I'm doubling down on this topic this week, to share one of my common practices.
You see, I've had people ask me this question before.
"Why do you answer design related questions on your blog when you sell your services and advice?"
I know, it appears to be that I'm shooting myself in my foot. Right? I mean, I actually have a Q & A service for purchase that I developed for this very reason.
Well, I'm not really. Not when I finally realized what was happening to my blogposts with Google.
Answering Design Related Questions From People Other Than Clients Can Be Annoying
You see, many designers, including me sometimes, feel intruded upon when asked about paint colors, tile detailing tips, furniture arrangement, materials, or any other myriad of questions that we deal with in our normal work every day.
It's like telling your doctor a few of your symptoms at a cocktail party and asking them their opinion of what you have going on.
At least, that's how we mostly feel. Right?
However, when I finally realized that all my top posts were ones that continually received comments and questions from random readers, even posts that were several years old, I knew that their questions had to mean that they were finding my blog as an answer to their question out on the internet.
That meant that Google was serving up my posts as the answer to their questions. :-)
Don't get me wrong.....this didn't happen overnight.
First, my posts had to go through Pinterest, my number one traffic driver. They had to really have large numbers of repins and get seen a lot.
That can take a year or more for me (or it seems), to receive enough juice from viral Pinterest pins that are linked to my relevant blogposts, so that Google sees that post as a possible authority on the subject.
Once Google starts showing that post and it starts getting traffic from random people googling questions about design related topics, then you can bet that you'll start to see questions in the comments.
And that's when the magic happens.
More questions beget more questions. Google sees that people are spending time on that post, that the traffic they send is responding, and then well, they serve it up again and again.
So, for that reason, I do answer questions on my blogposts. I do it for SEO reasons. I do it to show off a bit, to expose my skills and my expertise. I do it to see what people have going on and what they are concerned with so that I can create new content to expand on those questions.
Can it get tedious? You bet.
If they submit too big of a scenario and I can't scan it and decipher what they want easily, then I do refer them to my service. If they get carried away and start elaborating and asking further questions, then I refer them on as well.
It does seem to work, however, for SEO. (If houzz is encouraging it, then you know it has to be good for something like that, right?)
Who are these googlers?
The questions that come from people googling and finding their way to my site are usually men.
Now, that stat doesn't really present itself anywhere in analytics, I just noticed that most of the questions I get on my older posts that receive those random questions from people who have never been to my blog before, are men. In fact, some will say in the comment that they were researching and found my blog, etc.
Is that because men are more likely to just google something if they need information? Maybe.
I just think it is an interesting observation. Not sure how to capitalize on that, but if you have any ideas, let me know. :-)
When readers email their questions for a personal response
I often have emails from people who just want a more personal answer. They don't necessarily want to upload images and ask questions publicly.
Since I've gotten those a lot recently, I took a note from my own mantra........create content about what people are asking you about on a daily basis.......and I published this post about how to ask design related questions on my regular blog this week.
That way, when someone sends me a question now, I can send them that link. (Easy!) I can also link to it in my sidebar and other areas of my site, so that it is all out in the open.
I'm after a win/win.
It's a way to control the questions and form the whole process into something that works for me too.
I don't like answering questions on houzz and if you have read this blog from the beginning, you will see how I deal with houzz questions on their site. Why answer over there? That only builds up their site.
I want to build up mine. And this is one small way to keep building.
It aligns with my goals of creating a blog that is a go-to design source for homeowners and designers. It's an investment in the future of what I'm hoping to achieve.
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