Boost your blogging confidence

hand embroidery pattern pdf

Lilipo at Glass Mountain

I don’t write a blog because I haven’t got enough to say…

You are a creative, crafty maker with your own micro business making beautiful creations by hand in your home studio (kitchen table!) of course you have lots to say.  This post is not about seo, smo, blog traffic and followers, it’s about encouraging those of you a little bit nervous to try to have a go and start writing your own craft blog.

If you are already a blogger and you’ve never looked back, please add a few words of encouragement in our comment section below, were you nervous at first too?

This series is all about writing a craft blog to compliment your shop(s).  Blogs are a great way to share a little extra about you, your shop and your craft enabling you to add images of your work in progress and also talk about your other interests, projects and your design inspirations. Your blog can become an extension of your shop in this way and a hub for all of your online activity.

You don’t need to be a computer whizz, a journalist or a marketing expert to write a blog, a passion for your craft and a the ability to type and take/upload a photo are the only prerequisites.   Your blog can become a diary of your crafting journey. An individual post you have written may not seem likely to cause a buzz, but the collection as a whole is interesting to a reader.  The beauty of reading a craft blog is to scroll through the archives, looking at the development of a maker and reading through and posting comments – it’s great to interact with fellow artists and crafters in this way. A successful blog will also pique the interest of potential customers too as well as drawing targeted search traffic to your shop. (we’ll talk about all that later in the series)

Blogging is too personal…

It doesn’t have to be personal at all, although equally a succesful blog shouldn’t be a catalogue of your products (that is what your shop is for).  A good blog is the continuing background story of you and your craft – although as we said last week, there are no actual rules.   Many crafters work from their kitchens/spare bedrooms but they don’t all include images of the washing up and the laundry basket overflowing, or indeed write about every aspect of their home life.

Only post things to the internet you are comfortable with and don’t feel like a cheat for cherry picking the better parts (not fabricating!).  Consider what’s in the shot when you are taking photographs, deatiled ‘macro’ shots look great and you could be in hyde park or a (well lit) understairs cupboard, who would know?  It’s also worth remembering that even the great designers had to start somewhere and the majority of readers probably don’t have a whole room dedicated to crafting either, so don’t beat yourself up about it.

she has read too many books and it has addled her brain
Bookity

Bloggers block – I have no idea what to start writing about?

When you are getting started try to ignore all the technical parts for a few weeks (not forever, we’ll get to those soon!) and just worry about writing a few posts. The blogging platforms are all very user friendly, setting up is very simple – see last weeks introductory post for a list of platforms you can make a start with (how to start a craft blog). Take baby steps in the first few weeks, you don’t need to share everything all at once.

Try using a notepad and jot down some questions, imagine you are interviewing someone who’s work you really admire – what would you want to find out about them and their craft?  Then answer them yourself, write freely and be genuine, it’s just a piece of paper no one else is going to read it, you can screw it up and throw it into the recycle bin.  The important excercise is to begin to see that you do have something to say when you relax a bit about who may be reading it.

Can you think of 5 things you love about your craft?
What is the best book/tutorial/you tube video you have discovered about your craft?
What’s the latest technique you are dying to learn?
What did you make today?
What are you planning to make next week?
What’s your latest Folksy purchase or favourite?

There’s probably at least 20 blog posts to get you started right there.  The key is to get started, once you have a few posts under your belt you will find posts come more easily.  Don’t try too hard to make your posts WOW every time, you’ll just end up getting frustrated.

My photos are rubbish

With craft blogs they tend to do very well if they are visual and have lovely photos to illustrate the posts. Keep your camera with you and take lots of photos. Looking through a days photos is the best way of coming up with a blog post.  If your photos are dark and blurry you need to get online and read some tutorials, learning to take good photos is important for sales too (product photography tips).  You can also use Flickr to find great photos from other people to illustrate your blog posts, just check the creative commons attribution on them before you use them and always add a credit.

