By MEGAN JOHANSSON
Well-known home design bloggers tend to have blog posts on lock down. They do a phenomenal job at capturing readers’ interests, and as a result, their websites get mega hits on the daily and their income continues to tick up. But there are a ton of great design firms out there who have beautiful websites but don’t utilize their blogging capabilities. Those businesses are missing out on key traffic that could bring in fresh leads and result in more sales.
The solution is simple: incorporate home design blogging into your site on a regular basis, then watch the leads roll in.
It’s important to keep in mind, though, that not all blog posts are created equal. Some work and some fall flat. In order to make sure you’re floating in the “work” category, here are some key things to consider in your posts:
#1 – Be Authentic
If you’re simply parroting a version of what you think is supposed to sound good to your readers, they’ll lose interest faster than you can hit “publish.” If your company specializes in traditional and classic designs, making a foray into the midcentury modern realm probably isn’t going to be the best move. Not only will you be promoting a design direction that doesn’t actually bring you business, but you’ll also sound inauthentic to your readers.
You always want to make sure your voice comes through in your writing, and no matter what subject you’re writing about, your personality must be authentic. Write about what you know and love, and you’ll find that you’re well on your way to connecting with your audience in a truly meaningful way. Content is always king.
#2 – Never Forget Visuals
Home design blogs would be complete snore fests if it weren’t for the beautiful photos they use. While writing is wonderful, a picture still packs the biggest punch in this industry. You can tell people all day long about why using color A is better for a living room than color B, but until they actually see photographic proof of both colors in the space, they don’t care. Home design is visual. It is a mix and match fiesta. It can be an explosion of colors, or a serene space of neutrals. Photos are everything.
But my photos look awful, you might think. Well, if you’re blogging about a project and you’re terrible with a camera, hire a photographer to capture a few shots. It can seem like a lot up front, but those photos are pure gold and can go a long way not only on your blog, but also on all of your branding and social media posts. If you’re simply blogging about a concept, then turn to stock photos, or snag some example shots from Pinterest (just be sure to attribute the website and photographer). Whatever your post’s focus is, make sure you don’t forget photos because they are the lifeblood of this industry, hands down.
#3 – Keep it Short (Usually)
When readers go to open a blog post, the last thing they want is to dive into War and Peace. Purposeful length is perfectly okay as long as you aren’t rambling for the sake of filling space. Keep the focus on the photos, and keep your writing to the point. Your readers will see you as an expert who doesn’t need to add fluff to get an idea across. If you can communicate to them in a short and sweet way, you’ve won (and you haven’t lost their attention). When leads stay interested, they stay on your site, and when they stay on your site, they are more likely to convert to business.
#4 – Stay Relevant
Blogging for the sake of blogging is a terrible idea. But blogging because you have something to share with your readers about something they actually care about is an amazing idea. Remember that it isn’t an online diary or space for you to chronicle the ins and outs of boring daily happenings. Rather, it should be a space where your writing is intentional, and where you are speaking to design trends or rules that you 100% believe in or want to discuss. Care about incorporating eco-friendly design into your clients’ homes? Then write a post about the benefits of said designs! Have a love for thrifting unique pieces to add personality to a room? Tell your readers your flea market tips and tricks! The bottom line is that you need to consider how you can help your readers find success in their own home design endeavors. Position yourself as someone who knows exactly what they are doing in their field and your readers will be much more inclined to give you your next sale.
Home design is a personal thing and everyone has a different style. Some prefer traditional couches over mid-century Eames chairs, and others want their entire homes to be floor-to-ceiling vintage. Because of this huge variety, you’re never going to write the perfect blog post for every single reader. Don’t let that hold you back. It’s critical to develop your blog to stay relevant with your readers, otherwise you’re letting potential business drop off before you’ve even had a chance to connect.
So remember these key steps – be authentic, never forget visuals, keep it short, and stay relevant – and your blog will find its natural rhythm. Blogging is essential to keeping your website fresh, and if you incorporate it regularly, I promise your potential clients will see you as the expert you truly are.
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By MEGAN JOHANSSON
I loved colors when I was a kid – and bright ones at that. The more I could tack onto my walls, the more complete I felt my space was. Stimulation was my jam, and so much so that one bored Saturday I decided to paint purple, hot pink, and orange circles on my ceiling to give my light pink walls some “contrast.” In case you’re wondering, I had a closet-sized basement bedroom with no windows, so calling this “a bit much” was an understatement.
