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Do You Want to Start a Blog?

by | May 25, 2011 | blogging

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Do You Want to Start a Blog?

The Business of Blogging

I get quite a few emails from people wondering about starting their own blog for their business or to showcase their love of decorating. Many people are fascinated by the idea of blogging for a living or blogging as a way to boost their business exposure. I’ve had many conversations with people online, around town, on airplanes and at conferences about this topic.

I started a business as a decorator before I started a blog. My blog was intended to help me gain exposure and build my decorating clientele. Of course, back then, I had no idea the real power of a blog. I was hoping a few clients would come from my blog. I don’t think any one really knew back then in the early ages of blogging how powerful this tool could be. It is pretty amazing.

Since those beginning blogging days my business has grown beyond what I ever imagined, and in directions I never dreamed. This is something I love to do! Truly, this has got to be the perfect job for me in many ways. Besides being the way I earn a living, I have built a thriving business that just keeps growing and expanding in exciting ways, blogging is fun, creative, fulfilling, rewarding, it stretches me to grow and learn, it has allowed me to travel and be a part of so many exciting opportunities, and it connects me to companies I  respect, and friends I love and adore all around the world!

What is not to love about THAT? Yeah. It has been pretty awesome so far.

Do You Want to Start a Blog?

But do all those advantages and perks mean blogging is right for everyone?

Recently I was asked by Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Designer Marketplace to contribute a series of articles on the business side of design. My first article for Williams-Sonoma deals with an issue many designers are now considering, “Should I start a design blog?” I think you will find my suggestions for what to consider helpful no matter what your aspirations are as a blogger.

Head on over to Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Designer Marketplace to read the article and see what I’m doing over at Williams-Sonoma! I’m honored to be there!

Do you have a blog? Have you thought about starting one? Or, what has been your blogging experience if you already have a blog?
Go read my article and then come back and tell me what you think about blogging!

PS. If you are just starting a blog, or starting a 2nd or 3rd blog, you might be interested to know that the real pro, Problogger, has a brand new e-book for you! I have an affiliate link if you’d like to check it out! Pro Blogger’s Guide to Your First Week of Blogging!

If I had to start over again, I’d DEFINITELY use the tips in this book to get the blog started in the best possible way!


Do You Want to Start a Blog?


  1. Becky K.

    So well said, Melissa. I had no idea what to expect from my blog and it has been a very slow go. I am fine with that since I had no aspirations for this blog to become income….just a creative outlet and hopefully a bit of ministry.

    I would definitely study and read before starting a “for profit” blog. I love your blog and the way you share both business and family. It keeps a wider audience coming back.

    • Melissa

      Thanks Becky, I love how blogs can meet all sorts of needs for the readers and the writers and there is no “one way” to do it!

    • Melissa

      Thank you Lynn!! xo

  2. Carolyn

    Interesting article and good advice, Melissa! As a new blogger, I’ve been struggling with how much time I have to devote to blogging. When my favorite bloggers are posting every day, it makes me feel like a slacker :) I need to remind myself that I started this because I love decorating and I love to write. This is a hobby for me… not a business. I’ve got 4 little guys at home that are my “business.”

    That’s the beauty of blogging. It can be for fun, or it can be a career opportunity. It’s up to each blogger to make it what they want :) Either way, it’s a unique opportunity to connect with lots of wonderful, interesting and creative people!

    • Melissa

      Oh, don’t feel like a slacker. We all have our own set of responsibilities outside of blogging. Some bloggers devote full time to posting, I can’t post every day myself. Sometimes I manage a few days in a row but other times I have to take a couple days off or I feel creatively stuck. Just go at your own pace and your blog will be all the better for it!

  3. Anna

    Great article, Melissa – thank you!

    I started my blog three years ago as a way to share pictures of my first child with out-of-town family and friends. Since then I’ve blogged in spurts.

    And now that I have three kids and am staying home with them, I’m finding my blog to be a fabulous creative outlet for me. I’m looking forward to doing more and connecting with other bloggers!

  4. Diane

    Melissa you are a wonderful business woman. Thank you for your inspiration on so many levels….I look forward to reading your article. It may just be the springboard (or not) I need :-)

    I’ve been testing my blogging skills on Facebook. I’d like to think that I have what it takes, but would love to have an exchange with a few successful bloggers to critique/evaluate.

    Wishing you even more success!!!

    • Melissa

      Thank you Diane, I appreciate you and wish you all the best as well!

  5. Julia

    How cool that you were invited to write for the Williams-Sonoma website! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on blogging and totally agree with your points. Blogging can be such an amazing experience, but it isn’t for everyone.

    Sometimes I wonder if I would have had the nerve to start my blog if I had known then everything I know now. In my case, I think a little ignorance was bliss. Ha. It would have been overwhelming if I’d known all the work that lay ahead.

    I’m so glad I dove in, though–blogging has totally changed my life. I went from writing case studies and online quizzes for marketing textbooks to blogging about houses full-time, and I love it! :-)

    • Melissa

      It has been crazy, hasn’t it Julia? Your blog is amazing and SO PERFECT for you!! So happy you started blogging!

  6. a' la mode

    I am about as ignorant as it gets. I was literally sunbathing in mexico in late Feb and thought, I have things to say and share. I’m gonna write a blog. I literally didn’t even really know what a blog was. I just came home and started it. It has grown. A lot. and FAST. It kind of freaks me out sometimes, like pressure. But, I only write what I love and then I remember that I can stop whenever I want to- but I just keep doing it. Best of all, I have gotten to know some awesome people while doing it the past 3 months. This blog is a daily stalk for me. lol. I”m gonna go read the article now- and congrats on that, SUPER cool. xoxoo shel

    • Melissa

      Ha, I had no idea on what a blog was either. It took about three posts before I realized people I didn’t send to my blog would be reading it! It was weird. ;-) OH yes, blogs can grow SO RAPIDLY these days! There was no twitter or facebooking or stumbling or tumbling earlier on (at least I didn’t know about them or use those tools)and very few blogs really “featured” anyone else. You had to just put in the time to get known. Now you can get a lot of traffic pretty early on, so buckle up and hang on for the ride!!

      I know what you mean about the pressure. It can become addictive too, which can be unhealthy to your real life! ;-)

  7. Midwest Magnolia - Melissa Lewis

    Melissa… you have partnered with WS?!?!?!?! How awesome is that. I am so proud to have gotten to know you over the last few years, and I love what you stand for here over at The Inspired Room! You should be all over the place:) Yay you!

    • Melissa

      BLUSH!! Thanks Melissa, you are such a sweetie. I really appreciate your support and enthusiasm!!

  8. LoveFeast

    Congrats on the partnership and excellent article. We started out with the hopes to write a cookbook and we thought blogging would be an important way to connect with readers. Little did we know it would take us down a bit of a different path with larger and more creative pastures. Love the last bit about consistency and hard work. That was the surprise to us, as was the wonderful people we have met on our blogging journey.

    • Melissa

      It is amazing how blogging redirects people but in ways that are so rewarding!!! I love your story Kristin, what a blessing blogging can be!

  9. Megan

    A fantastic article. I started my little design blog few months ago and has been a very slow start but I understand that at the moment I am not looking to make money from it but a place to show my finds/inspirations that I find online and hopefully to meet new people who share the same interests as me. Hopefully one day my blog will grow.

    The article you wrote is great and very true about time consuming.Congrats on partnering with WS!


  10. Cari Lyons

    Great tips in your article. I just recently found your blog through facebook, and I love your ideas. I started a blog to promote my business, Passion For Fashion. At what point do you get outside help? I need general advice on how to take it to the next level and market myself better in my area.
    Cari Lyons

  11. Mrs. June Fuentes

    Dear Melissa,

    Congratulations on your post at Williams Sonoma! This is a great topic because so many people would also like to learn how to make some income on their blog. I have been experimenting and have learned to bring in six different streams of income just through one blog! It is wonderful and helps out our large family of ten in so many ways–I even started consulting and teaching people how to do this themselves and it has been so much fun to help others! Now I also have major projects this summer to bring in more and can’t wait to get started on them. It is great to see what you are doing here and how your blog has progressed! Keep up the great work of inspiring us to have beautiful homes! Many blessings…

  12. Missy June

    Yay for you over at WS! So exciting! I think the connections that blogging affords are one of the most amazing aspects. I have been reading your blog for about 18 months and just love the refreshing way you make decorating feel ‘approachable.’ As a former minstry wife and a pastor’s daughter I am cheering you on.

    Yes, I have had a Mommy Blog for 5+ years and have recently ramped up the Far From Flawless site. I would love to make a living from writing someday (my girl-hood dream) but mostly as a way to connect and encourage others. I don’t think I’ve faced so many of the ‘hurts’ women deal with for nothing. Talking about it and sharing helps me process and heal and may help or spur others in their own journey.

    Thanks for sharing here – I read daily and am a big cheerleader for you and your family!


  13. susan

    Congrats yet again, Ms.Melissa! WSM! Wowza,lady!&great points to “file” in what’s left of my brain. That’s what bookmarks are for! But since I pestered u months ago, ya had my name on it :) still haven’t started tho. I did get the “about” series from Susan Gunelius, the 7-in-1 book for dummies, and since I used to teach tagging in SGML for VocRehab folks who needed to work at home&cud independently, think am gonna try WordPress. Hoping exp with moderating lupus lists helps. Have no niche, life’s too weird & I am “eclectic vintage” so that’s um, different. :D Hoping for lots of guests when I get stuck! :D all good wishes AGAIN! And am dying to hear how Voyage is coming along? BIG HUGS!

  14. bridget {bake at 350}

    Partnering with WS?!?!? Wow, wow, wow…and I *think* they might need a partner in the cookie department. ;)

    When I started my blog, I never thought anyone but family would read it. I just wanted to share a few cookie decorating tips. And here it is, over 3 years later, and it has changed my life!

    that said, it IS a full-time job. ;) But, for me, a labor of love.

  15. teresa

    I blog to keep my distant family member in touch….and as a sort of journal. But along the way I have meet wonderful women out there (such as you} and I so enjoy all the creative “sparks” I get from others.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Have a wonderful day-

  16. Anne

    Hi Melissa! I started blogging a few months ago just for something to do. I am recently divorced and now am the sole owner of a little house that I am decorating and renovating on a tiny budget. I joined Twitter looking for decorating ideas and discovered the joy of blogging through all the accounts I began following. I love the exchange of ideas that goes on in the blogging community. It’s fabulous. During this process I discovered I loved to paint my own artwork & so I started blog #2 just to showcase what I was doing with paintings and to encourage others to paint their own masterpieces.

    Loving every minute of it…


  17. Jill

    Great article! I think it’s great that WS has invited bloggers to contribute to their site. It adds a lot of value to their site and raises your profile in the process. Win/Win.

    I started my blog as a result of joining a “procrastinator’s party”

    I blog sporadically and usually about projects I am working on with clients. I do it mostly to improve the SEO of my web site so more potential clients can find me when they do searches on the internet.

  18. Meg

    I seriously thought for a moment you had a crystal ball and were speaking directly to ME. :-) I just started my blog this very Monday and was wondering how to get it out there. Thanks for the reminder to be patient and pace myself. I am overflowing with ideas and want them out there RIGHT NOW! :-)

    Thanks Melissa!!

  19. Sallie

    Melissa, I started my blog in April. There is so much to learn! I am really enjoying the writing and the photography.
    I read your article. Great advice! Thanks for the heads-up on the new Pro blogger e-book.

  20. angie {the arthur clan}

    I started blogging so that my brothers (who both lived out of state) would be able to see photos of my kids. It’s grown into a career with I Heart Faces that I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams. And it’s also led to friendships that are so important to me. It’s been such a wonderful journey!

  21. Lynne

    Oh Melissa! WS!! LOVE IT!! I’ve been following you for 2+ yrs. And I LOVE all your ideas. I’ve been bloging for 2+ as well but mostly about my kiddos/family. I’ve recently taken a break- I work full time as a teacher not to mention a mommy!! I’m trying to “reinvent” my blog! I just can’t figure out the direction…I love decorating, organizing, etc…but I don’t want to “copy” other blog…what to do???

  22. Connie

    My web designer encouraged me to start a blog. She told me the “possibilities” it could open up and I thought, “What the heck, I’ll start one.” I really didn’t have any actual goals from it but realized that I could get business from it. However, I have discovered that I’ve met some wonderful people who’ve become “email mail buddies” through blogging and it’s a fun way to showcase some projects,at times. If all that became of my blogging, I’d say it was a success. And by the way, totally COOL that you got to write for WS! I really need to sign up for their designer marketplace one of these days!

  23. Tamara

    Great article and super blog! Enjoy visiting all the time :)

  24. Erin

    Congrats on the WS partnerships, Melissa!

    I have to say that thanks in part to your blog and encouragement, I’ve just completed my second week of blogging. While I’m still finding my way, I am really enjoying the creative outlet I’ve found and regardless of where it goes, just putting myself out there has been liberating. The article is great and a good source of advice.

    All the best to you for continued success in all of your endeavors!

  25. Michelle

    Great article and congratulations on all the success you have had Melissa.

    We only started our blog 61 days ago when we got the keys to our new house. As a newbie I am still learning the ropes as to how often to post, what to post, how to get people to even read it…so much to learn so having people like you who are willing to share their experience is great for all us still learning. Thanks a bunch!!

    Michelle @ Our DIY Dream´s last blog

  26. Jadyn

    How awesome that you’re writing on the WS site! I love your blog, completely love your perspective on design & decorating – truly inspired and inspiring. I have been writing my blog for about a year and a half and still don’t really know what I’m doing. And still it has changed my life just by connecting me to creative and supportive people and giving me a creative outlet when nothing else I started ever really ‘stuck’.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!


    As a successful blog editor I would wholeheartedly agree that one of the key ingredients is PATIENCE.

  28. Jen

    I have been blogging forever but this is the first blog that I’ve had connected to a business. That said, I don’t really care to make a living from the blog. I have zero intentions of using it for ad space or reviews like so many popular bloggers do.

    • Melissa

      Many popular blogs turn into a lot of work to keep up and maintain, and the amount of time and money it takes to support can no longer be justified as a fun hobby. I admire women for recognizing how their blog has evolved and for making the decision that best supports their family and their goals, whatever those may be.

  29. Elle

    I started a blog last year without really knowing where I was going with it- I didnt even make it public. After a re-think I have started it again and its so much fun this time around. I am more focused on it and I really like being able to reflect on things that I am doing with my own home decor.
    One day I hope it is profitable because I would love to do it full time but if it isnt I wont be dissapointed :)

  30. hollyG

    Great tips and info you have provided – especially to those just starting out (like me!). I’ve used blogging as a creative outlet and it’s been wonderful – I’ve “met” so many great people and learned so much in such a short amount of time. It’s also been a way for family and friends to get to know a different side of me, which is great. This wild world of technology is an awesome thing! Thanks for your inspiration.

  31. Crystal

    Thanks SO much for this feature. I recently started my THIRD blog. Third! When I read your post, I was almost afraid to click the link. What if I wasn’t SUPPOSED to be a blogger?! To my surprise, your suggestions and tips reminded me that I can do this-that I should do this! I have learned a lot through the course of my blog life. I’m making my new one everything that I was lacking {and wanting} from my first two. I’m one content lady tonight {and calm and a patient one too}. ;)

  32. Sarah

    Really great article Melissa! I have just recently discovered the wonderful world of blogs and blogging, and dove right into starting up my own blog.

    I have been so busy and out of touch with the design world after leaving my design job to raise my 2 boys. I was looking for SOMETHING to do to keep me connected without jumping right back into a job. Blogging is the perfect fit! It’s only been a few weeks since i’ve been live in blog world, but I am really enjoying it!

    I am a new devoted reader….your posts are always inspiring and uplifting and real. You make me feel like I can do this too!! Now I just need to figure out how to find the time and stay focused…which can be really difficult with a 2 and 3 year old! Thanks for all the great advise. Sarah


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