I love Jen Bishop. Locally, she is best known as the editor of Dynamic Business magazine. Last year, she created The Interiors Addict.
I feel that she is doing everything right. Her emphasis on PR has resulted in a lot of attention, especially within the traditional press. This has allowed her to establish her authority in a short period of time.
She doesn’t participate in many of the same circles as most bloggers and is a bit of a hidden secret. I really think you guys can learn a lot from her. She’d also make for an awesome interview or case study subject.
You are better known as the editor as Dynamic Business magazine. Has your journalism background helped you with your blog?
Absolutely. Most obviously, having the skills to be able to interview people and write about them has been really important. But I also know a lot of people, know how to approach and deal with PRs and am not shy in approaching people to be featured, knowing how keen everyone is for free publicity! I really didn’t know anyone in the interiors industry a year ago but I learned my networking skills (on and offline) as a magazine editor so that has been a real help too.
The blog posts are curatorial rather than instructive. How has your readership responded to this style?
I like to encourage a community feel that brings together people who are working in the space, or just enjoying interiors and wanting some inspiration. I don’t feel it’s my place to tell people what they should do as I’m no expert. I enjoy interiors and I think I have a bit of an eye for it but I certainly would call myself more of an enthusiast than a guru! So it’s not about saying “this is on trend, you should copy it” it’s about offering various people’s views on what makes a stylish home, showcasing products I like and letting people make up their own minds.
You sent out press releases after being featured on the 20 bloggers to watch post on problogger. Did this result in extra attention?
It resulted in a couple of pieces of coverage; one in a magazine (still yet to publish!) and one online. However, since then I’ve had a few approaches from magazines and I think I may have been on their radar because of that original press release, it’s hard to say. The Problogger mention is certainly a great talking point and it’s now on my email signature, on the blog and wherever I can mention it!
You recently changed your blogging platform from Tumblr to WordPress. What led you to make this decision?
Tumblr was just far too limiting. It’s funny because I had so many compliments on the look of the of tumblr blog but it was just a free theme! It didn’t display well on iPad at all though, and my analytics showed a lot of my readers were reading that way. It really bothered me they were seeing this ‘broken’ version all the time. I was also getting approached by potential advertisers and it wasn’t possible to have advertising on my Tumblr. Above all, Interiors Addict was outgrowing Tumblr and there was little flexibility to add and change things. WordPress is a whole different ball game! I feel it’s a much better longterm home for my blog.
The redesign was launched a week ago yet you’ve already filled up most of the advertising slots. Do you have any tips to attract advertisers?
I was really lucky in that I had a lot of potential advertisers making enquiries and queuing up before I was able to accommodate them so once I switched to WordPress they were already ready to go! I would definitely advise having a media kit though (another thing I’ve learned about in the day job!) and mine is currently a work in progress… Make it known on your blog that you accept advertising with ‘advertise here’ buttons for example. You should have a good idea of who your potential advertisers are. I made it known via Facebook and Twitter that I was accepting advertising but I certainly didn’t want to chase anyone. I think that looks a little desperate.
You’ve had quite a lot of PR. How important is this to you?
I think PR is really important to reputation and that’s not just about sending press releases. It’s being asked to comment on things, being asked to speak at events and you could even think of guest blogging opportunities as PR. I have made a point to never say no to any PR opportunity so long as it’s relevant and likely to bring the blog to the attention of potential new readers. I think appearing in magazines and being asked to speak at events definitely adds a level of credibility to your blog as well as getting your name out there.
According to your interview here at Gift Guide Online 2012 will be a big year for your blog. What else do you have up your sleeve?
This is the year when I’d like to start being a little more strategic rather than just writing about whatever takes my fancy. I’m not going to change what I write about or the genuine passion I have for it, but I would like to be a bit cleverer about building traffic and the name of the blog in general. I’m hoping to have some Interiors Addict events too.
What bloggers are you watching?
I really enjoy following blogs by interior designers themselves. I love Brisbane designer Anna Spiro’s Absolutely Beautiful Things, London interior designer Abigail Ahern’s blog, and My Vibe My Life, the blog of impossibly cool American interior and fashion designer Kelly Wearstler.