If you’ve been an animator for years now, odds are that you have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with newer animators.
Luckily, there’s a way to help other animators thrive in the industry while simultaneously expanding your reach and legitimizing your business. The answer is blogging!
Blogging has been around for around two decades now and has become an essential part of online culture. This practice isn’t going anywhere, either. Blogging will continue to exist in the years to come because its benefits are undeniable.
The simple act of sharing your experiences online is a powerful way to market yourself, grow your online audience, and even get animation clients.
In this article, we share some reasons why you should start an animation blog and how to do it.
Reasons to Start an Animation Blog
1) Wider Reach
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An animation website or portfolio allows you to reach some people and gain clients, but if you want to really raise your awareness for your brand and reach out to a larger audience, you will need to add a blog to your website or portfolio.
The more content you have on your website, the more likely you are to show up on search results. This is because search engines likeGoogle crawl through your website more often and link it to relevant keywords that online users use when searching for information.
If you consistently write blogs relevant, entertaining, helpful, and valuable, your blog posts will rank higher on search results and search engines will encourage people to read your blog.
2) Establish Authority
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If you have a lot of experience and knowledge about animation, you can show your expertise and attract readers--from animation students, animators who are just starting, and even animation clients -- by creating and maintaining a blog.
You may not always feel like you’re in any position to offer advice to other animators out there, but you undoubtedly have some valuable insights and ideas to share. Your blog posts might even become a source of inspiration for some aspiring animators.
Having a blog will establish your online presence as an animator while showing how knowledgeable you are about what you do.
3) New Opportunities
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Your primary source of income may be from animating now, but blogging may be the first step to your earning an extra source of income. As you write blog posts, you can compile your short animation articles into an eBook or upload them on your YouTube channel.
As more people read or watch your work and find great value in it, you might soon get featured on articles or videos and even become a keynote speaker for a conference or webinar.
With blogging, you can also earn an extra income source by utilizing affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, and other opportunities. You’d be surprised with what doors of opportunity can open to you just by starting an animation blog.
How to Start an Animation Blog
1) Create an Audience Persona
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One way to find some direction when writing a blog post is to create a persona of your target audience. This means thinking about who your target audience is, their interests, dislikes, stage in life, job title, pain points, etc.
Will your blog posts aimed towards aspiring animators, fellow animators, or animation clients? What kind of content do you think they will enjoy reading?
Once you are able to visualize and understand who you are writing for, you can make content that they think is worth their time and effort.
2) Choose a Blogging Service and a Domain Name
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If you already have a portfolio or website, all you have to do is add a website page for your blogs. If you don’t have an animation website yet, there are many free and paid blogging hosts and software out there, such as Wix, WordPress, and Medium, that you can use to make your blog.
Free platforms are recommended for new bloggers if you want to give blogging a try. However, there are several restrictions and rules when customizing your blog and posting your content.
You won’t be able to choose your URL name, and you might have ads placed on your blog. If you want to go for the self-hosted platforms, you are free to pick a name for your blog and choose your Content Management System.
Next, you will need to think of a blog title and make sure that your domain name is unique, not taken, and relevant to the content you want to post. If you want to run a search to check if the domain name you want is still available, you can do it at Name or GoDaddy.
3) Pick a Blog Design
When picking a blog design, you can start making your own designs on free websites or looking for pre-made templates. You can also hire professional website designers to help you out.
Meg Says recommends that your enthusiasm for writing your blog is much greater than your design, domain name, or equipment to take photos and videos. Your blog posts won’t receive much traffic unless you first focus on content instead of smaller details.
4) Write Valuable Blog Posts
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Every time you write a blog post, remember that content is king. Think about what benefits you want to give your readers and how you want them to feel.
People will only get interested in reading your blog posts when they see that you have relevant, inspiring, entertaining, and helpful insights.
Make sure that what you write and post will last and remain valuable and relevant. However, things develop and change, so you always have the option to edit your blogs and keep them up to date.
Aside from writing, you also have to add visuals to your blog post. You can include photos or videos of you and your animation. This is a necessary part of blogging if you want to get more animation clients.
5) Post Consistently
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Your schedule of posting blogs is an essential part of blogging. To keep your online audience’s attention, you need to engage with them as often as possible. Posting once or twice a week is ideal for keeping you top of mind.
To keep yourself from running out of content to post, Empty Easel suggests that you plan ahead of time. Have a brainstorming session for animation blog topics to post about, then assign those posts to specific days of the week.
You can write as many topics as you like, no matter how random or general they are. You can trim down and refine your list later on.
When scheduling your posts, make sure you post them on the days when your readers are most likely to read them. If you have an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook account, you can use your insights to learn which days and hours your followers are most active online.
For example, if you saw from your Instagram account insights that your followers are most active on Fridays at 7 pm, make sure you stick to posting your blogs on that exact day and time of the week.
6) Use Email Newsletter Opt-In Forms
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You need to get the attention of people interested in animation, as these are the people who are most likely to be excited about reading your blog.
However, some people may forget about you as they get busy in life. How will you stay connected with your readers this way? Your blog will defeat its purpose if no one reads it!
Fortunately, having an email opt-in form can save the day. People who sign up for your newsletter will be able to get fresh updates from you whenever you have a new post, book, video, etc. You can add opt-in forms to your website blog by using OptinMonster, SumoMe, and Sleeknote.
The best places you can put your opt-in form on your website blog are the hello bar, slide-in, footer, feature box, pop-up, about page, and the end of your blog posts.
7) Promote Your Blog
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If you just finished setting up your animation blog and writing a few blog posts, people may not know about it yet. The best way to promote it is to talk about it on your social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Reach out to your family members, friends, or even social media influencers and inform them about your new blog so that they can share it with their followers. Once you get your first readers, invite them to subscribe to your newsletter, comment on, and share your blog posts.
Follow or subscribe back to them on their website or social media. This will make them feel valued and encourage them to share your blog posts online.
Blogging allows you to share your work and insights to a broader audience, establish authority, and get new opportunities to grow your freelance animation business.
To be successful as a blogger, remember: when starting an animation blog, you should first define your audience, the topics you want to post, then consistently post content that is relevant, valuable, and helpful.
Like any other task, blogging takes a lot of time and effort, but if you commit to doing it passionately, you will enjoy it and become a successful animation blogger.
If you want to learn more about animation and handle its business aspect, make sure to join our free masterclass and get a copy of our marketing handbook.