowing what information to share with your audience, and how to share it. For blogging, this often means communicating the most amount of valuable information in the shortest possible time. Improving on your communication skills will help you present work to clients, write emails that people will actually read and talk more clearly and persuasively in meetings.
Check out the design blog of Nathan Barry
3. Learn about your creative approach
As a designer, you don’t often get asked to show your working. Your boss or clients are usually only interested in the finished article, rather in the creative process you took to get there. However, there is real value in having a place to talk about your approach – how did you brainstorm, how did you pick an idea, how did you develop and explore it, how did you fine tune it?
A blog is the perfect place for you to explore and answer these questions – for yourself, and for potential employees or clients. Being able to point to a few blog posts and say ‘this is what I’m about’ will help differentiate you from other designers, and prove that you put time, effort and passion into the work that you do.
Sharing your approach is also a way for you to give something back to the design community. Whether you’re a design veteran or just starting out, sharing what you’re learning about the art and science of design can help move the whole industry forward.
Check out the design blog of Cap Watkins.
4. Make yourself more valuable as a potential employee
Lots of employees find it hard to hire creative people – we can be something of a gamble, even if we have an impressive portfolio to share.
Being able to put the address of your interesting and well-maintained blog on a CV will tick a lot of boxes for employees. For example, in this article about the 25 attributes employers look for when hiring creative people, you’ll find a ton of abilities that are definitely required to create and maintain a blog. For example, a blogger is more than likely to be ‘familiar with social media’, ‘be organised’, have good ‘writing skills’ and ‘have a genuine interest’ in the creative industry!
Check out the design blog of Mark Boulton.
5. You never know what might happen!
Now, we started this article claiming that even if your blog doesn’t become widely read, it’s still a valuable use of your time. While this is still true, there are countless stories of how a random blog post has earned a designer some kind of financial pay off – whether as an introduction to a client, an invitation to a conference or a book deal! So while we wouldn’t recommend you have this final point as your main motivation for blogging, we still believe it’s worth including as a bonus incentive…. because it’s true, you never know what might happen!