Web designers have no shortage of inspiration these days. It seems as though there are new design and inspiration blogs popping up every hour, and there’s never a shortage of posts to go around. With new social media sites such as Design Moo and DesignBump, articles for graphic artists and web designers are able to spread like wildfire. It’s rare when you run across a unique and helpful blog, and this is the case with CreativityDen.
I found the Creativity Den Blog a few months ago, went through their archive and really enjoyed their posts! Ranging from design inspiration to free tutorials or icons for download, you can find almost anything you need as a designer! I managed to e-mail one of the site’s bloggers Liam McCabe, and he’s given me a great inside look at how the blog has been constructed and built from the ground up.
What is the main category or niche behind CreativityDen? What are the typical types of posts you write about?
CreativityDen is fundamentally about inspiration and creativity. It aims to inspire and encourage designers to try new things. In 2009 Creativityden’s post mainly comprised of showcases, tutorials and to be honest a lot of what bloggers would call ‘fluff’ – posts that just keep the post rate up. However, a new year has arrived and I hope to step up my game and deliver high quality, well thought out articles.
I will be saying no to lists posts but not no to showcases. I believe a list of 44 inspiring v-card designs can be inspiring and helpful, but the only thing that the writer has done is taken the time to collect, format and publish the list – which anyone can do. I will therefore be including the experience I have gained, to teach and (hopefully) inspire my readers about what I have learned.
Where did you get the idea for CreativityDen? Did any other blogs or websites influence your design or idea for the site?
I was very new to the whole ‘internet’ thing when I started CreativtyDen. I knew I liked to design and I had always wanted to experience the thrill of owning a website so I started CreativityDen. Little did I know of the huge competition that was present. I’m sure a lot of blogs and websites influenced me, most likely build internet. A superb site that not only delivers high quality content, but informs its readers that anyone can start their own design blog (thanks to its invaluable monthly reviews).
How often do you post new content to the blog, and do you market it at all by spreading around your links?
I tried to post content too often in 2009 which in result led to a lot of in ‘fluff’. I plan to eliminate this in 2010. However, I do like to post regularly, I believe two high quality posts each week should be substantial. Within the design community there a various ways that allow me to market my articles. Many design blogs offer a community link feed, where users can submit the latest design articles and have them displayed on the front page. There are even a few sites dedicated to exactly that, Design Newz for example.
Although, I have learned that if you really want to get your article out there, you must build a community. You must engage with every person that visits your site, everyone who follows you, comments and promotes your articles. How? That’s simple, by visiting their websites, leaving a few comments, promoting their articles via social media, talking to them through social media. Eventually you will build a friendship that is invaluable.
Could you share any stats with us about your blog (PagRank, daily traffic, RSS Subscribers, etc)?
I don’t see why not. I’m aiming to only look at my analytics once a month this year. I believe stats can distract you from the task at hand. I know at one stage that I wanted to post anything just to see if I could keep the spike in traffic going.
December Traffic: 24,450 visits – 38,072 pageviews
RSS Subcribers: 511
What was it like when you first created CreativityDen, and did you run into any difficulty or problems when first launching the site?
CreativityDen was similar to a baby when it was launched, not sure what it was doing or where it was going. Due to the amount of experience I had (zero) in managing a design blog, most of the time I didn’t know what I was doing! At the time I was just focused on experimenting and reading up on design, usability and marketing. However, thanks to a nice redesign, the knowledge gained through reading hundreds of great blogging articles and a steady increase in subscribers CreativityDen is growing up fast 🙂
Do you have any plans to monetize CreativityDen to turn it into a profitable blog as a reliable source of income?
I have a few plans to monetize CreativityDen, but then I don’t want to fill it with AdSense, text links and banners. I think I will stick with the quality service BuySellAds offers and hope that in the coming months the (hopefully increasing) popularity will attract advertisers. This should help me to improve CreativityDen’s content with more giveaways and guest posts.
What are some of your favorite web design resources or web 2.0 sites?
A few sites I like to revisit over and over again simply due to the amazing design:
For learning and resources:
How do you come up with the ideas for the posts on your blog? Could you share 2 or 3 of your personal favorite posts?
Recently, I brainstormed around 40-50 article ideas. I realized that after the first 10 ideas or so, the best way to come up with ideas for posts was to ask myself, what would I like to read?
The six fundamental ways of adding depth to your designs – First article of 2010! 🙂
Fixed elements in web design with examples – I would like all my posts to be similar to this one in 2010
Create a funky most commented section for your blog! – I just like the end result.
Say NO to boring sidebars! – I like expressing my opinions but I’m always unsure if I should
Do you have any goals for 2010 in regards to CreativityDen, or related to your web work in general?
2010 will be a very big year for me. It’s either going to go my way or not. I have quite a few goals that I would like to achieve. Firstly, I would like to consistently pump out high quality posts for CreativityDen and engage with it’s readers.
Secondly, I would like to guest post on a few other design blogs.I have been asked to post on Smashing Magazine which was a true honor, so hopefully that should get the ball rolling.
Thirdly, I would like to get a few submissions approved on themeforest and graphicriver to try get some passive income going.
Finally, I would love to go to a few web design conferences this year, I would also like to attend, no, I will attend FOWA in London this year! All that aside, I just wish to be happy.
If you had any advice for someone starting their own design blog, what would it be?
You have probably read it everywhere but remember, content is king! Put all your effort into content and you will be rewarded. A unique and stylish design is always a plus as well. Furthermore, engage with your readers. Talk to them on social media websites, comment on their websites, promote their articles and they will do the same to yours.