gold line svg

Personal

Introducing Our New Mentorship Program (And Basically Our “Design Blog School”)

58

Well, I’m super excited to get this going – giddy even because after almost 11 years of blogging and content creation we have learned a thing or twelve thousand. Welcome to our “Design Blogger” mentorship program – it’s blog graduate school, really – where the entire EHD team will help coach a beginner or up and coming design blogger through every part of this weird and exciting job. And it is a job, trust me… Heck, it can even be a career, if you are up for it 🙂

The goal of this program is two-fold: 1. To use our skills, experience, and resources to help coach, guide, and advise an aspiring design blogger through a makeover project of their own, to set them up for success and introduce a new talent to the world. We have a wealth of knowledge that I’m frankly dying to share before I die. I’ve thought about writing a 3rd book about it, but I’d rather have the satisfaction of tactically helping individuals that I have a connection with. And 2. To share the same information that we do with this mentee, here on the blog for all of you, too. I have no secrets, and I’m happy to share in a way that will help anybody feel less alone, helpless, and crazy – possibly even confident and empowered – in this digital media field. There is always room for more great content creators and design bloggers and I’ve been so fortunate and privileged to have a successful one (due to also a ton of hard work and an amazing team) – it’s time to share the space and the partnerships with those coming up in this field.

As I’ve said before, digital media and content creation feels like the wild west and it changes every day, and sometimes you feel so frustrated, alone, vulnerable, and like you are doing it all wrong. I’m not saying we have all the right answers or that we’ve been perfect – HA – but we can certainly help guide you from our experience as well as simply be a friend with a big shoulder to lean (or cry) on. Being a design blogger is my dream job (the influencer part of it, not so much) and I truly can’t wait to use our knowledge, our experience, my mistakes, and resources to help others reach their dreams, too. SO LETS DREAM BIG IN 2021, SHALL WE??? Here’s what this mentorship will include:

Blogging

This program will focus on documenting one big makeover project that you pitch to us. Bloggers are storytellers – both visually and in written form, which is why it’s frankly not as easy as it looks. You need to be able to connect with readers through your unique voice as well as have a unique design perspective that is also relatable and educational to your readers. You are a teacher, fun friend, transparent designer, relatable writer and well, ideally someone that doesn’t hate looking at numbers or running a small business (this is why there are so many family or couples blog – it is A VERY HARD a one-person job and requires multiple types of brains).

We’ll help you from start to finish with your makeover project – how do you tell the story of your project in a digestible way so that readers connect, engage, relate, and also can visually understand your project. This will include tips on how to capture content, the formats you need to shoot things in for different platforms, and the information that readers need to know to really understand a 3-dimensional project on a 2-dimensional screen. You are a storyteller, so how you tell the story is an art and craft that has to be both unique and universal. It’s a lot – WE CAN HELP. Jess, Ryann, and myself will consult on all things blog and editorial – and we have lots of tools to help.

Social Media

Between Instagram, Stories, Lives, Reels, Pinterest, Facebook, Tik Tok, Youtube, Twitter … I mean, it’s a lot and one can actually go mad and give up trying to figure out how to manage it and do it “right”. Mallory and my team can help create a strategy that optimizes your goals in a way that is hopefully efficient, manageable, and even fun. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry, I just find that last sentence actually hilarious… One of our goals would be to help you not lose your mind but instead, drive traffic and meaningful engagement. You’ll also be on our platforms, driving traffic to your blog and hopefully growing your own audience.

Partnerships and Revenue

Ok so say you want to actually be able to support yourself, OH and even make money for your hard work? WHAT A NOVEL IDEA. Blogging can start as a fun hobby but in order to keep it up consistently, you’ll want to pay yourself at some point. This is where partnerships and collaborations come in – and our partnerships and revenue star Caitlin can help. We will help you pitch out to brands as well as help you negotiate offers when they come in. Since we’ll be amplifying your blog posts here, there is built-in traffic (like a MOTO or like Orlando’s parent’s project) and we’ll be able to leverage our traffic and resources to get you the partnerships and products that make sense for your makeover, as well as help negotiate the fees, deliverables, etc.

We do everything from product placement to large makeover stories and each one is negotiated totally separately by Caitlin who will be your coach in this realm. It’s exciting and intimidating and full of words like deliverables, assets, contracts, and deadlines. I’m making this job sound very scary (it can be) but I suppose that’s why we want to do this – we want talented designer bloggers to have the help that I wish I had had 6 years ago.

