Graphic Designer and Blogger Andrew Houle of MyInkBlog
Graphic and web designers, lend me your ears! We have another great graphic design blog to add to our list today, MyInkBlog. Featuring all sorts of free goodies to download, amazing tutorials, inspiring articles, and a whole lot more! MyInkBlog is one of the premiere graphic and web design blogs on the web, with over 3,000 Twitter followers and almost 4,000 RSS followers.
I got an interview with the blogs creator, Andrew Houle. We discuss the impact of blogging on the graphic design and web design community, along with where he plans to bring the blog in the future. Fans of design will love this, and if you haven’t been to MyInkBlog yet I would highly recommend giving it a glance.
What got you interested in blogging and creating a web/graphic design blog? Can you name any specific influences?
Blogging has been a direct result of my freelancing experiences. From the time I’ve started until now, I’ve been working a full-time job while freelancing/blogging part-time on my nights and weekends. I’ve learned so much from awesome design blogs like PSD Tuts, Smashing Mag, Bittbox, FYC, and so many more. I wanted to do something similar; to help people learn design in much the same way I did.
Getting into blogging also gave me a chance to try out WordPress. So it was a little bit of a learning experiment. It turned out to be a good move, and I’ve come to really appreciate the WordPress platform.
Where do you get inspiration for all of your posts?
It all depends… I get ideas at random times and places. I really have to make a conscious effort to write them down or I’ll forget. I try to bring a notepad and paper most places I go, for just that reason. I also use Evernote to keep track of post ideas.
A good amount of my inspiration comes from my personal experiences and what I can draw from the other blogs I read.
I saw that you allow users to submit posts to the site. How many submissions turn out to be valuable compared to the amount of spam you get?
I do get a lot of spam from that. I would say it’s about 2 good posts for every 1 spam. But I think it’s worth it. I love providing my readers with other quality links. It also gives other members of the design community an opportunity to promote their work.
Can you give us an idea of how the site has grown since the early days when you first started blogging?
I guess the best way to illustrate that would be a simple statistic. The first month the blog ran it received 466 page views. This past month of June, it received over 310,000. I’m humbled and amazed at the growth that’s taken place.
I saw you go through BuySellAds for your advertising. Combining this with Google AdSense, does My Ink Blog make a decent amount of revenue?
After I factor in hosting costs and paid posts, it’s certainly not a huge amount, but I’m very thankful for what it is. That being said, I would strongly advise someone who is thinking about starting a blog to think it over carefully before they get started. You should really write about topics that you have a passion for, or else you will burn out quickly. The majority of us will never going get rich blogging. It’s just not the right motivation for it.
What are some of your most popular articles on the blog, traffic-wise and comment-wise?
I’m so glad the Design with Swirls and Flourishes post turned out so popular, it’s one of my faves as well 🙂
Can you share what some of your highest referring sites are that send visitors to your blog?
StumbleUpon brings the most. One of my posts reached the front page of Digg, which of course brought a ton of traffic my way. I also get consistent traffic from submitting to sites like Design Bump, Design Newz, Script & Style, and more.
Do you have any future plans for developing My Ink Blog further?
I’ve got a bunch of future plans for MyInkBlog, I just need the time to implement them all. Right now I’m in the process of a major redesign. I’ve just finished the design phase, and I’ve begun coding things. I’m thrilled with the design thus far. I’m not ready to give a sneak peak quite yet, but I’m hoping to launch the redesign within the next 3-6 months.
If you had any advice for someone starting their own graphic design blog, what would it be?
I alluded to this in an earlier question, but my best piece of advice would be to make sure you have a passion for it. I think it’s also important to be flexible and always willing to learn. Those folks who never push themselves to learn something new will never grow as a designer. My best learning has always come from those times when I’ve been willing to dive into a new topic.