We’re so happy to introduce you to November’s featured Blogger of the Month, Shannon.
Shannon and her husband Dean’s blog, AKA Design, is all about creating a beautiful home and a beautiful life, all while keeping things simple.
Read their blogging story to see how Shannon and Dean have found their blogging dreams and success and what their advice is for other Canadian bloggers.
1. Tell us about you and your blog and why you chose to blog about the home and design.
My husband, Dean, and I founded AKA Design in 2010 as a way to chronicle the renovations we were doing on our home at the time, a run-down, war-era bungalow. Since then, we’ve renovated another house and moved again. Funny how three teenagers will make you outgrow a house in a hurry!
Over the years, we’ve shared MANY posts. Mostly they’ve been about DIY projects, stylish crafts for your home, and simple yummy recipes. As AKA Design has grown, we’ve added a few talented creators to our team. So you’ll see other authors on AKA Design too, as well as others who work behind the scenes. It’s our genuine heart’s desire to provide amazing content that will encourage and inspire others to do their own thing. AKA Design is about creating a beautiful home and living a beautiful life.
2. How do you stay inspired to create content for your readers each week?
I look at a lot of pretty pictures and try to spend time weekly in pretty places. I love other blogger’s work, some beautiful retail shops, and very talented creators. There are definitely times where I feel less inspired. But that’s usually when I get in my own head too much or become run down. A nap, a glass of wine, a magazine all help to reignite the creative spark.
3. What are some of the ways you’ve grown your audience?
Basically, we’ve tried really hard this year to make our content extremely useful. Like not just sharing a pretty room makeover or a brand’s products. But rather including steps or tips as takeaways for our readers. We also grew our blog and social accounts by posting consistently. At this point, we have a couple of people behind the scenes helping us with Pinterest and our newsletters. When the blog was young we did it all. But in order to keep it growing, we’ve had to learn to hand off some things. Just like any business as it grows.
4. Can you tell us about 3 tools you use to make blogging easier?
I’m not sure about easier but to make it better I shoot in RAW and then use Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. Specifically, to make blogging easier, I use Google Sheets for my editorial calendar, which is essential to keep me sane. I also use Sheets for budgeting and communicating specific things to my VA’s. I use a few plugins too like Nextscripts SNAP, Yoast, and Social Warfare.
5. Who are some of your favourite Canadian bloggers?
I am humbled to know and love some fabulous Canadian bloggers in real life. Christine from TheDIYMommy.com, Dannyelle from LifeisaParty.ca, Kim from KimPowerStyle.com, Lucy from CraftberryBush.com, Jamie from SoMuchBetterWithAge.com, Alicia from ABurstofBeautiful.com, Kristi from MakingitintheMountains.com, Thalita from TheLearnerObserver.com. And SO MANY more! Honestly, I could name so many more!!!
6. What advice would you give fellow Canadian bloggers that has helped you?
There are a few things. 1. Get on self-hosted WordPress asap. 2. Get Yoast SEO plugin and make sure you get a green light for EVERY.SINGLE.POST. 3. Create pins in the correct ratio for every post and share them. 4. Collaborate with other bloggers as much as you can! 5. If you want your blog to be a business, you have to commit to work at it like one. And just like other small businesses, it CAN take a few years to make good money. It doesn’t always. There are exceptions. But they are not the norm. 6. Don’t complain about how hard it is, or how much you wish Facebook or whatever didn’t make things so complicated. Just pull up your panties and get to work! Sorry, that sounded a little salty. But the fact is that it’s not a walk in the park. It’s work. Hard work. But the beauty is, that if you’re willing to put in the work, you can do amazing things with your blog!
7. Share your favourite post right now on your blog!
Oh man. There are over 600 posts on the blog. I don’t know if I can pick a favorite. Our readers seem to love:
Thanks so much for sharing your journey, Shannon and Dean. Be sure to follow along with them. All of their info can be found below.
The blog address is: https://akadesign.ca