Last week I shared the importance of understanding and knowing your blogging niche. This week I want to talk with you about why I firmly believe having a blog for your Etsy shop is crucial in how successful your shop can be!
This isn’t to say you can never bring in a sale without a blog. I feel having a blog opens up an entirely new platform of people you would otherwise have missed by only exposing yourself on Etsy, Instagram and any other social media platform you choose to interact on.
I feel I can say this because I have been a part of the blogging world for a while. I’m not the person who is going to be posting income reports of how I made $15,847 last month. But I will share with you ALL of the things I have tried so far. I will also share with you what has worked. What hasn’t worked. The things I believe could work given enough time as well as things that really aren’t of any use.
One of my favorite resources for learning about blogging is a man by the name of John Chow.
I am all about utilizing FREE resources as much as possible. Sometimes it takes a little digging and I completely understand if extra time is NOT something you have! Therefore I am going to do my best to put together detailed posts every wednesday to equip you with the tools I deem necessary to step in to this “new world” of blogging.
John has an amazing story! I have watched countless lectures over an hour long each he has given to people who are trying to establish themselves online.
He is someone who has created a stable income for himself and his family. The thing I love about his story and approach is he DOES NOT preach a 5 step plan over 6 months to achieve success online. He’s honest. He’s genuine and he tells you…”It’s gonna take time!”
This was one of my biggest problems when I first started blogging.
I kept thinking, “Okay, I’m doing all these things these people are saying annnnnnd NOTHING is happening!” It was frustrating and that’s why I quit so many times. When someone tells you all you need to do are “THESE 10 THINGS” and then you do it and you see no changes. That’s a tough pill to swallow!
I’m going to be TOTALLY honest with you.
I am NOT making $1,000s right now. In fact this is my first official month to break the $500 mark. But it has taken time…can I say that again? It has taken TIME and lots of it! There has been a continual process of trial and error. I have had to let go of things I thought would really work and implement things I was fighting against but have really begun to pay off.
I’m sorry to say that I don’t think there is any “right” formula for how to make it in the online world. I do however see trends that ARE working for those of us who call ourselves makers. I also see patterns across the board that are consistently successful and should be something you try for a time and see if they work.
For makers your blog needs to be an extension of your shop. A behind-the-scenes look at what inspires you, your creative process and then snapshots of you as a person. This is what breathes life into the small business lifestyle right? We don’t want to outsource our work and all of a sudden become a nameless faceless entity within a consumer driven world.
On the contrary!
We desire to pour ourselves into every facet of the pieces we make. Whether you are in woodworking, embroidery, pottery design or any field of artisan crafts. A blog is a place where you can share who you are to an even greater extent than a quick Instagram photo with text.
I was recently reading a book called “Blog Inc.” by Joy Cho of the Oh Joy! blog. It’s an older book but there are so many amazing pieces of advice as well as some amazing interviews with other maker bloggers.
Here are a few quotes from the book…
“Blogging is one of the best ways to give current and potential customers a peek into what makes your business tick…they tend to be more loyal when they feel like they’re getting access to the brain behind the business.”
Think about that statement when you examine yourself. Don’t you feel a greater connection and deeper desire to support a small business or maker when you see the things that inspire or drive them to create the things they are making?
We aren’t talking about Walmart or Target mass producing LOW QUALITY trending items. Makers are those who have families, possibly other jobs yet they are pouring themselves into creating something for you to love and enjoy.
When I have someone buy something from me I feel honored! To think there is someone who wants my handmade product to be a part of their lives is a huge thing in my book. A blog enables you to capture all of that. It draws people in making this amazing connection with them! It’s really remarkable.
“…whatever your skills may be, if you blog to showcase your best work, it’s likely that more clients will come your way. Remember, any reader is a potential client or customer.”
Let me draw to your attention 3 people who are in the creative industry that started out as bloggers.
#1 Ree Drummond from the pioneer woman
You CANNOT walk into a walmart, turn on the food network and not see this lady! She is literally everywhere! What was she doing when she got discovered? Blogging about life on her Oklahoma farm, snapping amazing photos of farm sunsets and cattle herding early in the morning. The biggest draw? She captured on her site all of the amazingly delicious things she prepared for her friends and family to eat!
