5 reasons why every creative should have a blog & update it consistently.
I visit so many creative's websites these days that don't have a blog and it honestly amazes me. I understand that there's so much to keep on top of when you're self employed but it's definitely worth investing 1 hour a week or so to update a blog, even if you only write a post once or twice a month. I decided this week to share 5 reasons I've kept a blog/what keeping my blog has resulted in.
TO SHARE YOUR WORK & YOUR PROCESS
Sharing your work and process on your blog is beneficial to both current/future clients and also other creatives who might be interested in your work.
For clients, it also helps if they can see your process, for some it won't make any bit of difference what so ever, but for others, they will be interested to see how you work and what kind of effort you put into certain elements of your process. This in turn then means that they can already get a good idea of how you'll work on their project, should they contact you about working with them.
When it comes to readers and other creatives who are interested in your work, it's extremely appealing when they can get an insight into how you work, what techniques you use, what equipment you use, what inspires you etc. so that they can pick up any tips if they see something that they like. I think most creatives are also really curious people, so I personally really like to watch behind the scenes of films and games so although other illustrators may be reading my blog, there could also be other creatives in other parts of the creative industry who are reading my blog to get ideas for animation or 3D modelling etc.
It's also a place to share work that you're proud of but that might not necessarily have a place in your portfolio. I know I've posted a few random pieces of work on my blog where I've just been trying something for fun and that has then resulted in me working with various new clients.
IT SHOWS THAT YOU'RE ACTIVE & CONSISTENT
I don't think that it's necessarily a great idea to just 'have a blog' on your website, there's nothing more annoying than going to read someone's blog and realising that they haven't updated it for 18 months. As I mentioned before, it's worth just setting yourself a little schedule to post just once or twice a month which should only really take 30-60 minutes out of your week, and as a bonus, blogging can be done pretty much anywhere so it's something I often do on the days where I work my part time job & feel too tired to do anything else.
If you update it regularly, it shows that you're still active and consistent in producing new work. It means that people also routinely check back on your website to see what your blog post is about each week or two which if you have a website, you should know that more traffic equals a better SEO ranking. I find that it's also a great way to start a conversation with people about your work as I often get comments on my blog or social networks when I've published a new post and it's always interesting to hear other thoughts and opinions on the same topic or get comments on new work that I've made.
TO SHARE YOUR INTERESTS
I think that this is super important when you do set up a blog, don't be fooled into ONLY writing about your own work. Although this is great, it doesn't really provide anyone with an idea of what your personality is or what influences your work and why you do what you do. It pays off to talk about what you're interested in such as what your other passions are and what inspires your ideas. Even if it's something as simple as posting fan art of something that you're into which is something I try to do, as my main interests outside my creative career are gaming and film. Even though this isn't me writing about a game or film in particular, it allows me to show what I love about that particular game and talk about how the game influenced my work, which in turn, means if someone who wants to hire a freelancer to illustrate a video game base illustration, they can already see that I have a knowledge of games rather than another illustrator who illustrates a bit of everything and has no blog on their website.
IT'S A WAY TO RECORD YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
I feel like this is a really important reason to keep a blog, that most people forget about, I know I have said this before, but I firmly believe that we should all be our own inspirations. So a blog gives each of us who write one a way to record what work we've done, even if we're not thinking about it in that way when we write it. I think that one of the biggest things that a lot of artists forget to do is look back on their own work and see how far that they've come, and I can't tell you how rewarding it is to look back on the past few years work and to see the huge improvement that has been made (which it will have).
So even if you feel shy about writing a blog available for others to read, if you take anything away from this post let it be keeping a record of your work either through a digital filing system or a private blog.
IT COULD LAND YOU SPEAKING/TUTORING OPPORTUNITIES
One of the things I will say is don't worry about the numbers, don't worry about how little traffic you get and don't worry about what your stats say. My blog has given me a couple of chances to do speaking engagements at my former college and also at a creative event with a few people way more experienced than me such as a producer from The Great British Bake Off, a Theatre Director, The Arctic Monkey's manager and a few others. Do you know how many people read that particular post that got me that speaking event? Less than 10.
It honestly doesn't matter how many readers you get, it really is about who is reading it. I have also been offered the chance to teach online, which I'm sure my blog probably helped with because it will have allowed the people looking for new people to teach through their website to see how I communicate my ideas. Although these events are terrifying, they're some of the most rewarding things that I get to do.
I hope that this was a nice change from me sharing my work and instead sharing what I've learnt for a change! Let me know what you think or if you have any other tips for why creatives should keep a blog in the comments below or on Twitter @aldersaur.