What a blog is and how it can benefit people with a handmade business?
When blogging originally started it was more like a diary that people could read anytime, anywhere. People used to build these lovely little communities in the comments, before there was Instagram or Facebook Groups. It’s come such a long way since then and it’s a really great way to promote your business, but you can still use it as a diary or a journal. It can be really useful to build an audience, give them a bit more of an insight into your work, share your passion for what you do and why you do it.
This can also help you explain (without actually explaining) how skilled you are at your craft, how much love, effort and time goes into it and helps to support the prices of your products without having to justify yourself.
Yes, one hundred per cent, blogging is still a thing. A big thing actually, and it’s great for your website because people still use Google. People still search for things on the internet. So it’s a really good way of showcasing other aspects of yourself and your business/work/hobby in more detail. Sadly, so much amazing short-form content gets lost on social media within a matter of seconds. Your blog is there on the internet forever!
How do you start a craft blog?
Crafting has never been so popular, you only just have to look at Etsy’s annual net income to see the huge jump in numbers during the pandemic. If you’ve got a product, you can write about it in so many different ways and you can monetise it. You can set up a website for a very low cost*, and you might decide to move away from selling via Etsy, eBay or some other third party e-commerce site in future.
(*After doing some research and speaking to my web designer, WordPress is definitely the best web host for a blog and it can be upgraded to a brilliant eCommerce site in future.)
Firstly, decide what you’re going to write about and share. It could be one or a mixture of these…
- Crafting how-to guides and tutorials
- Crafting templates – free or to sell
- Your crafting journey and reporting
- New and exciting things happening in the craft community
- Blogs to complement your social media account – Instagram and/or YouTube Channel
- Your experiences and growing your crafting community
Instagram is such a great place to post images but when you have a blog you can explore and share so much more about what you do. It’s a great way to build connections and trust with people, whether it’s other crafters or customers.
10 craft blog ideas:
- A seasonal product roundup – Include other products, collaborate with other businesses for occasions like Mother’s day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas.
- Product reviews or testing – Another opportunity to collaborate with other makers, you can talk about similar or different products that complement yours and that your community would be interested in.
- Inspiration and ideas – Dive into the details about what inspires your work, collection or craft theme?
- Interviews and guest blogs – Collaborate some more! Why? Because you can share each others content and reach new communities.
- Transformation – Stories based on customer experiences, you can use quotes and get to know your customers and their experience.
- You – Talk about yourself, why you started, why you love it, what you found hard and your journey.
- Introduce your readers to your craft – Share its history, innovations, skills and specialisms. Do you only use eco-friendly materials? Is everything ethically/locally sourced or recycled?
- Tutorial, guide, tips and tricks – If you already post on YouTube and do IG stories, reels then why not repurpose the content you already have, especially if you have longer videos. You can get audio and videos transcribed and edit them into a blog.
- Joy and fun – Share your love of what you do. You could make your blog more of a diary or journal of discovery. Have fun with it.
- Photos – Don’t forget to use your great photos all over your website, especially for blogs!
Content top tip: Repurpose your content from other platforms!
Don’t waste time or content. Repurpose, repurpose and repurpose some more. Get social media content into your blog, get your blog content on to social media, share it all with your email list that content back into your blog.
To keep it fresh and relevant just tweak it or present it in a different way.
Most of this content came from my IG Live interview with lovely Lynsey, Founder of Lynsey Warren Coaching and owner of the growing crafter’s network The Handmade Craft Fair over on Instagram for an episode of The Handmade Business Show.
You don’t have to start from scratch every time. Especially if you already create content on social media.
Are people really still interested in blogs?
Yes, in fact, people are turning back to long-form content. Videos are getting longer, audio (Podcasts and Clubhouse) is hugely popular and the big platforms are investing more into that. Blogs give you the space and freedom to share more, be yourself more and bring other aspects of your life into your work. I find there’s less comparisonitis and pressure on the type of subjects you can write about. You can talk about parenting, interior design, health and beauty, wellbeing, DIY or lifestyle.
Most people don’t understand the skill, time, love and effort that goes into making a mug, for example. Well, unless they watch The Great Pottery Throw Down or The Great British Sewing Bee. I think it’s lovely when something lands in my inbox and gives me the excuse to sit with a cuppa and just immerse yourself in something different for a few minutes. Maybe learn about a new thing or feel inspired, relaxed, comforted, entertained…
How much time should I spend writing and blog and how often should I write one?
