How to Start a Design Blog
There are few more exciting and flexible ways of making money than with your own blog. This is a type of business that lets you get creative while living life on your own terms and with a daily schedule that suits you.
It is no wonder that many people are desperate to start their own blogs and achieve success doing something they love. Yet, one of the biggest stumbling blocks can be finding out what subject to blog about.
Unless you are an expert on a particular subject or passionate about something it can be tough to decide on your niche. Maybe you will be tempted by travel blogging or by the idea of blogging about lifestyle issues.
Another decent option is creating a design blog. You can do this whether or not you are already an expert on the design industry. If that sounds good to you, you will need to know how to start a design blog.
Who Is Suited to Running a Design Blog?
We can start by saying that anyone can create any sort of blog. Provided that you have the patience to do some research there is nothing to stop you from writing any sort of blog at all.
Having said that, it definitely helps if you are interested in design in some way. Maybe it is something that you have always been intrigued by but have never had the opportunity to do anything about before now.
If you have already worked in some sort of design role or studied design in the past then it will be easier to get started. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this advantage isn’t as big as you might think it is. There are lots of other aspects of starting a design blog that are just as important.
You will need to feel confident about your own good taste and visual presentation skills to do this. The appearance of your new design blog will go a long way to helping it succeed. If you have a slap-dash approach to presentation then this sort of blog probably isn’t best for you.
Why not read some design blogs and magazines? Does the subject matter and tone appeal to you? As with any other niche, the energy and enthusiasm with which you approach it will go a long way towards making it easier or more difficult to do well.
What Will You Focus On?
To start with, it is important to be clear about what type of design blog you want to start up. Take a look at some of the top design blogs around at the moment and you will see a variety of topics and approaches.
Some of them concentrate solely on graphic design tasks while other looks at photography, clothes designing, furniture and anything else that could reasonably be gathered under the heading of design. The truth is that you can start a design blog focused on any one of the different aspects that this subject includes.
It is worth remembering that the more variety you can cram into your blog the more readers it will appeal to. This will also help to ensure that it is more fun and interesting for you to write too.
Design is a broad subject so don’t worry about trying to cover everything. Just be careful that you don’t stray away from the overall subject matter of design.
As with any sort of blog, it is a smart move to break your subject into categories. This can make it easier to work out what exactly you want to write about.
You can then gauge how popular your posts in each category are. Is there a particular category that is especially rewarding or one that you should maybe think about removing?
Consider What Your Angle Will Be
Since you can cover a range of design-related subjects, it is important to find an angle first. This is what makes the whole thing hang together as a coherent blog rather than look like a set of vaguely related posts.
Will you approach it as a highly enthusiastic design fan who wants to share their interests with the world? Maybe you will be a worldly-wise designer who has learned useful tips and tricks on their travels?
This angle will help you to find your writing style and give you lots of subjects to write about. Of course, it doesn’t all have to be true. By creating this angle you may also be creating a character for yourself at the same time.
People tend to be drawn to blogs that are eye-catching for a number of reasons. Among the main things they look for is a personal touch and a fascinating backstory from the blogger. Give yourself an interesting online personality to make the blog feel more authentic and attractive.
You aren’t going to be just talking about design here, or at least you shouldn’t be. This new design blog should also be about seeing the design world through your eyes and with your own unique vision.
If you get the angle right then everything that comes after this should be a lot easier to deal with.
Think of a Name
When you are looking at how to start a design blog you might think that the name is one of the least important issues. Maybe you will view it as a trivial matter that shouldn’t take up too much of your time. After all, there are so many other things to deal with that you need to get to grips with.
However, the name of your blog can have a huge bearing on your success. This is one of the aspects of the site that people take into account when deciding how much they like your blog and whether they will be back. Will your blog name reel people in or turn them away?
If you go back and look at the most popular design blogs again, you will see that there are a range of different types of name there. Some are short and snappy. Some are cool and sophisticated. Some are fun and playful.
The type of name you choose will come down in part to the angle that you have chosen for your blog. This should reflect your point of view or the way that you have chosen to look at the design issues that you cover.
Try coming up with a few names and then go back to them after a few days to see if they still seem appealing. Remember that if you are opting for a self-hosting blog then you will also want to find a domain name that suits the name of your blog.
Get Inspired on Topics
If you aren’t already a design expert then the idea of writing regular blog articles about it may be a worry. Will people call you out as a fraud if you have a blog that doesn’t live up to their expectations or doesn’t sound as though it is written by an expert? Can you seriously expect to bluff your way through blogging daily?
The simple fact of the matter is that a huge number of blogs are written by people who aren’t experts in the subject. Many of them might not even be particularly interested in what they write about.
That travel blogger who raves about exotic destinations might not even own a passport. The finance blogger who tells you how to become a millionaire probably isn’t as rich or as frugal as they claim to be.
