We continue our “Social Marketing Stars” series with Timothy Dahl, founder and editor of the popular DIY blog, Charles & Hudson. As you may recall our series profiles individuals, companies and other organizations in the industry that have found success using social marketing.
Dahl has devoted the last four plus years to Charles & Hudson. He currently oversees every aspect of the blogs growth and development, including editorial content, graphic and web design, advertising and business development. The blog has quickly become the leading voice among independent home improvement website.
We recently had a chance to pick Timothy’s brain for some tips and learn a little more about his DIY blog.
How did Charles & Hudson get started? And what was the goal when you started it?
While working at This Old House and later ELLE DECOR I saw the flood of emails we would get from a growing and passionate community about their own projects. So I decided to tap into that community and create a place where I could share and discuss their work. At the time, user-generated content was largely being ignored by mainstream media but self-publishing was on the rise.
How have the goals changed since you started?
Our short-term goals continue to change as we grow and reach greater levels of influence, but our long-term mission statement hasn’t changed. We are focused on maintaining editorial integrity and making sure our content is not only informative, but fun for our readers.
Has your blog grown as a result of your use of other social marketing channels/tools?
Yes, but not as much in the way you might think. We do get traffic bumps from Tweeting and Facebook updates, but more importantly social media has provided us with another way of reaching our community that previously either had to visit our site directly, subscribe to our RSS feed or sign up for our newsletter. We can also communicate with our community more actively on Twitter or Facebook.
What’s the hardest thing about managing a blog? What’s the most rewarding?
Sticking to the blogging game can be tough, especially if you don’t feel like you are gaining in the short-term. But going back to the community, when we receive emails from folks who say thank you and enjoy reading our site, it makes it all worthwhile.
What resources do you use to keep the blog updated?
From an editorial perspective, seasonality is huge in the remodeling/home improvement space so we always try to meet the needs of what our community will be passionate about during specific times of the year. Twitter is a great way to check into the conversation and let our fans help guide the conversation.
Did you ever think you’d be in this position today?
Yes – I always knew our community just needed someone to listen and it’s great that agencies, retailers and manufacturers are now realizing the importance of keeping new media and bloggers informed just as much or even more so than traditional media.
Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in starting their own blog?
Go for it! Don’t pile any unrealistic expectations on yourself and enjoy the process.
Connect with Charles & Hudson:
See some of the great photos on Flickr