How To Start And Maintain Successful Blogs For Craft Businesses

Blogging can be a great tool for any craft business, no matter how big or small. A blog can stand on its own or it can be a component of a larger web site. If you don’t have a web site and aren’t interested in starting one at this point, a blog can still be a valuable tool. If you do have a web site that does not include blog, consider adding it there.

Keep in mind that blogging should be only one of a handful of promotional components for your business. It can be easy to focus all of your efforts on your newest undertaking, but don’t neglect your other marketing campaigns. These other campaigns such as those through social media and mailing lists will still be important.

Above all, when you have a crafty blog, do not just post about your own listings and sales. If you follow crafty Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, I’m sure that you have seen people do this before. It is just as tedious and ineffective on a blog. You can post about listings and sales, but you need other features as well to mix it up. I recommend limiting these posts to 1-2 per week at the most.

The other key component for your blog is everything in moderation. Even the best blog features should only be used so often. Rotate topics and features throughout each week or month.

Finally, don’t get overwhelmed, especially if you are just starting out in the blogging world. Start with what you can and build from there. It takes time to learn everything and get into a regular blogging routine. Do not feel that you have to follow all of the ideas in this hub. I certainly don’t include all of them in my own crafty blog. Pick and choose what makes sense for your work and your business. Also consider what you will enjoy writing about regularly.

Best of luck!

Blogging Platforms

If you have not already chosen a blogging platform, here are a few to consider. These are some of the most popular options right now.

  • Blogger: I joined Blogger shortly after I joined Etsy because that’s where many Etsy users have their blogs. Is it the most sophisticated blogging program out there? No. Does it serve my needs for my crafty blog? Yes. I’ve found that it is helpful to be on the same platform as many of my Etsy teammates.
  • WordPress: I haven’t used WordPress personally so I can’t express a lot of opinion on this site. For a comparison of Blogger and WordPress, check out this article. WordPress has options for web site designs while Blogger does not.
  • Livejournal: I feel like I have to give a shout out to Livejournal because it’s where my personal blog has been online since 2002. Even though I spend a lot of time on Blogger now, I still enjoy a lot of functions on Livejournal more. There is a fair amount of Etsy and general crafting presence there as well as a stronger overall community than Blogger so it isn’t a bad place to get into the crafty blogging scene.

The basic blog functions for all three platforms are free. For those who are skilled with HTML or are more ambitious with designing blog layouts, all three of the above platforms offer a variety of options for customization (some of which are free, some of which are not). I have not fully explored this with my personal or crafty blogs as it is not where my passion is, but you can fully maximize your blog’s potential with a very customized layout.

As mentioned above, you can also have a blog through your own web site. Some web site hosts provide templates for this. If you are working with a web site designer and have not discussed this topic with them before, bring it up sometime.

Ideas for Posts

Here are just a few ideas for crafty blog posts and/or regular features. Do not feel limited by this list. Most crafty people come up with new ideas on a regular basis. Blog post topics and features are no exception. I am constantly amazed by the posts that I read on my favorite blogs. Basically the sky is the limit.

  • Giveaways. A giveaway of one or more of your products can be an excellent tool for attracting new blog followers and gaining new shop fans. Generally a gift certificate or an item that does not need to be fitted (i.e. a pendant necklace, a pair of earrings) work well for giveaways. If you offer a custom item, consider how much time you will need to put into the finished product.
  • Features. Featuring other Etsy products on a weekly basis has been one of my most successful blog features. I consistently gain more blog followers through this than any other feature. I have a couple features that I do every month and then I mix other topics into the rotation. Some bloggers make their features into a contest. Other bloggers frequently pick themes based on their own new listings (i.e. color combination, materials, etc.) If you are part of a team or teams on Etsy, consider features that include your teammates. The two most popular features that I’ve seen are Monday Mood Boards and Friday Features. Make sure that you contact sellers that you feature. They will enjoy the notification and may promote the post for you.
  • Work in progress/sneak peeks. Readers enjoy a look at your creative process. If you don’t want to make separate work in progress posts, consider showing some pictures of how your piece involved when you share the listed item on your blog.
  • Inspiration. Many artists are fascinated by the inspiration process. Show the world what inspires you. Consider color combinations, natural landscapes, and architecture.
  • Personal. People enjoy seeing the person behind the art. Share a little about what else is going on in your life. Personally I’ve found that people love seeing pictures of me, my husband, and my cat above about anything else.
  • Studio/workspace. Share some photos of your studio and workspace. If your studio is really messy, consider this an incentive to straighten it up before sharing it with the world. Consider other aspects of your creative process, such as your photography shooting space. Other artists may gain inspiration from your own great ideas.
  • Tutorials/free patterns. Even if you sell patterns, you may want to share tutorials or free patterns for other crafty endeavors or simpler items. They don’t have to fit into your specific product lines if they fit into the crafty spectrum of your blog.
  • Advice. Your advice can be about anything related to creating, Etsy, marketing, blogging, etc.

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