Now she has a cooking show on Food Network, several books AND cookbooks as well as a kitchen line at Walmart.
For a maker who started as a farmer’s wife…that’s pretty incredible!
#2 Joanna Gaines from fixer upper
Okay I know you’ve heard of this gal! She’s literally everywhere! From her new book released this last October to the amazing establishment they call the Silos. Joanna has managed to take her maker blog to the next level and beyond! You can’t turn on HGTV and not see her and Chip poking fun at one another.
Not to mention she now has delved into the food world by opening her own bakery this year!
All that coming from her online portfolio, her blog.
#3 Joel Henriques from MadeByJoel.com
I discovered this guy when reading Joy’s book. I was shocked to read about his story and learn of all the incredible opportunities he’s had from starting a stay-at-home dad blog where he shared his handmade toys he made for his kids as well as the art projects and crafts he developed by the inspiration of his children.
He has had the entire world open up to him! Even getting opportunities to have an exclusive line created with a company in London as well as working with Disney!
I share these people with you because I want you to see how vital a blog can be to your online shop. This DOES NOT mean you can never be successful! You can! However, given the day and age we are living in a blog seems to be a go-to source that brands and companies look at when they are seeking new people to work with.
Now, there may be some makers out there who are perfectly content for things to stay the way they are. I will say…Awesome! If that’s really where your heart is than you keep doing what works for you! I will support you and your maker business every step of the way!
But if you say to yourself, “You know what, I really want to make something out of this! I want to really reach people beyond what I could ever dream.” Then these Wednesday posts are for you.
This isn’t going to be something you can throw together overnight. It’s gonna take some time. Just like it takes time when you are making your pieces for your customers. Time spent crafting this extension of your business will be so worth it and I want to help you as much as I can every step of the way!
Before you do anything else I would encourage you to read Joy’s book. Don’t skim it…REALLY read it. Take notes and then ask yourself at the end if starting a blog is something you really want to commit to.
It’s gonna take commitment and dedication. I don’t want to see you fail because the pressure was too much or you realized after the fact this wasn’t the right route for you.
Really think about it before you dive all the way in.
When I reestablished myself as a maker blogger there was a huge shift change in my heart and mind. It all of a sudden became more about how I could help other makers and their pursuit of their dreams while pursuing my own dreams in the process.
This is one reason I started my Maker Monday Series. I wanted to find the underdogs in the maker world and give them a voice to the platform of 10k + people I get each month.
I don’t charge a fee I simply share their work and talent with the people who visit this blog everyday. I want to give back to others who are starting out in the maker world or who have been in the maker world for some time but are struggling to get over that initial hump.
This is one of the beauties of having a blog. I am afforded the opportunity to help other makers whereas I couldn’t do that with my Etsy shop alone.
Over the course of the last several months I have met and developed relationships with some pretty amazing people! This is something priceless and I know would not have happened if it weren’t for the opportunities my blog gives me.
What I desire most is to see and help be a part of growing the maker community even more!
I strongly feel if you were to start a blog for your Etsy shop you would be amazed to see what can happen in time. The opportunities that would come your way would blow your mind!
But before you jump off that diving board I would ask you to do one thing…
Get a copy of Joy’s book and read the testimonials of other makers and their roads to success via their blogs. Be inspired and let this tool be something to help you make your decision. Then come back here and I will do everything within my power to help you achieve all your maker dreams! If I don’t have an answer for one of your questions then TOGETHER we will figure out the answer.
I am here for you to help guide you and hold your hand every step of the way!
Are you ready to take your maker life to the next level? Then pick up a copy of Joy’s book today and let’s DO THIS THING!!!
click the image above to get your copy!
I’m so excited to help you begin this new journey and I can’t wait to be reading about some of you in the latest issues of trending magazines! You are all awesome and what your products contribute to the world…there just aren’t enough words to express my thanks and gratitude for each of you!
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I hope this post has encouraged you! Next week we will discuss why Instagram relationships are important as a maker.