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5 Insider Secrets No One Tells you About Social Media Marketing

By 02/08/2017February 15th, 201745 Comments


Photo by Angie Wolfe Photography

Many of you know the story of how I began this blog but I’ll do a recap for this post.

I had been reading blogs for about 6 months before I started writing Colour Me Happy over 8 years ago. Business was slow for me at the time and I was tired of the ups and downs of being a self-employed designer. You know what it’s like, when it rains, it pours and when it’s dead, it’s dead.

Well my business was very slow at the time and I was back in debt.

I found a design conference webinar on-line that cost $300 for three days. That was a lot for me (everything’s expensive when you’re in debt) so I convinced a designer friend to split it with me and we did it together. Every day she drove to my house and we treated it as seriously as though we were really at a live conference.

Then one of the presenters started talking about blogging, and how every designer should have one. Because a blog is an extension of your website and also gives people a sense of your personality.

And that was it. I came up with the name Colour Me Happy, and started writing that weekend. I wrote five blog posts in two days, this one is still in the top 10 most read posts of the almost 1500 posts that I have written in eight years.


My white kitchen – Interior Design by Maria Killam

Sure you can’t write? It’s easier than you think. 

Before I started my blog, it took forever to write a professional letter. Seriously. I needed help. I had to read it over and over. It needed to be edited by my long-suffering wife, again and again. It was truly painful.

In the very beginning of my decorating business, back when the name was ‘One Day Design’ a local journalist wrote a story on me and my business. I went to her apartment and did a little one day transformation and I remember being truly amazed at how she turned it into the article that she wrote for the newspaper.

I was even more clear after that, I was NOT a writer.

But a blog is not a professional letter. It’s a conversation between you and the reader. Take your favorite client, your ideal client, and put her/him across the table in your mind. And write to that client.

If you were having a conversation with your best and ideal client, you would never be mean, patronizing or condescending.

It’s the same with your blog.

When you share your expertise, be bossy but in a charming way, so that people get that you know what you’re talking about, but never talk down to your reader.

Write like you talk. Actually the worst thing you can do is try to be stuffy and professional.

There are a lot of posts out there where people are saying ‘blogs are dead’. But they’re not. My blog is and continues to be, pretty much the source of my entire 6 figure income.

Start your blog post with a story, then the reader can relate to you instantly.

People love stories and remember them.

The more you can weave your life into your blog post, the harder it is for other people to copy your content and the more interesting your post will be.

When you’ve written your post, read it again and look for your personality. If your post is so generic that anyone can search for the same answers and find them anywhere on the internet, keep writing, it’s not finished yet.


My yellow sofa –  Interior Design by Maria Killam

Why No one Comments on Your Blog 

I hit a thread on Facebook a while ago, where designers were complaining about the lack of comments on their blog posts. Some were so cranky about it, they had taken the comments widget right off their blog so they wouldn’t be disappointed when they opened their email each morning only to see crickets.

So here’s the thing, 95% of the people who read your blog will NEVER comment and 95% of the comments you do get, will be from other bloggers. What this means is, if you write a blog post and just sit back, waiting for the comments to roll in, well, it’s not going to happen.

For three years, every time I published a new post, I would spend another hour commenting on at least 30 other blogs. And every blogger who commented on my blog, I would post a comment back, on their post.

This is how people find your blog and this is how you start building a following.

Everyone is so worried about hitting publish on their first blog post, but what they don’t realize is that it takes a while for Google to index the post so it shows up when searched. Even your Mom won’t find your post unless you send her a link.

Now I have a core group of fans who religiously comment whenever I put up a new post. And I want you to know I read every single one. And I love every one of you for your comments!

Comments are like oxygen to a blogger so when Mary, my ‘Sister from another Mother’ in Chicago or Lucy in LA or Brenda or Paula says something particularly sweet, I email her back and tell her how much I appreciate her comments!!

My favourite mornings are after my blog has been sent out because I feel like I’m having coffee with my friends when I read the comments.


