Craft Blogs: How to Start and Maintain Successful Blogs For Craft Businesses

Blogging can be a great tool for any craft business, no matter how big or small. A blog can stand on its own or it can be a component of a larger web site. If you don't have a web site and aren't interested in starting one at this point, a blog can still be a valuable tool. If you do have a web site that does not include blog, consider adding it there.

Keep in mind that blogging should be only one of a handful of promotional components for your business. It can be easy to focus all of your efforts on your newest undertaking, but don't neglect your other marketing campaigns. These other campaigns such as those through social media and mailing lists will still be important.

Above all, when you have a crafty blog, do not just post about your own listings and sales. If you follow crafty Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, I'm sure that you have seen people do this before. It is just as tedious and ineffective on a blog. You can post about listings and sales, but you need other features as well to mix it up. I recommend limiting these posts to 1-2 per week at the most.

The other key component for your blog is everything in moderation. Even the best blog features should only be used so often. Rotate topics and features throughout each week or month.

Finally, don't get overwhelmed, especially if you are just starting out in the blogging world. Start with what you can and build from there. It takes time to learn everything and get into a regular blogging routine. Do not feel that you have to follow all of the ideas in this hub. I certainly don't include all of them in my own crafty blog. Pick and choose what makes sense for your work and your business. Also consider what you will enjoy writing about regularly.

Best of luck!

Blogging Platforms

If you have not already chosen a blogging platform, here are a few to consider. These are some of the most popular options right now.

  • Blogger: I joined Blogger shortly after I joined Etsy because that's where many Etsy users have their blogs. Is it the most sophisticated blogging program out there? No. Does it serve my needs for my crafty blog? Yes. I've found that it is helpful to be on the same platform as many of my Etsy teammates.
  • Wordpress: I haven't used Wordpress personally so I can't express a lot of opinion on this site. For a comparison of Blogger and Wordpress, check out this article. Wordpress has options for web site designs while Blogger does not.
  • Livejournal: I feel like I have to give a shout out to Livejournal because it's where my personal blog has been online since 2002. Even though I spend a lot of time on Blogger now, I still enjoy a lot of functions on Livejournal more. There is a fair amount of Etsy and general crafting presence there as well as a stronger overall community than Blogger so it isn't a bad place to get into the crafty blogging scene.

The basic blog functions for all three platforms are free. For those who are skilled with HTML or are more ambitious with designing blog layouts, all three of the above platforms offer a variety of options for customization (some of which are free, some of which are not). I have not fully explored this with my personal or crafty blogs as it is not where my passion is, but you can fully maximize your blog's potential with a very customized layout.

As mentioned above, you can also have a blog through your own web site. Some web site hosts provide templates for this. If you are working with a web site designer and have not discussed this topic with them before, bring it up sometime.

Ideas for Posts

Here are just a few ideas for crafty blog posts and/or regular features. Do not feel limited by this list. Most crafty people come up with new ideas on a regular basis. Blog post topics and features are no exception. I am constantly amazed by the posts that I read on my favorite blogs. Basically the sky is the limit.

