08 June 2011

Blog Business Advice Needed

So in the midst of all the last minute wedding planning craziness, I'm of course still working on my business and coming up with a plan to help it grow and be successful. But I'm at a point where I'm stuck now, and I could really use the advice of people who know me through my blog, since it is somewhat web-related.

A little background on my situation: I graduated college in 2007 with my BFA in Graphic Design. After college, I worked at corporate for American Greetings card company, then at corporate for a supermarket chain in the upper northeast. I designed cards at AG and food packaging at the supermarket. I loved both these jobs, and I love what I chose to do with my career. Design is my favorite thing ever. :-)


When Joshua returned home from Afghanistan, I left my job and started my own freelance graphic design business, Graphic Grace Design. Work has been steady but slow, but I was recently informed that my biggest client will no longer be hiring freelancers. In one way, this is a good thing— it forces me to put myself and the company out there more to get more clients, and pursue the type of work I really want. On the other hand, I'm scared shitless. This company has been my primary source of income for almost a year now, and I'm nervous and anxious about what comes next.

The question is now, what to do? I have this blog, Hard Corps Love, which is my personal blog that started as a deployment journal when Joshua was away. It is mostly military, wedding, and relationship focused. But then, I want to blog about my business and share my design projects and ideas, templates, giveaways, tutorials, etc.

Do I start sharing those things here, or do I start a new blog that is strictly business? Do I keep my personal & professional blogs separate, or do I combine the two? I've seen several successful bloggers who do combine the two, and their reader loyalty also helps their business.

But then, I don't want my blog to be all business.


And then again, I don't want to have so many different blogs, profiles, and websites to have to manage and keep up all the time.

As it is, I currently have this blog, my GraphicGrace website, our wedding/personal website (joshuandanielle.com), my personal Facebook page, a GraphicGrace Faebook page, a GraphicGrace Twitter page, and my blog Twitter page.

So I feel like the Facebook pages and Twitter pages are, whatever. Those are small things that are easier to manage, and not a big deal to me. But the blog/website issue is a huge deal.

What would you do?

I've thought about moving this blog to joshuandanielle.com, keeping all of our personal life together. Then I'd create a separate business-related blog for GraphicGrace and the website. But can I still make that personal? And if I move this blog to joshuandanielle.com, do I keep the name, Hard Corps Love, or do I change it?

Help! Please?

4 comments:

  1. First of all...you can do anything if you are determined so don't worry too much about losing that client. I'm certain if you just keep at it you can make up the different plus some.

    As far as the blog...here is just what I personally would do: Combine your websites. You can still use a blogger platform and just strip it to the bones. Set up to be clean and polished but not boring. Let it reflect YOU. Not "just work" or "just military life." Have a menu bar for specific things like info for hiring you, a gallery of your work, and your personal blog. When they click that link you can set if up to go to a secondary blogger blog (you can set up multiple ones but you probably already know that)

    This way everything in your life is linked and someone who knows you from either side can still see the whole picture. :)

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  2. Personally I would combine them. Im sure lots of your followers who support you would love to see your creative side...well more of it seeing as you have posted the wedding stuff you created yourself. Im sure you could start a market with your bloggers by showing what all you offer, wedding stuff, invites for baby showers, graduation, ect. You could even devote a certain day or two that will be "business" posts, that way you get the best of both worlds. You have an amazing talent, why not share it with all of your supporters/followers. :)

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  3. I would definitely combine them in a way that reflects the whole you.. not all business, not all wedding, not all military. I find that people are more interested in your business when they see the real you through it. THat it isn't just a business but a passion and love as well!

    xoxo
    Amanda

    found you on the round-up

    http://alittlechangesalot.blogspot.com

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  4. I would definitely say do separate. It is perfectly fine to showcase business accomplishments on your personal blog, but its unprofessional to put your personal rants and bad days while the hub is away, etc. on your business. When people look you up on the internet for design work, it should only reflect your professional portfolio and work. You can link your personal blog to your professional, so that people are referred that way and personal contacts can keep up on your work and help promote you. I am in the same boat with interior design/fashion design. But then I have bad days that I wouldn't necessarily want my boss to read-- or a day where I complain about working every saturday, or if I go on a vacation with my husband and my clients only know I'm "unavailable"-- I definitely don't need them catching up on the day-to-day of our romantic getaway!~

    There will come a time during your deployments where you will want your personal support team to remain on that personalized side- and on the flipside, you don't want to unload on clients. Trust me!

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