Saturday, February 16, 2008

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.

-Include meaningful and useful content!


PLACES TO INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG
A free blog widget, where posts are automatically promoted on related blogs across the internet.

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.


COUNTERS AND WAYS TO TRACK TRAFFIC TO YOUR 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 DESIGNS BLOG UPDATE 
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 mostly to get ideas out of my head and stored elsewhere. and keep track of all of my "projects."   -Smashing, Etsy

"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 try to blog regularly about my work. It's the only place that I post news, such as what I am currently working on, new items I have created and where to purchase them, where my work has been featured, etc. I also use it to try and promote artists that have featured my work in blogs or treasuries to try and repay them for their kindness =)" 
 -Kaysk9s, Flickr

"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!"   
-Kieutiepie, Flickr

"I only use blog as my art gallery and write a few basic things about each piece:)."   -tanyabond, Etsy

"For me, blogging is important to give a human aspect to my store....people get to know you through your blogs."                       -artbyangie, Etsy

"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!

Image by PigseyArt

20 comments:

Lisa K. said...

Thanks for all of the great information and tips about blogging. I'm going to check into blogpatrol for sure!

Simply Wired Custom Jewelry said...

Thanks for your input and all of the tips. I really like Blogpatrol, too.

I checked out Blogrush after Timothy Adam Designs put up his post on his blog, and I have definitely noticed a difference in my blog traffic. Highly recommended!

Octavine Illustration said...

thanks for all the advice! great information and links. i find that blogcatalog is great way to promote. i haven't checked out blogrush yet, thanks for the tip!

Kinichi River Designs said...

This is an excellent article! I'm very new to blogging and looking forward to getting more involved in my blog and the blogging community. This is a lot of great info for a newbie who is just a bit overwhelmed! :)

cricket said...

Great post!

I will be using some of these ideas!

Mystic Silks http:mysticsilks.etsy.com said...

Great post--full of information!

Hey Harriet said...

Wow! This is a great post with a lot of really useful information. Thanks so much for sharing! You rock! :)

soandsewcrafty said...

Very good post with lots of useful info.

Tizzalicious said...

This is great, thank you!

Jmorgan said...

I thought you might want to put some widgets on your blog.

Retro Grandma said...

Thanks for all the great tips on blogs! Your blog is wonderful. I'd like you to add me to your favourite blogs please and I will do the same for you. thanks.
http://www.retrograndma.etsy.com
http://www.retrograndma.blogspot.com

clockgirlkelly said...

Thank you! I have been spending some valuable time networking myself. It is a unique way to increase your visibility and friendship pool! When I come across some fabulous ideas, I'll be sure to pass them on!

nunofakind said...

So glad to find this useful information! I just started a blog this year, and appreciate all the help that I can get! Thanks!

GREEN SPRINGS BODYWORKS said...

Thanks for the wonderful post. I am off to get blogrush, thanks for the tip.

GREEN SPRINGS BODYWORKS said...

Oh no Blogrush is shut down, will it come back??

patchfirstshop said...

Thank you for great information..

Mia Sophia said...

Super info, thanks!

gretchenmist/belkemp said...

hi nicole,
have had this page open for at least a week to come back to read! {found in etsy forums}. thanks so much for sharing all the info :)
belinda

kellyssima said...

thank you for your post! great info!

ScamperingScotties said...

Thank you for the great information!

www.scamperingscotties.etsy.com

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