by Preston Lee . August 11th, 2011
I recently had an interesting conversation in a freelance design forum about whether it’s worth it to blog as a designer.
While this is an argument that has raged in the design community for longer than I can remember, I was surprised by the very unique response I got this time around.
Disgusted with the state of the design blogosphere, a designer I had been conversing with said the following:
“If I hear of anyone making more than $1,000 annually from their blog … I’ll post it here.”
Of course, the first thing I said to him was “put my name on the list.”
I don’t bring this up to brag, but I make a significant amount of money from my design blog and I know a lot of fellow designers who do the same thing. Sure, banner ads are not that great. I could never survive on banner ad revenue alone.
But I use my blog to sell products and other services.
And the most lucrative way to monetize a design blog is to use it for finding design clients.
Today I’d like to offer a few solid strategies for designers who want to use blogging as a tool to find new clients and build their business.
While it can be useful to establish yourself as an authority in the design community, it’s more important to blog about topics that interest your clients. That means instead of blogging about how to code a slider, perhaps you should blog about the benefits of a CMS business web site.
Similarly, some of the best topics you should blog about are questions your clients might ask. Something like “What makes a good logo?” or “How do I build a web form?”
Once they find your site through these search terms, convert them into clients.
Once your clients find your blog through search terms, you want to make your content as helpful as possible.
Some designers would argue that your wasting time and resources giving away free information and advice to potential customers.
The key is to give them just enough that they respect you and deem you an authority on the question they are asking. Once you have offered them some help, they will trust you and are more likely to hire you.
After getting clients to visit your blog and establishing a relationship of trust with them, it’s important that your portfolio and blog are closely connected. Ideally, these should be the same web site.
The less clicks a client has to make before they can request a quote, the better. So include email contact forms on every page of your blog, include ads to specials or offers you are running. Make it easy for your client to take the next step of hiring you for a design project.
Lastly, include successful landing pages on your blog. If a client clicks a link titled “hire me now,” they are interested in your work. Make your landing pages easy to follow, easy to use, and high-converting.
What else do you do to use your design blog to find clients? Do you think blogging is something that all designers should do? Do you think they can be lucrative or do you agree with my friend at the beginning of the article and think no money can be made from them?
Thanks for sharing!