Partnerships aren’t the only way that we monetize – we have ads and affiliate links (commission). So we can help set you up with those revenue sources that can become “passive income” – I say that in quotes because nothing is really passive – it’s based on traffic, engagement, and authenticity. A lot of companies won’t work with blogs until they have a certain amount of traffic. But we are using our connections to pull strings and get ads placed and affiliate programs in place. While it might take years to grow revenue, if you want to do this as your career and not just a hobby, we can help start getting you paid for your hard work.

Design and Styling

Throughout your design process, we want to be a resource when needed to help with all things design as well as the styling for the final “reveal”. I can teach you what “styling to camera” even means and what makes a successful photograph that really tells your story and “POPS” with an audience. I can help weigh in on design if that’s something you’d like – lord knows that I need like 2 million people to weigh in on some of my design decisions… It’s kinda terrifying to put your work out there (as any of my team members can tell you during their MOTO reveals) so we want to be a resource to help you feel confident that your work will be well received.

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: portland project: the living room reveal

Photography

The wonderful Sara Ligorria-Tramp, while freelance, is offering to be a part of this mentorship program too, and help teach you how to shoot your projects – both process and reveal. Camera tricks, settings, angles, lighting – I mean, I want this too – this is so valuable. I’m not sure how this is going to work – if you are local ideally this would be in person, but if not then there might be a lot of Facetime photoshoot time happening. But photography is an important part of people really being able to see and understand your project (plus it’s important when pitching to other media outlets for press).

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: living room update – again – our new sofa, my dream floral chaise and the pop of red i always wanted in my life

So who can become a mentee? ANYONE. I don’t care if you went to college, or if you did what you studied. We are ideally looking for people who have a unique voice, passion for design, and the desire to tell great stories.

Tell us who you are, why you have a story to tell, what makes you so unique? It’s like a college admissions interview – for a really irreverent arts program – and we aren’t interested in a resume full of good grades, more a well-rounded story full of hard work, perseverance, passion, and quirk. Impress us with your tenacity, humor, and unique design or style perspective. That could mean a moodboard of your project, an essay about your life, etc. You don’t even have to have started a blog yet, or you could be 5 years in blogging once a month and ready to turn that hobby into a career. You could be 17 years old or 52. We just want to hear from people with interesting perspectives. And you’re going to need to be transparent and honest because so much about being a GOOD design blogger is about transparency, authenticity, and relatability – both in personality and style. A huge part of growing an engaged audience is them forming a connection to YOU, so this is not the time to be overly professional or cagey. Tell us who YOU are, we want to be your friend.

You don’t need to own your home, and the project that you pitch doesn’t even need to be your own – it could be your sister’s or neighbor’s (or if you have a feel-good project to pitch – some sort of charity project, you know that’s always interesting to us but not mandatory). We are going to start with one mentee, documenting one project and hoping to add more and more once we get it down.

So email [email protected] Include a note about who you are and why you want this mentorship, links to anything you have – social media, blog, Pinterest. Include before photos and description of the project that you’d like to document and why. And if you are a design blogger with decent traffic already, don’t be bummed! We are still amassing a pretty amazing crew of paid contributors and looking for a few more – so please send through a sample of your work if you are looking to contribute. You might be too far ahead to be a mentee, but we’d still love to work with and promote compelling and amazing voices and designers of all levels.

If interested your first “deadline” is Monday, September 14th. We’ll review all the applications then and reach out about a week after for an interview. I’m dripping with excitement and information. Are YOU ready for a career as a design blogger???????? And remember regardless we will be sharing the same information here as we are with the mentee, theirs will just be more tailored to them but by doing this we’ll create a comprehensive guide on how to be a successful design blogger.

Opening Photo Credits: Photo by Tessa Neustadt | From: Staging my Dream Parisian Hotel Suite with Sothebys

Fin Mark

WANT MORE OF WHERE THAT CAME FROM?

Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Comments are closed.
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jessica

I’m a little confused—how is this different than an unpaid internship? It sounds like this person will be “gaining experience” in exchange for generating content for you site without monetary compensation. Am I missing something?

I don’t think you fully understand how valuable the direction/advice is they are giving the mentee. The Photography class alone would be something sara could easily charge a lot for. And for us as readers, the fact they are documenting it here, is yes content for them but is also valuable info for us…for free! I think this is amazing and kudos to them!

Jessica

You’re making the same argument that companies who offer unpaid internships make: that the “value” of knowledge gained/experience is somehow better than monetary compensation. I’m pointing out that it is unethical to profit off of someone’s unpaid labor, no matter what the perceived value is. EHD should not use the mentee and their experience as a means to generate income unless they pay them.