My two eBooks $37.00/each

Build Your List

Think of your best advice. What is the advice you would have LOVED to know when you first started your business?

That’s a good place to look when thinking about writing your ‘bribe report’ or ‘giveaway’.

When someone hits your website, make sure you give them a reason to stay by giving them something good in exchange for their email.

Your list is where all the money is.

The people who follow your blog are 10 times more likely to buy from you than the reader who finds your site from a google search, gets what they need from your blog and then moves on.

Your list trusts you, that’s why they are the most important.

Don’t focus on artificial ways to build your list, focus on producing great content and giving your readers value that will organically build your list.


Link to post

Stop Resisting and Learn Something New

We spent $50,000 (including travel and hotels) one year attending conferences with top gurus in the field because I seemed to be one of very few designers in my niche who sold products and webinars on-line and I wanted to figure out the system.

Ready? Here it is:

If there’s something on-line that you need to learn that is critical to your success?

Figure it out.

Get yourself trained.

Just do it.

My partner and I have written and launched webinars where we made more money in four days than I made in a year, before I started my blog. In order to coordinate the whole thing, we needed to learn three on-line platforms.

You can’t hire someone to do this for you.


Because the person who knows how to do that, is usually running their own company. None of this is that hard, but you do need to learn it.

For 5 1/2 years I took photos with my point and shoot camera and thought they were good enough. I’m a design blogger remember?

They were not. I cringe every time I click on one of my old posts now.

I finally learned how to photograph my own interiors and how to make even my iPhone photos look 100% better in Photoshop. Not only do my day-to-day photos in my posts look so much better, I have saved thousands of dollars in professional photography fees.

And, it’s not even about the money you save in photography fees. If you’re a design blogger, you’re not going to hire a photographer every time you need to take photos for your blog. Or it’s Sunday when you decide the photo shoot is going to happen, and your photographer is simply not going to be available.

Which Social Networking Platform Should you Focus On?

For the first few years of being in this on-line marketing world, I felt alone, because although there were a lot of designers who had amazing blogs, I was doing something different. I was also selling and leading colour training events in addition to keeping up with my blog.

Every day I felt like a hamster on a wheel. Never getting enough done and always feeling behind on everything, especially the marketing/social media side of things.

When Pinterest got really big, I was a hold-out for about 8 months. I thought “Really? Something else I have to figure out and work on daily?”

Then when I finally jumped on board and created an account, I was mad at myself because I realized how silly I had been to wait, since I was already sourcing all my blog images there.

Also, my number one source of blog traffic is Pinterest like it will be for many of you.

Now many of my clients tell me one of the reasons they hired me was because they loved my Pinterest boards.

This is important because you can get a sense of someone’s aesthetic by just one glance.

Instagram was the same. While my blogger friends had accounts with followings that got bigger and bigger, I consoled myself by saying “I blog more. That’s where my energy goes, you can’t do EVERYTHING right?”

Well, about a year ago, I realized that I can’t ignore Instagram either. Especially when suddenly, everyone I spoke to, was on Instagram.

I heard stories of real estate agents, who sold all their properties on Instagram. Artists who sold all their art, strictly on Instagram. That’s when I realized, I’d better get busy.

If you want to know exactly what it takes to become an Instagram influencer, read this post.


A few weeks ago, Terreeia and I had dinner with her best friends. A couple she’s known for 30 years. They run a fast food franchise business and were having trouble connecting their business Facebook pages to their other accounts.

Their question for me was “How many social media platforms do you need to work on?” I said, “Unfortunately all of them or at least Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram”.

Now I do what I can do, but the feeling of “I’m so behind” is way more in the background these days. Perhaps because I’ve been in this business for a while now and I’m used to it.

As soon as I give most people even a glimpse of what it takes to have an on-line business, inevitably they start asking ‘How do you find the time?’. If you’re passionate about what you do, that question usually isn’t the first one that comes up.

