Expert Interview: Randa Clay

Time for another great interview with an expert, and this time we have a great graphic designer and blogger named Randa Clay.

Read the full interview below.

1.) Tell me a bit about yourself. Who is Randa Clay? What do you do?

Randa ClayI am a former opera singer/direct marketing person turned work at home mom. I’ve always loved designing things, and have been really blessed to be able to move into a whole new business since my son came along 2 years ago. I do all kinds of design, including print work, logo designs, and web stuff.

I am focusing most of my time on development for WordPress these days, along with managing a couple of niche blogs and writing on my own site as well as some regular writing elsewhere (wisdump.com).

2.) There are very few graphic designers that have their main page a blog. Usually it starts off with a business statement or a portfolio. Why have you decided to use a blog as the first thing people see when coming to your site and do you think it has helped your business?

I have found that having a blog front and center is beneficial in building relationships with other designers as well as prospective customers. In the end, people want to work with those they know and like. I try to project my personality and approach to my work in the blog, so that people get a clear sense of what kind of person they would be working with if they were to hire me. Building credibility and visibility with the blog has put me “on the map” in a sense. I wasn’t getting any business through my web site before I turned it into a blog,and now I’m having a difficult time managing all the opportunities that have come my way.

3.) What do you think of the world of blogging? You and I have joined some of the same communities online and have interacted with some amazing people doing some incredible things. How have your perceptions of online media and blogging changed since you started your blog on Randa Clay Design on January 30th of this year?

Just in the last couple of months, I have found the opportunities opening up in the world of blogging to be incredible. I had no idea when I started my blog that it was such a booming business. I knew there were people with lots of web sites, but I just had no idea that blogging could be such a key to online business success.

4.) Who have been your idols online when it comes to both graphic design and/or blogging?

Idols?? Hmmm. I don’t know if I’d use that word, but there are many people I really admire. I wrote a post about this a while back that talks about the people who have inspired me: Inspired by Others.

5.) What single idea, post, theme, graphic, or other item has been your biggest claim to fame?

The thing that really put me on the map was the “I Follow Movement“. Before that, I was over 100k in the Technorati rankings, PR3, and just a small timer. That one little badge I designed has ended up everywhere, and the back links just keep coming in.

6.) If you had a tip for a graphic designer that is interested in starting a business or design related blog, what would your tip be?

I guess my one tip would be that beyond focusing on content which is of utmost importance, focus on building relationships with other designers online that you respect. Write about them, link to them, comment on their sites, etc. There is a wonderful community of designers online, and it’s very rewarding to be a part of it. You also may get some pass-along work from overloaded colleagues!

7.) Lastly, if people are interested in finding out more about you, as well as all the great posts you’ve written, where can they find you? And is there anything else you’d like to mention? (a special shout-out, tip, project you are working on, work you are looking for, etc..?)

I can be found at my home site, randaclay.com as well as a personal blog that is updated now and then. I have a kids site that’s doing really well called FreeStuff4Kids, and a new site called TumblrThemes. Right now I’m also writing weekly at Wisdump.

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