Jessa

Totally agree Jessica – it is the same reason the MOTO’s always leave a bad taste in my mouth. They are generating content for the blog which EHD will profit from – regardless if it also generates traffic or exposure or whatever to their own work they should be paid monetarily. Also EHD employees have mentioned before that they are expected to do the MOTO work in their own time – that is – unpaid. Very problematic IMO. People should be paid for their work and time. With money. As you said, exposure doesn’t pay the bills.

Hey Jessa and Jessica, Thanks for your concern. Nobody has ever been required to do a MOTO. It is an opportunity and a perk not a requirement, EVER and most everyone is so excited to do it and it helps their individual brand and future career. And since the pandemic they can do them on company time but i’ve always been very loose about it just not wanting us to get behind on deadlines because people are shopping for lamps for their bedroom. And to your last point, in digital medial and especially design blogging exposure actually does pay the bills and is literally the business model of being a blogger. Exposure= traffic and traffic = monetization. If you don’t think this is a good opportunity then I suggest you not apply for it. I know that I would have been extremely grateful to have a mentor 8 years ago to help me make my unpaid passion-hobby into my career. And that is the goal – full stop – to help others navigate the career of design blogging. Not to have free content. Not to make people work for free (its why we haven’t had an intern in 9 years… Read more »

Jessa

I think Jessica’s is a great solution (the mentee/intern receives the ad revenue from their posts). I appreciate your response Emily but I stand by that exposure/advice/mentorship/opportunity is not payment. People should be paid for their work. It as simple as that from my point of view. Further down thread you mention feeling disheartened that people ‘think the worst’. I would challenge you to see this not as people thinking the worst – but people thinking critically especially in light of recent conversations on access and systematic privilege. I have seen you willing to have challenging and uncomfortable conversations, so I hope you are able to reframe the feeling of disheartened.

I’m curious if the people who have an issue with this are aspiring bloggers or just readers? Because as a (BIPOC) aspiring blogger having the EHD provide mentor/consultation services and resources at no cost would be INVALUABLE! And I think the majority of aspiring bloggers would agree. IJS <3

Seana

I TOTALLY AGREE. These comments totally sound like they are from ppl totally unfamiliar with this world. This ia a way of power sharing. And the criticims are not only ignorant, they actually harmful bc they may scare Emily and others from providing tbis much needed opportunity.

Jessica

Would it be acceptable if the mentee/intern received the ad revenue generated from the content they made that was posted on the EHD site?

To me this sounds like a great opportunity *and* a bit of a conundrum from the unpaid-internship perspective.

I suppose part of the difficulty is that (from my understanding) anyone starting a blog is already in a relatively privileged position, because all bloggers start at zero revenue and it takes a long time to get profitable, so lots of under-resourced folks can’t even consider the option in the first place.

Jessica

(Gosh there are a lot of “Jess”es in this thread)

Katie

I honestly thought EHD was going to charge money for this mentoring course.

This isn’t an “unpaid internship”. This is an outside consultant coming in to help improve and actively grow someone’s business.

Then throw in the FREE exposure to a huge audience and this is an amazing opportunity for a blogger!

Jessica

Hi other Jessica,

That seems like a reasonable solution to me!

I also agree with Jessa above–MOTOs have always struck me as problematic in regard to fair pay. It would be great to see Emily address these issues in a post–unfortunately, I’m reminded that Emily has commented in the past that she has “employed” unpaid interns and sees no issue with it.

I haven’t had an unpaid intern in like 7 years and even then I think it was Tessa who I started paying pretty quickly right after. I have actively NOT had an intern because I find the idea problematic and believe that people should get paid for their work. Last year I had a college “intern” (a neighbor up here who was a senior in interior design school) that got paid far above minimum wage when she just wanted college credit. I’m happy to write a post about it because I have a very clear past full of fairness. xx

Jessa

I think Jessica’s is a great solution (the mentee/intern receives the ad revenue from their posts). I appreciate your response Emily but I stand by that exposure/advice/mentorship/opportunity is not payment. People should be paid for their work. It as simple as that from my point of view. Further down thread you mention feeling disheartened that people ‘think the worst’. I would challenge you to see this not as people thinking the worst – but people thinking critically especially in light of recent conversations on access and systematic privilege. I have seen you willing to have challenging and uncomfortable conversations, so I hope you are able to reframe the feeling of disheartened.

