Monday, April 22, 2013

Why I Blog

I love what I do. DIY home improvement
and blogging are more than hobbies to me. 

“You have me mixed up with someone else.”

That’s what I would have said if you told me four years ago that I would be writing a blog and books.

Three years and 254 blog posts later, I think of myself as a blogger who publishes her own eBooks. I love researching home d├ęcor topics, drafting and editing my blog posts, interacting with my readers, creating unique DIY projects for home staging, and photographing whatever I think will interest people staging their own homes.

This whole blogging idea wasn’t my own. It was my adult daughter who suggested it. “Mom,” she said, “You really ought to write a book about home staging. I’ll help you get a blog up and running to sell it.” It sounded so simple.

I did not know blogging would grow to consume so much of my attention and time. Any blogger knows what I am talking about. Most bloggers work hard. The truth about blogging is that, as my hairstylist from years ago, Mister Charles, told me about my hair, “Honey, the more attention you give it, the better it’s going to look.” Life lesson.  

My daughter knows me well. She knew I would embrace the challenge of self-imposed deadlines, and of creating original copy and images. She knew how I always loved making a home more livable, more beautiful. Every house we lived in was always being re-arranged and tweaked. On a shoestring. When I began investing in real estate, she watched how I turned properties no one else wanted into hot sellers.

I always looked forward to the next flip. And I always made money.


I'm always on the lookout for ideas that will work for sellers.  

The way that hard work is fun. Although I had plenty of my own ideas, I also researched what home stagers, designers, decorators, color consultants, organizers, and remodelers had taught, and I put a more practical spin on all of that.

I added what I had learned in the construction industry, in the real estate field, in advertising and magazine editing, and in a lifetime of crafting, decorating, painting, gardening, and sewing. I didn’t pick this stuff up in a weekend seminar or online course.  

Talk about life lessons!

My home staging book isn’t a glossy, full color, hardcover book of eye candy. It’s an eBook, so that means you can access it immediately as soon as you download it. You can read it on your computer.

You don’t need a Kindle or a tablet. You can print it if you wish, but the home staging one is over 150 pages, so you probably won’t print that one.

My book is nuts and bolts advice. Maybe some of it will be familiar to you. I give you all the professional shortcuts to effective cleaning and organizing. I give you foolproof formulas for furniture arrangements. I give you ideas for filling wall space, making no-sew pillows, and creating the features that buyers want and need, that unlock your home’s hidden assets, no matter what your budget or decorating skills.

All for just $5!  That’s the price of each eBook. Talk about return on your investment!

And for the record, I don’t ask you to buy power tools or have exceptional DIY experience. I don’t send you to Target and IKEA with a long shopping list of cute and trendy accessories. What I do give you is tips you don’t find elsewhere.  

Maybe you don’t need to read the pointers on hosting a profitable garage sale. Maybe you don’t need to know tips for selling an historic home, a mobile home, or a home on the water. Well, you can just skip those sections. The table of contents is hyperlinked to every section; jumping around in this book is easy!

