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Interview with Full Time Blogger – Holly Becker from decor8

holly-becker.jpgLate last week I spent a fascinating hour with Holly Becker from decor8 – an amazing interior design blog that is read by over 35,000 readers a day.

Today I’d like to share that interview with you as an example of a blogger who has made a living from blogging by building a niche focused blog.

decor8 has opened up many doors of opportunity for Holly. She makes a full time living from the blog (and also employs a regular columnist as well as her husband to run the back end) and it has led to other exciting possibilities including a book deal.

In this podcast interview Holly:

  • shares the story behind starting decor8
  • gives insight into how she keeps coming up with fresh content ideas
  • shares what type of posts work best at drawing in readers to comment
  • talks about her decision to bring on a regular columnist
  • reflects on dealing with negative comments
  • answers the question of ‘what is a conversion’ for you when a reader hits your blog
  • share how she’s built her readership
  • reveals how she makes a full time living from her blog
  • talks about her other ventures, including her ‘blogging your way’ e-course and up coming book

I love hearing stories like the one Holly shares because it’s yet another example of a blogger who makes a good living her blog (and it’s not a blog about making money on the internet!). I also loved chatting with Holly because she’s all about enhancing the lives of those who read her blog by producing a high quality and inspiring blog.

decor8.png

The interview is just on 51 minutes long so grab a cup of coffee and sit back to enjoy Holly’s insights on blogging!

here’s the podcast:

While you’re listening check out her blog and enjoy!

PS: you can grab the mp3 of this interview for later here – Interview with Holly

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. I don’t know about you – but it’s the possibility of book deal – like the Julie/Julia project story – that motivate and inspire my blogging. I love the fact that “anything can happen” when it comes to blogging. It opens up so many doors that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Thanks for sharing this interview and link to a cool site! :)

  2. Josh Garcia says:

    Hey Darren,

    Thank you for sharing this audio with us. It’s always inspiring to hear from other successful bloggers.

    Have a great day…

  3. Great interview! I really appreciate when you put up these posts to show how others run their businesses from the trenches.

    -Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire

  4. chromestory says:

    her blog looks pretty :)

    listening to the interview now ..

  5. Tyler Davis says:

    The thing that’s so amazing about the Julie & Julia blog is that it’s so ugly. Nothing but the writing could have attracted people to the blog. And one thing they don’t mention in the movie is that she cusses like a sailor :)

    I’m sure decor8 benefits from the fact that the author is really good looking hence podcast :)

  6. Jess says:

    Love, love Decor8!

    Something I aspire to as I’m in a similar niche – good to see that niche can work!

  7. decor8 Holly says:

    I’m so embarrassed! I said that I started blogging in January 2008 – ha I was nervous! I started in January 2006 not 2008. :)

  8. Really enjoyed listening to this interview! We’re fans of Decor8 and it was great to hear more about Holly’s background and how the Decor8 blog has evolved over the years.

  9. I think we haven’t heard an interview from Problogger from a long time, I always love to see inspirational stories from other bloggers. Many times when I get frustrated and think about quitting blogging, I usually read stories of others, it really helps and makes you more determined.

    http://www.dumblittleblogger.com/

  10. I can’t listen to the entire interview, only downloads up to when Holly introduces herself and blog…not sure if this only applies to me only?

  11. I can’t wait to give this a listen when I get home! Thanks.

  12. Faisal says:

    its 23 mb, it will take long to download atleast for me, any way i’m downloading, thanks for sharing

  13. Ian says:

    I’m a Psychologist by profession and have an interest in design. I’m intrigued by the online world, in which anyone can “fake it till you make it”. Holly seems the perfect example of that. She’s posted on a continuum that the blog is not about her, but to promote others. Her perennial excuse as to why she never shows a portfolio of her work as an alleged Interior Designer/Design Consultant/Sylist and myriad other “hats” she likes to wear. Increasingly the blog has become more about her, and still no body of work to showcase what she’s done for her “clients” (she has shown a very forumalic space — her own apartment). She shows a lot of pretty pictures culled from various sources who are actually professionals, and in so doing, creates a colorful blog, and a forum for what she contends is her design acumen. It’s fairly benign, given this is a topic such as decorating, but this notion of deciding what you want to portray, then feigning you are such, is scary business when it comes to areas such as health matters, etc. Sort of speaks volumes too, as to the intellectual aparatus of readership (in that they can’t separate fact from fiction). Interesting dynamics any way you slice it!

  14. Blogging has been great for me. The online community and support I have received from them over the years has been instrumental in my personal and professional life.

    The prospect of a book deal some day would certainly be a huge benefit, but even the “non financial” rewards of blogging make it worthwhile for me as an “amature” blogger.

    Nice interview!

  15. Naomi F. says:

    Hi, I’d really love to be able to listen to this interview but for some reason following the link produces very poor audio results.

    Is there another way to listen to it???

    Thanks a million!

  16. Arijit Das says:

    Wow! After a long time… I got a chance to hear an interview of a successful blogger taken by Darren Rowse!

    Whenever, i get a chance to read or hear any successful blogger’s interview, i never miss it and especially when the interview taken by the Blogging King “Darren”. This inspires me to blogg more quality for fulfilling my blogging dream… :)

  17. Listened to the whole interview!, really good!, Holly sounds really bubbly!, should have a regular podcast :]

  18. darren, thanks so much for taking time to interview a blogger in this niche! i love problogger but often feel like i need to “translate” the lessons into this odd decor/design/crafty blog niche that operates so differently from the rest of the blog world.

