It is a trend amongst designers to share their thoughts, techniques, and skills with other people by using a blog. Much more, some designers learn this job by consulting the blogs (obviously, in addition to reading books, listening to podcasts) and others sharpened their potential.
The blogs are very advantageous for readers but at the same time bring popularity and clients to the owners. Under these circumstances there is no wonder that the number of blogs has exponentially increased. Is it wrong? Personally, no way; it’s both side expedient and as long as the information shared is useful and qualitative then this activity must really be stimulated.
Nowadays being a blogger, a respectable one- that is doing it more than just for fun- is a nice situation but, at the same time, it is very challenging. Few years ago, it was a rare occupation with practical no possibility of gaining money and obviously, the interest was pretty low but nowadays we have a very different big picture. A blog may represent a good source of income or an invaluable tool to attract people visiting the owner’s portfolio just to name a few positive aspects. These are the good news but don’t worry, there are tons of difficult parts.
Firstly, when the blogger has a solid background in web design practices there is no problem in maintaining the blog but what about when the blogger to be, a very good specialist in his field, has no connection with the websites’ creation and exploring? Willing or not, a blog is a website and it must respect the “rules of the online environment”.
Secondly, a blog will survive and become profitable due to the traffic received, therefore here is involved the optimization for search engines.
Thirdly, the competition is very harsh and even a single day of blog neglecting may be a serious loss of traffic.
Nope, being a blogger isn’t as easy as it seems, just write, post and Google and the sponsors will make you very rich. It is unexpectedly difficult and only the strong wills resist in the competition.
Somehow, the same faith is reserved for web designers. The old mentality (that is killing my nerves) that the websites are part-time jobs of a nephew is still present and many people tent to believe that a web designer’s life is simple. Some consider that the money received for a website is always too much for the endeavor of the web designer…
The statute of bloggers and web designers is merely changing, as these fields are very dynamic and relatively new. You don’t have to be a genius to see that these activities have many common connections but by presenting them we may observe better their advantages and disadvantages. The post will surely be the most useful to the designers that are in doubt about the necessity of launching a blog. Anyway, my personal conclusion about the role of designers and bloggers is simple: a blogger must be very skilled in web design (not ignoring search engine optimization) while a web designer may be a blogger to benefit from appreciation of the audience. Definitely, a web designer has to learn from a blogger and vice-versa.
We mentioned previously something about search engine optimization (SEO). It is as important as the design or as the written content but the main issue is that is invisible. The common customer knows that he needs a layout, some coding- this are, for some people, science fiction terms and no one likes them, a few texts and a domain name, nothing more. Somehow, the designers “hide” from customers the SEO aspect because it’s not palpable and more important, is a long time endeavor that requires a decent financial investment. Willing or not, the Internet users determine this fact as long as the search engines try to imitate their behavior. The idea is simple: a website is successful only when it attracts many visitors; no visitors, no profit.Therefore, having visitors is capital, so how can one attract them? The conclusion is simple too, by being no.1 on the all searches of the visitors; let’s be honest, how do you visit a website? I am sure you type some keywords in the search box and visit quite probable the first six-seven websites; you aren’t maybe aware but you visit these because you trust the preferences of the search engine.
This complicated situation must be figured out by designers and expand their services into SEO field. Clearly, I don’t say that a designer must be a SEO specialist but he can realize a layout that simplifies the work of making the website friendlier to search engines. It’s true, the clients don’t easily accept to pay for something that might or might not work and the result appears after some months but it is better to prevent that simply ignore them. A blogger knows perfectly that no matter how qualitative are his posts, once the blog isn’t optimized, it is impossible to get the desired traffic.
The bloggers are more engaged with their audience than a designer is with his previous clients. Being in a close relationship with the clients, no matter if they are from the past, is important. People, usually don’t have time and despite searching for a web design agency they prefer the power of word-of-mouth and ask the friends about it. It’s more easy to convert into a new client someone that received a recommendation from a previous client of you than someone that admires your portfolio.
Anyway, a web designer must pay close attention to the feedback of the clients, they are the supreme judger of the talent and the skills of the website creator. There is no secret rule of marketing but a satisfied client is one of the best modality of advertising and the chances of hiring the same designer when he needs his services are high.
The bloggers are careful to the reaction of people after each article is published, no matter if they like it or not in case it is very appreciated by people, they will add online more similar posts. Undoubtedly, the blogosphere considers the visitor the most important entity. Web designers must apply the same treatment but there is a more complicated problem. The art of making websites is based on a set of rules and principles that aren’t all known by a potential client. Not rarely it happens that a client’s desire is against a rule of beautiful designs and it’s hard to explain him that it’s amateurish to accomplish his adagio.
A wise designer must assure an equilibrated balance between the expectations of the client and the principles of design and here is no precise rule. It’s about diplomacy and communication skills. As a personal advice, even if it is a loss of time, it’s welcomed to explain in a non-programming language to the client that some of his objections are against some design rules. In this way, the designer is sure that he tried everything to convince the client. It’s possible for the last one to understand and the relationship is better curdled which is both side advantageous.
