Okay, so maybe you've heard of the advantages of blogging for small business owners like interior designers.
So, what should you blog about and how often should you blog IF you just want to maintain your pipeline of projects? Maybe you don't have a goal of becoming a big design blogger or even like writing!
I mentioned last week, that blogging is a good idea for any small business owner because it puts fresh content on your site on a regular basis. (That is, if you are consistent.)
There are two different goals for blogging that an interior designer or even a small business owner might have.
blogging to maintain the status quo with your interior design business
One main goal, that I will discuss in this post, is to just attract more business, to keep in touch with your past clients or vendors, and to raise awareness for your work.
In other words, you are NOT trying to be a big design blogger when you grow up.
This is a marketing tool, and it is free, except for your time. If you do it well, it can be linked out to Social Media channels in bite sized bits and sent directly to an email list as a newsletter. Even if all your clients are former clients or you get all your new clients through referrals, blogging is still a good idea.
Here’s why you should blog even if you don't want to be a big time design blogger.
- It makes your business look active. I’ve often wondered about businesses with old blogposts sitting at the top of their blog, if they are still in business. To me, if there is a fresh post sitting at the top of the blog, it shows that an owner cares about their business and how they come across online. This helps with getting your website seen in local searches, it shows google your site has activity.
- It gives potential clients a peek at some behind the scenes work or some of the day to day details that occur on your projects. It can show potential clients how you work and how some of your projects unfold.
- It sets the tone for your business. Do you have a formal approach to your business model or are you more fun-loving and relaxed? Do you work better autonomously on projects or do you enjoy working closely with your clients throughout the process. A lot can become evident by reading a business owner’s blog. That perfect match of designer/client can begin to take place right there on your blog.
- You never know where a blog will take you. I think many designers start blogs with the hope of it turning into something bigger, something they could possibly make additional money with on down the road. I know that was my goal from the start. However, even if you don’t really know where you want to go with a blog, they can be a good idea. I think anyone that has been on a Modenus blogtour would agree. Without blogging, they would never have the opportunities for trips like these.
How often to blog?
If you are blogging primarily to attract clients, then I think blogging twice a month is a good amount.
Once a month gets a little too sparse, that’s only 12 times a year. The less you blog the more significant I think your posts have to be, so don’t put that kind of pressure on yourself.
Pick the same days of the month, like the 1st and 3rd Saturday. It is important to be consistent and I have found the early part of the weekend provides the best open rates if you have your blog linked to go out to an email list. People have more time to read and tend to be more relaxed.
If you blog twice a month, you can keep it newsy, fresh, report on projects, trade shows or events, visit past projects for before and afters or even how you solved a design dilemma. You can share how some of your processes work.
Basically, you are shedding some light on what it feels like to work with you or your firm. These posts don’t have to be huge. They can be image heavy, so you don’t have to write so much.
If you don’t like writing and prefer video, do a video. Then put it in the blogpost or link to it.
What type of post is good for an interior designer that doesn't care about being a big time blogger?
All you need for a twice a month, newsy, fresh blogpost is a short intro, some commentary and then images. These type of posts, for me, look like these.
This post shares what I saw at Round Top when I went for the day to do some shopping for clients.
This post shares a quick visit to Las Vegas market.
This one is about a cool restaurant I love in Los Angeles.
This post shares some projects in progress.
This post shares a project reveal. I didn’t plan on approaching editors with this project, so I debuted it on my blog. It actually was picked up by a local design publication later and published there too.
This post shares how I shop for clients.
If you debut a new design service, writing a blogpost that features that service can be very helpful.
Don't get me wrong, these posts do take effort. It takes time and skill to do even this kind of post right.....uploading images, keywording, labeling and optimizing, thinking up a good title, etc.
However, you are really just reporting. You aren't creating content out of thin air to write about.
Here are two types of posts that you DO NOT have to write.....
........if you are just trying to have your site look fresh and appeal to some local, filtered potential clientele.
Teaching or recommendations type of posts. You don’t have to “teach” anything with your blogposts. These posts are great for overall SEO if titled and handled properly, but these posts are really directed at consumers who are doing design themselves. If you are not writing for that audience, don’t bother with these type of posts.
This one of mine on which direction to run your wood floor continues to bring traffic in consistently. You can see, however, that all the comments and questions are from people who likely aren't hiring a designer. This post is great for SEO because it appeals to more of the general public.
Posts with affiliate marketing. You don’t have to lead into affiliate marketing, like with this post, or get people to click off your site to purchase any goods. Again, if you are just wanting to attract clientele, maybe affiliate marketing, or promoting products people can buy themselves online, is not such a good idea for you.
It’s a tedious balancing act for designers that do (like me) so if you aren’t wanting to grow your blog to be a big thing all its own, then you don’t have to bother with it. You need a strong blog or social media following to make this work really well for you.