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Webinar: Jump Start your Design Business with a Blog

By 10/28/2013July 25th, 201846 Comments

Jump Start your Design Business with a Blog


The best way to figure out how to have a successful blog is to learn from big bloggers. Yaay that’s me! This is what Penelope Trunk and I will be doing live the first week of December 3 – 6, 2013. It’s going to be fun!


Today I make well over 6 figures as a designer and colour expert, but it wasn’t always like this. Before I started writing this blog, it was clear I was NOT a writer. It wasn’t as clear to me that I was way better off being an entrepreneur than an employee. I’ve probably been fired about seven times in my career. I was good at what I did (sales) but generally bad at politics.

Since everything I’m thinking is always written all over my face, bosses don’t like that. Happily, my clients did. They expect me to be honest with them about their house so they can have a space that they love. And it was such a relief for me to discover that I could be successful in the world and still be me.



And the best part about blogging is that I can be my own boss, live wherever I want and generate new clients just by writing blog posts.

If you’re self-employed, you need to be good at networking. I tried BNI but since I’m not fake (nothing wrong with being fake, it’s a skill that could have saved me from myself–oh right and being fired–many times) the pressure to show up with 30 leads for your group which makes many of them fake, bugged me.

It’s really true that the way you do anything is the way you do everything. And that fundamentally, people don’t change. All through school I was always the loner with one or two friends, and that really hasn’t changed much throughout my life. Which makes blogging and running my own design business a perfect job for me because I am very happy working from home, mostly alone.

Last week a big blogger wrote a post about blogging and one thing he said was that whenever he has a conversation with another big blogger it’s always fascinating, and he comes away learning something new. That’s how I feel every time I talk to Penelope. Whenever I’m on the phone with her, I try to be as interesting as possible to keep her talking longer.

Anyway, one day I told her I think the reason I have such a problem with overt networking is because is I like it much better when I’m generous with someone either with my time, money or expertise and then they feel like they owe me. Hanging out at a networking event with the purpose of meeting people that might benefit my life in some way, well I have a hard time doing that.

Penelope said “Well that’s because you like to have the power, you have to be in control”. She has a really brilliant way of noticing the obvious.

So back to the webinar. Blogging is just another way to network, but it’s way more powerful because your niche, what you’re good at, gets expressed out in the world and you can attract clients that are perfect for you.  All you have to do is write.

Live Wherever You Want


By the way, I don’t consider myself to be a real writer. I just write like I talk which is how a blog should be anyway. Conversational.

People ask me for blogging advice all the time, and usually the first thing I do is direct them to all the posts I’ve written about blogging. I have written and learned so much over the years, there’s stuff in those posts about blogging I’ve already forgotten.

And, everyone has a different learning style, I love to read and almost everything I’ve tweaked and changed and improved on my blog, I have learned from reading, but not all of us learn that way.

I have learned so much over the years from reading Penelope’s blog so when she approached me to do a blogging seminar together I was thrilled! Her blog always inspires me to write better headlines, more personalized content (stay tuned there’s a big tip here for you) and she’s been blogging for 10 years (5 years longer than me).

Some people learn by watching and listening. So if that’s you, here’s your chance to jump start your design business right now and at the same time, learn from our combined 15 years of blogging experience.

Tuesday, December 3, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST
  • Assess your personality strengths and weaknesses so you can build a design business that works for you.
  • Develop multiple revenue streams. Learn how I designed products and created recurring revenue that allows me to focus my time on what I love most.
  • Build credibility. Hear how I built my business from the ground up with nothing but a passion for design.
Wednesday, December 4, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST
  • Position your expertise in a way that will create buzz in the design world and generate revenue for your business.
  • Learn how to get media coverage that matters, and use your blog to build a client base.
  • Leverage Penelope and Maria’s proven tactics for building a following based on original ideas.
Thursday, December 5, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST
  • The online design arena is organized differently than the offline world, which is a good thing for bloggers. Once you understand how clients and revenue pass between design bloggers, you can insert yourself into the system.
  • This session will show you a tested method for developing blog posts that readers love.
  • Learn the secrets for writing the kind of content that will get clients to hire you.
Friday, December 6, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm PST
Ask your questions. Penelope and Maria will answer them!

I’ll fill you in on all the mistakes to avoid from the very beginning and how to position yourself as an expert. Blogging about design is different than regular blogging where you don’t need to show images.

