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Danny Outlaw is a full-time freelancer and the guy behind the popular Outlaw Design Blog. Danny is well known in the community and shares his experiences of freelancing from abroad, managing clients and outsourcing work in video and blog posts. I caught up with Danny to ask a few questions of my own…
Hi Danny, let’s start with an introduction. What is your background and what do you do?
I pretty much specialize in WordPress and BuddyPress. I do mostly design and project management stuff, as I am lucky enough to have two awesome developers who I work with on a regular basis. I, of course, do loads of other stuff in the design community like videos, podcasts, and blogging.
As for the background, I have been into design and the business of design since I was a small child. It was only a few years ago that I really started to do freelance work full time. I had always made an income doing design work, but it was always on the side, as I was learning.
Before I started doing design full time I raced sled dogs in Alaska during the winter and was/is a whitewater raft guide during the summers.
You’re probably most known through your website, Outlaw Design Blog. How did the decision to set up this site come about?
Outlaw Design Blog started as a simple blog to my first design company that was hosted under the name Outlaw Design. I really just started it for fun and to promote my business. For whatever reason, it picked up popularity fast. It was also on what I call the end of the first wave of design blogs. I attribute some of its success to that. I didn’t start as early as Smashing Magazine, but I got started well before a lot of the design blogs that are out there these days.
The Outlaw Design Blog is constantly pumping out great content, how do you and fellow authors find your post ideas?
I have no idea. Sometimes I can come up with a ton of ideas all at once. Other days I struggle to even come up with one. I keep an eye out for ideas everywhere. Obviously, I get some ideas from the online community, but I also get ideas for the nondesign related magazine, my personal experiences, or on topics that I have questions about.
I’ve noticed you’ve appeared on a bunch of high profile blogs through guest writing, how much of a role does blogging take in your average working day?
At this point, it depends on what I am in the mood to do. Some weeks I’m all about designing, while others I’m all about writing. Should I choose to want to blog, I have a number of clients and big name blogs that I know I can count on to buy my work. If they don’t need any work, I can always focus on outlaw design blog more.
Your videos share some great tips and advice, and they give a great insight into your personality, what benefits have you seen from communicating through this form of media?
I think it’s still too early to tell. I really started doing the videos because I thought they looked like fun. I was terribly camera shy and my first few videos are awful. But, I decided to record them and post them just to get over it and become more comfortable in front of the camera. Now, not only do I do videos but I host a podcast on Outlaw and for the TUTS+ Network.
If nothing else, I think it helps put a face to the Danny Outlaw name and helps me stand out a little more in the industry.
It seems you’ve done plenty of collaboration with fellow designers and developers on various projects such as WordPress-Designers. Do you find a lot of satisfaction from working on these various outlets?
I love working with other talented designers and developers. I just find it so inspiring and fun to work with creative designers. I whole heartedly believe that working with a team, or at least one other person, can do wonders for a design business. But, I am also really into the business side of design as the creative side. I like playing the role of creative director as much as I do design. I recently started a project called T-Shirt Mogul that was a design collaboration with Andrew Lindstrom.
Do you have any plans for any new websites or blogs, or any exciting ideas you’re looking to put into practice in the near future?
Oh man….I ALWAYS have new ideas. I am an idea machine! The biggest problem is time and money. So if there are any investors reading this, call me! As far as exciting things that will be happening soon; I am rebranding WordPress-Designers, which is really fun and exciting. I have always used that site as a back burner project, but plan on launching it into a network of sites such as BuddyPress-Designers, Drupal-Designers, etc.
On the Outlaw front, I am in the process of writing three months worth of webinars that I will be hosting on Outlaw Design Blog. The webinars will cover mostly business related topics for creatives such as self-branding, marketing, finding more clients, etc. The online community has shown a lot of interest in them, so it should be exciting. I will be hosting a free beta webinar soon, so subscribe to Outlaw Design Blog to stay up to date on that.
Finally, please list out any social networks where users can find you and connect.
I don’t do a lot of social networking sites. Aside from twitter that is, www.twitter.com/dannyoutlaw