Keeping knowledge to yourself is lame. One of the easiest ways to give back to the design community is to write about design.
I’ve been blogging about design for years, and though it’s still not a piece of cake, it’s definitely gotten easier. People often ask me for blogging advice, so I compiled this quick list of tips I’ve learned from others.
Stop trying to sound like someone else
So you’ve read a bunch of blog posts, and now you want to share your thoughts about a topic you’re passionate about. The biggest mistake I see people make when they’re getting started is that they try to adopt someone else’s voice.
Knock that off immediately. Be yourself and write the way you speak.
People who know me well say they actually hear my voice when they read my posts. If you meet me in real life, you’ll find that you already know me pretty well through my writing.
Don’t get caught up in editing
The majority of bloggers—even the best bloggers on earth—were terrible when they started. You improve as you go. Blogging is like any other skill—you need to practice to get better. I look back through my early posts and cringe. My posts now aren’t amazingly incredible, but they’re definitely better than they were when I first started.“Stop stalling and hit publish.”
99% of the people I talk to who want to start blogging tell me that they’ve written tons of posts but they don’t think they’re “good enough,” so they don’t publish them.
Don’t get so far into your own head that you chicken out. Just hit publish. Worst-case scenario, you can just edit the post after you publish it. (I do this constantly.)
If you’re still a little freaked out by editing, just read your post out loud to yourself (or your pet, or significant other, or kid, or a stranger on the bus)
When you edit your own work on a screen, you tend to read what you meant, not what you actually wrote. Reading a piece out loud will help you identify a crazy number of things you don’t notice when you’re trying to edit on screen.
But, again, when you’re done editing, hit publish! (I know I’ve mentioned that repeatedly, but seriously… just do it.)
Don’t get discouraged and quit if you don’t end up with a huge following after your first post
Gaining a readership takes time. Folks don’t end up with a large audience immediately after their first blog post. Just keep writing.
Don’t obsess about what people are going to think
How often do you remember the name and face of a person whose article you read? If the person blogs regularly and you love their style, or the type of content they publish, you may.“Write the way you speak.”
But think of the hundreds of other articles you’ve read. Do you remember every name and every face? Unless you have a photographic memory, I’m going with probably not.
So don’t panic. If your first articles are rough, it’s okay.
If you get trolled, don’t respond
You know those people who are just unbelievably obnoxious? The best blogging advice I’ve ever gotten was to completely ignore the trolls. Don’t even bother to engage with them.
There’s a huge difference between constructive feedback and a person with no life who surfs around looking for people to harass and pick fights with. They live to fight with people they don’t know while hiding behind a screen.
So rise above by ignoring them completely. They’ll eventually get bored and go away.
They’re pathetic, and you’re not. You win. Keep moving.
If you decide to take the plunge and start blogging, please hit me up on Twitter—I’d love to hear about it!
More from Jennifer Aldrich
- You’re not a junior designer—you’re a designer
- 9 tips to help you rock your first (or next) conference
- An open letter to newbie designers