“Content is King” is a phrase so catchy that it has already helped spawn an entire industry of content writers. Content writing was developed with one specific goal in mind – to increase traffic to Web sites. This is essential for decorative plumbing and hardware showrooms, and for the kitchen and bath industry as a whole, since most consumers these days are very savvy and will likely shop online before visiting actual physical showrooms.
There are many sites that offer free or fee-based content that claims to provide all of the right keywords and phrases to please Google search engines and get visitors to your site.
In theory, that sounds like a great idea – except for one teeny, tiny hitch. Your brand new content may be wonderful for a “robot” to crawl through and may even achieve maximum search engine bliss, but you may want actual humans to read it as well, right? And, not surprisingly, humans tend to get a bit bored reading keyword-optimized text that, in most cases, just doesn’t sound quite right.
Therefore, you need to develop a more engaging way to get great content on topics that are relevant to your company but not too narrowly focused on your decorative hardware and bath products.
You’ll probably also appreciate the added benefit of a few writers spreading the news about the new post for you because they have a vested interest in driving traffic to your site and increasing their own exposure.
Enter the design blogger.
Design blogs have been around for several years now, with more than a handful of them attracting very significant numbers of readers. Many of them get their own content from freelance contributors and, some of the larger ones – such as Apartment Therapy, Design-Milk, Design Sponge and others – publish dozens of blog posts per day. They are frequently quoted and copied by other sites, other bloggers and even the print media.
But there are thousands of smaller, high-quality blogs to consider as well. In fact, many are beautifully designed and often personally written by people who have had the presence of mind to add a blog format to their own Web sites to create new traffic. These bloggers are often industry professionals like interior designers, kitchen designers and interior design journalists and stylists. They all have unique styles, a vested interest in broadening their own reach through guest blogs or syndication and wield more influence and leverage than you can imagine.
One case in point is Brizo Fashion Week. The concept was launched in 2007 in partnership with fashion designer Jason Wu in an effort to expand the brand’s visibility and reach into other design arenas. With social media on the rise, the company then trumped that bold move by reaching out to the design blogger community.
Twice a year, during fashion week, Brizo now invites a group of bloggers to the Big Apple to attend the Jason Wu fashion show, see some designer showhouses, participate in design competitions and learn about Brizo products and future product development.
I know from experience that it’s a very fun and engaging event and Brizo knows that it’s a worthwhile investment.
Why You Need a Blog
It’s quite possible that you’ve already added a blog to your site. If not, you should certainly consider it. Here are some important reasons to consider doing so:
- Better search engine optimization (SEO) means more traffic to your site. Most blog platforms like Wordpress, Blogger and Posterous are, by default, well optimized. As long as you place relevant keywords into the title and body of the post and then tag correctly, you will actually end up with better search results on your blog than you do on your Web site.
- Fresh content means better search results for your site. Provided you post something new and interesting on a regular basis, Google gives you lots of credit for fresh content. You’re unlikely to post new products to your actual Web site on a daily basis, so this is a great alternative to satisfy Google’s insatiable appetite for new fodder.
- Entertainment value means more repeat visits to your site. You’ve gone through all of the trouble of building your blog platform, so why not actually write interesting articles that relate to your industry or design in general? Take the opportunity to be creative! People who come to you for kitchen and bath design ideas or products are likely interested in most other design-related topics as well. So why not give them something new: Talk about fashion, interior design, trade shows, food or anything else that creates interest in your site and makes people want to come back for more.
- Yay! Now you have something else to tweet about – and that means yet more traffic. Twitter is a traffic- and community-building tool, and it is incredibly valuable if used correctly. So no, you’re really not meant to tell people what you had for breakfast, unless of course it was a sublime eggs florentine in a luxury resort, in which case, you want to write a blog about it first. But you should use Twitter to share your new blog posts with your followers. This brings people back to your site on a regular basis, helps you establish relationships and draws attention to your branding efforts.
In theory, that all sounds great, I know, but who’s going to do it? You’re in the business of selling products and/or services, not design writing. You can, of course, copy content from other blogs, buy content from a content farm or create your own blogger outreach program that is designed to nurture a relationship between your company and a few select bloggers of your choice. If it’s a good match, you will benefit from content that suits your brand and both your and the bloggers’ efforts to market new posts via your respective social media channels.
But where do you find some of these bloggers?
You can meet many of them on Twitter, where just about all of them share new blog posts and interact with designers and manufacturers on a daily basis. You can also attend – or sponsor – a blogger event like Blogfest2011 in New York or any number of TweetUps that are happening at trade shows and even at local design events.
Or you can contact the authors of the blogs you enjoy reading. You do read blogs, don’t you?
If you’d like a list of my favorite design bloggers or would like to know more about Modenus and the Modenus Blog, feel free to get in touch with me at 407-376-4192 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter.