Though it has often been derided as an outlet for bored people with too much time on their hands, blogging has now become a viable career option for writers and journalists. Millions of blogs are springing up every day, but as it is for any other startup, if you’re one of the first one to do something in a space (and do it well) you have a pretty good chance of succeeding.
Such is the case for Jen Bishop of The Interiors Addict, an Australian site dedicated to interior design and homewares. The site has grown so much that Bishop recently launched a sister site, Reno Addict, dedicated to – as the name suggests – home renovations.
Having worked as editor and publisher of the small business magazine Dynamic Business at Loyalty Media, Bishop left after the closure of the print magazine in 2012. The design blog had, up til then, been a hobby she worked on on the side. After leaving the magazine, she decided to work at making the blog her full time job.
“I’m really passionate about showing that blogging can be professional, ethical and commercially successful and I’m certain my background in publishing has been a huge advantage in teaching me the skills I’ve applied to Interiors Addict,” Bishop says.
Over the past few years, Interiors Addict has grown to be one of Australia’s biggest online interior design publications, attracting 100,000 unique readers a month. As well as being one of the only design blogs out there, the site was also in the right place at the right time, benefiting from the general increase of interest in design and interiors locally, such as the successful return of The Block to television.
With the interest in design and home decor showing no signs of slowing down, Bishop believes Reno Addict is a natural extension to the brand. The site will feature home and renovation experts like Charlie Albone from Selling Houses Australia and Baz Du Bois from The Living Room on Channel 10.
Interiors Addict grew through similar partnerships with design experts and through social media, where Bishop has fostered a very engaged community. The site’s Instagram account has over 30,000 followers and is where one of the site’s most interesting features originated: the 7Vignettes competition encourages followers to style a photo according to a theme each day for the first week of every month. The sense of community on the social media accounts keeps readers coming back.
Bishop, who recently hired her first full time employee, is just one local making money from blogging. Sydney fashion blogger Margaret Zhang has travelled the world to work with companies like L’Oreal, Louis Vuitton, Nike, and various fashion publications since starting her blog Shine By Three in 2009. While working with different publications and accepting sponsored content is one way to make money, Bishop says her business model is different to that of many bloggers.
“We have the audience numbers to make most of our revenue from selling banner advertising rather than sponsored content. In this respect, we probably operate more like traditional media,” Bishop explains.
“Having spent the majority of my career in print, it is now fascinating to be in the digital game, with the ability it gives us to see what our readers like most and to show our advertisers how well their campaigns perform.”
With Interiors Addict celebrating its fourth birthday this year, it’s evident the jump from print to digital hasn’t been too difficult for Bishop to make. Like Mia Freedman’s Mamamia, Interiors Addict has evolved from a simple hobby blog into a media technology company with a strong brand, and has the potential to grow into different areas like podcasting and video.
Image credit: Helen Coetzee