When we launched our eCommerce site, Diane James, in October 2008 and someone suggested that we start a monthly newsletter to keep our customers informed about our business and to connect to our designs. Instead, we decided to embrace what many mainstream designers and home decor enthusiasts were doing at the time and started a blog. Back then, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat weren’t even a thing so the way to share ideas and create a voice for your business or yourself was through blogging. This month we celebrated our 8th anniversary of writing The Buzz, and we’ve learned a lot over the years, mostly through trial and error. Here are some of the blogging lessons we wished we had known before starting a blog…
Don’t Blog Just To Get Comments
Write it and they will comment – not necessarily! Blogging is hard work and with thousands of home decor blogs out there, readers have to pick and choose where they’ll spend their limited time and how or if they will respond. There’s a big debate as to whether blogging is dead, but we still feel that if you have something to say, then you should say it, regardless of how many readers you have or comments you receive. Writing The Buzz fills our creative souls, and we’re always looking for what’s new in home decor and in floral design. We keep writing our blog because we want our customers to connect with our business on a personal level and to get to know us, the owners. We know they’re reading our posts even if they don’t have time to leave a note and that’s good enough for us.
Find A Niche and A Voice
One way to stand out from the crowd is to find a blogging niche. There are so many areas of home decor that are being blogged about so it’s not easy to find a subject that hasn’t been thoroughly covered. Since our business designs luxury faux florals, The Buzz is a lifestyle blog with a botanical twist. We always use six images in our longer posts, most of which have some kind of natural element, and they all have to be pretty. It’s important to also find something you’re passionate about or even good at so that your blog has an honest and knowledgeable voice. You want your posts to connect with your audience and if you’re not “real”, your words won’t ring true.
Write on a Schedule
When we first launched The Buzz, we reached out to our friend, Eddie Ross, for advice. One of the first tips he gave us was to write on a schedule, that way our readers know when to expect a new post. We soon realized that writing once in a blue moon wasn’t going to help build our audience so we upped our game and wrote three times a week, then five times a week. A year and over 250 posts later, we decided that writing daily took us away from running our business and we scaled back. The lesson here is to make sure the schedule you set for yourself is manageable and doesn’t turn blogging into a chore.
Network as Much as Possible
When we think back over the past eight years, we can’t help but to be grateful for all the connections we’ve made through our little blog. If someone had told us that we would be joining a community of likeminded creatives that we would get to know on a personal level when we started, we wouldn’t have believed him/her. But the truth is, you will get to know your readers and fellow bloggers and they will become part of your circle of friends. Through The Buzz, we’ve met an amazing group of home decor bloggers and have developed lasting and meaningful relationships with them (ones that go beyond the yearly Christmas card!) So be open to opportunities to meet bloggers and attend blogging events as much as possible – you never know who you might connect with.