Topic Talk #2: The Benefits and Importance of Blogging
In this blog, I feature other art and artists about 90% of the time with the occasional drop of something I am posting or working on. I think it is important for others to help promote eachother and spread the word. Making meaningful connections is key to becoming a great artist and a successful seller on etsy, ebay, or any types of sites where art is shared, sold, or discussed.
There are so many blogs to read. What makes one more popular than the next? How do I get more exposure to my blog? How do I become featured in a blog? These and other blog related questions I want to address below with a little help from some friends and previous feedback.
MY PERSONAL TIPS
-Post something new every day!!!!!!!!
-Use Blogpatrol.com (see below)
-Refer to items, artists, posts with LINKS when you can. It is a great way to be picked up by search engines and other artists trying to find you.
-Find a good balance of personal posts, your art/crafts/etsy, blogging about other artists or sellers, and a range of interesting photos.
-Link your blog when appropriate in forums, blog comments, or other sites.
-Make friends with other bloggers and post links to their blogs (I have a "My Favorite Etsy Bloggers" section to the left). They will often return the favor.
-Hold contests and give-aways from time to time to up your views, gain more readers, and even get others interested in what you have to sell.
Also, free and you can join specific blog rings such as ETSY, ACEO, etc. Blog readers can click on a small icon this site creates for you to automatically be taken to the next blog on that ring. It is random when people get to yours, but it works and increases traffic. I have a link at the upper, left side under my counter. TRY IT!
Share tips, ideas, and meet others who blog. This site also will create a widget for you to put on your blog so others can find you. I am a member of this team, but have not spent a lot of time with the site yet.
This site is a social blogging directory on the internet. It sorts blogs by various topics and serves as a promotional tool for others to find your blog. I have yet to sign up for this due to lack of time, but I have often been taken to this site when I goggle myself or my blog. I find that many have written about things I have posted in Etsy or they have written about my blog.
If anyone has a blog, THIS IS THE TOOL THAT IS A MUST HAVE!!!!!!
This site will track everything from daily visits, total visits, what site someone found your blog link on, the specific pages in your blog they read, how many times that blog post has been read, top 10 posts, etc.
There are even graphs of how many visitors have seen your blog, a pie graph of what countries visitors are from, what types of computers they are using, etc.
It also keeps track of google searches and yahoo searches that people have typed in to find you or your blog.
The nice thing is that this will also give you an accurate visit count without counting yourself when you visit and update, refresh, etc.
Most bloggers I have seen use this counter that is free and gives a variety of styles to choose from. The only bad thing is that it will count myself when I visit, update, and refresh. There might be a way to change this, but I have not found that yet. Still, it is still good to have on the blog.
Timothy Adam has a great blog and has recently written a post about blogging as well that has similar sites, but is a great tool in general!
His big tip is to post something new EVERY DAY (something that I am bad at recently).
READERS WRITE BACK... WHY DO YOU BLOG?
"I just started blogging for fun - cicuska.typepad.com I blog about things i make or find, anything i think someone might find interesting and/or useful, and i do "etsy sundays" where Ii pick a theme and 6 items from etsy that fall under that category. " -Cicuska, Flickr
"I blog and I put links to other blogs on my blog. I blogged mainly because I wanted to have a journal accounting my first year in business. Then I started getting hits to my site and that was fun. The more I blog the more visitors I get, the more visitors I get the more I blog. " -Dancing Monkey Jewelry, Flickr
"I mainly use mine as a way to keep things organized - i feel like i have things scattered all over the internet - flickr, etsy, etc. and it's nice to be able to link to just one or two places where people can find links to any of my other online spaces, instead of just randomly finding them over time. So mainly, i have it for organization. the content is sort of general, mainly just things i find online that i like, or things i am making. if someone recommends something to me, like a book or a movie, and i like it, i'll throw it up there too. but it's mainly craft-related. oh, and there are pictures of my cats." -Chelsea Creature, Flickr
"I use my blog to show off. Simply put. I also use it as kind of a journal though too. I write about any and everything. I love getting the comments and views and I always hope that it leads to sales, though it often does not." -armorgan, Etsy
"I think one important thing is building relationships. I've become friends with some of the people that visit my blog often, and in turn I end up hearting their things and will go to these people if I ever need something that they sell!"
"Blogging is important because it forms a bridge between the artist and the potential buyer. We don't sell "things". We sell pieces of ourselves, and by talking about our pieces and the processes that go into making them, we are helping the buyer to see the art as we see it. As far as tips are concerned, I'd say having some great images in each post is the most important thing you can do to get someone to read. I've left plenty of blogs that were all text, because there was nothing to draw me in.
When it comes to traffic, the best thing you can do is get involved in other groups outside Etsy and spread your link there. Illustration Friday and Flickr have provided a great boost for us, but there are several crafting forums that could work as well. Having contests and give aways also will bring a temporary boost, but make sure you have lots of great content to keep people coming back. For search engine optimization (SEO) you need to add alt tags to all of your images. That will get them picked up in image searches. It will require editing the html of your post, but it's really easy. Just look for the alt=" " and place a description of the picture (with your shop name) between the quotes." -GreenSpaceGoods, Etsy
I hope that this information has been useful and that you take to heart some of the tips that are provided.
Feel free to comment or add to anything that was mentioned or any new ideas you may have for Bloggers!