Ena Bacanovic, aka “Ruby,” is a graphic designer and the founder and editor of The Design Blog (TDB), which “brings you carefully picked high quality inspiration, featuring works of designers and design studios from all over the world.”
This lovely site features a designer of the week, quote of the week, “shop hunting Tuesdays,” “music Wednesdays,” and “Friday freebies.” We spoke with this part-time drummer about the inspiration behind her blog.
What inspired you to start blogging?
Blogging became really interesting when I discovered Tumblr. I was around the different blog-platforms for a while, but Tumblr really made the blogging inspiring and easy to do. Having so many useful features like tags, followers, likes and reblog options, it was a great website to share and find any kind of content or inspiration.
At first I used Tumblr as a place to share my personal work. It helped me get the feedback for various designs, and from that point I started thinking how great would it be to create something similar for all of the young designers out there.
How did you get the idea for your site?
Using Tumblr and discovering all the great blogs where young artists/designers could submit their work was something that I really liked – it definitely influenced me to do something similar.
After some thinking I got the idea to open a design blog where I would post inspiration on a daily basis, and every week I decided to pick a “Designer of the week” to help young designers like me get more exposure and feedback for their work. It was something like a personal inspiration-board that has now turned into a pretty serious blog.
What’s the hardest thing about blogging and keeping your site going?
Blogging by itself is not a really hard thing to do, but having a job, freelance projects, and a band can definitely make it a bit harder. Some days can be crazy busy, and some days I’m on tour with my band without a proper internet connection. But in general, I do my best to post fresh and interesting stuff regularly.
How do you keep your content fresh and interesting?
The only rule that I have for my blog is that I do not reblog or repost stuff that I see or like on Tumblr, I’m only posting stuff that I find by myself or that people submit to the blog.
There are plenty of websites that I visit to find designers and their work, but I mostly use the Behance network. Once I find an interesting designer, I check his whole portfolio and pick the best piece to feature. I spend hours and hours finding the right content for the website because TDB is all about quality, not quantity. No one wants to see boring inspiration, and I’m constantly looking only for the best and inspiring works.
What are the main metrics you pay attention to in determining your success?
The main metrics for me are definitely pageviews, time spent on site, and traffic sources. It gives me a completely different perspective about the website, and it’s amazing to see how it all changed and grew from the beginning to this moment.
How does Reverb for Publishers help you with those goals? What challenges or needs did you have that Reverb for Publishers helps you address?
Reverb for Publishers is a great thing for a blog. It definitely keeps the readers even more interested in all the posts that’ve been featured in the past and helps them find similar content on the blog and even on the internet. There’s no need to go through the whole archive to find something similar that you like, because with this tool you have have great recommendations under each post.
This is also the first tool of this kind that I’m using on the blog and it really helps me to see what people like, how many times something got recommended. It’s a great and helpful plugin for sure.
What lessons have you learned from running your site?
Having this blog has taught me a lot of new things I’ve never done before. From simple things about running the blog and writing the posts, crediting and sourcing everything that’s featured, communication with people and other bloggers, to many other things. This is almost like a regular job to me now, and every day I learn something new that helps me make this blog an even better place.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting his or her own blog?
The best advice I can give is to have fun with the blog, write about something that you like or find interesting, update it regularly, and always improve it because that will keep the readers interested! Blogging isn’t that hard and the more time and engagement you put in, it will just become better and better.