Editor platform Houzz Elena Abrosimova about the device version, but also about why publishing is beneficial to teach the experts to write articles yourself. Two years ago in Russia about the interiors wrote only journalists or journalists under the guise designers. Houzz came on the already busy market and has done it all differently.
The content along with professional journalists, designers and architects. This approach helped the site grow to Houzz covers popular online publications about business —some articles reach 400 thousand views, and rare material to read at least 10 thousand times. We write for all who build, renovate and equip the building. Article is one of the five components of Houzz along with forum topics “Photo”, “Shopping” and “Search expert”.
First of all, Houzz is a service platform that will meet the designer and potential customer, so the article needs to educate and shape the sites reputation as a reliable source of information. For example, we do not publish the visualization and only write about projects. And articles cooking for us, not only journalists, but practicing designers.
Every week on the website published 22 publications, approximately 100 per month. By volume, it is like a full magazine on interior design. On average, over the “room”, that is, from one payroll to another, working 45-60 people. Of them in the state and in the office are the only two people. Proofreaders, editors and writers we have on remote.
As the editor-in-chief I am responsible for the development of new formats and execution guidelines headquarters. I also work with texts by designers who are copyrighted material, bought journalists materials in the genre of “tips and ideas”. My colleague Elena Igumnova, the second staff member, looking for new architectural projects and organizes their shooting.
Writing for us 150 authors. This does not mean that they write to us at the same time. Everyone has their own rhythm. Someone writes once in six months, and someone gives 16 articles per month.
Designers and architects usually do one article a month or one article every two months. With staff and authors communicate via email, Skype and on the phone, have a General chat in Telegram. Work with designers to build using “Google Table”, where each “booked” the topics we discussed. For the most active authors there is a Board in Trello.
About once in two months to meet the authors in the Houzz office and drink tea with bagels, stormin themes. All articles are written and edited in “docs”, there is also a separate file, where the authors propose topics. Every author himself illustrates his own article. Collect all the photos and uploads it via our admin module to check.
To become our author any person with expertise in architecture and interior design — we are constantly hanging vacancy freelance writer editor. Authors often come to us directly from the site. Under many articles published invitation to write articles for Houzz and send projects.
Another powerful source of new authors category design-debate. Every two months we organize a poll. Send a list of 8-12 controversial issues a large number of professionals (on Houzz more than 30 thousand). In addition to questions are usually written. “If you want not just an opinion to Express, and to prepare original articles on Houzz — write to the editor”.
Then ever shaft applications. Articles are planned and published through the admin panel. Through it, designers download and offer us to publish their projects.
In the traditional version, there are Executive Secretary and editor. The Secretary monitors the deadlines and chasing photographers, videographers, proofreaders. We do without a Secretary and without a mess because we have all the planning is configured in the admin. Editor who picks up the pictures, we dont need, because the artwork always brings the author of the article.
No pictures article could not load in the admin area. Of course, control edition of six-eight people on salary cheaper and easier, but for our purposes, the remote model is justified.
The content we create for journalists who have been writing on interior themes, and designers who have huge expertise, but no journalistic experience. In design and interior magazines usually. A journalist interviews the designer and wrote for him the text and then agree and prints under the name of the designer. We also do describe interior projects.
Go to the survey and interview, prepare the text, we agree. But if we are talking about the article-the Council, journalist is not always able to do detailed stuff, just stretching the recorder to different people. Much more interesting to give the floor to architect.
He usually talks about what the journalist will never even know to ask. I call it the articles about “things that are not yet included in the circle of your concepts”. It turns out it seems to be an article with the title “how to do something once”, but in — universe examination. Writing designers feature all 14 sites Houzz.
According to our internal guidelines, at least a third of the texts should be written by practicing designers personally. When we first launched the news part, I was in a light shock. In Russia it is not accepted. Try to arrange with the designer for an interview, check.
And then, make it so that he became the author of the text. Wrote in time, he illustrated. Asked colleagues from the us office. “What I have to offer to designers so they went to us to write?” I replied.
