How To Start a Decorating Blog

Starting a blog is one of the best ways to build an audience, get your ideas out into the world, and possibly make some (or a lot) of money while doing what you love. Everyone has different reasons for beginning a blog and different goals in mind when they do so. Your personal path will dictate some of the choices you make along the way. One thing that is true for everyone, however, is that the only way to succeed is to get started.

Taking that first step can be a huge challenge, but by the end of this article, you should have the tools you need to feel confident and prepared to start your decorating blog today.

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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of a decorating blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own decorating blog, check out our free blogging course. 

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What Is Your Blog About?

The answer to this question probably seems obvious – after all, you are reading about how to write a decorating blog! Having a topic in mind for your blog is an important first step, but to be truly successful you will need to go a little deeper. You need to determine what your blog will be about, specifically, and what you want to accomplish. Are you starting a blog about decorating homes? Decorating businesses? Decorating on a budget?

The clearer you are about what type of content you want to create, the easier it will be to focus your efforts and stand out from the competition.

There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:

"If you try to be everything for everbody, you will be nothing to no one."

Establish Your Niche

When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on HGTV all at once, you will find yourself squarely outmatched and very disappointed.

You want your subject to be broad enough to give you plenty to cover and a decent sized audience, but you do not want it to be so broad that you have no chance of standing out. Your subject needs to be narrower than “decorating”, but not as narrow as “decorating hall closets”.

Some examples of niche decorating blogs are:

Name Your Blog

Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.

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Finding Your Audience

Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.

Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.

Are you writing for people who have never decorated before in their lives? Or, are you writing for an audience that wants to learn how to step up their decorating game beyond the basics? No matter what the core focus of your blog is, the more you consider the people you want reading it, the more effective you will be at writing in a manner that appeals to that audience.

Create a Persona

One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.

Here is an example of a target audience persona:

Gabby Greybell Persona

Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.

Be Your Own Persona

Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect decorating blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.

This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.

Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?

No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.

Some examples for your decorating blog may include:

  • HGTV.com
  • HouseBeautiful.com
  • Houzz.com
  • RealSimple.com

Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.

How Will You Present Your Work?

Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.

There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your decorating blog. They include:

Evergreen Articles

As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.

A fantastic option for evergreen content on a decorating blog is reviews of decorating supplies, tools and even techniques. You probably have strong opinions on all of these things, especially in the area your niche is in. You can review both classics and new products to build out a full series of reviews that will keep bringing in new readers. Reviews remain useful year after year, making them a good use of your writing time.

Videos

While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.

Decorating is a perfect subject for videos, particularly how-to videos. Whatever your area of focus, you can help your readers by creating videos of how to perform various decorating tasks and projects. The great thing about how-to videos is that they can be created as part of your overall writing strategy – each new subject you take on with your blogging, you can decide if a how-to video would also be appropriate. You can teach readers how to renovate furniture, paint rooms, choose color schemes and more.

News-type Articles

News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.

Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.

The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.

Your decorating blog can cover trends in decorating in news-type articles to keep readers up to date on what is happening in the decorating world. Since you are already checking out new trends and new products regularly as part of your own research, it does not take much to find topics appropriate for your news-type articles. When you find something newsworthy, write a blog about it!

Image-heavy Content

While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.

While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.

A decorating blog is a perfect place to fill with image-heavy content. You are already showing off decorating tips and ideas as part of your normal blogging. Included images is simply a matter of gathering images available online – whether free or for a fee – or taking your own photographs.

You can develop your photography skills over time, which will make it much easier to get the great images you want for your blog. With each new project you take on, you can document it with your camera and share the images with your readers to fulfill their desire for photographs. How-to decorating blogs are especially great for taking your own photos and using them in your blog to demonstrate how to achieve the best results.

Mix and Match

Your blog does not need to stick to one specific content delivery strategy. In truth, you should try to mix and match regularly to keep things interesting and to improve your skills. You may find that you have one style you prefer over others, but with a little practice, you can get much better at other styles to make your blog really pop. Take photos, make videos, write evergreen and news-type content. The more you step out of your comfort zone, the more excitement you will generate among your audience.

How To Make Money From A Decorating Blog

One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.

There are a few great ways to make money from a decorating blog:

Display Ad Networks

Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.

There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.

The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.

While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.

Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.

The Amazon Affiliate program is a perfect fit for a decorating blog. This platform is super easy to set up and pays commissions to publishers for sales they help facilitate on products from Amazon.

Blogging about decorating involves writing about various tools, techniques, approaches, supplies and other topics that all lend themselves to the inclusion of Amazon links. When you write about a product, you can link to it on Amazon. When you write about a book, a tool, or anything else sold on the site, you can link to it. Each time a reader from your blog clicks the link and purchases the item, you get a small percentage of the sale.

Many decorating blogs start with Amazon Affiliates as their first source of income, and most stick with if for the long haul. While small, your blog may make a few dollars from the program. But when you get bigger, you can bring in thousands of dollars.

Sell Digital Products

Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.

Examples of digital products are:

  • Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.

  • Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.

  • Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.

A good example of a digital product that a decorating blogger could sell is an online course on renovating wood furniture. The course could take the buyer through all stages of the process, from identifying quality pieces for good prices, through tool usage, choosing finishes and more. You can get feedback from your audience to find out what questions they have that need answering int eh course, then customize the course based on the feedback. A well-produced course in this niche could easily sell for $200 or more per sale.

Sell Physical Products

Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.

The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.

Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.

Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.

Product sales through a decorating blog should not be too difficult since you are likely creating products as part of your blogging research anyway. You could sell the items that you create to your audience for a high price because they are one of a kind. You could also sell branded merchandise by partnering with a manufacturer you like – such as paint colors you create.

While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.

Create A Service

Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.

Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.

Your services as a decorator would be an obvious choice, depending on the niche you choose for your decorating blog. Your time is worth a lot, especially since you have an audience and plenty of them want you to decorate for them. Depending on your skills and experience, you could offer decorating services in your area, train others to decorate in your particular manner, or a combination of both.

It is vital that you manage your time appropriately once you start offering services. You will likely be in high demand – but you only have so much time, especially since you need to maintain your blog. The blog should come first since it is what drives traffic to your business.

Next Steps To Get Your Decorating Blog Started

Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.

This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!

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