Gordana

Well, I think that’s not the case here. The mentee will do the work for their own blog, not for EHD. EHD is offering to help them atract traffic to mentee’s blog, and in order to do so, they are offering their huge platform they already build with their work! In a worst case scenario, even if you want to look at things as compensation, let’s see what each side brings to the table: a start up blogger who is free to get paid for their work through his/hers own channels ( blog, ads, partnerships…) and would have to do the work in order to make some money of it anyway – and a mentor who is offering his/hers time, knoledge, resources, partnerships… free of charge ( let’s not forget that these are all things people have to pay for! ) to help a mentee to get an opportunity to earn even more money for his/hers work – so if it’s an conpensation it is a very very fair one for the mentee.

Alyce

It’s funny that you read this and thought that it was a way of getting unpaid labor. When I read through this post, I actually thought this was a service EHD was going to charge for. Like a consulting wing of EHD.

thanks Alyce. it is 🙂 free consulting to help grow someone’s career. thanks for noticing.xx

Adrienne

It’s different because of who owns the assets. Typically the work (assets) produced by an intern + company are owned by the company. The work produced by a consultant + client is owned by the client. Obviously it’s more valuable to be the asset owner because then you can go on and monetize those assets however you want. It sounds like the mentee blogger will own the assets produced during this relationship: photography, partner relationships, strategy docs, optimized blog & social channels, etc. When we (rightly) criticize unpaid internships, it’s because they exploit workers by extracting value from their labor without compensating them fairly. Since EHD is performing the labor and the mentee blogger owns the assets, this seems to model a consultant + client relationship where EHD is donating their labor with an optional content-for-distribution value exchange. That is substantively different than the exploitation inherent in unpaid internships– in this case the blogger owns the all future monetization on the work they do together. This is not to say that good-faith orgs like EHD must be beyond question. I think there is a valid debate over whether content-for-distribution exchanges can creep into exploitative territory (like MOTOs or the proposed… Read more »

Indeed and you are right re usage and assets and ownership. thanks for getting it. we are excited and are literally trying to do the opposite of exploitation. Its so disheartening to live in a world that thinks the worst when you are trying to do the best. xx

Lisa

OH SHIT THIS IS SOOOOO COOOOL!!!! Its not for me personally, but I am SO EXCITED THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS and I think it is such a wonderful idea to use your platform and your privileged position to help raise up others! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful – thank you so much for being amazing!!!

This is incredible and such an amazing opportunity!! :: starts drafting email immediately ::

Gah! How exciting!!!! What an amazing opportunity!

Claire

Oh bravo, EHD, bravo. A fantastic opportunity for the right person. You are all putting your money where your mouth is.

Lindsay

I think this is super cool. I hope the mentee you select is a blogger of color!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

I suspect that is their intention and they are just not announcing it as such. 🙂

JayNay

yes I was thinking the same thing. I hope this opportunity goes to a person of color.

Rusty

That’s what I hope too!

Ariana

Another reason why I love this blog so much! You are so generous and caring! It will be fun to watch you make a new blogger successful and I am so excited to get the lessons too! Thank you!

Bre

This is incredibly generous and thoughtful. I’m very interested. You’ll be hearing from me!

Reanna

This. Is. Brilliant! And I’m so excited for whomever you select! I’m also buoyed by the philosophy you’re pursuing here; this is a HUGE investment of time and energy from you and your team, but it is MEANINGFUL that you’re sharing your resources, your connections, your power. Wonderful stuff.

Allie

“Unpaid internships lock out millions of talented young people based on class alone. They send the message that work is not labor to be compensated with a living wage, but an act of charity to the powerful, who reward the unpaid worker with “exposure” and “experience.” The promotion of unpaid labor has already eroded opportunity—and quality—in fields like journalism and politics. A false meritocracy breeds mediocrity.”

― Sarah Kendzior, The View From Flyover Country: Essays by Sarah Kendzior
https://sarahkendzior.com/2013/05/04/unpaid-internships-and-the-politics-of-privilege/

Katie

I agree that unpaid internships are grossly unfair and discriminatory towards people who are unable to work for free.

But this is not an “internship”. This is an outside consultant coming in to help a small business owner improve their skills, providing additional resources, including education, expert advice, traffic, revenue and exposure all for free.

Most outside consultants charge for their knowledge and their resources.

At the end – the mentee will have more than “experience”. They will have a brand, website, larger audience, and relationships with sponsors.

Rusty

Yes!
This is about Emily and her team SHARING YHE GOOD STUFF!
This is about making a difference IMO, rather than trying to reap any reward.
Come on, back a good thing.