    THANKS!

  19. Hi, I was encouraged to drop by and listen to the interview of Holly Becker and am really interested in it, however for over an hour I have been trying to go to the link and nothing happens… Is this a problem for anyone else? I have a FIOS connection so speed is usually not an issue for me…

  20. Kelly says:

    Hi Darren– Glad you did a interview with Holly – I sometimes feel like Tara above — translating the other fields into something that makes sense for mine.

    Quick question: will you have this in a transcript form? Sounds like some of us are having a bit of difficulty with the podcast.

    Thanks!

  21. fat mum slim says:

    Two of my favourite bloggers coming together… perfect.

    That was a well spent 51 minutes and very enjoyable.

    Thanks for sharing. x

  22. Thanks for asking my question, Darren!

    Though I did just swing by Holly’s blog to check it out initially, I think it’s safe to say she can count on seeing me in the comments as I’m genuinely intrigued (as an abstract painter) by the composition often found in design.

    Anyone seen C3P0 anywhere?
    :)

  23. Wow, I’ve discovered a new favourite site. Wowie wow. Everything is so pretty!

  24. I am having problem with the audio too. I wish I could listen to it clearly. Somebody mentioned Julie and Julia’s blog. I saw the movie. Was a nice one. Her blog is nice too. Very simple.

    Regards,
    Ehtesham,
    http://mybusinesslistings.blogspot.com/

  25. Nic says:

    Hi Darren – brill interview and so glad to have found your site. I just did the e-course with Holly – she is amazing and a total inspiration. Cheers, Nic

  26. That was really interesting to listen to. I checked out decor8, and what a fantastic blog! I love that she focuses a lot on connecting with her readers. The more I blog, the more I’m learning how important this is

  27. i-Blogger says:

    Hey Mr. Rowse,

    I think that is awesome that Holly has been able to do so well for herself. I know that a blog can be a great resource for making money on the internet and I’m glad that it has helped her to become more successful in life. It sounds like she truly cares about helping others.

  28. This was a wonderful interview chocked full of so much information and exciting too. I love Holly’s blog and have been reading it since it started in 2006 when I was going to school for interior design. Her voice sounds just as lovely as it is written on her blog. I have never been to problogger before this, so I guess I’ll have to check it out now. Darren your voice was awesome to listen to as well. I love that Aussie accent!

  29. iedge kaart says:

    Hi, I think she is amazing. Her catalog of finds documented on a daily basis keeps her closely tied into the field and allows her work as a design consultant and writer to remain fresh and creative with a global perspective.

  30. KS Chen says:

    35,000 visitors per day? That’s a lot! I wish that i can learn from her too. Thanks for your sharing! It’s really motivated!:)

  31. Gaming Mouse says:

    I really enjoyed listening to the interview on the way to work, awesome. It just goes to show that you can be succesful. Persistance, Persistance, Persistance.
    Many thanks.

  32. Dan Blystone says:

    Wow. Fascinating interview. 35k unique visitors a day on a blog that is barely a few years old. What is remarkable to me is that the success (reflected in the traffic) was apparently achieved almost entirely organically. Holly seemed to put very little into marketing/promotion and almost everything into great content/blog management etc. Inspiring stuff.

  33. sayrung says:

    Great tips for a beginner blogger as myself. Thankyou!!

  34. Julius says:

    I particularly like her points on coming up with fresh content and dealing with negative comments. Thanks for sharing this interview.

  35. I podcast as well and I like how you outlined what she said. Can you do a poll on whether people want to listen to podcasts or read. I am finding that I am writing a summary of the podcast and linking the podcast to my site. Alot of double work.

    Most people I asked said they prefer skimming. So, if any of the Problogger readers read my comment (Darren too.), can you let me know if I am spending too much time writing a summary and just do what Darren did above with my own podcasts.

    I tend to keep my podcasts under 30 mins.

    Thanks for your help.

  36. Fayto Terro says:

    Boont! Overuse of the word “amazing” in the first sentence. Minus one point.

  37. I liked some of her ideas, especially the one about being a regular columnist in an official, widely read magazine. It not only supplements her income but also offers free indirect advertising

  38. Great podcast! I love Decor8. I’m with Tara and Kelly – it’s nice to see a blogger featured that doesn’t blog about blogging, marketing, or the web. It is difficult to translate ProBlogger basics to home and fashion (my niche). Nice to see a successful blogger in one of these niches.

  39. Danial David says:

    Hi, I think she is elegant. Her catalog of finds documented on a daily basis keeps her closely tied into the field and allows her work as a design consultant.

  40. Holly, this is a very nice PodCast you have set up. Your website has a very nice layout, complimenting your taste in decor most certainly. Looking forward to more guest posts!

  41. Hi guys,

    35,000 readers per day is quite impressive. I never had an opportunity to read her blog. It’s got to be good for her to have so many readers. I will have to start subscribing to her blogs.

    Kind regards,

    Sam
    X

  42. Farnoosh says:

    I really enjoyed Holly’s sincere and casual and honest voice. Good for her on learning more about photography (Darren, you can help her with that I am sure :)) and a great backstory on her beginnings. What an inspiration! I loved the interior designer whom I hired for my house and the ideas presented in decor8 are beautiful……

  43. Cargames says:

    Hi, I think she is amazing. Her catalog of finds documented on a daily basis keeps her closely tied into the field and allows her work as a design consultant and writer to remain fresh and creative with a global perspective.

  44. t says:

    Wow, very well put Ian! I completely agree!