Can we talk about blogging?
Blogging is an essential marketing tool that pumps up the activity on any website, builds community, and goes hand in hand with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If any building your web presence is important to you (and it should be, if you are selling your work), you simply must be blogging!
Timothy Adam, writer of HOW TO MAKE MONEY USING ETSY, recommends Blogger or Blogspot for new bloggers. For Etsy sellers, Timothy says Blogger is great because it has a really low learning curve. You’ll be up and running in very little time! If you have Timothy’s book, the information on how to set up your Blogger account and new blog is found on page 81.
I prefer Typepad as I have been here a long time and don’t mind paying 14.95 a month. It has a lot of great SEO (Search Engine Optimization—how the search engines rank and find you on the Internet) built in, extra features, and I have been here since 2005. I’m a little of an opinion that you get what you pay for. In the last few months I’ve seen Blogger go down for as long as 24 hours at a time. But there is more to learn about using Typepad, and I had to have someone do my design. You will be able to do your own at Blogger!
Timothy also mentions (and I keep quoting him as I couldn’t say it better if I tried) that blogging consistently will allow Google and other search engines to find your blog. Maybe you didn’t know it, but SEARCH ENGINES **LOVE!!** blogs. This is because the searches love ANYTHING that is content-rich, rather than a website that simply does a bunch of selling and provides little or no content….
But we all know your blog can link to your website…and that’s the whole point. Let’s get these people over to have a look at the goodies!
Blogs can get ranked very high in search engines….so long as SEO is managed and you have good keyword placement. Even if you don’t understand that yet, though, blogging of any kind is better than ** no** blogging of any kind.
So let’s say you take the plunge, you go to Blogger, get set up. Now you have this blog thing. You don’t fancy yourself a big writer. WHAT do you blog about?
Here is a list (again, thanks to Timothy):
1. Talk about your stuff. That is, your products. It’s your blog! It’s your stuff! You made it. You love it. You’re excited about it. How hard is it to talk about stuff you love?
2. How-to’s. Wanna share a technique? Your blog is probably one of the BEST places to do that.
3. Feature other artists: I LOVE giving people a shout out! You should too! If you love vintage jewelry, do a feature every week on a particular designer. (It’s easy to find the info on the internet to make a decent article.) Are you in a group, club, list serve? Then you know other artists! Do a little interview, show their work, promote THEIR site. They will probably return the favor. It’s good for everyone!
4. Host giveaways and freebies. Aw come on….you have SOMETHING you can afford to give away! You know how much YOU like to win! Now you sponsor a prize and let someone be a winner! They will become a blog follower. (gotta take my own advice and do more giveaways at this blog. I do a lot at the site and FB).
5. Scheduled events. Tim says, maybe have a Wordless Wednesday, where you only show pix and don’t ‘talk’. Or he says, Top Ten Mondays. Make a top ten list. Maybe even team with some other bloggers and everyone do a top ten list on Monday, and make a list of other blogs to visit to see the next list (kinda like a blog hop).
6. Write reviews. Bought a new tool? Think it’s the bomb? Or think it BOMBED? Talk about it.
Just be nice!!! Ranting reviews or copy in your blog does not promote you well. We’ve all seen venomous blogs and websites. Aw sure, many people want to hear the dirt and the dish….but you’re building business relationships. Good business relationships are not built on anger, ire, nasty words, unkindness, or negative ‘dish’.
You want people to feel like friends, and that you are approachable. So always be professional, leave bad words, snide comments, and ill will **out** of a blog post.
THAT advice is from ME. I stand on that. No public dishing. EVER.
7. Interviews: did you take a class and like the teacher? Ask the teacher if they will allow a blog interview. Or interview your Grandma about her tatting or quilting. Interview your uncle Ollie who came over on the boat, have him tell you the story of when he first came to this country. Interview your next door neighbor who has the most amazing flower garden (and include pix).
IT DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE ABOUT what you sell, make, or plan to make. IT CAN BE ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
8. LINKS. Links to other blogs, artists, etc that you think people will like. MY OPINION: link to other active blogs. Don’t link to blogs where the blog owner doesn’t write often. That just frustrates people…..AND BE SURE YOU WRITE IN YOURS at least 3-4 times a week. If you don’t write often, people will give up on you and go away.
9. LISTS. According to Timothy, make lists of reasons, likes, mistakes, questions and answers (FAQS)
1o. Upcoming local arts and crafts shows, or ones you attended. Include photos!
your fave restaurant
your fave meal
a tour of your studio or workspace (I have no shame, mine is a wreck but I show it. A lot is happening in that workshop! LOL)
before and after photos
a trend round up of fave handmade items (like an Etsy treasury)
a photo log of a trip you took
Okay…..are you on a roll yet? And you thought you didn’t have a thing to write about!
YOU HAVE TONS TO WRITE ABOUT.
Blogging is about self-promotion and you must not be shy. So many of us have the dream of being self-supporting artists. The only way that will happen is if you take advantage of all the social media you can. Don’t forget, you can also use Networked Blogs (it’s an app at FB) and your blog post will appear in your FB feed within a half hour or so after you write it!
If you get busy and faithfully blog, other bloggers will notice you and want to get with you and have blog hops, feature YOUR blog, feature your product. You can do the same for them.
It’s totally win-win.
Once again, I have to highly admonish everyone to purchase a copy of Timothy Adam’s book. Although he wrote it about Etsy, there is so much good content that will assist you to write good blog copy, get your site into Google, write good descriptions for your site that will get your ranking up in Google, great explanations about SEO and how to use Google Keywords to write better tags. I got mine at Barnes and Noble. It’s a must have, must read.
Guest post by: B’Sue Boutiques