In the final part of this mini-series on self-promotion I discuss blogging, its benefits and how it works for self-promotional purposes.
Why did you decide to start a blog?
Nathan: I started Redswish at the end of January purely to see what all this fuss was about blogging. I had spare time on my hands as I was freelancing from home and it was an experiment, to see if I enjoyed it and also to see if it was really worth my time. In July I came to the conclusion that blogging was definitely for me and it was time to actually make Redswish look half-decent (because trust me, the first design was a mess). Since then I’ve been trying to put more time, research and effort in to my posts in the hope that they’ll prove useful to people, and to a large extent my writing’s been received well!
How do you find the time to update it and come up with new topics?
Nathan: I struggle. Balancing full-time work, the odd bit of freelance, relaxation (reading & playing Xbox), spending time with friends and then putting together blog posts does take some effort. I’ll sometimes find myself writing till 2/3am in the morning whilst I’m maintaining a train of thought. But when I look at my stats, subscribers and the comments I get, it all makes it worthwhile. The site doesn’t make any money but it’s not about that. Knowing that I’m writing for people that appreciate it inspires me to carry on.
I usually create an initial draft post whenever I get an idea for an article, however I may not go back to that draft for months. It’s rare that I suddenly get an idea for post, churn it out then publish it. Some articles sit waiting to go live for weeks.
Do you think blogging has increased your profile?
Nathan: Absolutely. I’ve had job offers, requests for freelance writing and interviews like this. There’s even been the odd occasion where I’ve met people that have frequented Redswish and never realised I was behind it. Not that I need Redswish to massage my ego, it’s just nice to be recognised for your efforts.
Has the blog led to any unforeseen benefits?
Nathan: Unforeseen benefits? Nothing that springs to mind. Apart from the above, it’s not like I’ve had girls asking me out on dates or anything because ‘I’m that guy behind Redswish’… although that would be awesome!
What other methods of self promotion do you use?
Nathan: Now I’m full-time at Flame, self-promotion’s not an issue like it was when I was freelancing and trying to bring in work. But I enjoy networking. I’m a big fan of Twitter, though little else online. The majority of other social networking sites throw too much bullshit at you, I enjoy Twitter for it’s simplicity. Off the computer, I attend the occasional meet-up and am always happy to contact fellow designers when I appreciate their work. That’s not so much for the purpose of self-promotion but it does get your name around.
Of course being good at what you do helps, other people will spread the word for you if you stand out. I’ve yet to reach that stage but I’ve had the pleasure of working with some people who are so skilled, you hear about them everywhere. Maybe that will be me one day :)
Do you maintain a blog? Have you found it useful for self-promotional purposes?