The weekend that I started my blog and wrote 5 posts, I barely slept. I went to bed at 11:00 pm and then bounced out of bed at 3:00 am because I woke up with another idea for a blog post. I had no idea that I had so much to say until I started writing.

And your platform might be totally different? Maybe you’ll be the real estate agent who sells all your properties on Instagram.

I talk about all of this and more in my Specify Colour with Confidence workshops on Day 3 when I teach the Business of Colour:

  • The third day you’ll learn the business of colour and design. I’ll share how I developed my successful business model and you’ll discover which pieces you can map onto your business.
  • What you need to do to set yourself up for success
  • How and what to charge for your services
  • How to ask for the money
  • Design has evolved to where we now source most of the items we need for any project on-line. The better you get at seeing the 9 undertones in my system, the easier it will be for you to source specific items on-line and get very accurate. “You would be amazed at how most things that arrive for my client projects are exactly the right colour we thought they would be. Just because I could distinguish, in advance, the neutral undertones in the rug, pillow, or duvet that I needed.”
  • You’ll learn my insider secrets on how I work with clients on-line, choosing and specifying colour for their interiors and exteriors, so you can add this valuable and lucrative service to your list of offerings.

The training also includes:

  • 3 days of live, in-person training by Maria Killam
  • Your own complete and extensive work book filled with useful cheat sheets, forms you’ll need for your business and information you can refer back to as you build your experience and train your eye.
  • Maria’s two e-books, How to Choose Paint Colours — It’s All in the Undertones; White is Complicated
  • Unlimited access to Maria’s “How to Choose Exterior Colour” webinar ($297 value)
  • Work with fabric, hard finishes and large paint samples during in-class, hands-on exercises throughout all 3 days. After your group has made their selections, Maria works with each group to tweak their colour selections and explain WHY each choice is the correct one

Additional Bonuses:

  • Paint colour fan decks (Value $55)
  • A $350 photography tip you’ll start using immediately
  • Catered lunch, coffee, soft drinks and snacks each day
  • Certification as a True Colour Expert™
  • Access to a graduates-only private Facebook page, PRICELESS. Especially if you work alone and sometimes need a sounding board for the endless decisions to be made throughout your design and colour consulting business
  • A Certified True Colour Expert button to display on your website

Here’s a video testimonial by one of my fabulous True Colour Experts and interior designers, Arianne Bellzaire.  I bumped into her at High Point in the Fall and she was quick to tell me that my course had totally changed her business! So I asked her to record a video for me and I’m so glad I did. It’s a beautiful video and her work and website are also gorgeous! See her website here. Arianne attended my workshop in Houston in the Spring of 2015 and she’s located in Baton Rouge, LA:


Interior design by Arianne Bellizaire

 Register here.

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  • Thanks for this Maria.

    As Graphic Designer, I’m in a similar boat. When it rains it pours, or there’s a drought. At the moment it doesn’t really bother me because I’m using this as a side job while I have a baby at home (the other one started kindergarten this year), but I know I’ll probably want a bit more consistency in a couple years.

    What I want to know is, what do I write about? Design is really not something I recommend DIYers to take on – it takes training and experience etc, and I’m also not super interested in teaching — I’m more of a do-er. It’s also easy to feel that if I DID have something I wanted to explain to potential clients/people in general, someone else has probably said it better, etc.

    I’ve done a few posts on artist artists, but again– it doesn’t seem super “on message” and life resulted in it fizzling. (Never start a series right before having a baby).

    I DO like your thoughts on how to get a blog following though. I guess it’s a bit like twitter’s follow fridays. Definitely something to consider in the future.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Christina,
      Maybe it’s Instagram for you? I recently hired this graphic artist to design my Thank you card and Christmas card for me after seeing her Instagram posts:
      Hope this helps, but you asked a good question for a future post! Thanks,

    • Gery says:

      Christina, As a Graphic Designer, I have to agree with Maria. The adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” definitely applies here, and using a visual marketing tool is likely to feel less forced, and forced is something that clients will pick up on. You might check out Adobe’s Marketing Cloud for ideas as well. Good luck.

