So you have an interior design business and all the buzz around you is about how you need to be a modern, internet-savvy company that is available to everyone around the world. You have mastered being on social media and posting daily, and now you are considering blogging so that you can avail to potential customers a bit more insight into your work, and show that you are present everywhere. This is great.
You are quite possibly on this page because you need some guidance on how to go about starting a well-balanced blog that’ll not only serve as an information platform but maybe as a source of income as well. Business is about diversifying whenever possible, right. Let’s get into it.
Before the technicalities, you need to ask yourself why you want to start a blog. It’s important because you’ll need the motivation to keep you going. Blogging is a bit of work, and it requires some dedication to accomplish. If you want to be known as that designer with a standard of excellence, then your writing must also convey that.
Why a blog?
There are several reasons why most people start blogging. Some do it for fun, and it’s a hobby, but for you, we reckon it’s business. We found these three questions pertinent to arriving at a decision that’ll keep spurring you on as you are on this journey.
- Do you want to write so that you get customers from your blogs? You want to gain their trust by conveying your abilities through various posts? Or perhaps you want to show that you get inspiration from anywhere and everywhere; that you are well travelled so you can fuse Italian and South African designs into one room?
- Do you want to show that you know what is happening in your niche, that you follow the trends? You want people to know that you can work around their needs, proving that for the budget-conscious you can use affordable yet functional SOHL furniture or Huntington Home pieces from the Aldi weekly ad or you can go all out for the flamboyant ones shopping for unique and custom designs from Garde in LA.
- Do you want to write so well and become a professional blogger who is invited to places the world over (all expenses paid by other people), just to peer at inspirational designs and write about them?
It is possible to become a blogger for all of the above reasons, but knowing the one that tugs at your heart will keep driving you when you lay awake at night wondering why you took this road in the first place!
Read also: How to make money on YouTube
What will you blog about?
It almost sounds like a silly question, because hey, we are talking about interior design and home decor, that should be obvious. But, home decor is a beast of a topic on its own – you can talk about designs for the lounge only, or bedrooms – from the master to guest rooms and nurseries, or you can go the route of bachelor pads, apartments for retirees, the list is endless. You will need to decide what to focus on.
Choose your niche according to your abilities. Let people know that you are the go-to person for all things design in that specialty. Do not think that by focusing on one area you might lose out on customers. Inspiration is all around; magazines, numerous TV shows, show rooms, catalogs. Endeavor to be the best in your niche – provide all the necessary details to ensure you get the business you want.
How do you get started?
You have a WHY, and a WHAT, now you need the HOW.
Start by naming your blog.
This is your domain name. You could have an existing business with a beautiful name already, and you want that to be your blog name, but you may find that on the worldwide web, somebody is already using it, or they bought it just to hold on to it until you come along. Nasty surprise that happens a lot, but there are ways to redeem it:
- If you must have it, buy the name from whoever else is using it. This could be an expensive route, but if it’s that important to you, the sacrifice might be worth it. WHOIS is a good place to start your search for who’s holding your precious name.
- Get a different domain extension. .com is most preferable, but if unavailable, perhaps .info may be your best bet. The only bummer is that whoever owns the .com domain may be your competitor and they’ll get the majority of your traffic and customers who forget to type .info.
- Try adding words like ‘design’ or ‘decor’ to your name so that it’s different. Options include johnsmithdesigns.com, johnsmithinteriors.com, johnsmithinteriordesign.com, johnsmithdecor.com, seejohnsmithdesigns.com…be creative. Or, if you’ve chosen a niche like bedrooms, bathrooms etc, try johnsmithbedrooms.com, johnsmithbedroomdecor.com, and so on.
- Use your location as an extension to your name. For example, johnsmithLA.com ; johnsmithinteriorsNYC.com. This may limit you though, if you plan on extending your business to other cities or countries. But, it’s also a great way to campaign for local business. Besides, you can always change your name depending on how your business is doing.
Avoid using made-up names, hyphens, or homophones (names with different spelling but same sound), it just overly complicates your business name, yet you want customers to easily find you.
Choose a platform and a host
After you have your domain name, decide on the platform where to place it. WordPress and Squarespace are most recommended. Hosting is included in Squarespace’s packages, but if you go with WordPress, you’ll need to find a different host. Do keep in mind that you need only pay a few bucks for this service; premium hosting will only make sense when you are getting traffic of over 300, 000 per month on your site. At this point, you can have a look at our best hosting providers recommendations.
Once you are set up, only your content can move you forward henceforth. The niche you’ve chosen will heavily determine your writing. We encourage you to keep it simple, to the point, and entertaining. There are a number of things like Search Engine Optimization and Google Analytics that you’ll also need to consider to keep visitors flocking to your page. We explain these in more detail in this post.
Blogging is an excellent way to give information about your business and your capabilities to your potential customers. It can take you from being a source of information to inspiration and a renowned authority in your interior design and home decor niche. Choose your name and your words wisely, and you may as well have a second source of income from it.