Join the extended family

Contents: About | Writing | Schedule

The dbcollective all believe that UK design blogs should command a larger audience than they are as we have so much great UK talent to showcase. What we don’t have yet is this big audience. So, Heart Home got to thinking and asked the question “why do we all have our own blogs and dilute our reach”. Well that’s an easy one to answer, this is because our blogs are the only place that we can talk about what ‘we’ love and not be influenced by others. Very, very valid reason.

Grow our audience

Some of us blog five times a week to our core audience and we want to see this audience grow... the effort that you put in should start to really pay off. That is our belief.

Weekly column with Heart Home

Enter the Heart Home blog, stage left. Take a weekly column in the blog, creating one original post on the topic that is as close to your own blog. Perfect. 15 bloggers posting once per week = 3 times per day for 5 days per week. Now that is a UK design blog I already want to read!

What's in it for me?

This isn’t just guest blogging, this is joining the extended family of Heart Home and everything that comes with that. For your one post per week we would give you a bio with a link to your profile and a Twitter follow button attached to every blog post. Readers could view all of your blog posts together and you could link to that from your own blog to show-off that you are writing for Heart Home blog.

Some of the greatest things have happened when people collaborate... this is about creating a Great British Blog!

With traffic increasing rapidly at Heart Home and several plans in place to continue this growth, you would be involved at an early stage in this project at an exciting time. Also, by joining the Heart Home team, we would run regular sessions on how to improve your own blog performance, whether that be individual help with your theme, Search Engine Optimisation advice or how much to charge an advertiser. We would also look to take on some administration of advertising should you wish to get involved with us at that level.

Making money from blogging

Now, the final question is advertising revenue. Heart Home looks to generate revenue through advertising sales on the blog. By being part of this to create a UK design blog we're all proud of, and in-turn promote your own blog, it is inevitable that we would receive more money from ad revenue if there was a lot more traffic. Would you continue to do this for free when that happened... of course not and we wouldn’t expect you to and as you are part of the Heart Home family, we would share the blog revenue with you. It might not be enough to retire on, but this is a joint effort and should be rewarded as such.

Writing your post

Words and Images

Image size: 460px wide Word length: 200 words minimum

Let's talk about some rules...

1. You must always post absolutely unique content. You cannot post it anywhere else as Google will see it as duplicate content, even your own blog. You can quote up to 50 words and credit the source. You retain copyright for the posts that you submit to Heart Home so that you may use them elsewhere (not online) in the future without having to gain permission from Heart Publishing LLP.

2. Yes, this is a link-building opportunity but let's not go mad. Don't try to get more links in-content artificially - i.e. using links that add no value to link to your other websites. Naughty.

3. Holidays! We all need them. If you are going away you should either write your posts in advance or get cover for it.

4. Sponsored posts. We don't love them but they do provide a constant source of revenue. We will say that this is sponsored in the content but not the title.

5. Links. Don't go mad with links - once per website is sufficient.

6. Image file names. Please name these something intuitive. Google does look at this to figure out what the image is showing and this will drive more organic traffic to Heart Home through Google Images.

7. Alt attributes are gold for Google and accessibility. Please do fill these in as helpfully as you can. Often you can use the file name as this should also be descriptive.

8. Complete the SEO box below the post. It really does make a difference. You've just spent ages writing your blog post so let's make sure that as many people as possible get to read it.

9. Featured image. Don't forget this. You will find it in the right column of your post in the admin view. Without this the homepage view will be missing an image.

10. Formatting your post. We love plain text. Fancy styles won't feel like it is Heart Home. Italic and bold should be kept to a minimum.

11. Linking to your own blog. This happens in the 'Author bio' section of each post so does not need to be put in the post.

12. Image credits and ownership. The blog is owned by Heart Publishing LLP and we want to avoid court summons naturally. Creative Commons is our friend so don't use images that you do not have permission to use and add credits where possible. These can be added below the image or at the end of the post.

Some tips for greater exposure

1. Write titles with two audiences in mind. First and foremost, you’re writing a title for the people who will visit the blog or have a subscription to the RSS feed. Titles that are short, snappy, on-topic and catchy are imperative. You also want to think about search engines when you title your posts, since the engines can help to drive traffic to your blog post.

2. Useful content. You’re all intelligent and knowledgable. Write about your experience, give tips, opinions and offer as much useful advice as possible. Don’t promote super luxury products as the Heart Home audience is not going to buy these and the blog will seem unapproachable and in conflict with the magazine ethos.

3. Reveal as much as possible. The blogosphere is in love with the idea of an open source world on the web. Sharing vast stores of what might ordinarily be considered private information is the rule, rather than the exception. If you can offer content that’s usually private - trade secrets, pricing, contract issues, and even the occasional harmless rumor, your blog post will benefit.

4. Style guide. Ever wondered whether to use single or double quotes in the writing you do? Should cooperate have a hyphen in it? % or per cent? If these are the kind of things keeping you up at night (or even if they aren’t), The Writer house style guide have helped us all out. The Writer's style guide.


Week one

Monday 10am: Lisa Cox (Gardens) 1pm: Ana Aguilar-Corney (Interiors) 5pm: TO FILL

Tuesday 10am: Bernay Laity 1pm: Rona Wheeldon (Flower design) 5pm: Arianna Trapani (Interiors)

Wednesday 10am: Kate Baxter (Inspirational interior stylists) 1pm: Carole King (Interiors) 5pm: Ellie Parker (Products)

Thursday 10am: Jo Llewellyn 1pm: Louise Gorrod (Food) 5pm: Kelly Fannon (Interiors)

Friday 10am: Shane Holland (Food) 1pm: Kathryn Green (Craft and design) 5pm: Laurie Prescott (Fashion)

Week two

Monday 10am: Lisa Cox (Gardens) 1pm: Ana Aguilar-Corney (Interiors) 5pm: Katie Treggiden (Interviews)

Tuesday 10am: Bernay Laity 1pm: Rona Wheeldon (Flower design) 5pm: Arianna Trapani (Interiors)

Wednesday 10am: Kate Baxter (Inspirational interior stylists) 1pm: Carole King (Interiors) 5pm: Ellie Parker (Products)

Thursday 10am: Jo Llewellyn 1pm: Louise Gorrod (Food) 5pm: Kelly Fannon (Interiors)

Friday 10am: Shane Holland (Food) 1pm: Kathryn Green (Craft and design) 5pm: TO FILL