Before I jump into the heart of this post I want to take a moment to thank you all, my readers, for the personal and professional growth you’ve given me. Because, you see...
During the month of September (2014),
This interior design blog’s traffic exceeded...
175,000 page views & 125,000 unique visits!
And what’s even more exciting: With each month that passes, the numbers continue to climb even higher! I’m so excited! ;-)
When I began blogging, I did it for myself, because I'm passionate about interior design and just wanted to talk about it.
But then my blog’s readership began to grow. And as I watched other design blogs grow around me, I assumed mine would track a similar path, leading to advertising, product partnerships and development, and more opportunities outside of only doing design work.
Well, I was wrong.
My blog is relatively ad free, with the exception of a few scattered affiliate marketing ads. These days, banner ads aren’t effective for selling, because the nature of advertising on blogs has changed. Consumers are much more savvy. Advertisers want text links embedded in blog posts that are disguised to not look spammy, and advertorials disguised as guest posts.. I’ve fielded some of these opportunities before, but they never appealed to me. Not only did they seem a bit shady, but they seemed to skirt what it is I’m trying to do here on DESIGNED. They didn’t complement my content, and the personality of the posts they wanted weren’t appropriate for my audience. So instead of a bunch of banners from 3rd party advertisers scattered throughout my site, what you mostly see are links to content I’ve produced or content from other sources that support a particular point I’m trying to make.
Don’t get me wrong… It’s not that I’m opposed to fielding potentially profitable opportunities, it’s just that, well, this blog is my baby, and I want to protect and preserve it’s purpose not only for myself but for you too, my beloved loyal readers.
One thing I have received as a result of all this blogging: WORK — LOTS OF IT.
We are so busy with new and exciting projects that we are literally booked up through Christmas!
I think it’s so interesting to track results. I’ve become truly fascinated with how my clientele is starting to change and, in turn, how the types of projects they hire me for have changed. Not only do I have more former clients and referrals than ever before, but I have more full-service clients. These are clients who want a traditional type of design service; a service where we handle a project from beginning to completion; where clients have to trust us to make some decisions for them; where we address the project as a whole; where we apply the finishing touches. These are the projects we enjoy most and seem to bring the most satisfaction to our clients.
When my new blog debuted a few years ago I thought design was going down the road where projects went to designers coming in with the lowest bid and the quickest turnaround time. Actually, I was pretty certain that’s where the entire industry was going. I thought e-design and providing design plans that anyone could follow on their own could offset losses, so I started to work toward the goal of providing design plans containing links to products people could purchase that would produce a certain look. I did a lot of these shopping boards in hopes that it would build into partnerships and opportunities with vendors that would then build into a different type of design business — you know, sort of ready-to-wear design — where you see it, you try it on, you buy it, and off you go.
Instead, what I’ve come to realize is this:
Even though digital design services continue to grow in popularity — especially for designers who cater to a younger market — people still want custom, bespoke design more than ever. Anyone who hires a designer wants that special, unique take on their project only a professional interior designer can provide. They want a designer to look closely at their needs and spaces and come up with creative, personalized solutions. I’m happy to say that, for me and my clientele, my single strongest service is, almost exclusively, full-service design. (Even with my young clients!)
It’s exactly like what Maria Killam wrote on her blog, regarding the value of going to seminars and viewing material that educates you on how to do a certain something yourself:
“I still need that expert to look at my business and tell me how I can take their general advice from the stage or their gazillion videos or blog posts and customize it to MY BUSINESS.” — Maria Killam
This insight, coupled with the popularity of custom design, is bringing me to a new place. As I move forward and my blog, and my business hopefully continues to grow, I am looking for new ways to enhance my design business.
I’m hopeful I can diversify a little so trading dollars for hours is not the only means of monetary support I have. Multiple streams of income are key to riding through unstable economic times and keeping a business profitable. I’m very hopeful and excited to begin focusing on these goals while slimming down my clientele to choice projects.
I always make a mental note about what exactly is discussed during conversations I have with others about interior design.
These casual conversations are where I get my ideas for the blog posts I publish here on DESIGNED. After all, if there’s one person speaking up about something, then there’s bound to be others out there who share the same question — 127,234 of you, to be exact, during the month of September. ;-)
Thank you, all of you, for entering this relationship with me. Without your support, nothing would be possible. I hope I give you what you come for: some design love, some insight into an interior designer’s world, and some solutions you can take with you to help with your projects.