Mar
6

Demystifying Blogging

Posted by: OhLaLaBride

The Blogging Myth
It's So Easy, Anyone Can Do It


Writing a successful blog isn't a walk in the park. There are different ways to measure success, but if your main purpose is to increase the visibility of your work on iCraft, you want good levels of traffic, readers, followers and fans.

Perhaps you've read somewhere that starting a blog will help your store, and you're thinking all you have to do is post a picture of your latest listing once in awhile.

If that is your plan, you're actually better off not starting a blog at all, and spending more time making and listing new designs.

A blog that doesn't offer anything but your own self promotion isn't going to go very far, and the amount of traffic it will bring to your store will be minimal. The amount of time that you would put into such a blog would cost you much more than the $5, $10 or $15 it costs you per month to renew or list something and get a handful of new visits on iCraft, or the time it takes to send out a Tweet about your latest iCraft product.

Technically, blogging is pretty easy, and anyone can do it.
But you only get back what you put in.

As an iCraft seller and store owner, you get your own iCraft Blog. If you decide to have an outside blog as well, remember that copy and paste is terrible for your shop and blog SEO.

Choose an appropriate URL for you blog. Something that includes your shop name or selling username is a good idea. Your blog title should also be similar, but it's not necessarily a good idea to make your blog title identical to your shop name. It can make promoting it sort of awkward.


Look and Layout
Make Your Blog Attractive

 

You don't need fancy, expensive graphics and buttons and widgets to have a nice blog. Really. In fact, a plain white background and a few nice pictures allow your content to stand out without any distractions.

Choose one of your best product photos, or something that defines who you are and what your product is, for your banner. Crop it so it fits 654px × 125px required dimensions for a blog banner.
 

What Kind of Blog Will You Write?
Set the Tone of Your Blog

There are just as many blogging styles as there are bloggers, but most blogs can be placed into one of two categories: Journal or Magazine

A magazine blog is not only easier to maintain, but is much more versatile, especially if you're trying to promote other things that you do online, like selling your handmade products. Just think of yourself as the editor of your very own magazine. You come up with topics, write the articles and produce the content.

You can write with dry professionalism, if that's also the tone of your business, but it's perfectly alright to write your posts with humor, and include your own unique personality. Think of newspaper and magazine columns, which are often witty and even down right personal.

Before starting a magazine blog, try to figure out who your target audience is, obviously buyers , and plan posts that will engage those readers, and keep them coming.


Your Topic is Essential
Find Your Focus
 

If you neglect to read any other tips on this page, this one will do you the most good.
You must choose a focus for you blog and STICK TO IT.

If you start a blog about Throw Pillows, and write some great posts, like trends in home decor, and get a few followers, those readers will expect you to continue on that path. It's better not to disappoint them. If you frequently find yourself wanting to post about your cat, you may want to consider starting a pet blog. This way, your cat posts will be seen by people who are genuinely interested in cats, and your doll posts will be seen by people interested in dolls.

It is possible to write a great blog on a myriad of random topics, but it takes skill and finesse. If you truly love to write, and have lots of interesting things to say about lots of unique topics, then go for it. If not, choose one topic and STICK TO IT.

Obviously, if your blog's main purpose is to promote your iCraft store, your topic should have something to do with what you make or sell. For instance, if you sell all natural soap, you blog could be about earth-friendly beauty care, or about soap in general. If you sell jewelry, your blog could be about beads, or about the latest trends in jewelry. These are just a few examples of how to define your blog's focus. What you want to do is find a topic that you can tie in to your shop, but that also has potential for good reading.

If you only write about the products that you sell, no one will read your blog. If you write about related topics that are of interest to people like you, and to the people who buy from you, you'll have plenty of readers who would love to look around your shop.

Here's a great quote I found on a Blog:

"There's also a lot of chatter about twittering/blogging, and whether those are good at driving sales. Yes and no. If you have something interesting to say, eventually people will read it, and if you've got your products showcased next to what you're saying then it's free advertising.
But starting a blog and just posting when you list a new item isn't interesting to anyone except you."


