The reader profile is a regular series where I attempt to give something back to one of my readers. It typically includes some information about his/her online projects as well as a mini interview.
Today I’m happy to feature Vinh Le of Blog Design Blog. Vinh has been an active commenter recently and he’s been posting some very popular content on his own blog. In case you can’t tell by the title, Vinh is a designer and he writes about various aspects of blog design. If you haven’t come across his blog before, I recommend you take a moment and see what it has to offer.
Some of his most popular posts include 30 Must See Comment Designs for Web Designers, 25 Must Buy, Borrow, or Steal Books for Web Designers, and 17 Resources for Creating a Blog Design.
Now, on to the interview.
1. Your blog serves primarily to promote yourself rather than directly monetizing the blog. What results have you seen so far from the visibility that the blog has given you?
First, let me say that when I initially started blogging to promote myself, I put together a plan where I told myself not to expect much in terms of results until I was six months in. Six months of hard work at blogging, marketing, and learning was the price I figured I would have to pay in order to establish myself in my niche of blog design.
Secondly I measure my results by the number of subscribers, amount of buzz about my blog, and the amount of comments I get. While subscribers and comments fluctuate all the time, they are still a good indicator of the general success of how I am doing. The amount of buzz is harder to measure, but when bigger blogs talk about my articles is a good indicator of generating a good amount of buzz.
Finally, the results of my blog after being up for five weeks has done wonders for my visibility. People who I have been following in web design and blogging have finally taken notice of me. This is a really good indicator that I am starting to make a name for myself in my niche. One of my goals is make my name synonymous with the word blog design. I think one of the best things that happened recently that showed me that my visibility was really starting to take off was when Maki from doshdosh.com tweeted one of my articles. For someone that big, busy, and important to take notice of what I wrote was a great milestone to reach so early.
2. What social media sites do you use the most, and what have you learned about promoting your blog through social media?
I have been using stumbleupon, designfloat, and upon your recommendation I have been using dzone as well in order to target del.ici.ous users. I have read and learned so much about promoting my blog through social media in the past few weeks that I am starting to build a ritual I go through after writing an article. With each article I submit, my ritual becomes more refined and better at utilizing social media sites in order to effectively promote my articles.
I think one of my favorite parts about blogging is marketing the article afterwards and then watching the results of your work. It is just really fun to see which social media sites it succeeds on and which one it doesn’t. It really helps to observe this and make changes to your marketing strategy based on the results you obtained or else you will keep doing the same thing over and over with the same results.
One of the things I learned was to stop submitting to digg myself, because it would just get buried soon afterwards. Now I just let others submit it and I have seen my articles do a lot better on digg.
3. As a designer, you obviously realize the need for a blog to have a unique and attractive look. What would you say is the biggest advantage that a well-designed blog has over a typical free theme?
The biggest advantage that a well-designed blog has over a typical free theme is being memorable. It makes the blog easier to recall in memory, which makes it more likely that a person will think about your blog when they are thinking about a subject you write about on your blog. It is important that you get people to make a mental connection of your blog and your niche. A good design really helps in achieving this.
If you haven’t already visited Blog Design Blog, please take a moment to see Vinh’s work and support him.