  • Tammy Granger says:

    What a great testimonial ! I remember when I started blogging and you would leave me comments. I’m going to take your class one day…..

  • Catherine says:

    Wow, what great advice Maria. So interesting to hear about your blogging journey.
    I keep being told “you should have a blog” and analytical person that I am, it feels much easier to research the theory than sit down and write. I guess it’s a case of Just. Do. It.

    • Lesley says:

      I am the same, @Catherine, analytical, info-gatherer, etc. So what you write about is the journey and how you learned from all the info sources …. whatever you decided to move forward with. Maria mentioned that the first thing to do is visualize Your Ideal Client sitting across from you and you’re writing what you might say. So you can use the opportunity to educate your audience and take them on the ride so they understand. As a non-designer, I would want to know how to communicate with my designer, so we can work better together and I feel like s/he “gets” me. What do you need to hear to know where to start? Help me understand what you see, so I can get on the same page. Hope this is helpful in jumpstarting some ideas? Until the rain comes, of course!

  • Cindy Krauklis says:

    OMG Maria! Your post couldn’t have come at a better time! Not sure if you remember me, I am from the Fraser Valley as well and had asked you what steps to take to change my career into interior decorating. As you suggested, I just completed an Interior design program and now am looking into starting a blog. This is such an amazing source of info you have provided. I would love to attend one of your sessions! Are you going to be having one in the Valley anytime soon?! Thank you for all your help! I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning and you have taught me so much! Cindy

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Cindy, That’s so great to hear! And I’ll be holding one of my workshops in Vancouver in the Fall!
      Stay tuned!
      Thanks for your comment,

    • Irene Fraser says:

      Hi Maria:

      Great post, so informative, you are a god send to a lot of designers with your bubbly personality and knowledge and your special way of interacting with people. I have known you from the early years and knew then you were one of a kind. Great I am glad to hear that you will be doing a workshop in Vancouver in the fall, as I want to send my assistant. You are an inspiration.

  • Keira says:

    Excellent post, Maria! I love hearing the back stories.

  • Mid America Mom says:

    Thanks for sharing! I had a non design blog way back when and agree they should be conversational. Much easier that way too! Moving on. I love that you and many other designers (Hi laurel and emily!) “live” in this online space. Many consumers lead busy lives so the access at any time you want social media and yes design shows are where many of us get inspired. Increasingly many are buying more stuff even bigger ticket or used items online. Oh how I love Wayfair, craigslist, ruby lane, I buy from local facebook groups, etsy, overstock, one kings lane, in Canada good old standby is kijiji. Assistance in this space is so welcomed too. We purchased help for paint from you and it is slowly coming together. I almost sent out an emergency email yesterday to you for help on rugs … yes buying them online! I took a deep breath and started to comb through your blogs on rugs trying to figure out what I needed. Today I have at least three options sitting in online shopping carts that go with my beer budget ;-). And no I cannot do seagrass as they would be giant cat scratchers! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    I was listening to a podcast recently (Million Dollar Decorating). Laurel Bern, a NY designer who also creates paint collections was being interviewed. She spoke about how she struggled to build her blog following. And she mentions you! And what a great blog you have & how you have such a large following. I yelled at my device…”Hey! I know her!” Lol
    So, you’ve come a long way since you first started. You’ve been making a name for yourself, in this world where social media has become so important. Proud of you!!!

  • Megeranski says:

    It has been a TRUE PLEASURE to watch your business grow, as I sit on the side lines. It is really an inspiration, and, it feels like watching a friend!. You do this, through generosity, ethics and joy.

    Hope hope hope one day to meet you, shake your hand, and tell you in person how much I admire you, in so many ways!

