Fresh Design Blog takes a look at the best ways to add colour and style to your interior scheme, taking inspiration from high street brands and lesser known stores. The blog was established in 2009 by freelance writer Rachel Newcombe to profile the best contemporary design ideas and bargains. Whether you’re on the search for furnishings to decorate a table or looking for tips for a complete revamp, the Fresh Design Blog helps readers learn how to use colours and combine objects for the perfect finishing touches. In this spotlight Rachel chats to us about how she measures the success of her blog, how she likes to work with PRs, and what being listed on our latest interior design ranking means to her.
Why should people read your blog? What makes it different? The blog focuses on home and garden ideas for modern and contemporary homes. Hopefully, it inspires people to experiment with interior design and decorating in their home.
I’m very aware that decorating and furnishing your home can be an expensive business, so it features a lot of affordable ideas and high street products that are accessible to most people, as well as more high-end and designer pieces.
How do you measure the success of your website? Engagement and feedback from readers is really important and shows that people are actually reading it and finding it useful. It’s always really good to know that you’ve inspired someone. Stats are of course useful too for measuring success, particularly for finding out what types of posts or products are most popular.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? Find your perfect niche and go for it! It’s useful to get an idea of what’s out there already, as there are a huge amount of blogs these days (loads more than when I started out). Try and find something that isn’t being covered already, or a different angle, then focus on why and how you could fill that gap. Be realistic – it is a lot of work and time-consuming, but if it’s something you’d like to do, it’s definitely worth giving it a go. You never know where it might lead.
How do you work with marketers and PRs? In most cases I get approached directly by marketers and PRs. I work with them in a number of ways – on single blog posts, multiple posts, taking part in campaigns, collaborations, challenges or undertaking reviews. I’m always open to ideas and love anything that’s a bit different from the norm. As I get approached a lot, I am selective and only work on things that are relevant to the blog, will be of interest to readers and are realistic in terms of timings and budgets.
How do you use social media to promote and share content? What are the challenges? Social media is brilliant for sharing and promoting content and it’s grown to be so much more than Twitter and Facebook. Each of the platforms has their own unique benefits and I try and use these to their advantage. Sadly, the biggest challenge I have is time – not enough of it! It can be time-consuming preparing and sharing across all the social media channels, especially whilst juggling other freelance writing and editing work, but there are some good forms of scheduling tools that do help. I’m currently working on some ways to improve my management of some social media channels.
What can PRs do in working better with you? The majority of PRs are great and I’ve built up some good relationships over the years. However, a few could do better in terms of actually reading the blog before emailing! It sounds obvious, but I get deluged with email and still get lots of random, untargeted emails that aren’t remotely relevant. In terms of campaigns and collaborations, it’s a great help all round if they send a clear brief from the outset, with details of goals, timescales and budgets.
What has been your blogging highlight? I’ve been running Fresh Design Blog for seven years now, so there have been a lot of highlights! I’ve worked on some creative and fun collaborations, tested fascinating home products and new home technology, learnt so much more about interior design, met other brilliant bloggers, had some great rankings and worked with some fantastic companies. Writing the blog has also helped expand my freelance writing and editing work, and it’s led to some enjoyable work on corporate blogs too. One notable moment was testing a new product and realising it was unsafe – it could have had serious safety issues if used as it was in the home. As a result, the company subsequently adapted it and changed the usage instructions – good to know that no accidents should occur now!
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? October to December is always a busy time on the blog, especially with the run up to Christmas. They’ll be lots of ideas and inspiration for Christmas home decorating, plus looking ahead to new trends for interior design and colours in 2017. The blog itself is also undergoing a (long overdue) revamp and makeover of its own.
What does the Vuelio Blog Ranking mean to you and how does it affect your blog? It’s a real honour to have been included in the ranking for several years, especially alongside the other great blogs in my field. With so many other interior design blogs in existence, it’s hard to know where you ‘fit’ in the blogosphere, but the ranking provides a valuable insight. It’s also been a useful aspect to mention in my media pack and discussions with marketers and PRs, as Vuelio is a name they recognise and take notice of.