Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns.
Photo courtesy of Sweet Georgia Yarns
Don’t believe the hype. Blogging isn’t dead. In fact, it’s more alive and relevant now than it’s ever been.
As social media becomes more noisy there’s ever increasing competition for consumer attention. Facebook’s announcement last week that the platform will be prioritizing content from friends and family over content from businesses is evidence that the days of using social media alone to promote your business are waning. Marketplaces are becoming crowded, too. Etsy sellers are expressing increasing frustration that the handmade marketplace has become saturated making it very difficult to stand out and get noticed. With 1.9 million sellers craft businesses that don’t have the advertising budget to pay for Etsy’s search ads fade into the background. This new media landscape has led many crafters who started out with a blog years ago to return to it as a way to stand out from the crowd. Others who were hesitant to dive into blogging full force are now seeing the value in blogging.
Here are six compelling reasons why craft businesses consider blogging as a marketing tool.
You have control over your domain and platform
A blog gives you a place to collect names for your mailing list
Your mailing list is invaluable to your business, and a blog can be a great list-building tool. One way is to pin your best evergreen content on Pinterest, which will bring in site traffic, and use a popup or an appropriate lead magnet to encourage visitors to subscribe.
Blogs build customer trust
Customers like to know about the artisan they’re purchasing from – it personalizes the experience. Sharing pictures of your process, your studio, and what inspires you places your product or service in context beyond dollar amounts. Melanie Cheripka of Baad Mom Yarns likes to use her blog to give her customers ideas and tips on how to use and knit with hand-dyed yarn. She includes color inspiration, pictures of her studio, and pattern suggestions. “All of this builds my credibility with customers and they are more likely to buy.” Knowing the story behind the product can reassure a customer that they are buying a quality product.
Your blog makes your website a known destination and resource
Offer value in your content so that your blog becomes an invaluable resource for those in your niche. Hanson started her blog for the purpose of offering tutorials on different aspects of fiber arts. Her blog has expanded to showcase yarn combinations and interviews with knitting and crochet designers. Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns says, “We are digging in deeper and working on creating more focused, detailed, well-written, and helpful content for knitters.” Tutorials and pattern suggestions give customers a reason to make a purchase.
Blogs can foster community
Lo provides great content on Sweet Georgia’s blog because she believes it’s an integral part of creating, as she says, “a loyal tribe of like-minded fiber friends.” Blogs can also work with social media to foster a sense of community. Karen Templer of Fringe Association hosts Slow Fashion October and several annual knit-alongs that have ever-growing participation.
Your blog helps your brand rank higher in search engines
The more attention your blog receives, the higher it will rank in search engines, allowing new readers and customers to find you. Search engines like Google have an algorithm that pushes fresh, relevant content to the top of rankings for many searches. Consistently blogging great content will help keep you steadily visible.
Blogs are far from being obsolete. There will always be headlines proclaiming that blogging is dead, the reality is that a blog can be one of the best tools in your marketing toolbox to get your business attention in a saturated, noisy market.
Skeins from Carla Hanson.
Skeins from Melanie Cheripka.
Skeins from Jennifer Tepper Heverly.
And thus is why I have continued to roll my eyes every time I read that “blogging is dead”. No, blogging is not dead. It has certainly changed and evolved over the past 10+ years, but every one of these reasons is exactly why it is not dead.
Last January when I published four blog posts about the Tokyo Quilt Festival, over 52,000 browsers visited my website. Those visitors shared those stories over 1k times on Facebook. I love the fact that the info will be on the internet—as long as I keep my website live. Both FB and Instagram posts get buried and essentially lost so the searchability and permanence of blog posts make them highly valuable.
Yes!! I’ve felt this way for a long time; it’s nice to see it put so succinctly.
My five year old blog is still my favourite social media platform. I aim to post regularly on Facebook and Instagram but gain much more satisfaction from taking the time to write a blog post.
I am considering selling directly from my blog site but I’m a little nervous about losing the back-up of Etsy should there be a problem with processing a payment or an order.
If someone has no idea how to start a blog what advice would you offer that person to help them begin?
I would suggest researching blogging platforms and learning about SEO and digital photography. Like anything, blogging well is a commitment and it has a learning curve and there are costs involved.
I am not a maker who sells or has a blog but wanted to say that I have always preferred reading a blog than an IG post. I find that for me, a blog gives me a sense of connection with the person writing it and as such, I look forward to the next one . IG is fine for quickie posts and skimming through, but nothing I see so quickly and fleetingly tends to make a lasting impression on me. And I detest FB.
I left FB & IM. Spend less time on my phone, more time with real people & outside since moving to a better climate. Still enjoy supporting small business, attend local events regularly to support people. Much prefer to read blogs than scroll through FB as I personally feel it is toxic and harmed society more so than its benefitted. Probably not what you want to hear, but know I am not alone.
Everything you said. I never even used IM. I used to like IG but have avoided it for more than a year now for various reasons. I do use Whatsapp – for now.