Craft Blog UK Gallery Submission from Big Fuzzy Snow Fish - what a gorgeous image!
There are well over 1000 craft blogs that have been submitted to the Craft Blog UK Directory to date and yet so many of them have (I hate to say it) failed, they just stopped posting and went away. Why did they stop?
I started a list of all the reasons from looking at craft blogs that had stopped posting and apart from a few exceptions where the blogger had posted a specific reason for stopping they seemed to all point to one rather obvious reason -
These blogs failed because nobody read them :(
Have you ever felt like this about your own blog, did you turn it around or are you still frustrated by a lack of readership? I'd love to hear your experiences, especially tips from successful bloggers and questions from anyone in this situation right now- please add a comment below and leave a link to your blog so we can help or maybe just go oooooh, what a lovely craft blog!
How to create a successful craft blogIn this blog post we'll look at ways to get more people to visit your blog and keep them coming back, I've added in lots of links to past posts that may help. How exactly do you write a great craft blog? A blog people actually read!
Well unsurprisingly it's not easy, it takes hard work and you need to do your homework. Consistency, a genuine spark of creativity AND a reasonable amount of time are all vital! If you are writing a blog to help sell your handmade work you need to pencil in this time as marketing time for your business not what to do in your spare time. Craft businesses should read these tips on driving traffic from your craft blog to your craft shop.
Practical things you can do to improve your craft blog
- Write fabulous Blog Content - Duh!!! Lets start with the most obvious point - you need good blog content if you want readers. Your posts must be interesting and on topic - dig deep and focus hard on making your content more appealing. What do your potential readers want - tutorials? discussion? Curated collections of cool stuff? Make dates in your diary for researching blog content. Here are my top ten ideas for blog posts and also some interesting comments here on what actually makes 'great blog content'.
- Even more fabulous Photographs! - We crafty creative types live for gorgeous pinnable pictures, if yours are a bit rubbish then you need to sort this out, even phones now have pretty decent cameras. Take a course or research online and find out how to make your pictures light, bright and in focus (some Photography Tips here). ALL popular craft blogs have great images in common. Look at how to add a little explanatory text to an image - works wonders for getting a post shared.
- Review Old Posts - Building up content takes time, so don't expect miracles straight away. However if your blog has lots of old posts but still not many readers or much traffic then audit your old posts. Are they dull and boring? Are they all one post type, like news or latest additions to your online shops? Be highly critical of your writing style and photographs - do you need to make it more exciting, brighter, funnier? There are some tips here on improving old blog posts.
- Carry a Notebook and Smartphone - Add ideas as they pop up and snap pictures of anything remotely bloggable within your subject area - eg if you are a knitting blogger then pictures of the local yarn shop, knitting al fresco, new needles, old needles, knitting magazines and pictures of your yarn stash will all make for potential blog content - but you need the images and ideas so make a habit of snapping and jotting down post titles.
- Edit Posts - Write, write, write but then take some time to go back into your text and edit out anything that's not really needed, or even change the angle of the post. Blog posts are usually read by people in little time slots, or they have searched for specific information, so make your post as brief as it can be without taking away from your style and personality, some of us just write long posts and our readers enjoy that. I try and use bullets or break posts down into a series of posts where I can. Make sure the first paragraph is full of promise and don't let readers who read all of it down!
- Ignore your 'competition' - you need to be YOU not a copy of some achingly cool craft or design blogger. Take inspiration but allow your own personality to come through. Don't get wound up that their posts are being shared left right and centre and they seem to be able to post 3 times as many posts in half the time with amazing photography and have a gazillion twitter followers and two gazillion pinterest followers - focus on YOUR CRAFT BLOG! It really shouldn't be competitive.
- Read these blog posts with tips on writing 'evergreen blog posts' for ideas about SEO and keywords and this post on getting more blog comments and this post on reaching the first page in Google results- they really will help! (consider it homework, bookmark them for future reference!)
- Be Consistent - Post regularly (whatever suits you as long as it's consistent) People forget blogs very easily, keep your blog and social media accounts updated. If you have no time to blog now share an old blog post on your social networks or just share a picture with one simple sentence or question which will take 10 minutes max. Images can be from elsewhere as long as they are credited with a link to the original source.
- Create a promotion check list - after you write the post you need to promote it, not just one tweet, use a social media content manager and schedule 10 tweets across the week until your next post. Post to forums, post anywhere and everywhere you think it will be liked! If you have a little checklist of your niche promotion tactics then you wont forget. Spread these out over a week if it seems like too much work in one go. This post will give you some more ideas of where to promote - Useful links for Crafters
- Be realistic about time - don't make promises to your readers you can't keep (I confess I have done this and it made me feel bad). "I'll post a new tutorial every week" - that's hard work if they are original, "I'll interview a crafter every week" - great idea but maybe just ask 3 questions not 10, keep things manageable because everything has a habit of taking twice as long as you estimate and things that take too much time become ugly chores.
- ENJOY BLOGGING - It really shows! The enthusiasm of the blogger comes across not only in the posts they write but when they share - my pet hate is self deprication and apologetic bloggers who start with "So sorry I haven't posted for a while" (Is that you?)
Here is "Sorry I haven't posted in a while" in full technicolor from american video bloggers but it's really the same as writing it. Watch this then think about how boring it sounds before you write or say "sorry for not posting in a while" right at the start of your next post - (except if it's like the last crazy apology in this clip which is hilarious!)
I decided to ask Twitter for some help with this topic and had some great responses and they were all very much in line with what I love about a craft blog! This was my favourite response, it kind of sums up this entire post!
@CraftBlogUK engaging with readers, clear pictures, fresh content! X— Charlotte Searles (@CharMushaBlog) July 4, 2013