TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG? THAT IS THE QUESTION...
DO YOU NEED, WANT, OR HAVE TIME FOR A BLOG? WHERE DO YOU EVEN START? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS?
TAKING THE TIME TO WRITE A BLOG, FIND INTERESTING CONTENT, PROMOTING IT. IS IT WORTH IT? DOES THE WORK PAY OFF FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Let me start this post by saying, I am not, nor will I ever be a professional blogger. I never set out to be one and I have no intentions of being one. I am however a professional talker and researcher. If I want to know something, I will pull out the ole computer and figure it out. I don't leave anything to chance and I don't take anyone's word for anything. I do my research. If it sounds like whooey, I look it up and I expect my readers to be the same way. Over time, I hope that people will learn that I will not post anything that I have not first researched and either failed at or screwed up royally myself. This blog is intended not to be some great masterpiece, but a journey of my misadventures and my way of sharing with you what I have gone through. So that maybe, just maybe, someone will benefit and not have such a difficult path. Life and Business are trial and error, if I can help your path to Business Success be just a little bit easier, then hey, I have done my job. I believe that we were all put here to help each other. Think of this as my way of passing it on.
To blog, or not to blog. According to Handmadeology, #23 of 50 Reasons You're Not Getting Etsy Sales , is because you aren't blogging. Of course, there are 49 completely legit other reasons why you could not have sales on Etsy or anywhere else for that matter.
This list is created solely for Etsy Seller. I want to discuss all Bloggers. If you are using a blog to promote your business. Let's discuss your main website first. Is it completely optimized? Is every single picture that you have there exactly as you would have it be? A picture on the internet, with your name attached is like a sex video with an ex that you now hate being put on Youtube. Trust me, I have learned this lesson the hard way. The minute you promote your business with bad pictures, you are promoting your brand badly. Forever, out there somewhere, are bad pictures of your product. You may say to yourself that it doesn't matter, you just need the money right now, the sales right now. What is more important? The long term branding of your label or that quick income? You are sacrificing the long term branding by posting those unclear, unfocused photos. I want to give you a link I came across recently about how Google ranks photos. It has some really interesting information on how you should prepare your photos for posting. This is of course after you have taken quality, well lit, clear photos of your products. I will work on getting a post together on light boxes and photo lighting in the next week or so.
Next, before you every leave your website or shop to promote, you want to make sure that your items are all titled, SEO'd and and the proper description. Once again. this is different for you if you have your own Website than if you are a seller on Etsy. Etsy provides you with this great tool called the Sellers Handbook. Unfortunately, it is a link to a bunch of blogs, and if you aren't a super savvy "blog person", as I was not when I started my shop, it isn't the easiest thing to navigate. So, I am going to attempt to break it down a bit. This can help those NOT selling on Etsy as well, as I am just going to link you with the way to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization) In other words, how your items is searched on the internet. If you have a pink flower purse for sale, You will want to have "pink flower purse" listed as one of your keywords so that when someone searches in Google for pink flower purse, they find yours.
This guide will give you the basic nuts and bolts. From the very beginning.
Here are a couple of other useful guide's.
I would not use this last one, until you completely understand the first one.
Now.. Is your site in order? Is it EVERYTHING you want it to be? Something that you can be proud to promote? There is nothing at all that you would ever be afraid would come back and you would have to make an excuse for? Ok, now, do you still want to blog? You aren't completely and totally exhausted yet? Then maybe, just maybe you might actually want to be a blogger.
Getting started. Determining your platform. Some people prefer Wordpress, others Blogger, others have a preference to a different platform. It is completely and totally up to you. I only chose Blogger because I have a particular affinity to Google. It loves me, I love it back. I have all of my business stuff set up in Google and it makes things easier on me. That is just your first decision. Once you decide what platform you will use. You then have to set up your blog. This isn't as easy as it sounds. If you have not done it before, you might want to find your nearest teenager and have them help you. The official "Dummies" Series of how to use Blogger as a platform for blogging on how to do the set up to posting and link building and everything you could possibly need is here. If you have a logo for your shop or business, you will want to somehow incorporate it, if you don't, get busy on Canva and make a logo that somehow matches your shop logo and that way people will recognize that your blog is related to your shop.
Once you have your blog laid out and all set up, what will you talk about? Will you have the same old mommy blog? Will you just promote your stuff? Will you spend all day searching for interesting content? How will you get people to read it? You have to think about these things. How many times a day do you speak in your own home and realize that no one is listening to you? Guess what? You are about to talk to billions of people and none of them will be listening to you. You will have to find something interesting enough for them to listen to. You cannot even get your own spouse to listen, your own kids to listen, how on earth will you get an audience of thousands, hundreds of thousands to hear what you have to say? SPEAK UP... What is it that you have to say that could be so important? What is it that you have to share that could be so special that people will listen to you? FIND YOUR VOICE...
I, personally, write this blog, the way I speak. I am not here to have perfect grammar. I am not here to write a mommy blog. I am not here to do a blog on cakes and flowers. Not to say that if the mood hits me I won't do a post on cakes or flowers one day. Just saying, I am not, nor will I ever be Martha Stewart. I do however, have something to offer. I learn through trial and error, and I love sharing what I find. I love helping people and I love promoting talented individuals. That, I can do well. I take long pauses when I speak, indicated in my writing by a ... Anyone who knows me personally can actually hear it when they read my words. I don't search for content to add to my blog, I don't look for interesting things to write about. I wait for inspiration to hit, and it always does. I started this blog quite some time ago and it has just recently become a priority and an outlet. It has become an inspiration and a gift. I love the time that I spend writing and sharing. I love the feedback and the joy I receive from sharing a part of myself with each of you.
So, to answer the question of whether you should blog or not, I think for me, I would have to ask, is your heart in it? When the time is right, it will be. If it isn't, you might not want to. If it is.. Then lets get going.
Content - Just because I am an off the cuff writer, you will have to find content. You have to fill your pages with something. You have to create for yourself and your blog what they call links. I am going to make this as simple as possible and post a great video that very simply explains what you need to do and what the benefit is.
Once you figure out what to write about, you will want to add amazing photos. No matter what you write about, your photos will have to be beautiful or no one will click on your ad. I was recently turned onto Pixabay, they offer a massive amount of gorgeous free photos that you can download. You can then take them over to Canva and add words to them, put them together in a collage, use them as a promotional item, or just make up all kinds of fun stuff. I am so obsessed with Canva right now that it isn't even funny. I have posted pictures throughout this post that I pulled from Pixabay and edited in Canva. I wanted to give you an idea of what you could find and what you could do with each site. You can also find more options throughout the blog.
Now, once you have your blog and you create your content, you will have to figure out a way to make it successful. Good luck with that one. That is one of the Seven Wonders, I do believe. There are thousands of articles being written daily on this subject. Now, whether it is Marketing online or just general business advice, I look to one person who has always steered me in the right direction and that is Kim Garst, from Boom Social. She has books on Marketing for any platform you could possibly imagine and she is a genius. I read everything she posts, at least twice and follow her everywhere. I suggest you do the same. She has a guide on Blogging and doing so Successfully that I suggest you read over before getting started. Don't wait, like I did, until you have been doing it for months and have wasted a bunch of time. Do it right from the beginning... Ultimate Guide to Building a Successful Business Blog by Kim Garst.
I wish you all the best of luck in your blogventures. I look forward to reading your work. Have a wonderful week and please stop by TRAMPLEEDESIGNS to see what is new this week.