There aren’t enough hours in the day

Blogging can actually become a motivational and reflective part of your day /week /month.  Taking a little time to put down in words your creative ideas, inspirations and plans for the week can in fact help you focus on your goals, find the time and give you the motivation you need to get on with crafts. Once you build up a readership the feedback you get is extremely useful market research as well as helpful links and tips.  Your blog can save you time and get you motivated!

Please leave us a comment and let us know if you are thinking of starting a blog

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19 Comments

  • June 2, 2011

    kirsty

    I think everyone who starts writing a blog worries that no-one will be interested in what they have to say – it’s only natural! But it’s a great way of showing people how your ideas develop. Personally I tend to use a lot of images as too much text puts me off. I would encourage anyone to write their own – it’s my substitute for a normal and I have ‘met’ some great friends along the way too!

  • June 2, 2011

    kirsty

    ooops, should read ‘normal diary’ at the end there!

  • June 2, 2011

    heather aka NiftyKnits

    I’ve only recently spotted the “stats” button on blogger – it’s wonderfully re-assuring to know I’m not writing to myself! I’d just like to repeat Hilary’s wise words – don’t just blog a catalogue of your products.

    I’ve just revamped my blog, added more pages, redirected to my domain – it’s amazing what you can do for free!

    http://www.niftyknits.co.uk/

  • June 2, 2011

    Nicsknots

    I agree, the more you blog, the easier it is to think of things to write. Recently I have been rubbish at keeping up with mine but I’ve managed a post a day since Sunday and it is getting easier again!
    I worry that mine is fairly varied but people tell me that that is one of the reasons they read so don’t think you have to stick to talking shop!

    http://www.wilbertandherma.blogspot.com/

  • June 2, 2011

    The Felt Works

    Thank you for this series of blogging blogs !! I have been considering starting one for some time ,but had all the doubts/questions mentioned above running through my head. I feel much better about it & am about to leap in !!!

  • June 2, 2011

    Pearletta Wilson

    When I first took the plunge into my craft blog, I was a novice so it was mainly as a diary and I was the only person who read it. I knew nothing about the big world of handmade that existed. Since then I’ve made some great crafty friends, seen some inspiring work. Next challenge directing my blog to my own domain -Ooer!

  • June 2, 2011

    Sue Cresswell

    I started a blog a couple of years ago, then changed email/ISP and completely forgot about it! So, last year I set up new one, and forgot about that too. But…I am now settling down to add to it weekly, it just takes a bit of patience and you need to make time. I make jewellery so want to showcase it on the blog.
    Watch this space.

  • June 2, 2011

    Lyn Clinton

    Write your blog as if you were talking to a friend. Keep it short and sweet and include photos.

  • June 4, 2011

    Beth Cameron

    I have started my organic children’s wear business with just a blog. I think people find it more engaging than a website shop and it is a great way to include the little hang tag stories that come with the clothes.I back it up with a business Facebook page and, it takes time, but it is growing followers and fans. Beth Designer Maker at Imogen’s Wardrobe.

  • June 5, 2011

    Ann Ashmore

    I’ve recently started a blog on my website, and a facebook page. I too have found it slow to get going. I do sometimes think, well what should I say today. However I am finding it easier each day and intend to carry on as I don’t really see it as work at all.

  • June 6, 2011

    Jane Lightfoot Designs

    I have recently started a blog and have to say I have found it difficult! However, your article has certainly given me confidence to continue and I hope to take on board all the useful advice. Any feedback would be gratefully received. Jane Lightfoot Designs

  • June 6, 2011

    Wendy

    I love blogging and it’s done so much for me, so I’d encourage anyone to have a go.

    I try to keep to one topic per post: makes it easier for the reader (and easier to write) and gives me more blog posts, so I can post frequently.

    I also do draft posts and then I’ve always got something in reserve in case of illness, overwork or (as this week) computer malfunction.

