I was recently asked by readers on my Q&A page to offer suggestions to starting a design blog. My blog is not the largest, but I do have suggestions you!
1) Make the time to do the work. Blogging will suck your time, especially a design blog because of the research and photo editing, etc.! It's still worth it and rewarding, but the reality is that it takes time. Ideally you build up a few weeks of posts so that when your kids get sick or you get extra busy, your readers don't miss out. I have never been able to do this, but a girl can dream. ;-)
2) Be yourself. I know, it seems obvious, but when you begin, most people think of a blog that's popular and try to emulate that. Eventually you'll find your voice. Just keep writing. Keep posting. You'll discover your style and what works for you.
3) Leave comments on other blogs! This should probably be tip #1. You're not an island. Visit blogs you love and leave a thoughtful comment. At the end of the day blogging is more about building relationships and your blogging friends can be your biggest promoters! Never assume that a blogger is too "big time" to appreciate a comment or even reply and follow your blog. (If you're a regular reader and I don't know you exist; I would love to hear from you!)
4) Widen the margins of your blog format for bigger pictures. Granted, this is a personal preference, but if your focus is design, I want to actually be able to SEE what you're writing about. Go to your dashboard. Click on design. On the top left side click "template designer". Click "adjust widths" and you're golden.
5) Please. For the love of blogs. Take the security code off of your comment form! Comments are difficult enough to get. Most readers will never leave a comment. So if you get them to take the time to type, make it as easy as possible for the comment to go through. Most blogging sites have built in security from spam, and it is a major pain and time waster to enter the code every time a reader wants to comment. Go to your dashboard. Click "settings". Click "comments" on the top. Scroll down to "Show word verification for comments" and click NO! Please, with a cheery on top.
6) Set-up a "Google alert" with the name of your blog. This way if someone blogs about you, you can at least stop by and say thank you! This will also help you know if someone has added your blog to their sidebar/blog list and you can return the favor.
7) Design your blog to reflect you. I know this is another one that seems obvious, but I confess that I judge a blog by its cover. Readers only have a small bit of time to decide if you are worth reading and the design and layout of your blog speaks volumes before they read any of your words.
8) Only feature images that you love...especially if you are trying to build a business. Your readers will judge your style and sense of design by what you post. Even if an image proves your point, keep looking for the perfect image that not only proves your point but also shows your style. And please, be sure to give credit where credit is due. Link back to the source!!
9) Reach out to a blogger you read regularly. Some of my favorite people are fellow bloggers that I have never even met in real life...but we're working on it! Don't miss out on the conversation that can happen behind the scenes via e-mail.
10) Have fun! Blogging can be a wonderfully creative outlet so pace yourself and enjoy!
I hope this was helpful!
If you're looking for more reading on the subject here are some of my favorite posts
from very successful bloggers.
What is your best blogging tip?
What do you wish you had known when you started?