The Best and Worst Sites to Help Build a Loyal Following for Your Blog

What would you rather have on your website?  An enormous amount of traffic or a loyal following of readers?  This is a question that a lot of websites deal with on a daily basis.  In reality, most of us would probably prefer both; and for some, this is probably the case.  The problem is that a lot of us end up wasting a lot of time and energy submitting our websites to social media sites that have little affect on either.  Last week, I decided to dig a bit deeper into my site’s statistics to figure out which of my site’s top referrers actually provided the most loyal following.  The results were both interesting and surprising.

My Best Buds on Twitter

In life, it’s important to surround yourself with good people.  I’ve always felt that the difference between being successful and unsuccessful in life or in business can often be the quality of the people that you choose to surround yourself with.  On Twitter, surrounding yourself with good people is equally, if not more important if you want to get the most out of your Twitter experience.  So today, I’ve decided to draw up a list of some of the most influential people in my list of followers and why.

63 Extraordinary Companies that Support the Design Community

As bloggers and designers, we’re used to getting a lot of things for free.  Free content is an excellent way to bring new visitors to your website and many visitors these days expect to see free content.  Personally, I love giving away free content; I love receiving it too but as a blogger and supporter of the design community, I think it’s very important to not only visit my favorite sites but to also support those site’s sponsors.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I decided to write this post and say thanks to the advertisers who keep the design community alive and keep much of the content free.  Listed below are as many advertisers as I could find that advertise in the design community.  I encourage you all to visit these sites and support them as best as you can.

127 RSS Feeds That All Designers Should Subscribe To

I subscribe to a lot of RSS feeds; so many in fact, that I could spend hours browsing through my feed reader.  I love feeds because they put all my favorite sites into one place.  Below is a list of RSS feeds that I subscribe to and recommend to all my readers.  I am hoping that this list can become a complete and comprehensive list of feeds for design sites so don’t hesitate to suggest a site that I may have missed.

The Freelancer’s Guide to Surviving the Economic Crisis

I’m an optimist.  I always try to see the good in every situation.  When some people see spoiled milk, I see cottage cheese.  The economic crisis that we’re in right now is a serious issue.  With banks failing and stocks crashing, we’re witnessing events that no one has experienced since World War II.  People are losing their jobs, their homes and seeing their savings evaporate.

With all these unfortunate events happening all over the world, most of us are worried about what the next few months or years will bring.  I am no different; I too worry about where my next paycheck will come from but like I said, I’m an optimist.  When life gives me lemons, I make lemon meringues; so when I see all this turmoil around me, I try not to focus on the negative things, instead, I try to see opportunities.  Hopefully, this article can arouse your spirits and help you to navigate through this economic crisis and maybe even come out ahead.

10 Tips for Effective Political Designs

For those of you who have been following my blog for some time, you may have noticed that I have quite a bit of experience in political design; that is graphic and web design for politicians, political organizations and government agencies. For a time, political design was my niche and I was able to work for quite a few politicians, organizations and government agencies including governors, congressmen, state representatives and city council members. I was also fortunate enough to do work for national and local organizations.

I will be the first person to tell you that political design isn’t the most glamorous sector of the design field. In fact, it can be downright boring sometimes. The upside to it is that it’s fairly consistent work. In the U.S. there can be elections every year with new candidates, new themes, new issues, etc. It’s also a great way to participate in the political process that does not involve stuffing envelopes, getting chased by dogs walking door-to-door and making phone calls.

With so much experience in political design I’ve decided to write a short article describing what works, what doesn’t and what’s just plain ugly so you don’t have to learn these things the hard way, like I did.

Why Do Designers Hate Blackberries?

I don’t know about you guys but I don’t have an iPhone. I think that they are really cool devices, but they are just not for me. I used to have one of those old HP Pocket PCs, it was then when I learned to seriously despise a touch screen device. Try texting with one hand with one of those things, it’s not an easy task. I want buttons! I don’t like having to look each time I press a key to make sure I’ve pressed the right one. That makes a Blackberry the most obvious choice for me, not an iPhone.