Home repair could be my middle name after running a handyman business for eight years. What's different now is I spend my time researching and writing about home repairs, rather than sending technicians to customer's homes. So first let me share why I starting writing my articles.
As a homeowner you worry about home maintenance and home repair for one house. When you're running a handyman business, you're helping hundreds of homeowners tackle everything from a squeaky door, to serious wood rot and more. I loved talking to the hundreds of homeowners, most of them women, who called my handyman business for help.
Women would start the conversation with “… I'm not sure if I can explain the problem” or “… something's wrong but I don't know where the problem is”. To make them comfortable, I'd say … let's just talk it through and figure out what we're dealing with. My approach was akin to peeling an onion – I'd ask a question and listen, and I usually had to ask a few more questions until I got enough information to pinpoint the problem. Then I'd explain what I thought was happening and most of the time, the women would agree that my assessment made sense. Having earned their trust, we could then discuss options for addressing the problem(s) and schedule the work to be done.
Panic – Can They Explain the Home Repair Plans?
Once I got off the phone, I'd start to worry about whether these women could explain the home repair plans we'd agreed on, and panic would set in. This led me to writing emails to summarize our conversation, and when I realized I was sending emails on the same topics, it was pretty clear that I needed to share this information on my website … so now you know how it all began.
What I Learned Today About Home Repair
My summer intern has been busy uploading and tagging the thousands of home “anything” photos I've taken over the last few years. Oh, did I say that I began blogging in 2006 and since then I've written thousands of articles.
When I gave Krissy a writing assignment this morning, to research and identify the top 20 home repairs a new homeowner (someone she could relate to) needed to learn about, I thought it would be pretty straight forward but I was wrong.
Who are My Trusted Home Repair Experts?
The first obstacle Krissy ran into was lots of websites that didn't seem to make sense. I offered to give her my list of trusted home repair websites but okay, that wisdom isn't written down (until now) so what did I do, I googled “home repair” and the results were pretty awful. I crawled the first 10 pages of search results, listing 100 organic websites, and I only found 3 of my trusted experts.
- FamilyHandyman.com (page 1) – build or repair almost anything around your home with these projects and tips designed to improve your do-it-yourself skills and make home repairs easier
- ThisOldHouse.com (page 1) – expert advice on home improvement, remodeling, upgrades, tools and products, ideas, photos, how-to …
- BobVilla.com (page 2) – inspirational ideas and expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home renovation, home repair and DIY …
Now I'm embarrassed to admit that my website didn't show up on the first 10 pages for home repair, duh!
Problem is when I started writing back in 2006, I focused on the content and I think it's pretty good. What I didn't understand was search engine optimization (SEO) and for quite a few years I didn't recognize the business potential around my articles. We're working on that now and my goal is to be on the first page within 30 days (many of my articles are there already).
What's also interesting is 2 other trusted home repair experts didn't make the top 10 pages, so I'm not alone in having to work harder to get found by the women who are looking for me. My focus starts with explaining home construction concepts, then the terminology needed to talk to home professionals with confidence followed by tips on planning and getting problems fixed and projects implemented!
- HomeTips.com with Don Vandervort – guides homeowners with original, expert advice for DIY home improvement and home repair
- AskTheBuilder with Tim Carter – offers articles and videos on a wide range of home repairs, projects and tool reviews.
Come back tomorrow, I'll share the other home repair surprise Krissy gave me today!
Where do you go for home repair advice?