    If you’re stuck for words, read what others are writing. Obviously don’t copy them, but they may well inspire you. if so, link to them and acknowledge that.

    Blogging about other people is another way to boost your posting frequency. It doesn’t all have to be about you, which may take the pressure off for some people.

  • June 10, 2011

    Deanne

    I agree with all comments above, also keep your blog simple, clean and uncluttered (unlike our craft rooms) I find if I visit a blog thats too busy looking I get distracted and start clicking other buttons instead
    Dont just blog alone, find other blogs that interest you whether it be via other blogs of facebook, these are great marketing tools too. Get guest designers along too.
    A variety is certainly the way to go, show the reader a little about yourself, your goings on and of course your creations

    I’ve just revamped my blog again, I have a spring clean every so often, the pages option is great for taking clutter off your main homepage
    http://deezkatz.blogspot.com

    Happy weekend everyone x

  • June 13, 2011

    Lauren

    When I first started blogging I found it quite difficult but now I am addicted…

    I write about anything and everything, from fashion to tv, rants about the Post Office, the Royal wedding,you name it…!

    One of my favourite things to do is to pick some of my fave Folksy items and blog about them too. It’s just like online window shopping!!

    http://dollipopsboutique.blogspot.com

  • June 13, 2011

    Linda Cooper

    When I first started mine I wasn`t sure what to write. But after the first few it was easier. Then I started adding a little verse occasionally and it got more views so the verse became a regular thing. I started including a variety of goods from different sellers as a way of thanking those that helped me so much when I started my shop. Now.. Well it seems popular as it is so I keep going. I chat a bit about Folksy and about stuff I do too. It seems to work and I love it.

  • June 14, 2011

    The Butterfly Hobbyist

    I was blogging infrequently on Blogger and not really getting anywhere. Then Blogger broke! and I started a new blog at WordPress two weeks ago. To keep me blogging I have three catch all topics for specific days – The Tuesday Review (reviewing crafty publications/events/tools etc) Flitting with The Hobbyist on Thursdays which focuses on my makes but usually has a theme i.e. shells – shops – procrastination and The Crafty Crafter which features an interview with a Folksy Crafter I have come across and a slideshow of thier products. If you are nervous about blogging I fid having set days and subjects makes it easier. Since I started my new blog two weeks ago I’ve had over 350 hits, gained more subscribers than I did previously and I can see exactly what links are being clicked through. Well worth it! Don’t be nervous give it a go. O … er rather longer comment than I intended. Sorry

    Emma
    http://thebutterflyhobbyist.wordpress.com
    @bflyhobbyist

  • […] Take a look over the last few posts in our new blogging basics series if you are starting a new blog for the first time, or need some tips to boost your blogging confidence. […]

  • September 21, 2011

    Amy

    Great to stumble upon this. Have not long set up a blog spot to showcase my home interior crafts.

    Enjoying the experience however I sometimes feel that my lack of knowledge on how to work the site inhibits me from promoting at my best.

    Fantastic to browse through all the hints and tips here, whilst seeing beautiful pieces of work.

    http://thelittlethingswelove.blospot.com

  • September 22, 2011

    TheUrbanTiger

    Helloooo. I started a blog about four months ago. I had a plan of all the things I wanted to cover and I think this is the best way to get started. I began by jotting down buzz words that described my brand,how to translate that into a blog. I wrote down all subjects that related to the buzz words in a spidergram until I didn’t have any thoughts left in my head. I repeated this method several times. Eventually the spidergram will become smaller and smaller. As you allow yourself to think freely, the most relevant subjects will keep appearing on your new spider. These are the subjects you are most focused on. I think this process is called ‘free association’. It worked for me. Don’t worry about who is reading. I’m still writing to myself. In time you will find a flow, tone and system to blogging. My advice is to choose a day in the week that is covienient for you to blog. Posting consistently will not only help the writing become easier and more enjoyable, but your readers will know when to tune in to for your next instalment.xx