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Should you be blogging?

 

 

Do you have a blog? I have been blogging consistently since early 2007. First my blog posts were monthly with an occasional extra post. Within 18 months I went to twice a month, and then another 18 months later, I went to weekly posts. Occasionally, I’ve posted more than once a week, but in all that time I have not missed a week.

Blogging can be fun and creative. It can add to your business growth and lets you connect with your tribe. Blogging lets you be seen as an expert with a viable business. Blogging lets you create lasting relationships. And when people know, like, and trust you, they are more likely to become your customers.

Get intentional

Before you start blogging or if you want to take a look into building your existing blog, consider what your intention is for your blog. It doesn’t matter what it is, you just need to be clear about it. Perhaps you are looking for a way to share your art or you want to share your artistic journey. Maybe you want to teach others how to make art. Maybe you want to be a voice for a crafting lifestyle. Maybe you want to connect with like-minded creatives. Maybe you are hoping to drive sales.

And, whatever your intention is, it can change over time as your business changes.

For me blogging is about sharing information and building community to drive sales by sending people to my website. I want to build a community of creative professionals who think of me as their go-to-source for business information for arts/crafts. As I said, I’ve been blogging since 2007. I’ve been sending out a newsletter even longer and publishing business content for creatives since 1994.  If I keep that intention in mind when I write a blog post, I’m more successful at it.

Here are seven more tips to enhance your blogging experience.

Provide information

This can be “how to” or just sharing the latest information on an upcoming show or exhibit. It should provide valuable and actionable content for the readers. This helps to establishes you as an expert, the “go to” person on a topic. You can also make offers on your products or provide coupons, etc., but the primary goal should be to provide information. That’s why people will want to read your blog.

Take the time to create some type of editorial calendar for blogging, so you know what you will write about. You can share a variety of content from your own knowledge to case studies, success stories and testimonials from people you’ve worked with.

Be consistent

Have you ever gone to someone’s website and checked out their blog, only to find the last time they blogged was three months, or even a year, ago? Gee, you wonder, are they still in business? It goes to building trust with your customers.

Bloggers are more successful who keep a consistent schedule about blogging. Readers start to rely on you for specific information and will return to your blog for that type of information.

Along with consistency comes frequency of postings. The more often you post, the greater your readership, and in turn your business will grow. Posting on a consistent basis increases your ranking on search engines.

Of course, you have to figure out what works for you when it comes to blogging. You have to consider how much time and energy you actually have when coming up with a schedule. It’s not just writing the post. You also have to edit, create or find graphics and market the post.

In general, one time a week or one time every other week is a minimum. Again, it’s related to what your intention is. If you are trying to become known as a voice for the crafting lifestyle, you would want to post more often than perhaps someone wanting to showcase their art.

Share yourself, your staff, other professionals

People want to know who they are doing business with. This is your chance to share something about yourself. Let your personality shine. Customers or potential customers also want to know the people that work with you. And, if you have friends who blog, take a turn blogging on each others’ pages. It will help each of you increase your audience.

If you own a shop or have employees, let them write some of the posts. They may resonate with some people who don’t resonate with you. It will still be good for your business.

Use technology to share your ideas

Technology will let your ideas get further than the initial viewing on your website.

You can connect your blog to Facebook and tweet about your blog. You can share your blog on Instagram and on Pinterest. You may decide to share just bits of your blog rather than the entire blog on social media. The goal is to share so people then head back to your website or online store. Why? Because that’s were they can buy from you!

Many of our blog posts originate in our weekly e-zine. They then post to our blog and then to Facebook. I find it interesting that I often get comments on the blog or on Facebook from artists who originally read the material in the ezine. You never know where your content will be found.

You should also configure the social media icons on your blog to encourage sharing on a wider basis. I have sharing icons at the end of each post.

Participate in blog events

Here are a few ideas. Sponsor a blog contest. It could be as simple as asking for input on your latest quilt design, perhaps helping you name it. For a prize, you can offer a copy of the pattern. If you are a book author, create a blog hop. In this case, you find several other bloggers and ask them to review your book. They in turn ask for comments on the post and offer a copy of your book to a random commenter. Each blogger advertises the blogs where your book will be reviewed, so more people learn about other blogs. For the past few years, a group of designers I have worked with have created blog hops to increase their visibility — and it worked.

Blogging is just part of your strategy

Remember that blogging is one part of a strategy for your business, but it’s an important one.

Look for other ways you can connect with your customers, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram and your e-zine (online newsletter). While you may not share the exact content, you can drive people to your blog so they learn more about you and your business.

One important note about sharing your content on social media vs. sharing it on your blog. You own the content that is on your blog. If Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest go away, so does your content. It’s important to have your content in a place that you own and control.

Stuck for an idea where to start?

I think many people are stuck with knowing where to start with blogging. Is that you? Do you feel at a loss for a topic?

One idea is to take your customers on a tour of your studio or shop. I admit that I love to tour other artists’ studios. In fact, I enjoy it so much, I created a lecture to share the studios I like. It’s a popular lecture at International Quilt Festival (and I’m doing it again in Fall 2018) and at some local guilds. I’ve also featured a studio in each issue of the magazines I published (The Professional Quilter and Create Inc.) for the same reason. And, I love to see the shops I want to visit ahead of time, or maybe just put them on my wish list.

Another idea is to share your story about how you got into art.

A third idea, which can be minded for many blog posts, is to share what inspires you and your work.

It’s your turn!

Do you blog? What are some of your success tips?

 

 

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