Most freelance designers have websites that showcase their portfolios. That's a very good thing.
However, I've also noticed that many freelance designers don't have blogs. That's not such a good thing.
In this post, I'll explain how having a blog can help freelance designers. If you like this post, you may also like Why A Blog Is Important For Your Freelance Business.
It's All About Marketing
Blogging, for a freelancer, is all about marketing.
The more you can get your name out there as someone who is knowledgeable about design, the better your chances are of finding more freelance design work. Blogging is a very effective way of getting your name out there.
Nothing short of an actual face-to-face meeting helps a prospective customer feel like they know you quite as well as reading your blog. In fact, given the choice between doing business with a freelance designer who has a blog and one who does not, most prospective clients will choose to do business with the blogger (all other factors being equal).
Trust me, a blog is one marketing tool you don't want to go without.
Blogs Are a Powerful Tool
Why are freelancing blogs such a powerful tool? Here are a few reasons:
- A blog post is written in your own voice. This personal perspective helps customers get to know you. This is you, talking about what you do best–design.
- A good blog is updated often. A prospective client can browse through several of your posts to get an idea of how you think and what's really important to you. Frequent posting also builds traffic.
- Blog posts let the reader participate in the form of comments and shares. This reader participation helps to build relationships, which are the foundation of doing business.
- Last, but not least, a blog post lets you position yourself as an expert. This is particularly true if you write a tutorial or how-to post.
Many designers put off blogging because they feel that blog posts are just words and they don't feel that they are very good with words.
Your Blog Posts Can Be More Than Just Words
So, you're not good with words. Writing just isn't your strength. So what? That's no excuse for not having a blog.
It's a misperception that a blog post has to be mostly words. Yours can be so much more than that. Don't let this popular misperception hold you back from blogging.
A freelance designer's blog doesn't have to be mostly words. Some of the most effective blogs focus on images or photos instead. Yours can do the same.
If you don't feel comfortable about writing a post on your blog, try posting images or a photos. Include a sentence or two that explains what the image means to you or just let the image speak for itself.
You may be wondering why you should blog when social media offers many of the same advantages of blogging.
Social Media Is Not Enough
There's a movement afoot where some freelancers are moving away from blogging on their own blogs and towards posting only on social media instead. This movement has come about because social media now offers a wide spectrum of platforms.
There's no denying that social media participation is important for a freelance designer. Plus, there's a lively and active design community on most social platforms. No doubt you'll want to be a part of that.
However, social media participation isn't quite enough for most freelancing design businesses.
On social media, your voice is lost in a pool of other designers. You're just one of the many, many designers on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Quora, or wherever you happen to be posting.
Also, remember that you don't own the social media platform. The platform controls what you publish and even who sees it. Some social media platforms even have a policy against users publishing promotional posts.
In contrast, on your own blog you own the platform. Total control of your material ultimately rests with you. Plus, your voice and uniqueness stand out on your own blog in a way that they never could on social media.
Are you a freelance designer who blogs? If so, do you feel that blogging has helped your design business?
Share your thoughts about blogging and design in the comments below.