If you decide to start blogging, also check iCraft's Blogging Guidelines.

  • Category:
  • Selling Online
  • Tags:
  • blog
  • blogging
  • writing a blog
  • starting a blog
  • blogging myths
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7 Comments

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Mar 12, 2012 | OhLaLaBride

Hi Craft Boutique. I agree with you. There will always be those days, in my case "many days" when you’ve just got nothing. You think but nothing is coming to you, and you sit their scratching your head thinking, “what can I post?”.

The belief is that to be successful, a blogger needs to get posts out daily (if not multiple times per day). The reality is that there is no single approach to successful blogging when it comes to how often one must post. There are plenty of examples of highly successful blogs with weekly or monthly posts.

Have you ever had a friendship with someone that became a little too much? You know the relationships where the other person leaps in so far that you end up feeling a little smothered!

Posting too regularly can get a little like that too for your readers.

So go ahead Craft Boutique and don't feel guilty if you post once a week or even once a month, I read that less frequent posting has lots of benefits too, for example, frequent posting pushes posts off the radar of readers faster, as there’s always something new coming out. Less frequent posts become highly anticipated and valued, and they get shared around the web at a higher rate than if the posts were coming out multiple times a day.

Another benefit of less frequent posting is that it helps to avoid writer burnout and can lead to higher quality content.

Mar 11, 2012 | Craft Boutique

Great post, OhLaLaBride!
I have a blog setup, but never find the time to actually write a blog post.
I guess this is something you either fit into your schedule or make a habit of writing about something that inspired you that day immediately, otherwise, you won't feel the same about it the next day or get busy etc.

Mar 10, 2012 | OhLaLaBride

I am glad that you found inspiration in my post, please give it a try. Believe me, I was intimidated too, I am relatively new at it myself, but your wonderful comments give me the extra boost needed to find new topics and to continue blogging, it is pretty cool.
Easter and Mother's Day are coming fast and they are gift giving holidays, great for you Fairy Cardmaker. Write a post about Easter card giving tradition, showcase some of your Easter cards, same about Mother's Day. Lots of material is available on the internet to help you write a great post.
ArtistbyNature you could write about the Rockwood Wolf, again use the internet as an information source, showcase your beautiful artworks with a description, I like your description but elaborate on it, potential customers are looking for a story to tell about their new acquisition.
JaJeJems, your creations are gorgeous, you could write a post about jewelry in time or choose a specific period in time. Mother's Day is a great holiday for jewelry gifting, showcase some of your amazing creations. Your could write about the technique you used, your inspiration. These are just suggestions I know that you have your own ideas for a blog go ahead, try it, you might like it a lot, blogging is a great marketing tool as long as you add general content pertaining to your craft!

Mar 9, 2012 | iCraft Admin

Definetely give it another try, ArtistbyNature.
Blogging is a great way to gain new loyal customers. When people know you not only as a seller, but as a person who they relate to, they are more likely to buy from you too.

Mar 9, 2012 | Fairy Cardmaker

Thanks for these tips. It is intimidating to start a blog because of the constant need to publish. I have been struggling to find content complimentary to my work, but you have inspired me to keep at it!

Mar 9, 2012 | ArtistbyNature

Thank you for this post! I've always had difficulty with writing blogs, but now I've been inspired to try again (this will be the third time...yes, I said it...3. Lucky number maybe). I find it difficut sometimes to juggle everything from kids, husband, house, artwork, FB posts, now icraft shop, that I find it tricky to work on a blog (let alone think of a subject to talk about). I'm not the best spellar ither (ha. ha. kidding). Thank you for your inspiration, you may have just created a new icraft blogger! :-D

Mar 7, 2012 | JaJeJems

Very interesting an helpful - thank you for taking the time to publish this information!


Submitted by:

Creative Ramblings (aka OhLaLaBride )
Vaudreuil Dorion, QC, Canada


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