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What to Blog About?

What to Blog About?
April 18, 2011 John

Social Media Questions

I have been asking architects  simple questions lately about  blogging. The reason for this is two fold, firstly I am convinced that it is a very powerful marketing tool when used correctly and the second reason is I wanted to get some feed back  on their views.

I am  grateful to have a very good response to my request for help from a few architects using a blog.  I have included their response to 3 simple questions within this article.

But first, a question which has come up in conversation, “What do we Blog about?” Here is a simple list of some of the subjects Architects can write about. If you have others please let me know. Thanks.

1. What does an Architect do?

They are creative people who design. In order to design, a Plan is required to be drawn up which is represented by drawings in 3D. However, the early stages of a project begin with the Architect finding out from the client what they want. This is the inception and feasibility stage. This will enable the client to make a decision on whether and how to proceed. The following stages are set out by RIBA as a guide and they include; Outline Proposals, Scheme Design, Detail Design, Production Information, Bill of Quantities and finally Tender action. I guess this is an opportunity to educate and inform people.

2. Compliance and Regulations

A Guide to Part L of the Building Regulations includes technical issues that an Architect can interpret for a client. They will liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with Building Standards. The ‘buck’ stops with the Architect regarding the technical aspects of a project and he or she will ensure that upon completion the overall project meets a high standard.

3. Sustainability and Environmental Issues

These are just two areas which have grown in importance over the last few years and a Blog will provide the opportunity to communicate with your audience.

“Sustainable architecture is a general term that describes environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. Sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of sustainability and the pressing economic and political issues of our world. In the broad context, sustainable architecture seeks to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of materials, energy, and development space. Most simply, the idea of sustainability, or ecological design, is to ensure that our actions and decisions today do not inhibit the opportunities of future generations. This term can be used to describe an energy and ecologically conscious approach to the design of the built environment.” (Wikipedia)

Other subjects  include 3D Rendering and Modelling, Planning, Design and numerous other subjects. This taster will hopefully give you some fresh ideas for future posts.

4. Current and Past Projects

This can be a fun opportunity to ‘brag’ a little about your portfolio of projects including photos and testimonials from your clients. A good reference from a client goes a long way in marketing to convincing others they can trust you to design their new house or extension.

Well, enough from me. I hope these tips have been useful and provided you with some ideas for your Blog Diary. Let’s read what Architects are saying.

Q. What motivated you to start Blogging?

“I starting blogging (apart from being a bit of a geek) to establish myself and SNOW architects as “experts” in the field which we work and also to maximise on our SEO efforts, I’m happy with our social media efforts on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-in and blogging adds a little extra clout to our profiles. Linkedin for example has the option to link or embed you blog, so not only can potential Clients, read our testimonials they can see what we are up to and what we are saying . We tend to use it to inform and answer common questions people rather than commenting on the latest trend or regulations.”   – Dave Cornett, Snow Architects Visit Dave at MyOnePage

“I have to admit that the first reason was probably to follow the trend, the second reason (if not the main reason) was to get closer to the public and increase public awareness of architecture and design.”  – Isabel Barros, Isabel Barros Architects

 

CMM small Quotes“A need to create a better web ID, as we had none other than an outdated website. We wanted to get across the work that we do in an informal way, blogging can be more reactive and informative, our new website will have a separate blog page to achieve this aim. The main website is a tool to show the finished article so to speak a shop window but our blog illustrates the whole process involved from inception to completion of project. But generally in the right circumstances it is a fantastic way of explaining your expertise & allowing people to buy into you.”  –  Robbie Hyde, RJ Architects

I wanted to ensure that those searching for information about my business found content related to me rather than 2 other Claire Thirlwalls.

“I enjoy writing.  Blogs and other updated content rank higher in SEO than static content

It was easier than creating a complex website”      Claire Thirlwall, Thirlwall Associates


Q. How much time in your week do you devote to Blogging?

“Very little at the moment, with running a business it is difficult to allocate the time, I have however a blogging diary with subjects set out for the next few months which I intend to stick to.”   Dave Cornett, Snow Architects

“I am far from competing with professional bloggers! I try to write a minimum of two posts per month. I spend between 9 and 15 hours a month researching to the blog and writing.”    Isabel Barros, Isabel Barros Architects

“We would like to give it time every week, but this is difficult in reality.  Currently we do a once a month update at the moment.”    Robbie Hyde, RJ Architects

“1-2 hours per month”    Claire Thirwall, Thirwall Associates

Q. What, if any, response have you had to your Blog posts?

“From an analytics point of view I’m getting views of my blog posts although its not in the thousands just yet !! (I’m not looking to start an argument so my blog posts don’t present an opinion as such, hence, we get very few comments)”     Dave Cornett, Snow Architects

“I have had some very positive feedback. Many times people identify with some stories I write, other times they say the information is useful or they like the photos/styles I show.”    – Isabel Barros, Isabel Barros Architects

“We have had a lot of feedback, many people asking how we do our graphics and imagery, also numerous followers. We also utilise FB as a blogging tool as well.”    –  Robbie Hyde, RJ Architects

“Positive response from colleagues and potential clients.

Been surprised by number of views although hard to fully assess as based in Posterous but redirected to my domain so hard to get accurate numbers.  Still far higher than my sector if use Google benchmarking.”    Claire Thirlwall, Thirlwall Associates

As you can see there are professional people who are using social media and more specifically the blog to tell others about their business expertise. Why don’t you try it?