Happy New Year, all. 2018 is DONE and boy was it a big, great year full of so. many. lessons. Working in digital media means that I wake up on a daily basis, shove my hand into a pot of pasta and throw it at the wall, excited to see what will stick. It’s actually really exciting, but also a lot to clean up all the time.
This past year, we tried throwing a new type of pasta on the wall, otherwise known as “content strategy.” We did two big design projects/renovations that we dissected into process-heavy content, but…we found that you guys, despite how thorough and full of solid information the posts were, weren’t as into them as I had predicted. It just didn’t stick and that’s okay. The engagement was high, and at first the “I Design, You Decide” garnered a ton of excitement. My hope with the process posts was that you’d get a solid peek into how and why designers make the choices we do, so that you can be inspired and empowered to make them yourself. I get that renovation-heavy posts are much more niche than say, a pillow combo roundup, but when those design-heavy posts take weeks of work and get immediately squashed by a random roundup, it’s a wakeup call (please remember that this is a business, not just my hobby, so traffic matters, but it’s definitely not the only thing that matters).
Let me be clear, we’re proud to produce those pieces and I feel confident that over time, many of you will find them incredibly useful (they’ll live forever in the Rooms section) when you are, say, doing a window plan in your major renovations, but, many of you said that we were actually showing too much of how the sausage is made. TOO. MUCH. PROCESS?? I would have thought that was impossible. Any blog, Instagram or Pinterest account can show beautiful reveals, hence we thought that one of the things that makes this place a destination is the process and my transparency about mistakes, but the numbers tell a different story. We learned some things about what you do and do not want. BUT WE NEED TO KNOW MORE…
At the same time though, one of the top posts of the year in 2018 was about a haircut. A HAIRCUT. We thought that post, in particular, could just be a fun thing to do for the team, hoping you guys would be moderately into it. Oh, and you were. That post stuck to the wall. To the tune of being top 3 for the year. We had no idea this would happen, which makes us think maybe we don’t know exactly what you want. We can’t keep getting haircuts (but I jokingly looked around the office and said “who wants to get their eyebrows micro-bladed in 2019???” knowing that I would DEFINITELY read/watch that post).
So we need more help for us to figure out what content you want, need, crave this year. Already, our plans are to focus more on styling, using a combination of budget and high-end pieces, more flea market and thrifted posts (YAY!!) and to bring back some older series that I miss (Craigslist) as well as well curated house tours.
But I have more questions…
Why did the Portland reveals lose momentum? Is it because it wasn’t my house? Was it too high end? Were there not enough lessons or mistakes to make the posts interesting? Or was it just too much and you are ready to see inside a new project??
Let’s pretend we’re in a confessional booth…spill the beans (regarding content, no need to tell me you hate the kitchen color, etc). Tell us your innermost thoughts. What do you like? What do you not like? There will be no offense here (plus, we’re sweetening the pot a little to anyone who chooses to help us out):
We put together a survey that we would love every single one of you to fill out (though we know that won’t happen, and we get it). But what I will say is this survey will be instrumental in helping us put together a content strategy for the year. It’ll be integral to letting us get a peek into all of your brains and your deepest blog desires. It’s like a yearly performance review where you guys are the boss. And just like in a work environment, everyone needs a little incentive, right? We’re giving away THREE limited-edition art pieces from my collaboration with Jane Denton I did back in 2016 at random to anyone who completes the survey and inputs their email address at the end (we gotta know how to find you but of course will not do anything weird or annoying with your email).
I actually kinda forgot about these pieces so when my team mentioned that we had some left over, we thought it was the perfect giveaway. Look, here it is styled in Brady’s living room.
Don’t you want this pretty lady? It comes framed (by Framebridge), is 18″x18″ and retails for $225. All you have to do is fill out our teenie tiny survey (it’s not teenie, but thought it might be more enticing if we pretended it was?).
Again, if you’re a regular reader and invested in the content we create on a daily basis, filling out the above survey is like basically asking for exactly what you want (and not want) to read. We promise to eagerly go through all the results, discuss internally and make immediate shifts to our strategy. As much as we want to write about whatever we want to write about, we also want to make the things YOU want to come here for every single day.
As for what’s happening with the other big project from last year (the mountain house), the good news is that I am not waiting for a print publication to reveal it because that would likely hold it up for 9 months (I would need to have the entire house finished before we shot it and you have to shoot 3 months in advance of when the issue comes out, etc.) I put myself in your shoes and I realized how bummed I would be to wait for so long. So instead, you’ll get the rooms as they are done, starting most likely with the kitchen…OF WHICH I AM OBSESSED.
If you aren’t into the survey, you can always comment—in fact, please do both. What do you want? What do you miss? Do you want us to get team eye-liner tattoos? Do you want me to try my hand at a new build? (not a chance?) Do you want sneak peeks of the mountain house or just big shocking reveals??
We wish we could sit at a big giant table with all of you and have a face-to-face discussion about your thoughts and desires, but obviously, an internet survey is the next best thing. We are starting out the year on a team retreat up at the mountain house to brainstorm and plan content for the year on every platform. The whole EHD team is headed up to join me tomorrow so the more we hear from you the better (and thank you so much for weighing in).
Happy New Year, and here’s to what we know is going to be an amazing, exciting and just plain fun year. xx