  • Stacy says:

    I’ve been following your blog since July of 2011. Color/design/decor are still strong interests for me even though I’m an early childhood educator. And beginning this fall, I plan to homeschool my youngest which is exciting and scary at the same time. So any vocational dreams in the design world I have will be postponed. I still plan to read most of your blog posts anyway. They are informative and I appreciate your keen sense of color.

  • LaJuana says:

    I’m a long time reader who isn’t in the business, just love your aesthetics ! And your writings! You have a lovely spirit to share the wisdom you’ve learned….I’m sure you’ll be greatly blessed!

  • Lucy HAINES says:

    Maria, You continue to amaze me with all of your words of wisdom. You are one smart cookie and such a nice one at that. I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog but like some other people have said, I just didn’t and still don’t, know what to write about. It seems like I have years of knowledge but just can’t seem to articulate it. Your post has set me thinking about it again however. I will go back and re-read all of your inspirational words. I love this business so much and I want to stay involved in everything I can.

  • Judi Chevalier says:

    Maria I really enjoyed this post. You started your blog not too long after we first met and I read most of them – not as a designer or decorator but from personal interest in making our home look great. I have watched you grow and your business grow and it makes me happy to see your success.
    It amazes me that you can make color choices online. I should have consulted you before we made paint choices for our recent Reno (shared pics on fb) but it did not occur to me you could provide any assistance without being here. However i’missed happy with the color I picked. I love learning about how you managed to get to where you are
    Much love to you and T

  • Mia Hannom says:

    O, Maria, I cannot tell you how timely this post comes. In one way it gives me so much hope and I feel exhilarated, and on the other side it I feel daunted (and a little depressed – I’m sorry – not your fault) by what lies ahead of me. I’ve just moved countries and find myself a little lost and alone, having left my business of 17 years behind and having to start all over again in a place where I don’t know a soul.

    But I’ve already learned sooooo much from your posts and books, and I want to thank you from my heart. I always thought I knew how to put colours together, but it wasn’t until I started reading all the wonderful stuff you’ve written that I realise how little I actually understood about undertones and how I’ve gotten away with murder all these years. I’m sure I’ve made many mistakes, and I cringe at the thought of it. I almost feel that I’ve cheated my previous clients. Uhhh.

    However, one’s never too old to learn, and I tell my kids you can always make right what you’ve done wrong. And that is exactly what I intend to do – with my new-found knowledge and understanding of undertones.

    Just today I bought your “How to choose exterior colours” but I feel I should just close my eyes and scrape the bottom of my fast diminishing financial pot and do your Specify Colour workshop coming up.

    Thank you for all the energy you put into sharing your knowledge (and sorry for the long comment). Mia

  • Sheila says:

    Your posts are so honest and helpful! I write a career counseling blog. I started as a guest poster and now I write for an organization that I love (Dress for Success). Your advice has helped me find my voice. I truly believe “the secret sauce” in your blog is your personality! I laughed out loud at your be “bossy but kind” comment. I came to that realization not too long ago. As for social media platforms — my list is a little different. LinkedIn and Twitter generate more conversations for me, along with Facebook. I really enjoy your Instagram posts too. I am so glad you continue to have something to say! Keep those posts coming.

  • Nicola says:

    Super helpful blog…again! Thanks heaps. I’m going to print it out and spend some time going through it when I have a chance. So hoping to make it one of your fall workshops.

  • Donna says:

    Hi Maria,

    I learned so much from you–so much that I am now earning my living managing websites and doing content management. Blogging was the first step. It opened the door to learning more. Thank you for encouraging me to find my ‘niche’ and for being my friend. 🙂 <3

    Who knows? Maybe I'll be able to make a class one day!

    Your friend,
    Donna 🙂

  • Jana says:

    Hi Maria, thank you for your excellent article, this one and all of them 🙂 they are great, fun and honest!
    I read all your books, love them and would love to use your boards, but we do not have Sherwin Williams in Europe. Anyways, always a pleasure to see your color combinations, I used to be more “neutral” type, but I have much more fun now, after you inspired me with bold colors. Thank you!