Jump Start Your Design Business with a Blog


Remember in January when I told you I paid $995 for 1 hour of coaching from a top blogger? I’ll tell you one of the biggest mistakes I was making that cost me hours each month and a total of $25,000 over the past 4 years that I stopped doing immediately.  And you’ll pay a fraction of that price to get it. I see a lot of you making this exact same mistake on your blogs by the way.

Many people ask, “Maria, you started your blog 5 years ago when blogging was still relatively new, how can I possibly make a dent in blog land now with so many blogs started every day?” Well, is that true or false? What do you think? Find out in December.

PS. And don’t worry, you can watch the webinar over and over until the end of time.

If you would like to learn how to choose colour with confidence, become a True Colour Expert. 

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  • Maria,

    This is a fabulous idea – good for you! I know it will be a big success for you and Penelope – you both tell it like you see it 🙂


  • This is so wonderful. Wish I could join…since I live in Pakistan *sigh*
    But I wish the very best to you and Penelope.

  • Maria, are you saying we can attend on it online?

    I’m an interior designer working in Hungary and I would be delighted to attend on your courses but the ocean is between us… so, if it would be online, it would be so great! 🙂

    • Maria Killam says:

      That’s right. If you can’t be there live because of the time difference, they will be recorded.

  • Allyson Paris says:

    Maria, you have an uncanny way of reading my mind! If I had asked the universe for what I need right now, this course would be it. I will be signing up. Thanks so much!

  • This is a fabulous idea Maria! I am interested in possibly doing it but will not be available on a couple of the days at that time. will they be recorded if you miss one?

  • Laura Redd says:

    Thanks Maria and Penelope, I am really looking forward to jumpstarting my blog in the new year. Perfect timing.
    Laura Redd

  • Maria, I agree, this is exactly what I need right now. I’m very excited, and will be signing up immediately!

  • tara dillard says:

    You must be where I found Penelope’s blog. The other day I read your name on her blog, and thought you go girl. Also, belatedly, congrats for this newest feather in your cap.

    I get a lot of questions about blogging and ALWAYS send them to your blog. Your advice is the best. And, it works.

    Added something to my blog, copying you, then had to take it off. Why? Too much business. Hmm.

    For that reason, I want to take your newest class. Please, you must cover the topic of What To Do When Your Design Business BRINGS IN THE BUSINESS !

    Have loved watching you buy your home & renovate, and get married, knowing you created your own financial success while having a real life. Very happy for you.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  • franki says:

    Go tell it on the mountain!!! You shine! franki

  • Babs Loyd says:

    You’ve got the guts and deserve the glory of a well-lived life.

  • Thanks for offering this Maria!

  • Megan says:

    Am telling friends…

  • Maria – I love this idea! What if one can’t make all of the seminars? For instance, I will be on a plane for the first seminar. Will you record them?

  • This has been on my list of “need to do” for a while, excited to learn from the best!

  • Yesterday I spent a good amount of time reading your past posts. What an education, and I’m still reading. You have courage and guts Maria. I’ve thought a blog could showcase my color projects, but I also know, from listening to you, that a blog needs time and loving care to stay relevant.

    Reading about your new adventure is inspiring. Working with Penelope will be like you’re ‘on fire’, that’s the impression I get anyway. There’s going to be lots of time at the paint store in the next few months. I’m looking for that shift in my business that will inspire and excite me.

    Much success with the seminars, you & Penelope are amazingly hard workers and deserve it.

  • Nancy Alwin says:

    Maria, this sounds absolutely brilliant and really what I would like to do myself, it’s actually a bit frightening how similar my experience has been to yours stated in the first few paragraphs.
    How to blog, writing conversationally, is not my issue. What I want to learn is how to set it up, to get it out to my hundreds of past clients as well as promote it to attract more and repeat clients.
    This is what I am focusing on RIGHT NOW at this very moment.
    I would like to know if these practical aspects of creating a blog would be covered in the curriculum before I sign on the dotted line.
    Thanks so much! Nancy

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes we will cover all of that and more and we’ll have the Q&A at the end if there’s something that was missed.

  • Merry says:

    I am just in the decision making stage of starting my own business in ReDesign,Staging, and color consulting. I have to say I really enjoy reading your newsletter and blog every morning with coffee. You give me confidence and that extra boost I need. I hope to attend what looks like an amazing webinar. So many are so fake……touching only the surface with a Huge push to pay more to get the real ‘goods’ you signed up for. From reading your blogs I already know you are not like those others! Thank you so much for sharing as much as you do!!

  • Livia says:

    I will not be there in person, but this is a wonderful opportunity that I will take. Perfect timing, of course.

  • Gwen DeBruyn says:

    I just signed up and I’m really looking forward to learning from you once again!