“The Name Of The Houzz”. Oddly enough, that was enough. At the time of launch of the Russian website, the American version was 100 thousand unique visitors a month from Russia. Designers come to us Houzz for ideas and inspiration, it was a website only for their own.
When we opened it to the public, there were a lot of unhappy. I remember launch day, I received a notice from Google Alert. One designer wrote in his Facebook that the Russian Houzz is about as similar to us as Mikoyan sausage on a Burger.
All this, of course, were not related to the articles, and the fact that the secret club was suddenly open. Any person not of the profession now could go and get information. Plus world famous brand is that all professionals about us already knew. Any designer with whom we launched the “Articles” section, I didnt have to lecture about what Houzz.
The journalist, in a sense, goes in a circle with the themes. The professional writes that it was painful. For example, the fifth client in a row talks about how our daylight kills the beige interior and it looks cool why only in the South of France.
Or designer made 150 projects, each sofa was not against the wall, and it turns out to be hiding a whole philosophy. When designers come to me with such topics, I wonder how the authors immersed each in his. An interesting story can be born only if the man himself suggested, when he had matured in the process.
Designers prepare the material completely. From idea to illustration. They come up with the topic and prove to me its importance, fill in the drafting application, we argue about the meanings, about why this is necessary, together make up the structure of the article. Then they write a text, any literary slaves we have no.
Many designers cool you know your topic, the text they shed, but they do not understand the problems the average person. I help them to make the text to translate their professional language into the language of ordinary people. For designers, writing is hard work, but the result I get ready to edit the material.
All the facts and statements in the article should be supported by reference to authoritative sources. We conduct a minimal fact-checking (accuracy of writing the names of dimensions), but do not do “scientific editing” in the magazine sense. The authors are responsible for ensuring that their publications were given the right information.
Gross factual errors, if you wrote a professional — a rarity. And if they pointed to the readers, the author goes in the comments proves my point. We warn about this immediately. To submit an article and remain silent is not an option.
To become an author, you perform a test run job. After that we introduce the author with the editorial policy and give access to the extended version of the custom admin panel, where slightly wider than the formatting of the text.
Realpolitik is rules text, which we adhere to. From finding interesting topics to the style, flow and registration of finished material. So we write it for yourself and please write everyone who wants to publish articles in our magazine. Realpolitik I was subject to the requirements of our international edition of Houzz, many took Maxim Ilyakhova from his website with a selection of remstandart various publications.
Helped his own Realpolitik in the publication “T—W” and the standards of the magazine “Delo”. A guide to the development of negativity in the comments shared with me Yan Khatskevich, the editor of the site Drive2. The first text is always a pain. We didnt have the author who surrendered would be the perfect material the first time.
Its okay, we are ready. Writing can be taught many. Most importantly — expertise and ability to explain your thoughts. Unfortunately, some authors using three versions of the test tasks have to refuse.
On average each month, with a trial task successfully manage two or three new authors. We “showcase” editable text and explain in detail all the mistakes, explain why it did so and so — and- so. The second article is easier and the third time the designer was already writing at the level of the normal journalist.
Designers it becomes easier to create articles, and it becomes easier to work with them. It is not a painful month of edits, and three or four days on the article. After the first article the author writes about what it grieved. The fifth sixth article, he does not know what to write about next — kind of says it all about what they wanted.
Further, if I feel that the person is able to explain, for example, plumbing can offer him the theme itself, but try to stick to it and not to do it. It is more correct to assign the call to a Skype, to talk, to twist together the experience of the designer and often is five the following topics. “I never thought someone could be interesting,” I hear on such calls.
In the interior of the media as it is not accepted to pay the designer. It is clear. The main work is done by a journalist who writes a beautiful interview and then go over the layout in the wording. We all wrote the designer, he passes through all the circles of the editorial preparation of the material, he illustrates the text.
We are almost the first in Russia began to pay the designers for the article. We are getting the same as and novice journalists. Articles should be specific so that the reader could recognize themselves and their own problems. Should be no theories, just practice and a fact of life.