Thinking about that space today makes me start to hyperventilate and want to run outside for a breath of fresh air. There was just so much to look at. It was basically a Phish concert packed into a box, which is nice for some but definitely not for me. Thankfully I have since moved on and in the past few years, I’ve embarked on the magical path that is minimalism.
So what does it take to be a minimalist? Well, you can go all-in and completely purge your belongings until you have so little that you could literally move anywhere with a small suitcase. Or, you could become a semi-committed minimalist (like yours truly) and start with this basic set of rules to give your space that refreshing vibe you’ve probably always wanted (but never had the time to achieve):
A - Attack Your Closet (If it doesn’t fit, get rid of it.)
I spent years breaking this rule before I finally looked at a beautiful pair of “one day” pants sitting at the very top corner of my closet, then looked at my never-going-to-be-seventeen-again hips, and knew something had to be done. Keeping clothes in your closet that you never wear because they’re either too small, too big, have holes/stains, or don’t fit your style is a giant waste of space.
Unless you’re holding onto something for a particularly sentimental reason, then it’s got to go. Sell it, donate it, or if it’s in bad shape, toss/recycle it - whatever works as long as it goes away.
You may think you’ll have the time to patch up that sweater, or turn those shrunken jeans into cut-off beach shorts, but be real – how long have you been telling yourself that? Whenever you’ve had free time for the past two years, have you ever wanted to devote it to mending a worn garment? I promise that if you do a closet overhaul, you’ll be amazed at how much clearer your space feels, and how many things you actually do have in your closet that you want to wear. When everything isn’t hiding under old t-shirts, it’s much easier to find that top you actually like.
B – Be Selective with Your Décor (Avoid over-stimulation.)
Just because each room has four walls does not mean that each wall has to be covered in artwork. Your décor should be selected purposefully for a room, and it should reflect your interests and work with the space. Many of us have the tendency to want to spruce up a room, but instead of starting completely fresh, we just add to what we already have. This can cause a room to feel cluttered and out of sync.
The best way to know if your décor is working is to make a blank slate, then add elements one at a time until you are satisfied. Take down all of the frames and artwork from the walls and clear off your bookshelves. Then look at the décor you have on hand. Which pieces do you love, and which ones are you tired of looking at? Take the I’m tired of you items and either put them away in storage if you still love them and want to use them again one day, or donate/sell them to get rid of them completely.
Once you’ve got your pile of heck yes items, see if finding a new home for them – perhaps in another room, or on another wall – does the trick. Maybe you want to combine a few frames into a gallery wall? Or maybe the hallway would be a much better spot for your wedding photo? Keep playing around until you find a combination that works for you.
After that, you should feel much more at ease with your space and refreshed, but if you still feel like the room is missing something, then by all means go on a hunt to find the perfect piece. Just remember that you want it to be cohesive with your new décor setup, and you don’t want it to overwhelm the space. Selectivity is key here. You want some whitespace on your walls, otherwise you’ll be right back to square one with a cluttered vibe.
C – Cut Down on Storage (Avoid buying more bins at all costs.)
It’s incredibly easy to rack up more and more storage “solutions” in your home. While I’m a big fan of organization and of those neat little in-drawer boxes that keep all your undies in line, most storage bins and boxes end up adding to the clutter.
Before you go out and spend $100 on a bunch of see-through plastic tubs, first take inventory of what it is you are trying to store. Do you actually need those items? If not, can they be sold, donated, or recycled? The less junk you keep hanging around your house, the more calm and content you will feel.
We like to accumulate things, yes. But don’t automatically hang onto something without seriously considering why you are doing so. I loved my CD collection as a kid, but there is absolutely no reason for me to keep a stack of those babies hanging out on a shelf in my basement for all eternity.
Make what you keep intentional. If it doesn’t have a purpose, then let it go.
Ready to give minimalism a shot? Start with this list, and I think you’ll find that as you eliminate what you own, you’ll be less inclined to add to an already-full space. And remember to start small – it doesn’t have to be 100% minimal on day one. You can do one drawer, or tackle your t-shirt pile first. Pretty soon you’ll be wondering why you ever thought you needed so much stuff in the first place.