{Handmade Business in 31 Days — Day 2, The importance of a blog.}

Day 2// The importance of a blog.

Often during mentorship sessions I’m asked how important I think it is to have a blog in addition to an online website, one that is a host for more personal content in addition to the products one sells. And my answer is the same every time: I think it’s very important.

 

DIY wood-grain laptop wrap via Fine + Feathered

You see, your blog is a direct, more personal connection between your customers + your product. It allows others to feel like you’re sitting down together as friends to learn more about you + your business. If you haven’t started a blog to accompany your online website, strongly consider one… For the long-term connections you’ll make for your business.

If time is a limiting factor, perhaps you commit to updating your blog once a week. You could spend an hour each week doing so. And before you say to yourself, “…but I don’t have an extra hour to spare,” consider the positives of how a blog would supplement your website. In a nutshell: an hour spent on the growth + long-term developments of your business is an hour well spent.

Another piece of advice is to take a look at your schedule, what things do you have written down that are truly clouding your workday and purpose statement? These things could be swapped for writing a blog post, which translates into connecting with others which translates into creating a strong, solid brand.

Don’t know how to start a blog? Consider using WordPress. Snag a custom domain, incorporate your brand with a few custom elements {header, favicon, sidebar texture/design, sidebar headers; see also this page}, and create a plan of HOW you’ll connect your customers to your product — even yourself as a designer, wife and/or mama, and get started already.

Stop doubting yourself and take that first baby step towards making it happen. And hello, ask Google when you aren’t sure ;)

Infuse your true uniqueness into your blog and you’ll have an easy time publishing posts + growing your community.

Homework// Take some time to think about your customers, past, present + future. How could you connect with them in a journal-like way? Would it be through sharing photos? Inspirational thoughts? A typical work day? After-work life?

 

Comments

    • 2

      says

      @Victoria@Snailpacetransformations, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to having a blog + a shop. I think having an easy checkout process {which an e-commerce shop can do} is super important, just like having a blog or website to journal about your business + self, to connect on a more-personal level. My main bit of advice is to JUST GET STARTED! If it’s on your heart, if you feel it’s something you should do, get started on it. So exciting!!! I wish I could sit next to you when you hit “publish” to your first post! xo

  1. 3

    Katie says

    I’ve wanted to start a blog but I’m a terrible writer. I’m afraid that my blog would scare people off, rather than attract them! Updating once a week sounds doable. Thanks for the tips!

    • 4

      says

      @Katie, Perhaps you’re better at having a more poetic-like blog? More photos? Silly stories? Your writing style can be typed in your unique way… don’t let another’s style overshadow who you are :)

  2. 5

    says

    Thanks for these tips girl! I have a blog but would really like it to become more. I need to work harder on it and make more time for it, because I truly LOVE blogs and the relationships that they create! LIKE YOU! xoxoxo

  3. 6

    says

    i’m in the same boat as victoria@snailpacetransformations i’m a new blogger and i’m wanting to make it into more! i’m just hesitant since this is a new pool i’m swimming in! i can’t wait to see what you have to say in your upcoming posts :)

  4. 8

    says

    Thanks for this! I’ve been going back and forth with whether I want to actually pursue blogging. I’ve started though and feel stuck on what to write about. I don’t want to be all business on my blog but want to keep readers and customers interested. Looking forward to the rest of the series!!!!

    • 9

      says

      @Jenna, Time to make a spiderweb topic list. Pick a tagline for your blog and write that in the center of your paper. Draw a circle around your tagline {see my header for my tagline below GUSSY SEWS} and start creating subtopics to blog about. Underline each subtopic, then create a list underneath with more developed topics + points you want to share. Having endless subtopics + lists is a great sign that you will be able to blog “endlessly.” Or maybe you need to re-evaluate your tagline. Or maybe you need to spend some time nurturing your creative self. Don’t feel like you have to know all the answers today, but don’t let time steal away what you really want to pursue. xoxo

      • 10

        says

        @Gussy Sews, I love this spiderweb suggestion to generate ideas. This seems like a great way to ensure you are staying (mostly) on topic. Thanks for this whole series. Looking forward to reading the rest of your articles.

  5. 11

    says

    I just had this very conversation with my husband. I’ve had a blog for a couple of years now, and am considering giving it up, in favor of spending more time on my new handmade business. My blog has a tiny readership and I feel like I have to work SO HARD to get each and every post out there where people will see it. I’m not against working hard, but lately I’ve been wondering if my efforts would be better spent elsewhere to promote my shop, or if it would even be a better use of my resources to advertise on already well-established, “big” blogs. I don’t know!

