Rob Cubbon Interview – Advice From A Successful Freelance Graphic Designer


Freelance Graphic Designer

The ‘blogging’ niche is quite a competitive industry to be involved in online. That said, there are a few bloggers that stand out from the crowd, offering genuinely helpful information to their readers. Rob Cubbon is definitely one of these and I’ve been a big fan of his work for quite a while now. Not only that, but he is a fellow Brit! That’s why I was so happy when he agreed to do this interview with me!

Rob is a graphic designer and internet marketer from London, UK. He runs his own excellent blogs; ‘‘ & ‘WP Blog Talk‘ where he talks about design, SEO, marketing, WordPress, blogging and much more!

Over to Rob…

Rob Cubbon Interview

How Did You Get Started?

RobCubbon.comIn the nineties and until 2005/2006, I had various mind-numbingly menial freelance jobs in desktop publishing. I had tried various methods to build websites – all of which failed. Then two things happened. The first was that I purchased the domain ‘‘ and the second was that I set up WordPress on that domain.

Once I discovered that you could quickly write articles and have people visiting your site to read them soon after – I was hooked. I love this instantaneous communication and feedback.

This is still the case. You can set up a new site, start writing articles and people will come to you. I still find this amazing!

Who/What Inspires You?

Being from a design background, one blogger I followed in the early days was David Airey. He wrote about what inspired him and asked questions of his audience. I was blogging in a different way but I always looked to his blog as an example of the right way of doing things. I liked the way it worked and how it looked. Now he’s become a successful author – it’s inspiring to see people progress and watch their development with your own eyes week by week.

Nowadays, I’m inspired by a host of other bloggers in quite differing niches: Chris Ducker, Pat Flynn, Glen Allsopp, Tim Ferriss, etc.

I’m really inspired by people who’ve succeeded and made a difference to the world in a positive way. Not only did Charles Dickens write one or two good books he was personally involved in a number of philanthropic projects that people still benefit from today. There are many other historical figures like him. I’m also inspired by what Bill Gates has achieved through his philanthropic foundation (even though I’m not the biggest Windows fan). And there are a number of modern figures who inspire me for similar reasons – too numerous to mention here.

I’m also inspired by eastern philosophies like Taoism and the practice of meditation.

What Motivates You To Continue To Be Successful?

That’s a funny question because it assumes I’m successful! There’s a long way to go before I would consider myself successful.

What motivates me? Well, money comes into it, I suppose. But, I’m almost obsessive about achieving certain goals. I think a lot of it comes down to my background of being a real underachiever. I failed a great many exams at school and then saw fulfilment and enjoyment through work as something that happened to other people not me.

When I realised that I could be good at something that I enjoyed and actually make a positive difference in people’s lives – it really resonated with me. That makes me almost evangelical about blogging and online strategy. I’m always telling people to get stuck in because it’s made such a positive impact on my life.

What’s The Most Important Part Of Your Business?

Making money! That sounds materialistic, but it isn’t. A business isn’t a business if it’s not making money. Helping people is more of an important part of life, to me. And, in business, you can’t help people very well unless you’re making money yourself.

How Important Is Web Design?

Design is becoming even more important. Not design that wins design awards and looks trendy, but sites that work the way your visitors want them to work – that’s what’s essential!

When I create new sites for clients I always mock them up in Photoshop first. This may be centred around a theme or not.

I would advise new bloggers to spend time choosing themes. Notice I said “themes” not “a theme”. Don’t let this stop you blogging. Spend time looking for a theme that really suits you and take the time to learn how to tweak it properly.  The more you do this, the more you’ll understand how WordPress works so you can adapt well to changes in the future.

What Makes You The Most Money?

Most of my income comes from clients that have originally contacted me through my website. This is the best way to get clients, I think, that’s why I’m always writing about this in my blog. The best clients are the ones from large organisations who recommend you to others. That’s where the most of my income comes from.

My profits from affiliate marketing and my own products are certainly on the rise and I will be publishing them shortly, but I still make most of my money from clients.

What’s Your Typical Work Day Like?

This is where I’m going to appear so unprofessional. I don’t have much of a structure to my day. I get up in the morning, I work, I go to bed at night. The nice thing is that if I want to have a family day, go out, go to the gym, meet people, etc. – I can! But, the downside is that I can’t predict how busy I’m going to be, so sometimes I can be pretty snowed under.

What Do You Think Makes You Successful?

Again, I wouldn’t say that I am successful. I try to write the best blog posts I possibly can. I ask myself, what would I like to read about in a blog post that would really help me or my business. I don’t think I stand out from other bloggers particularly, but what I like to do is to help other people. I like to publish posts that have actionable content in plain English. If you want to run a web design business from home exactly as I have done, then in theory, you could read my blog and do it!

If You Could Go Back In Time 5-10 Years, What Advice Would You Give Yourself?

Ah, good question!

I definitely would have got into social media sooner. I was late to get on Twitter and Facebook despite many people telling me to do so. I would have also started blogging sooner as well, but I’m just happy that I started.

What Would Be Your Best Piece Of Advice To Any Newbie Blogger Out There Reading This?

I always tell people to get started as soon as possible. The design, the platform, even the domain, can be changed but you need authority and content. There’s really no time like the present, just do it!

Don’t feel fear; don’t hold back. Say what you want to say and try to do it as well as you can.

You can do it! Don’t feel like you’re not good enough to be successful – you can! There’s no reason why you can’t, in time, be the most respected blogger out there!

Want to learn more about Rob?  Check out

About Matt Smith

Matt Smith is the founder and editor of OnlineIncomeTeacher. He is a Professional Blogger, SEO Consultant & Web Developer, running a number of sites from the UK. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

  • Andi the Minion

    Hi Rob, excellent interview and inspiring, popped over to your blogs and read a couple of helpful interesting posts already, I shall be back. Thanks Matt for bringing him to my attention, I know I shall find his sites very useful.

    • oh what? interview exchange?

    • Thanks, Andi, I hope you’ll come back to my site soon. I try to put some helpful stuff there. Great to connect here!

    • No problem Andi. I’ve been a big fan of Rob’s for a while now, so I was just happy that he agreed to do the interview. Hoping to get more interview from other inspiring bloggers in the future.

  • Hi Matt and Rob, great interview. Nice to read, how others started.Interviews always inspire me to hard work 😉
    BR, Chris

    • Thanks, Chris, glad you liked it.

    • Hi Chris! Yeah, I always find interviews inspiring. Hopefully will have more interviews published on the site in the near future with other great blogger like Rob.

  • Steve Mark

    Really inspiring interview to all freelance designers. Enjoy the reading.