Blogging get a bad wrap for being time consuming and long. Around 800 is fine so if you have an opinion or feel passionate about something you can write a blog in an hour. It doesn’t have to be 2,000 words if you don’t want it to be. Quaility over quantity and choose commitment over consistency. It’s completely up to you how and when you want to be creative. You might prefer to schedule in time every week, once a fortnight or monthly. Or you could go with the flow and write whenever you feel the urge.
How do I promote my blog?
You might feel icky about sending ‘sales’ emails but if you have an email list then you can use that to promote it, and share across social media. If you create videos then you might get your subscribers to head over to your Etsy page, go to your website or Instagram/Facebook. If you create highlights and regularly promote you blog in your stories. You can also direct people to your blog for more tips, tricks, discussions, info, step by step instructions, benefits, inspo, insights, FAQs…
Promoting a blog can feel a lot easier than trying to sell something. Always start by making genuine connections with people, small businesses do this so well and have a big advantage over the bigger companies – that pay millions to teams of creatives to help them tell compelling stories, seem more personal and authentic. Customers like feeling special and seen. Thanks to the pandemic we’re all more willing to invest and promote local and smaller businesses.
Do blogs help grow a business?
They can indeed, they’ll help your website ranking and attract new visitors and help organic growth. It’s similar to how you’d grow your social account. Blogs are far easier to make work for you, you’re not at the mercy of the algorithm and all it’s strange and unpredictable ways.
Another way blogs can help grow your business is financially. I’m not talking about building awareness and growing your customer base to generate more income. I mean pricing your wares accordingly and having the confidence to charge what you’re worth. Every small business owner, whether you have a product or service, struggles with this. Should base your rates be based on materials/equipment, time, skills or bills. Or all of them? How can I justify that price? Do you even have to?
Writing top tips:
- Don’t force writing.
- Do a quick brainstorm of topic ideas to get you started.
- Write how you talk and don’t worry about grammar and punctuation.
If you get stuck when you start writing a blog then just save it as a draft and come back to it. Don’t force yourself to get through it, your readers will feel your struggle. Sometimes stepping away and doing some research or nothing at all is the best thing.
Just be you, have fun.
Blogs can build brand awareness and know, like and trust with readers!
When I visit websites I like to see if there is a blog and what they’ve written about. If there’s nothing been going on for a year I do wonder if the business is very active. Do they care about their messages? But that’s just me. I’m really into words and stories nd I think there’s something really special about written words form someone and helps me get to know them a little bit more.
What I also like it that you have some kind of record, because it’s just always there. With social media it’s there for a brief moment, and then it’s gone. And people just tend to look at the images and videos and not really read the captions and take time to comment.
Humans love storytelling!
We love stories, we love making connections with people, and that’s never going to go away. It’s just in our genes. So if you’re worried wheather blogging is a waste time, then I just don’t think it’s a waste. Ever.
Grow your network!
I’ve mentioned several times about collaboration and it’s really key in growing a successful business. I know how powerful it is to be able to recommend a handful of trusted businesses to my clients.
Collaboration over competition!
It’s healthy and mutually beneficial because you can share content across each others platforms and reach new audiences.
Having worked ‘solo’ for almost three years, at home, I know how important it is to have a supportive network of women to turn to. We can vouch for each other, recommend each other, ask for advice from each other and help each other out in so many ways. We can collaborate formally and offer complimentary services. Win win!
And, as you know, the online world is so nosiy and saturated now, people really value honest recommendations from people, you know, like and trust.
Top 3 tips to make blogging work for handmade business owners:
- Have fun with it. If you don’t get any joy from it, then just don’t do it. Because people will just pick up on the fact that it’s, it’s either rushed, or it’s just been a real hard slog for you. If your preferred method is video, recorded video, just drop the file it into Otter.ai and reuse it.
- Make sure it’s all in your own voice. No, don’t try and sound try to sound like anybody or censor yourself in any way. Again, if you’re transcribing a video it’s perfect, because it’s all your own voice to begin with.
- Get creative with it, it’s almost the opposite quickly tapping out a post on social media, it’s so much more wholesome. It could be poetry, sketches, mood boards, illustrations…
Do I need to think about SEO when writing a blog?
Yes and no. If you’re writing a blog already then it would be really beneficial to gain some basic knowledge around keywords and optimising your blog. If you’ve never blogged before then just get into the habit of writing to start with and then worry about the technical side later on down the line. Baby steps!
Got any questions or need some help? Drop me an email and we can chat about your busines and blogging: firstname.lastname@example.org