Many designers are overestimating their job while the bloggers and content writers are underestimating it. Anyway, the design is very important but its main purpose is to facilitate the access to information and no matter how cool is a header, the huge majority of information is based in written format. Therefore, a wise designer overcomes any personal pride and all his works must be created to facilitate the freedom of information exchange. It’s true that, at superficial mode, the touch of the designer is lost but in practice it isn’t true.
Bloggers, by studying their Google Analytics, noticed that the Internet users are diversifying their modalities of being connected to the network. The era of handheld devices started and the websites should be enough flexible to be perfectly rendered on multiple types of displays. The old desktop is still appreciated and very important but the trend is more favorable to mobile versions.
Responsive design isn’t a fade or something optional, it’s mandatory and, more important, it’s very urgent to apply in creating new websites.A website that “suffers” when visited using a tablet or a smartphone is nothing more than an online presence that won’t exist for much time.
If someone knows a blogger that isn’t implied in social networks please let me know, but I strongly doubt it! A blogger must be very active on social networks, these are a very good source of traffic and here the online communities are formed, very important because these are trustier than someone having no interest in.
A designer shouldn’t be scared by social networks, some are for professional purposes so it’s better to give it a try, there is nothing to lose. By being engaged with various social networks, a designer creates an image around- very similar to a brand and it is a fabulous source of clients. Don’t be ignorant, pay attention to social networks and try using them for you.
Warning: social networks may be addictive and it’s no surprise to waste time by cheating or admiring pictures of friends.
Nowadays, everyone who knows the basis of Microsoft Office is almost a potential blogger. Word Press facilitates very much the way of becoming a blogger. Despite of this fact, there are still many aspects of maintaining a blog that suppose a higher volume of acknowledgement as adding new plugins, changing themes, fonts etc. A blogger that doesn’t want to hire a web designer (it’s very common into the beginning part) must learn the more difficult parts of Word Press (obviously, if the respective blog is built on other platform, he must learn the respective one).
The main idea is that maintaining a blog isn’t rocket science and as long as it isn’t very visited there is no problem but thinking on a longer perspective the knowledge of web design is mandatory. A static blog, one that doesn’t suffer any modification, no matter if it is perfect, won’t attract new clients while one that is merely improving (keep in mind, “improving” and not “changing”) has bigger chance to gain more visitors.
The Internet users like any project that seems to respect them, usually any unfinished detail is considered as an offense to them. The designers know this fact and pay tenfold attention to the small, apparently ignorable elements as fonts, fine gradients, icons or even favicons. The small details make the big difference and, by studying a couple of well-done layouts this statement will be easily confirmed.
It’s pretty obvious that a good web designer can be distinguished from a decent one by having complete care to any small detail, everything is based on fine tuning. A blogger should apply the same pattern in his works, every aspect must be completely covered. This way, the reader will have no problem in fully understanding the post. The reader’s satisfaction is the first step in making him subscribe; therefore, he can be turned into a loyal visitor.
The web designers that build ecommerce layouts or full online stores apply a golden rule to maximize their profits: the potential buyers shouldn’t click more than three times in order to buy something. The Internet is the realm of unlimited solutions and the buyers/visitors can be instantly manipulated to other websites therefore any layout should be created having the user in mind. Be honest with you, no matter how impressive a website looks, if you need to click again and again you will chose another website.
The situation appears in blogging. A user needing some information doesn’t have the patience to research through your articles that aren’t well defined and in the archives which are complicated. The posts of any successful blog must be very well delimited- it isn’t a shame or a wrong logic, many visitors come to your blog just because of Google that keeps into account your paragraphs. It’s quite probable to have some visitors that need only a paragraph from your entire blog. Don’t be discouraged by this and write the posts keeping this fact in mind.
The conclusion is that everything on a blog should be made in a way that makes the navigational process simpler for any user. The best modality to find out what is beneficial for the readers and what should be modified is to test, so never ignore this major aspect.
A blogger must learn from a designer the “feeling” of making a chance into the layout of the blog. It’s mostly a subjective fact, it’s an art to select the perfect time. Under these circumstances it is useless to teach someone when to do these modifications but it’s wise to present the tips of how to do it. A redesign, no matter how wonderful is the new layout, is an effort for the readers. The more loyal they are, the more difficult it is for them is to accommodate. Take the example of Facebook modifications – some of these were improvements, some were not quite useful. Anyway, most people hated these just because they were familiarized to the old format.
The conclusion is that a blogger should consult a designer before making any modification into the layout of the blog unless he/she isn’t a design specialist.
The designers have tons of websites where different kinds of layouts are exposed. These are very helpful in order to stay updated to the latest ideas and it’s a real source of inspiration. The same idea should be absorbed by bloggers; a good blogger will subscribe to many other blogs, read the posts and extract conclusions. The inspiration from other sources should never be ignored or banned. The real issue is not to brutally copy other’s ideas.
There is nothing more shameful for any blogger than stealing other people ideas. The readers that notice a “too obvious similitude” with other posts will surely blame the thief and his fame is simply destroyed. It is a bad move to risk all your previous experience for a post, no matter how cool it may be, isn’t it?
In the end, I hope that both bloggers and web designers will appreciate these ideas and, if I forgot another cool tip, please use the comment form and let me know.