  • Deb Landy says:

    Maria, continue the wonderful writing. We’re reading you out here and learn new jems with each post.
    Your class in DC was wonderful. A highlight for my 2016 year.

  • Tess says:

    Super super helpful. Thank you Maria for this post – inspiring again!

  • Carol Ann says:

    When some are touting protectionism, I love that you are so generous with your knowledge and forever educating, encouraging and supportive. It’s very inspiring Maria.

  • Adelaide says:

    That is a fabulous photo of you in the pink sheath Maria. I must have found your blog very early on, a serendipity find! You have a great chatty style of writing, and you’ve always been very generous with your advice and knowledge. Also honest and real. You deserve all your success, you have built up an amazing business. May all good things keep coming to you and yours.

  • Syl says:

    I’m not in “the business”, having just retired from an intense job in the Engineering field. But I’ve enjoyed Maria’s blog for the past 3-4 years, and this one inspired me to respond. Why is a blog so important? Because the formal “portfolio” photos on many designer sites don’t convince me that a designer could work a small miracle on my very ordinary house. Because they don’t convince me that the designer can educate me (so that I can educate my husband, so that he will agree to spend the bucks). Because they imply the designer is limited to a particular style and won’t take my old-fashioned desires into account. A blog (and Maria’s is an excellent example) makes the designer approachable, human, three-dimensional. My advice to other designers, as a potential customer is that, while your content is important, the overriding reason to blog is to develop a friendship with your potential customers. This is what Maria has perfected hands-down. I loved a comment I read recently, that any husband buying tile “must bring a note from his wife”. Well, my rule is I’m not spending a dollar on paint until I run it past Maria. Happy blogging!

  • Cindy Keller says:

    Hi Maria, thank you for sharing your feedback on blogging and about social media marketing. I am new to the area and feeling frustrated that I am not doing enough. After reading your blog post, I feel inspired to keep myself going somehow. Thank you so much for being frank and honest about yourself so I can learn some way of improving myself to do better. I truly appreciate your blog and honesty. Thanks again!

  • Debra Van Dyke says:

    Hi Maria,
    Well you already know that I loveeee your work.

    Out of all the blogs I follow yours is the one I open first, and save each post in a special folder.

    I’ve been snowbirding for a couple of years, but we are moving full time to the Florida Panhandle.
    I’ve been house hunting on Trulia, and oh…oh…oh… every home ( EVERY SINGLE ONE) has huge color issues.
    Even the really expensive ones!

    So I’m thinking that maybe next year after we get settled into our new home, that I’m going to take your in person class.
    There I typed it…so now it is out there in the universe 🙂

    Nice post as always, thanks for the insight.

  • Patricia Kramer says:

    Dearest Maria! I remember those early days! Even that article about One Day Design…Truly it was that that changed your life. I would not have found you, and you then would have taken more time to find you niche. It is a remarkable thing you do with your blog. Personal stories ARE how women communicate, and learn best. The way you weave your take on colour into that blog is why your readers, like me, look forward to every single one. You obviously know I am a big fan, and always have been, which is why I continue to recommend you to designers and those who want into the interior design business EVERY DAY. You have worked very hard to have success and it is well deserved. Keep it up! We all need you!

  • Thank you for this post. It is just what I needed to read. I believe it’s time for me to take your course again, it’s been over 4 years. Sounds amazing.

  • Lorri says:

    Maria, you’re a great writer!!!

    I LOVE looking at people’s Instagram accounts! One thing I do for fun when I have time, is pull up an Instagram location of someplace beautiful. When I see a business that added a photo to the Instagram location, many times I will click onto their Instagram too. Could be a restaurant, hotel, furniture/antiques shop, designer, etc …

    For example, there is a particular location in the mountains that I look at all the time. Because a lot of couples get married there, you will see a lot of florists on the Instagram feed. Since the location attracts incredibly artistic work, it’s fun to leave the location Instagram and go look at the florist’s work. I can see how they get a ton of business that way. With Instagram, you can look at someone’s work very quickly.