  • Giveaways. A giveaway of one or more of your products can be an excellent tool for attracting new blog followers and gaining new shop fans. Generally a gift certificate or an item that does not need to be fitted (i.e. a pendant necklace, a pair of earrings) work well for giveaways. If you offer a custom item, consider how much time you will need to put into the finished product.
  • Features. Featuring other Etsy products on a weekly basis has been one of my most successful blog features. I consistently gain more blog followers through this than any other feature. I have a couple features that I do every month and then I mix other topics into the rotation. Some bloggers make their features into a contest. Other bloggers frequently pick themes based on their own new listings (i.e. color combination, materials, etc.) If you are part of a team or teams on Etsy, consider features that include your teammates. The two most popular features that I've seen are Monday Mood Boards and Friday Features. Make sure that you contact sellers that you feature. They will enjoy the notification and may promote the post for you.
  • Work in progress/sneak peeks. Readers enjoy a look at your creative process. If you don't want to make separate work in progress posts, consider showing some pictures of how your piece involved when you share the listed item on your blog.
  • Inspiration. Many artists are fascinated by the inspiration process. Show the world what inspires you. Consider color combinations, natural landscapes, and architecture.
  • Personal. People enjoy seeing the person behind the art. Share a little about what else is going on in your life. Personally I've found that people love seeing pictures of me, my husband, and my cat above about anything else.
  • Studio/workspace. Share some photos of your studio and workspace. If your studio is really messy, consider this an incentive to straighten it up before sharing it with the world. Consider other aspects of your creative process, such as your photography shooting space. Other artists may gain inspiration from your own great ideas.
  • Tutorials/free patterns. Even if you sell patterns, you may want to share tutorials or free patterns for other crafty endeavors or simpler items. They don't have to fit into your specific product lines if they fit into the crafty spectrum of your blog.
  • Advice. Your advice can be about anything related to creating, Etsy, marketing, blogging, etc.
  • Personal or business goals and plans. Any business owner knows the importance of setting and working toward goals. Putting them out for everyone to read will give you accountability. It may give other crafty business owners inspiration for their own shops. You may want to share some of your personal goals on your blog as well (i.e. weight loss, saving money, etc.).
  • Seeking feedback. The feedback doesn't have to be related to your art although it certainly be. Also consider crafting space, time management, photography, marketing, etc.
  • Book reviews. Have you read any crafting books lately? Consider reviewing them on your blog. Consider books related to business, marketing, etc. as well.
  • Other crafty endeavors. Most crafty people do not just create the products they sell. They are constantly creating other things, too. Share these adventures on your blog. For example, I made cork board coasters for a lot of family members this past Christmas and wrote about it on my blog.
  • Craft fairs and festivals. You can promote your own fairs and festivals as well as sharing how they went. I often share information about my prep before shows. I also share pictures of my booth after the shows.
  • Participating in popular blog topics. For example, many bloggers participate in Wordless Wednesday. Look for blog topics with link ups, such as this one. Link ups are great way for other bloggers to find your blog. Alphabe-Thursday is another popular topic right now, too.
  • Share resources. Is there a great new marketing tool that you just found or an article about Twitter feeds that everyone should read? Write a post about it. I do a weekly link list round up on my blog with resources, tutorials, and recipes.
  • Treasury features. Many Etsy shop owners enjoy posting their treasury features as well as treasuries that they curated. I am fortunate enough to have my Etsy items included in treasuries every week and have recently made this a regular feature on my blog. I've inspired others to do so, too. Make these posts interesting. Do not just dump tons of treasury screen shots. Instead, for example, promote items from the curators or talk about why you like the treasury themes.
  • New goodies. Did you just pick up some new art supplies? Promote local stores, trade shows, or fellow crafters, such as if you bought handmade supplies (i.e. handspun yarn or lampwork beads).
  • Wish lists. Wish lists are another great way to feature items from other sellers. Some people like to do this on a weekly basis. I use wish list posts for my birthday and Christmas.
  • Other giveaways. Pick some of the giveaways that you really like and promote them on your blog. You don't have to promote every single one that you find.
  • Recipes. You can post recipes of new things that you just tried, old favorites, seasonal recipes, or anything else that you get inspired to make. Even though blog isn't themed around cooking, many crafty people enjoy new recipes. I also believe that recipes fit into the handmade/DIY nature of crafty blogs.
  • Interviews. Do you have any favorite artists that you'd like to promote or new artists that you'd like to interview for your blog? Ask them if you can interview them for your blog. Many artists are willing to do this and appreciate the exposure. If you do regular interviews that are well received, you may start getting requests from artists who would also like to be featured.
  • Guest blog posts. Consider asking fellow bloggers that you really admire to write guest posts for your blog. They may be able to share tutorials, techniques, or advice for your readers on topics that are relevant to any of your usual content. Check out this great article here for more insight on this topic.
  • Special discounts or incentives. Give people a reason to follow your blog. There should be content there that isn't available anywhere else (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). One special piece of content that you can offer is blog only specials.

