Starting a blog can be a little intimidating. Where should you start one? What should you write about? How do you get people to read your blog? I popped over to the Etsy Forums to gather tips from some Etsy bloggers. I knew I would find nuggets of blogging wisdom to share, and I was not let down. Read on to hear the Etsy community’s tips, plus some of my own!
“Open Book” photograph by nicholasbartle
Recycledideas says: I chose Blogger.com because it’s free and requires no familiarity whatsoever with HTML, which is perfect for me; although I like learning new languages, I really have no interest in talking to computers in their language. http://newfoundlandnews.blogspot.com
I like Blogger, too. It’s free and pretty user friendly. Some other popular blog publishers are: Typepad, LiveJournal, and WordPress. You’re going to need to choose a layout, and if you don’t know html, these publishers have templates for you to choose from. You can also search for free layouts on the internet or hire a designer to create something original for your blog. There are even some blog designs you can purchase from Etsy graphic artists!
When thinking about naming your blog …
Many Etsians preferred simple designs, without too much flair. A lot of bells and whistles can drive away your readers.
fenrislorsrai says: Many folks read at work and nothing will get you off their reading list faster than music announcing that they are slacking at work! If you want to have a music player, set it to play only when someone clicks on it. http://fenris-lorsrai.livejournal.com
Once you have your blog set up …
melsdolls says: The first thing any new blogger should do is claim their blog on Technorati. Technorati is the largest directory for blogs, and having a presence there is essential to your blog’s success. http://pinkcrabcreations.blogspot.com
It can tell you:
- How long people stay at your blog. (If they only stay a few seconds, you may need to rethink your approach.)
- How people find your blog — where they come from and what keywords they’re using, so you can see what promotional sites work best for you.
- What entries people are reading.
And loads more. If you are keen to promote and expand your business, stats really help. http://poshdoodles.blogspot.com
Computer Ring by Sypria
Creating Interesting Posts
I think most Etsians in our forums discussion would agree that your blog should not just be about the work you sell. If we wanted to read that, we would just have a look at your shop! Your blog is a place where you can connect on a personal level with your readers (and potential customers). Write about your process, your inspiration, your favorite restaurant, your exciting family news.
Stockton says: Blog about your work and the things that inspire you … but also write about others’ work! Not only does it make your blog more interesting, but it draws in a bigger readership as you start linking to other sites and blogs. http://www.stocktonandco.com/blog
(Stockton features this button for TorontoCraftAlert.com on her blog.)
melissakate says: Mention Willie Nelson and Taxes That brought a lot of viewers my way!
T-shirt design by HonkyTonkTees
InkspotWorkshop says: I like coming up with weekly features; this way I can anticipate topics each week. For example, I have a weekly feature called iCANDY, where I feature my favorite Etsy sellers. I also have a feature called Bespoke Corner, where I feature different custom work, not necessarily every week, but definitely each month. http://inkspotworkshopblog.blogspot.com
LittlePaperDog working on her tea towels
lookmamamadeit says: People LOVE tutorials and are always searching for them. If you can make and post a tutorial or two, and name it and tag it properly, it will keep bringing traffic to your blog. All kinds of tutorials, I guess!
As on Etsy, try to be original, professional, and to have good texts and photos. I advise non-English native speakers, like me, to try to blog both in your language and in English, and to use a good spelling tool.
notagoose says: Have contests. People LOVE contests. Honestly, I’m sure there are legalities involved that you may want to look into, but I’d just do these random contests for piddly prizes and people flocked. For example, I’d have people design banners for my site, then post them and have people vote on their favorite. The ones who made submissions would invariably post a link to my blog on their site begging their readers to come vote for them, and those people would end up subscribing to my site.
SunshineandRavioli says: I would suggest posting lots of good pictures. I prefer blogs with lots of eye candy, and I’m sure I’m not alone … more great pictures, less words. There are too many great blogs out there to visit to be able to spend 20 minutes reading one post. http://sunshinenravioli.blogspot.com
Print by BluLima
This is a great tip! In addition, if you have a Flickr account, set up the “Post to Blog” function. This motivates me to blog more. I upload a photo and then can easily create a blog post with it.
Diffraction says: Chances are you won’t feel like blogging every single day, but you must really have a new post for your readers. So on the days you are feeling very productive, schedule two or three days in advance. This feature is available on most blogging platforms and enables you to take a breather if you need it, without letting down your readers.
tizzalicious says: I stay motivated by having a few theme days, like on Sunday I feature a Cute Craftster of The Week, an Etsian with a shop full of cuteness. I also stay motivated from the nice comments I get (ask questions in your posts!) and from seeing how many visitors I had on my stats. http://blog.tizzalicious.com
Building a Readership
DirtySanchez says: My best advice is to be a blogger, not a crafter who has a blog. My blog has been going for well over six years now, and it covers everything — family, work, beekeeping, soapmaking, random inspirations, the whole nine yards. To gain and keep a readership, the blog needs to be interesting for everyone, not just other crafters.
susansheehan says: Put your blog link in your shop announcement, in all email signatures and on forum signatures. Join blog rings or collective groups. Can’t find one? Start one of your own. I started flaminghot.wordpress.com as a way to get flameworkers blogging and provide a way to generate traffic to their sites.
TheBrassHussy says: My best blogging tip is not about your own blog, but to find other blogs that interest you and comment on them. The blog owner will probably check your profile out and could buy from you or include you on their blog. Which I think is a great way to bring in traffic to your blog.
sewbettie says: To gain readership, participate in the blog community. I try to visit about ten new blogs a week and leave a comment. They almost always come check out my blog and I come across new ideas, inspiration, and resources. You can find new blogs on the Etsy Forums or by clicking the blog links on your favorite blogs. http://craftyourselfrich.blogspot.com
That happens to be my very favorite blogging tip (I give it often!): Participate on other blogs. For more blogging inspiration, check out TeenAngster’s series on the Storque — News from the Craft & Style Blogosphere.
There were a few mentions of Entrecard, which I had never heard of! Great tip!
I hope these ideas motivate you to get started blogging or to update your blog today! If you have any additional tips (or questions) please post them in the comments below.
For more how-tos about selling on Etsy, see the Seller Handbook.