    I have also looked at interior designers on Instagram. It’s sensory overload, but of the best kind. And you really get a sense of someone’s design aesthetic when there are only photos to look at, which is all Instagram is. It’s very pure that way.

  • Christina says:

    Where did you learn or get information on photographing interiors? I follow a photographer because he has excellent advice on lenses and composition, I asked him about interior photography and he sent me info on two real estate photographers he knows. Very nice of him, but not what I need. Totally different type of interior photography.

  • Carol says:

    Thats a great picture of you at the top! Are you ever going to have 2 day seminars for people
    who aren’t designers?

  • Laura M says:

    “Don’t focus on artificial ways to build your list.” I so agree with that. The other day I followed a link from Pinterest, I think, that promised to give the secret to saving a lot of time loading and unloading a dishwasher. When I went to the site I found out I had to sign up for the mailing list in order to find out! It really ticked me off and I actually said out loud ‘what a cheap trick!’and deleted the site.

    • Lorri says:

      Oh, Laura, I agree! That is a cheap trick.

      Whenever I get a web site that pulls something like that, I just click away in disgust. It tells me they have so little confidence that they have something of value, that they have to trick people into giving them their information.

  • Candice Hill says:

    Hi, Maria…You know, it doesn’t seem to matter, what you are talking about, it’s always interesting to me! I so love reading about anything interior design, but you have always been my favorite! Ever since, a friend told me about your blog, back in 2008, I’ve been hooked. You have so much to offer! Just felt like giving a hug! And thank you! Candy 🙂

  • What a great post… or should I say, “another GREAT post!”? I love that you graciously share information that takes years for you to glean. You talk about being “bossy in a charming way”, but you are also charming in a generous way. Maria Killam = GENEROUS.

    I also ADORE Arianne Bellizaire’s video, everything she said is true and the video is beautiful!

  • Sharon says:

    Love this post Maria. I have been following for a long time but do not always send a comment telling you that I used your advice and how it has always turned out good for me – but maybe I will start doing that! We all want the encouragement and you are no different! Thanks again for your great Blog!

  • Brooke says:

    Hi Maria,
    Great post, thank you for sharing that valuable info! I took your seminar in November in N.J., I learned a ton. I have started to learn more about photography online, but there is so much out there it can be overwhelming, and I find I am doing more research on which course to take then I am learning. How did you learn about photography?

  • charmaine says:

    Hi Maria, great article that one can learn from.

  • Joanne Michael says:

    Maria, thank you again for being an inspiration. I love this very thoughtful post. Your willingness to share your experience, wisdom and generosity is much appreciated.

  • Incredible content and advice, as usual! I am a photographer growing my business, this article gave me some valuable things to add to my marketing and online workflow. Thank you!!

  • Donna Smith says:


    My husband and I retired 17 years ago and moved to SW Pennsylvania. We built our dream house – ourselves – with only help with concrete, roof and HVAC. A year ago this past December wasps blocked our SS chimney and it burned to the ground, or more accurately into the basement. Total loss. I mean EVERYTHING. I originallly was planning to duplicate my house down to the style and colors, with only a slight modification to the 2400 sq. foot floorplan. After a short while I decided to start over and make it new and fresh. I stumbled on your blog and little by little learned so much about color, undertones, neutrals and yes, trends. It has helped me keep my mind busy and my outlook upbeat and I look forward to each new ‘episode.’ My house is a pale silver grey with white trim, dark blue shutters and come spring a cheery yellow front door. My main focus has been on centering everything around my new kitchen – Icy Avelanche Diamond cabinets, navy island, oak laminate floors and greyish blue walls. And lots of white and yellow accessories. At our age we’re not worried about trendy or even timeless, I’m just hoping to have a fresh bright home to finally come home to in a few months.

    The purpose of this comment really is just to reach out to you and thank you for your very helpful and fun articles and inspiration. Sincerely, Donna

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