Perhaps you've been thinking about adding a blog to your marketing arsenal. A blog can be a powerful way to capture the attention of new prospects by conveying your personality and sense of style, showing off your design skills and knowledge, and building rapport with design fans.

Be aware, though, that you'll have lots of competition. Before you begin, you'll want to spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish with your blog.

In the U.S. alone, there are hundreds of blogs devoted to interior design and decoration, and many more that cover design under a larger umbrella that includes fashion, travel, culture, art, food and luxury consumption. Some are produced by interior designers, some by decorators, some by manufacturers and suppliers, some by builders and real estate companies, some by design and lifestyle media companies, and some by amateur or professional bloggers who have a love of design and the good life.

Don't let that stop you from adding your voice to the mix. Instead, decide what your unique contribution will be to all the chatter that's already going on out there in cyberspace.

Interior design blogs tend to fall roughly into four categories:

  • Highlighting the blogger's fabulous lifestyle (and/or that of their clients) and appealing to readers who aspire to join them.
  • Focusing on design and decoration trends and strategies, with a heavy emphasis on aesthetics, taste and elegance.
  • Catering to DIY readers who don't as yet have the resources to hire a designer, and thus building a following of potential future clients while demonstrating knowledge and good taste to interested prospects.
  • Mainly featuring products, including in some cases artwork, design books and accessories of various kinds.

Most interior design blogs, of whatever type, tend to be either content-oriented or image-oriented.

Many are hardly more than pages of images with a bit of text to orient the reader. These often feature high-quality photos of projects (or portions of projects), design and decoration trends, and products. Some designers use their blogs to show off their projects exclusively, sometimes with before-and-after photos that make the case for why a prospective client should hire them.

Content-oriented blogs also use images but to a lesser extent. They seek to add value by discussing the reasons behind trends, providing advice and recommendations either to potential prospects or DIY information seekers, and explaining why working with a designer can be beneficial.

Some designers use their blog primarily as a news and PR feature to report on projects they've completed, changes in their business, awards they've won, personal appearances, media coverage and such.

Which type of blogger should you be? It depends on your type of practice and client, your personality, whether you enjoy writing (or are willing to pay someone to write for you) or have access to a fair number of high-quality images (be sure you have permission to use them) and who you hope to attract as the audience for your blog.

Do you want to wow readers with a lot of glorious eye candy or show them how you can make their lives better through design? Do you want to use your blog to promote you and your design taste (branding), or to promote your business and your design services (marketing)?

There are a few other things you will want to consider in deciding on how to formulate your blog.

If you add your blog to your firm's website, it can help drive traffic, which can up your ISO rankings on search engines, making your firm more visible. If that's part of your strategy, you'll want to pick a name and metatags for your blog that will help differentiate your blog when users are browsing online.

Some designers include the name of the city they are located in or the type of design they specialize in as a way of helping them to stand out from the crowd or make it easier for local prospects to find them. Be sure to include a link to your blog from online directories, such as Houzz, and your social media sites, and send out an alert via email and social media when you've posted a new blog.

Finally, you need to decide how often you will post to your blog. For content-oriented blogs, you should post at least twice a month to maintain reader interest. Blogs that are more image-heavy, especially those that show off recent projects, are sometimes posted monthly or even quarterly.

Whichever you choose, once you determine a schedule, stick to it. Otherwise, readers may think the blog is no longer active.

For the same reason, if you should decide you want to discontinue your blog at some point, take it down completely from the internet. Readers coming across a long-inactive blog may assume you are no longer in business.