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.
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