Widget and Friends

On regular basis Craft Blog UK will be featuring one of our members and asking them a few questions so that we can all get to know a little bit more about their craft and why they enjoy blogging.

This week we will be looking at  http://www.widgetandfriends.blogspot.com/

"He has 42. 42 bunnies.  On his bed. I made him another from a sock. Then another.  Then his two brothers wanted one. Then my friends' children wanted bunnies, and those bunnies needed bunny cousins... "

Do you see a pattern emerging?  Anna Hull aka 'The Bunny Maker' has managed to turn her eldest sons love of bunnies (one's with soft ears) into a worldwide phenomonen.  Through her Folksy shop alone, Anna has sold nearly 300 bunnies!  The Bunny Maker puts her success down to her blogs, but how has she managed to use blogging to effectively promote her online shops?  Anna has kindly agreed to share a few of her tips  with Craft Blog UK, all learnt through experience and alot of blog posts - I advise you to read on and take heed! 

Widget and Friends Shop

I asked Anna a few questions about her blog...

Can you tell us about your first ever blog post and share the link?
My first post EVER was this one ...
Although the URL is for The Bunny Maker - back then it was my Half an Acre blog. I had no idea how to blog, or what to write!

My first ever blog about the sock bunnies, on their own blog, was this one
Its hard to find the actual start point as the blogs have all morphed and merged into one and Half an Acre has dropped out of the picture. Pesky bunnies!

Where do you promote your blog posts?
As soon as I write one I post the link onto Twitter and onto my Widget Sockbunny Facebook profile. I also post it to my Widget SockBunny Fan Page on FB. If I do it at a quiet time (ie late at night) I will re-post it again sometime the next day otherwise it might get missed.

In what ways has blogging affected your crafting or business?
Blogging has been the one single thing that has helped to promote me more than anything else, aside from Facebook. It has helped me learn basic html, put me in contact with lots of lovely people and shown me how you don't actually need to pay out for a website (which I wasted lots of money on!).

Have you made any blogging mistakes?
I've found blogging very easy - I can waffle with ease and can always think of something to write about. Since my first post I have changed the look of my blog over and over again as I have learnt how to use it more effectively as a promotional tool. I find it fascinating. The problem with blogging is that, when you start out, you know nothing about it and how to use it. You unaware that you can write your own html codes into it and make it look and function more like a website. If I had known this a long time ago I would not have paid out for my first website which cost me £800! It no longer exists. RIP money. We live and learn.

I have just revamped my blog(s) AGAIN - hopefully for the last time (I doubt it - I love to fiddle with them!). About 4 months ago I made the decision to ditch my Half an Acre blog, which ran alongside a 'Sock Bunny Blog'. The bunnies have taken over totally and it is what I am becoming known for. I lost a hundred odd followers on both (sob!) as I ditched those domains for two new ones
and www.widgetandfriends.blogspot.com.
One for the bunnies and one for me. It was horrible to start afresh with nothing but slowly the followers are coming back and I'm happy that I took the plunge.

One mistake bloggers make is to only write a post once in a while - you need to be doing at least one, if not two, a week. People will want to look you up often to see what you have written next. Writing about personal things always goes down well - blogs with just pictures and links to other people's things you like are dead boring unless you are doing a regular thing mixed in with other posts - such as a 'Wednesday Finds".

Never ever use light text on a dark background - eg white text on black. It is impossible to read and will turn people away in droves. Be careful with those themed backgrounds that you can get for free on the web - unless used wisely they can have the same effect as white text on black. Anything that visually dominates, taking away from the text, making it hard to look at.

Don't over-design a blog. Less is more - write good posts and use great pictures. You don't need anything else. I was reluctant to even use the pale colours that I have for mine - but as I have linked three existing blogs together, using a tabbed header, to give a more uniform and websitey feel, I needed something to let the reader know that they are in different part of the whole.

Do you have a favourite blog by another crafter - what makes their posts stand out for you?
I don't have a favourite blog author but I do often find ones I enjoy looking at .... This was my latest find - and her quilts are gorgeous. http://stitchindye.blogspot.com/ Her photography is stunning and the blog lovely to look at. A perfect example of craft blogging!

Of all your blog posts which one are you most proud of and why?
I am most proud of some of my more personal ones written as The Bunny Maker, where I talk about other things apart from crafting. These are two of my favourites.....

Latest news from The Bunny Maker - :
http://www.widgetandfriends.blogspot.com I update about 3 times a week, if I can - spread over the three blogs which link to each other there. I've started doing custom bunnies now - including "Batbun' and some new super hero ones will be arriving soon!  Also new are the wooden bunny beds - The Half an Acre
(http://www.halfanacre.co.uk) influence creeping in.

Let us know your thoughts about The Bunny makers succesful blog and her blogging tips by leaving a comment!