Other Advice

PICTURES. I cannot stress this enough. Whenever it is possible, include pictures in your posts. People love to have visuals for just about any topic. Get in the habit of taking regular pictures of your crafty processes and before long, you'll have more pictures than you'll ever need for your blog.

Promote. Get your posts out there on your Facebook fan page, Twitter, etc. Syndicate your blog posts so that you don't have to post links manually. Please reserve this promotion for business applications. Don't spam your personal accounts with tons of links.

Teams. Share your posts with your Etsy team members. A lot of teams have regular chat threads or specific posting places for blog post links. Visit your team mates' blogs in return.

Comment. Take the time to read and comment on other blogs. They do not all have to be specifically related to your own blog. Leave meaningful comments. You don't need to include tons of links and contact information in all of your comments. If you comment regularly, it is more than likely that people will start checking out your blog.

Links. If you write crafty hubs, link them to your blog. I have a sidebar link section for this on my blog. You will generate more traffic for your hubs and provide valuable resources for your blog readers.

Tagging. If you are a HubPages writer, hopefully you already know the importance of doing keyword research, which includes using the Google Keyword Tool, and tagging your hubs appropriately. This same advice applies to your blog posts.

Scheduling posts. Unless you are extremely disciplined about writing your posts early in the day on a regular basis, it can be beneficial to write posts ahead of time and schedule them for later in the week or month. A lot of bloggers choose to schedule their posts to go live early in the morning so the posts are up in readers' blog lists when they first log in for the day.

Blog appearance. I don't want to overwhelm you with information about this particular aspect, the bottom line is that you want to make your blog interesting without being cluttered. Develop a template that fits your business and your blog. This will take time if you have never had a blog before, but start simple and work from there. Check out these free Blogger templates to get started.

Blogging tag - Starting, tips & advice | IDRESSMYSELFF

© 2011 Rose Clearfield

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Comments 41 comments

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Very informative and useful hub. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day.

Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hi randomcreative, you have shared some excellent tips here, thank you! These suggestions could really be applied to craft businesses or any other kind of online business. Great job!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much ladies!

Edi 5 years ago

Great list! I try to mix it up and not talk about one thing too much.

And on days when I have nothing to say...I don't force myself to blog. I've learned that quality is better than quantity :)

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Edi! Me too.

That is definitely true when it comes to quality vs. quantity.

BeadedTail 5 years ago

Very informative list Rose! Even though I've been blogging forever, I learned new tips!

storybeader 5 years ago

there's a lot of information here and all so important. Great list of ideas and advice for new bloggers - so helpful! {:-D

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much Sharla and Deb! I'm glad that this hub is useful for both new and experienced bloggers.

Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 5 years ago from Minnesota

You have some awesome tips here! I can tell that you have a lot of experience blogging :)

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much! That means a lot to me.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for the blogging tips and info. Learning takes more than time, but this type post is a great help. Voted up and bookmarked.

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much RTAlloni! Learning definitely does take more than time, but it can be well worth the effort.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

I find that learning web writing takes a lot more than time, as opposed to needle crafts. :)

Always appreciate instructions and tips that help!

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Yes for sure. In my most recent Etsy hub, I mention that I've spent more time learning about photography than I have learning how to make jewelry in the almost 3 years that I've been on Etsy. There are so many things about most ventures online that are much more time consuming than the initial projects!

So glad that my hubs are helpful for you!

craftdrawer profile image

craftdrawer 5 years ago

Great information. Some great tips for craft bloggers...

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thank you!

KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

What wonderful tips and advice. Well written and extremely informative.