  • Erin says:

    Do you think your webinar content could benefit bloggers outside the design field; specifically, in the residential real estate world? I am blogging for our real estate business (my husband is a Realtor), but there is a home staging component too. Just wondering…

    • Maria Killam says:

      For sure, Penelope is not a designer, she is bringing her 10 years of blogging experience to the table and combined with my design perspective, it’s going to be awesome!

  • mollie duvall says:

    Maria, will this webinar be geared specifically to people in the interior design field? I am starting personal image consulting business geared to the 45+ woman and would like to start a blog. Will there be enough general info for my purposes?

    How generous of you both to share your hard earned knowledge.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes Penelope is not a designer but brings 10 years of blogging experience to the table. . . this will definitely be transferrable to other fields. Maria

  • Kay Perret says:

    I took a VERY deep breath. I thought about where I want to be vs where I am. I felt the fear. I jumped.

    I’m registered!!

    Thank you Maria, for being an inspiration.

  • Susan@Susan Silverman Designs says:

    Is this a good webinar to take even if you are not planning to write a blog? On vacation in Europe and have limited Wifi so I wasn’t able to read through your whole post. Hope you will still have room when I get back if you think it’s a good idea. Xo

  • Farha Syed says:

    I’m definitely Signing up – I’ve been waiting for this webinar. Thanks Maria.

  • Dimi says:

    Oh wow…. Two of the smartest, toughest, most interesting bloggers and my two personal favorite personalities out there, join forces. I’m thrilled! You go girls!!!!!!! Amazing!

  • Barb says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!! You both are my favorite bloggers, I am so glad you have joined together!

  • Desiree Larose says:

    Fantastic idea, I will try to clear my calendar to join in on this opportunity 🙂

  • Max says:

    Goody! I won’t be able to listen to the webinars live (I almost said “alive” 🙂 ) but I’m happy to see that I can watch it once I’m back from my 4 full day training sessions in San Diego!

  • Scarlett says:

    Will this seminar be specifically geared towards gaining momentum for a design business only? I am working towards expanding my blog and services, but it really won’t be a colour consulting or designing business.

  • Karen J says:

    Sounds like a great idea! I’m not a blogger just a bloggee (i.e., I read them not write them, LOL) so I won’t be signing up, but good luck!

  • Goldie Stetten says:

    Will you be teaching the mechanics of blogging? Creating the links, tags and the copyright rules are things that I have no idea how to do or the rules. It’s the mechanics of it that I do not understand. I have so much to learn, it is intimidating to say the least but something I would love to learn and create. My husband is a successful home builder and I have been decorating his models for years.

    • Maria Killam says:

      This is a great question Goldie, thanks for posting it. This webinar will make you comfortable with the technology. A lot of people are overwhelmed with the idea of how to start a blog, what software to use, etc. We’ll show you how the technology is actually not an issue at all. The hard part of launching a design business from a blog is knowing what to write. Using the technology is easy.

  • Linda Leyble says:

    Hi Maria…I will probably sign up. I have always loved your blog and your style, so anything you can teach me about making mine better would be a blessing. Since I already have a blog – will the things you talk about regarding starting a blog be redundant for me? Will you be covering “Making your Blog Work Better?” – i.e. increasing traffic, attracting local customers, the best keywords…subject lines…creating products, ebooks for additional revenue? Those things would be helpful to me.

    Re the “ebooks” thing, I had downloaded one of yours and it was immensely useful and engaging. Could you cover the best way (and easiest way) to create an ebook – and what software you use so someone can easily download and pay for it? And what precautions you take so that it can’t be easily copied. That would be so helpful to me. I have some ebooks written – but stymied as to how to create a good looking PDF and the software to enable it to be paid for and downloaded.



  • Ashley says:

    Hi Maria, This course sounds really interesting to me but I am looking through a beauty and cosmetic (eventually image consulting) lens. Do you think I will still find it beneficial even thought I am not in the ‘design world’? An artist is an artist right?? Let me know what you think.

  • Ashley says:

    Sorry Everyone, I just actually read and found the answer to my own questions, I will be signing up for this. Cannot wait!

  • Ya know…you just can’t get enough of Maria!!! I’ve been to the color training, now this, what’s next???? She’s probably thinking….I LOVE that girl, Cha Ching!!!

  • Beth says:

    We just finished the last class. My head is spinning! I’m thankful I can type fast (used to do medical transcription), so I was able to take a ton of notes. Penelope talks SO stinkin’ fast! lol.

    Thanks so much. Looking forward to the next one!

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