Here's What Others Have Told Me
"Just wanted you to know that we sold after 12 days on the market. Buyers wanted our house so much they didn’t quibble about the price or terms. What a blessing and a big relief. Thank you for putting us 'in the driver’s seat.'" – Harvey and Alicia B.
 "I’m so glad I went ahead and downloaded your book. Thanks for making the advice you give so clear and well organized.  No wasted words or self-promotion! Love that!"  -- Katherine  S.
 "I thought I knew how to stage my home because I’d watched enough HGTV. LOL. But I ordered the books anyway, because I like what I’ve read on your blog. I have to say, the book’s opened my eyes to what can be done without wasting money. These are really great ideas, ones that are practical and frugal instead of pie in the sky. I can’t hire a team of workers to stage my home. But now I know how to do it myself!" -- Paige Marie A.
"Barbara, I used your No Sew Window Treatment Book to make window coverings in three bedrooms, and everyone is really impressed with the difference they make, especially my realtor.  These rooms needed draperies bad, but I didn’t have money for anything fancy. I followed your directions for using fleece to make ones that looked full and luxurious. I didn't spend much money or time!  I’m delighted.  Thank you, thank you!" -- Kim G.
"I’ve just done a quick look though the book I ordered, and I can see that I’ll be picking up new ideas on every page... just the kinds of things I can handle on my own to make my home show better… Now, I have a new boost of confidence that I’ll be able to get the price I want!" -- Andrea K.
"My house sold the first month it was on the market, and similar homes are not selling. I didn’t underprice. What made the difference were the simple changes I made after reading your book – arranging furniture, choosing paint colors, what to hide, what to show off, cheap decor, and too many other small tips that put the house over the top. Buyers were SO happy to have found a move-in ready property." – Shelly L.
"Congrats to you on a successful staging book. I read it cover to cover and learned all I needed to know to transform my condo into something sale-able!  I made more money that I ever made." -- Samuel G.
"…Should be required reading for all home sellers. I recommend it to all my (real estate) clients. Makes my job so much easier." Kelly M. 
"I was near foreclosure on my townhouse. I was desperate. I didn’t have a staging budget which I was told was needed if I wanted to get out and not lose my shirt. The $5 I spent on this staging book saved me hundreds if not thousands of dollars. I was able to make improvements using your techniques (and I am not a handy or crafty person!) Happy ending, I got a purchase offer at the first open house and we close in three weeks. I can pay off my mortgage and have the money I wanted to move."  – Ari K.
"As a real estate broker, I won’t work with a seller who doesn’t buy your DIY home staging book. It fills a real need. I applaud your efforts, and I have seen the results!"  -- Charles P.
"I’ve been reading your blog in preparation for selling our home. It’s been an education for me because I’ve never sold a home before. My husband helped me get our house ready to sell, and sell it did after just three weeks. It looked awesome after following your rules. We hated to move, but we now have the money to buy our dream home."  – Crystal and Allen H.
"I’d recommend your staging book to anyone trying to sell a home. Competition is tough, especially in our area, so we knew we had to outshine the comps…Your book showed us how, and we were able to do it on a tight budget. We were able to put the profits toward fixing our new home the way we want it. We’re even using some of the same ideas there, too!" -- Libby 
 "My home was on the market for seven months without an offer. When I bought your book I found out there were plenty of small things I could do to improve things, just little things that were keeping my house from standing out. I made changes in each room. I painted my front door and updated the bedding. I rearranged some furniture. I boxed some things for storage.  I was able to sell two weeks after I finished staging according to your suggestions. You should charge more than $5!"   A.M.J.
"I hate to move from my house now that it looks so nice! It's gorgeous, thanks to your book. We are closing next week." -- Melinda   

You Could Be Next 

I am so confident that my eBooks will give you so much understanding of what motivates buyers that I promise to give your money back if you are not happy. Three years and thousands of copies later, no one has asked for a refund.

Blogging is a creative challenge, but that's what I  enjoy most about it. 

The quotes above are from actual emails when readers took the trouble to write and tell me how much they appreciated the eBooks. They love to tell me when a home is sold! 

Would you like to be signing that purchase offer on your house soon? Would you like to relax, knowing that a buyer has fallen in love with your home? That you can move on to the next chapter of your life?

I know what it’s like to wait for an offer, and I know that if you’ve staged your home with confidence, knowing that your home is all that it can be in a competitive market, the wait is easier. And the sale comes faster!

You could even leave the closing table with money in your pocket, because the right kind of staging is both frugal and profitable. You home will sell for more money than your competition that isn't staged.

Think about it: every home is already staged, whether it’s intentional or not. If your intent is to sell your home and to stage it yourself, you need my eBook.

I love to text my daughter every time I sell another eBook. She knows how proud I am of both my eBooks. Almost as proud as I am of her. Okay, that’s an exaggeration.

Go here now to instantly download both of my books. And let me know when you sell your home, so I can add my personal congratulations to you on a job well done. That’s why I blog, for you and for myself.

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