The Internet is full of texts of “what you see is what I sing”. They are not interesting to the reader, he looks for practical information. When you offer a person to consciously save, it will likely shoot better than the interior for three-story mansion on the Arbat area of 800 m2.
The interiors, which cause envy, will not come. People read something that you can try on, decide what you can do exactly the same. Need something to inspire them to make repairs. The main idea of articles Houzz — live at home with dignity and the means to know how to distinguish the good from the bad, take decisions and responsible for the result. Trust the professionals and save consciously and not at the expense of quality.
Sensibly evaluate your life and its possibilities, look at the best examples, get inspired by and seek your own path. Be a Creator and leader — dont wait for communism and winning the lottery. We dont know “how to make money in the same apartment or the same repair,” and not trying to teach readers.
Dont raise such issues and not supported them in the comments. When a person has a question, for example — “how to lay tile in bathroom”, — search engines give a lot, but its really useful information — zero. Copywriters rewrite each others false statements, and the user still no answer.
We are looking for topics that are wrong to write on the Internet, and tell the truth. There is the opposite situation. Topics, about which no one asks in the search, but this does not mean that there is no problem. Maybe people just dont guess, say that it is impossible to plant a lawn on a wooded plot of.
Such topics often come from designers. Once a week on Thursdays passes architectural Board, where we discuss projects that are sent to designers for publication. When choosing try to avoid overly luxurious objects and those that are not can be considered an example of good taste. If the project passes the Council, we put it on the website for free.
Every day we publish one Russian project and take only the realized objects. In the designers portfolio typically 75% of shooting is renderings and visualization. We do not write articles based on them, because the reality is, as a rule, significantly different from rendering.
Some designers still have their first shooting in paper journals, because I want to be published for a portfolio in glossy magazines like AD or Elle Decoration. When negotiating with a potential customer they want to put on the table not a laptop, and a beautiful magazine with his project. Print journals are still necessary for the reputation, but the following material on Houzz designers have orders. Our next task is to make publishing reputation Houzz is the same thing as the paper edition.
Houzz deviated from the standard descriptions of interiors in the style of “pictures and list of moves”, we try to be show people and their stories. For the section “Houzz” our journalist suggests in the habitable parts of the house of the person.
Not necessarily that it was interior design, but it must be done with the soul, and owners willing to share every plate that they brought from home. Stories about people — is that always arouses curiosity, with these stories the reader easily be able to relate to. We shoot it like it is, even the stylist not welcome. Lego childrens shoes in the hallway should be as they are.
“Guest” articles come out twice a week, and they are very hard to do. The biggest problem in such materials is not to find an interesting interior, and to persuade a person to act on his couch and to publish your name. This rule headquarters, and exceptions we do not do. There is no portrait or name — there is no reason to discuss the project.
People are willing to open all the cabinets, but do not want to be photographed. For this format we were shooting a top-managers “the Megaphone”, “Beeline”, the multiple counts — they all wanted to look like guys. As ordinary people usually do not want to appear in your Board, they say. “The house is ready to show himself not ready”. Heres our Russian feature.
On average, one article read 25 thousand people. The most popular articles were collected 400 thousand views and more. Less str gain translated articles from colleagues from other offices Houzz, the median here is 7 thousand views. On the one hand, to read these articles interesting, but the reader is difficult to relate the socket series P-44T with a house in India or France.
So its predictable. The most popular material of the “guest” is a story about how man built the house parents. At the beginning of the season, the son came to the site, demolished the old house and the new day set.
“Hold up, mom and dad, keys. Live-rejoice”. It blew up readers. Of course, people respond well to formal words.
“compact”, “compact”, “Scandinavian” or something about IKEA — this article immediately bring from 75 thousand views. But the exact recipe that shoot, we dont know. But we understand that people love when you speak to them honestly. They love to be surprised and to read stories about other people.
We try to speak the same language and are constantly looking for new formats.