How I got featured on Apartment Therapy
OK! So I tried to google this when I first set my eyes on getting a feature on this coveted website. And guess what. I didn't find anything. I've taken it upon myself to write a blog post about it with some tips and tricks I got from others in my home decor community. I couldn't have done it alone. My hope is that this blog post will help some of you navigate submitting to big blogs and in particular, Apartment Therapy.
Before I start, I want to say that I love home decor and it is my hobby. I am not an expert or a professional Instagrammer, blogger or influencer by any means. I am a regular person who decided to shoot for the moon. And you can too.
Here is my submission.
First things first, do your research
The first thing I did when I knew I wanted to submit my house for a feature was to look through recent submissions and features from others. I read their work and observed their style and aesthetics. I wasn't looking to compare my home with others, rather I wanted to see if there was a trend or writing style that was favoured.
Now, I'm not saying to change your writing style or how your home looks like. Far from it actually. They want your unique voice and home to be featured. However, if you notice that a home that was similar to yours have been feature, chances are they may not pick you right away because they want variety for their readers. So timing it, I think is key. That doesn't mean you shouldn't submit if you have a boho, plant filled home and something of the sort was already submitted. It may be that they loved your home but will wait for a period of time before they would get back to you.
Next, take good quality photos
I am not a photographer nor do I own a decent camera. My last camera I got was purchased before Instagram was even a social media platform. Everything I post is with my iPhone camera and that did not cut it for a publication.
If you are a photographer or a hobbyist photographer, I think you can get the job done yourself! I am just not technical at all when it comes to taking photos. I know how to style a home and create a great shelfie but capturing it was not my forte.
That was when I reached out to a local photographer, Janet Kwan, who I noticed was following me on my Instagram account. It was a fortuitous partnership because the timing was just right. She was looking to expand her portfolio, particularly in the interior section at the time and I had an interior that needed photographing. We admired each other's work and we felt like our styles would work well together.
It was a true pleasure working with someone who had a keen eye for beautiful vignettes and moments in my home and I truly love her style.
Now having said that, I know that it was not a given when I reached out, that a professional photographer would want to collaborate with me especially if our styles or our goal did not aligned. Be prepared to reach out and pay a fee for their work because they did study their craft and you are hiring them for their time, talent, skill, editing and equipment. (And probably a whole lot more!)
If you plan to hire and work with a photographer, find someone whose work you love. Be sure to inform them that you intend to use their work in publication and remember to credit the photographer.
Now for the words...
As for writing, I found that all the submissions tend to have a hint of personality from the home owner which explained and gave insight to the design choices and their approach on the philosophy of home.
Think about what sets you apart and what makes you unique that will be interesting to read about. Are you a traveler that collects things around the world? Do you a lot of family mementos and have a special way of displaying them? How does your space work for your family and your lifestyle?
People who read these blogs are looking for inspiration and want to relate to your home so that they can do something similar. You want to endear yourself to the readers and not because you want them to like you but you want them to understand why you home the way you do! And it's so much more impactful when we get to know who you are in relation to your home.
And it never hurts to be sincere and true to your own voice. Authenticity and a genuine love for your home will shine through and it draws people in. Tell us why you love your home and maybe the editors will see it too.
Last but not least, be professional. Make sure that your submission is free from grammatical and spelling errors. Read your piece as you would a blog reader and adjust if need be. Look for inconsistency in your delivery.
Make sure your pictures are crisp, well edited and of good quality. Your submission should fit the level of professionalism as the blog you are trying to be featured in. So clean the house before you photograph it! It may mean moving things around and staging a bit for a good looking photos but you'll have fun.
Ultimately, you ought to try to eliminate as much work for the editor as possible. This will increase the chances of them clicking publish to your post because you make it easy for them.
And guys, it's ok if you don't get published. Keep trying and submitting to other publications. But know that your success and the love of your home does not diminish because you don't get chosen to get on a blog.
The first time I submitted to Apartment Therapy, I filled in the questionnaire but didn't hear back and I resubmitted my photos with professional ones by Janet Kwan. But I knew that whatever happened I would cherish the photos and I was proud of the home I have designed. And at the end of the day that's all that matters.
I hope this article was helpful to you guys. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer them here. And if I had forgotten anything or you have helpful tips as well please share them down below!
Thanks for reading!