Make your blog drive traffic to your online shop

Pink embroidered clutch purse
Gracies Garden Bazaar - Pink embroidered clutch purse

Blogging is a great way to market your handmade products and crafts. If you are a crafter selling on Folksy, Etsy or any of the other successful handmade marketplaces then you are probably thinking, tell me something I don't know!

But are you using your craft blog in the right way to funnel traffic through to your online shop? Are you monitoring and analysing the traffic that does come through from your blog to see if your blogging efforts are paying off?  It's easy to get so caught up in enjoying blogging to forget the reason you started.

The beauty of a blog as opposed to a website is that it is a dynamic and growing record of your life and interests. An online history of your development and a portfolio of your work.  However, it is also a particularly effective way of attracting potential customers to your online shops too...

How to increase referrals to your online shop
  • Spend time thinking about your market and building a profile of who you want to attract to your blog - what sort of posts would they enjoy? Get help from friends with a bit of market research, on or offline it will help to get a few opinions - or ask on our Craft Blog UK facebook page for some advice.
  • Write posts on subjects that compliment your craft and products and will help with improving your seo. Use relevant keywords in the post to link through to listings or your shop. These kind of hypertext links really help with search engine optimisation (seo).
  • Try to write posts specifically to get attention from people who are likely to enjoy your crafts - even if these posts are just once a week or month within your usual more slapdash blogging approach! Setting out a series of posts in advance can help with structure - identify what aspect of the topic you will address in each post and let your readers know you will be looking at these - it will help to bring them back next time as well as giving you the motivation to blog.
  • Ask people to guest post on your blog - they needn't be fellow crafters, they could be bloggers from other realms of the blogosphere, but they need to be relevant / complimentary to your target audience. For example if you sell purses/handbags then a fashion/makeup blogger may be able to write a great post for you about the latest looks.  Use forums to find people and start off a thread that you are looking for people.  They get back links to their blogs/shops for free which can be a great incentive. Remember it can take time and lots of posts to be trusted on a forum, so don't give up too easily or be spammy.
Once you have the right people reading your blog you need to get them over to your shop!
  • Add your own shop adverts to your sidebars, keep them fresh/topical/seasonal. A slideshow of your latest products works well.
  • Have a regular shop update post
  • Add links in your posts that point to one of your online shops or a flickr/twitter/facebook account where people can see your work or keep updated about your new listings.  You could remember to do this by setting up a blog post template with a simple link that says - "The latest from my shop!" or if you want to improve your rankings in a search, make the hyperlinked text include some juicy keywords. 
  • Try not to make all your posts into a stream of adverts as this can be boring for readers no matter how great your products. 
  • Use Google Analytics to see what's working - we'll be looking at how to use this great tool more effectively in future posts.
Thanks for reading, I'd love to hear your comments!

Submit your UK Craft Blog! x Hilary :) .