    • 12

      says

      @Rachel, Don’t shoot me for asking: are you sharing your blog with your customers? Do they know where to find you?

      I’m curious… what kind of content are you putting on your blog — where is the disconnect from your customers? (xo)

      • 13

        says

        @Gussy Sews, Oh goodness no, of course you should ask! I have my blog address in my shop announcement/profile, and on my business cards…I don’t feel like anything beyond that is necessary…or maybe it is?

        And my content is a mix of sewing/crafting, thrifting, and personal stuff. It’s always been that way…I took a hiatus last year for about 4-5 months, and it just hasn’t been the same since. I feel like I’ve lost my little community and somehow haven’t been able to get it back – boo hoo!

        Anyway, great post today – maybe I’m not ready to close the door on blogging forever. ;)

  6. 15

    says

    As you know I HAD a blog. Was not very good at it and had a small group of followers. I think about starting it up again ALOT!! Especially now that I am pregnant and adding to our family of 7. I have lots of stories to tell. Like I wrote earlier, I AM NOT A WRITER! annnnd I HATE the way my blog looks so I need to make time for it and make it better:) What’s holding me back? Fear of not making the connections and no one will care what I have to say, besides family. I like this post Maggie! Making me think:)

  7. 17

    Elizabeth says

    I am loving your 31 days series! I have a relatively new etsy shop and have made a few sales (pure luck because I did no advertising!). I have been thinking about starting a blog, too. Do you think the blog needs to have the same name as my etsy shop? I am wondering about this because I think my shop name is very limiting and I would want my blog to be about my crafts, but also about my life as a mom, too. But if I choose a different name for my blog, will that be too confusing? Thank you for your series … I’m looking forward to reading each day!

    • 18

      says

      @Elizabeth, I think you should choose something that will allow you a little breathing room. Remember to add a tagline to your blog (a short description under your blog name; see my header for this} and use that tagline as a little description to explain what we will find reading your blog. Sometimes it’s important to change the name of your business to better reflect what you are doing with it {food for thought}.

      There was a time when everything was under “maggie whitley” and one day I realized how silly that was, everyone knew me as “Gussy Sews”. It’s OK to change things, but I do caution you to change things too drastically too often. Let me know if you have extra questions? xo

  8. 19

    says

    Wow! Just when I was wondering if all this time i spend on my blog was worth it. I struggle with the time I spend on writing blog posts verses the time that I could be creating! This helped so much!!! So love this!!!!!
    xoxoxo
    Angela

  9. 20

    says

    Great post! I agree with your advice in the comments to not be put off by not writing in a certain style, I love unique “voices” on shop owners’ blogs. I also think that responding to comments is so important (like you do!) because it creates that community and shows your value your customers’ and readers’ time. I’m just starting to blog again and eventually open a shop again after our first baby is born and I sort out what I love making most :)

  10. 21

    says

    I love this series!! Thank you so much for everything that you do…you have really been an inspiration to me over the last couple of years, but especially now as I start to make my handmade business a reality. I have a blog that I loved writing on, but haven’t posted anything in over a year (I have started about a million posts in my head though!) I had a baby who is now almost 1…time to get this blogging show back on the road!!! I also like the once a week update, a nice goal to have initially. I think what I struggle the most with is balancing everything while working at home with children :) Thank you for helping me!

  11. 22

    Donna says

    I am so excited. I have started ( again) making jewerly and by necessity want to have an income from my designs. When I got up at 4 am this morning little did I know my life would change by finding this site and you for a cheerleader. Since I am getting ready for my first craft fair in 4 weeks I will know how to keep customers in contact with me for future business. Thank you Thank you Thank you

  12. 23

    says

    I actually have two blogs, but just one is associated with my sewing business. Do you think it is important for people to be able to buy things right on my website, or is it okay to direct them to an Etsy shop? Is it possible to set up a wordpress.com blog in a way that I can have people buy stuff from that site?

  13. 24

    Morgan says

    I am so happy that I have found this site!
    I am in the process of trying to develop a name for my crafts, but I am also a Landscape Designer….
    If I started a Blog it would be on a lot of things….

    When do you know you’re ready to sell your items??
    I’m just learning to sew and am unsure of the quality…..

  14. 25

    says

    I’m trying to reopen my Etsy shop. I have a personal blog, and I’d never really thought about doing business-related posts. I’ll give it a try! Thank you for sharing your thoughts here!

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