As long as you have a convincing, authentic voice and don’t make obvious mistakes, it is likely that readers will assume you are a design expert just because you have a blog on it.
The best idea for getting started is to look at other design blogs and get some ideas from there. You can easily build up enough content to get started just by curating the articles that you find elsewhere. Don’t directly copy content, but you can use other blogs for inspiration and ideas.
Other than that, you could just go into Google News and see what is happening in terms of design across the world. For example, a Google News search just now reveals that there is a design festival taking place in Mumbai.
There is also a feature on technology in design, an article about interior design trend and some general industry news.
Could you write about any of these news items? If you don’t have any other posts lined up then any of those topics could turn out to be a subject worth covering.
Writing 500 words or so on the latest news stories isn’t so difficult. You could round us a few stories into a daily news digest if there isn’t enough information to make a good article out of just 1 of them.
Find some topics that genuinely interest you and you are ready to start writing. It is worth going the extra mile to find topics that you love, as they will be a lot easier to write about in an enthusiastic way that appeals to as many people as possible.
Write Great Posts
Naturally, the most important point on how to start a design blog is the content. You need to have posts that really grab the attention of your readers.
The work that you have done in the previous points covered here should leave you in a good position to write quality posts. By this stage, you should understand what you want to write about and the kind of voice that you want to use for it.
Of course, that doesn’t automatically mean that your first ever posts are going to be perfect. It is far more likely that you will need to rewrite them a number of times in order to get the exact feel that you have in mind for them.
It is definitely a good idea to take your time producing the first few articles. This initial content will be among the most important that you will write for your blog.
You will also want to produce some cornerstone content at some point. These are the key posts that showcase what you do and are typically the posts that you want new visitors to see right away. Make it a blog that visitors enjoy discovering and that teaches some interesting new things.
Spice It Up with Images and Videos
Design blogs are among the sites that most benefit from extra care and attention in the presentation aspect. If you are going to portray yourself as a design expert then you can’t afford to have a poorly-designed blog that makes you look bad, can you?
One of the easiest ways of spicing up a design blog is by adding images and videos to it. These should be relevant to your posts and should be carefully chosen to add to the visual appeal. Unless you are going to be creating your own images, it makes sense to choose copyright-free photos that you can use free of charge.
Videos can also be used to great effect on your site. You can use them to show exactly what you mean in more detail.
It can take some time to find the perfect images and videos. The flipside to this is that it will make your life a lot easier if you are able to build some posts around images without a lot of text needed.
Try and mix things up. If one blog article is largely text-based you can build the next one around images or videos. This varied approach will make the site more interesting to read as well.
Choose a Platform
How will you set up your design blog so that it is inexpensive, looks good and is easy to run? Choosing the right blogging platform is the most important point in this respect.
The good news is that there are plenty of excellent platforms to choose from. The most popular of all is the powerful WordPress platform. This is an option that lets you get set up easily and with little or no cost.
If you go for the self-hosting option then you need to set up hosting and get your domain arranged as well. However, the extra effort and expense is worth it to feel completely in control of your own site from day one onwards.
With a good platform like this you will be up and running in no time. Maintaining the site in the future is also an easy task if you choose the most suitable platform for your needs.
Design Your Blog
It is very clear that the design of a new blog is crucial to its success. This is especially true when the subject of the blog is design itself.
Therefore, you will need to take your time and find the sort of blog design that takes people’s breath away. This could turn out to be the most difficult and time-consuming part of the whole process of finding out how to start a design blog.
A good start can be made by looking at the different free templates offered on WordPress. With so many options to choose from it is almost certain that you find a style that suits you here.
However, if you aren’t convinced by any of them then you may be tempted to pay for a paid design template instead. Given the importance of design to your site, this could turn out to be an excellent decision.
Once you have added some content you should look at the design again. Does it still look good or would it be best to go back and try again with a different design?
Earn Money From It
There is no denying that many people start a blog in order to earn money. This is an idea that it is definitely worth looking into, but how can you make money from a design blog? There are a few different ways of doing this.
Some of the top design blogs make money through ads. This is very easy to do but you may worry that paid ads might put off your readers.
You could link out to products that pay you commission as an affiliate. This is relatively easy to do, as you just need to add the links in reviews or other articles that relate to products.
Another option is to see whether you get offered the chance to post blogs directly advertising brands. This can be a lucrative business but it is likely to only take off once your blog has gained a good reputation in the industry.
How to Start a Design Blog: Conclusion
Design blogs are tremendous fun to write. They are also highly sought-after these days, meaning that it is a potentially profitable niche to get involved with.
The demands of this industry mean that you definitely need to pay extra attention to some of the details on your site. If you can get to grips with this aspect of the business then you could find that starting a design blog turns out to be something that leads to plenty of good times ahead.