Huge YES, Katie. I’m guessing anyone who calls what is described in the post an “unpaid, unfair internship” is not a blogger or aspiring blogger herself and has no idea what a generous, extraordinary offer this is.

thanks guys. indeed it is NOT an unpaid internship in any form of the word as we don’t believe in them (maybe for college credit, but still we haven’t had those). mentorship is very very different than internship. xx

Love this idea. Hope you find someone dedicated and I hope you get a lot of diverse candidates with different points of view! Sounds great.

So cool! Excited to learn from the sidelines!

P.S., As a blogger, let me just say this is an incredibly generous offering! How amazing for the mentee who gets this extraordinary opportunity!

Megan

OMG THIS IS AMAMZING!!! You all are so generous opening up your wealth of experience and knowledge and not to mention time! This would be thousands of dollars if it were in a paid course so thankyou. Can people from anywhere apply? I’m in Australia.

Rusty

Aussie Aussie Aussie….😃

Are you only accepting mentees based in the United States?

Margot

How to put an indescribable dream into words. Does this offer apply to non US residents as well ?Thank You EHD Team, writing my pitch asap !

yes! again, looking for diverse backgrounds and styles so if its not our first then we’ll keep you on record for future, for sure!

Allison Brandner

What an incredible opportunity! Way to go EHD team 🙂 I want to be a part of this!

April Briones

Hi Emily! So sorry to ask this here but on your blog post Mid-Century Modern Inspired Home where is the walnut bathroom vanity from? I’ve been looking for something like this all over!

A

I love this, so long as the monetizing of their shared work here is part of their pay!! Also, I don’t even know her (lol) but I LOVE Tiffany and her blog, Pretty Real (prettyrealblog.com). I feel like her realness and her style are a perfect match for the EHD vibe and I think she would be a great candidate!!!

This is an absolutely amazing opportunity! Wow! Thank you to Emily and your team for offering this awesome mentorship program, love it!

Alex

Love this! I’m wondering if you would also include designers who want to focus more on outside living, patio “rooms” and garden design.

Amy

I LOVE this idea!!! I think I’m too green to apply myself for the first round (I purchased a blog domain years ago that has remained empty since the day I bought it!) but ONE DAY I’m determined to get things going. I have a few amateur projects that I’m going to document and try to get my bearings, and then I would kill to be considered for a future round of mentees!! So so happy you’re offering this opportunity 🙂

Megan M

Ooooo! This is so exciting. I have daydreamed myself into blog fame. Conversely. I’ve feared the ugly side of the internet by way of exposure. I really appreciate how brave you all are to “go live” and defend yourself to the world.

That’s not a side dig on the internship convo. I love accountability and engaged connection. If you only want a design consultation, it would still be a win. The choice to be “exposed” comes with financial gain for all. I like the exploration of who gains from who on Instagram and the monetization of exposure.

And, it should definitely be a person of color.

Caity

I am really excited about this!! I think you are offering an amazing opportunity to a very lucky person. I am probably going to apply, but I know that I am going to love following along with this regardless of who you choose :). I also agree it should probably be a designer of color!!

Jill

After reading all the responses— How can anyone possibly think this is not a wonderful opportunity? It takes hard work and commitment to have a successful blog and there is not one thing about this offer that is not beneficial to the lucky recipient.
Just having someone post articles you write on a highly successful brand will help garner followers and if you can get valuable information and personalized help on how to monetize your website- well isn’t that what everyone that starts a blog want?
This offer is to assist in creating your own business —- not being an employee of Emily Henderson.
It’s a wonderful offer and I hope that the lucky recipient that advantage of every bit of help they will receive!

Thanks for being willing to champion others. Great example of women supporting other women. Looking forward to this series. Trying to soak in knowledge (especially free knowledge) wherever I can get it.

Seana

I wonder how many of you critics are actual aspiring designers/bloggers… or bloggers of color seeking support/opportunity. The critical comments feel misguided and uninformed about what drives success & challenges in this space. I am a black woman who has an up & coming IG home decor page (no blog yet bc Im overwhelmed with how to proceed on that front) and wants to enhance my work and grow my brand. This mentorship is EXACTLY what I need and I plan to apply. If your desire is to be a successful blogger (and you actually know what this takes), you know that the insight & information this will provide about everything from design to photograph, to running a business and establishing brand partnerships are exactly whats needed. Even moreso, the exposure and connections to the brands you will get here are 2nd to none. Being a suucessful blogger is all anout establishing connections. The value of a single repost or a feature on a platform like this has the growth impact of YEARS of working on your own. Thats the value of amplification- getting you in front of a wider audience… reposting and that is EVERYTHING in this world. The… Read more »

Go To Top
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]
[3041]