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much!

Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

I think most of these tips can be very helpful for all types of bloggers, not just for those who blog about crafty stuff. Great job! Rated up and useful. :)

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much, Om! I hope that these tips are useful for many other bloggers, too.

Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

Yes, these are a bunch of very useful tips for any bloggers. Well written ! Voted up and tweeted.

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much!

lpanfil profile image

lpanfil 4 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to blogs. I’ve found flickr a good source for blog traffic. Nice Hub.

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Yes for sure. That's awesome! Thanks.

ForLoveofCupcakes profile image

ForLoveofCupcakes 4 years ago from Chicago

Awesome Hub! I really loved all the topic ideas - that will help me out a lot, even though I'm not a craft blogger per se. As you know, I want to start a cupcake feature. :o)

Thanks again! Voted up!

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Jamie! A lot of these ideas definitely tie in to your blog. I'm glad that this was helpful for you! I can't wait to see your cupcake feature.

whitneywpanetta profile image

whitneywpanetta 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thank you so much for the advice! I started a blog about a month ago and my end goal is to turn it into a book... ambitious I know... but I can dream right? I'm trying to link to multiple places, and I'm trying to understand SEO, backlinks, etc. If you have a minute and want to look at my blog I would REALLY appreciate any feedback from someone who knows what they are talking about! Thanks!!

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I'm glad that this article is helpful for you! This sounds like a great goal. The key is not to get overwhelmed. Take on one new step at a time and build from there. If you'd like to talk more about your blog any time, feel free to contact me again.

Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

This is an excellent article. I'm sharing it on Facebook for several friends who have blogs.

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks Pamela! I appreciate the promo.

alifeofdesign profile image

alifeofdesign 4 years ago from New Hamphire

This hub had a great deal of information in it-thank you. I'm just starting out, hubbing, blogging, writing and I feel that there is so much to learn. I also found your comment pertaining to learning photography struck me...Lately, I seem to have been reading and consuming information rather than practicing my crafts. I know that the education is worth my time, but it can be a bit wearisome. Thank you, again. Best Regards,

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks alifeofdesign! I'm glad that this is helpful for you. There is a lot to learn, but if you take it one step at a time, you'll get there. It can be wearisome to spend more time learning than creating. Even if you don't feel prepared for blogging, writing, photography, etc., at some point you just have to jump in and find a routine everything including crafting. With practice and regular reading, you'll continue to improve.

Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 4 years ago from Sevierville, TN

I really appreciated reading this hub. It offers a lot of tips I plan to use on my craft blog. Thanks!

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

That's great, Esmeowl! Best of luck with your blog.

Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 3 years ago from Texas

Lots of great info here.. I don't know how I missed this one! Recently, I've been watching crafting videos on youtube and have noticed some Etsy shop owners promoting there.. They do free tutorials, showing how to make things and then offer their products in their stores. I think it's an awesome idea and I'm sure it does help business. Great hub as always :)

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Jamie! This is an older article. Promoting Etsy products through YouTube is a great idea. I have seen people use similar strategies on Flickr. Offering free tutorials and tips to get people interested in your shop can be a wonderful tactic.

Amz 2 years ago

I'm a bit late to this one, but great post!

I've been having a bit of a block when it has come to writing new content for my blog lately

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, Amz! Best of luck to you.

Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Love this as thinking of joining Etsy with candles and eventually my beauty products. Since having surgery I have had to re-think a few things but plan on getting back to my skin care etc a.s.a.p.

Great info and packed with ideas to get the blog juices flowing! Thanks Rose!

randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 2 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

I just caught up with your update on Bubblews about your surgery. I'm glad that the recovery process is going well. I think that your beauty products would be a great fit for Etsy. If you decide to open up a shop and have any questions, let me know. :)

kattymoaw 8 months ago

Really useful information, thank you. Lots of inspiration gained for blog and creative ideas a flowing. Cheers :)

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