This month Katie Portman from the blog Pouting in Heels drew a great crowd to hear her sharing her pearls of wisdom about blogging and how it can help your business.
Katie told us how she went from being a writer-with-a-blog to an award-winning blogger with a fantastic following who also freelances (when she has the time!).
A very brief summary of why blogs are great for business is that they are good for SEO (which increases your chances of people finding your website) and that they give you a voice so you can talk directly to your audience, and you can also talk about whatever you like, giving your business a bit more of a human feel.
Here are just a few of Katie’s tips to a successful blog:
- Try to find a business that compliments yours and see if you could work together. You could write about their services and in return they could blog about yours which is a win-win! You could also link to each others pages and writing guest posts. This way you are increasing your visibility and that can’t be a bad thing. This is definitely something we can do more of in Crafty Business!
- Love your blog! If you don’t put your heart into it then people won’t want to read it. Katie suggests getting personal to show that there is more to you than just a business. “The best blog posts either come straight from the heart or they offer something to people. They resonate with people or they inspire.” shares Katie
- Don’t forget to tell everyone about it! (This is my downfall – doh!) Katie suggests tweeting a link to your new post a few times throughout the day at least (she assured us we’re not going to annoy anyone by repeating it, which was my concern) plus the usual Facebook posts and if you have a mailing list then you can email them too.
- Keep going! Katie said that around 95% of bloggers give up in the first three months! Many people think they’ll have loads of followers straight away but that’s rarely the case. It takes time to build an audience so keep at it!
- It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a lot to say, but lots to show visually. A great example of a picture blog is Capture By Lucy.
To add my personal opinion to the pot, I am often told Crafty Business events ‘People won’t pay that much for my product!’ and I’m asked ‘How can I get people to understand that my product is worth more than a similar mass-produced item they can buy on the High Street?’. (By the way, this is by no means a problem only found with crafts!)
Now, I know there are so many different solutions to these problems, but one of them is simply – blogging! A blog is a simple and cost-effective way to tell your story, and that of your product. You can put across the processes you go through, the love, blood, sweat and tears that go into your creations, so that people can understand why, no, they can’t buy your lovingly handcrafted piece that took you a month to create for £5! It’s also a great way to put across who you are and what you’re about. People like to buy from people they like and sometimes that can add monetary value, so why not give it a go?
Katie has since published an article about her first attempt at public speaking. I had no idea she was nervous as she tackled it with aplomb! You can read about how she faced her fear and actually quite enjoyed it here. Thanks again for coming Katie – you won lots of new fans!
As ever, thanks to all Crafty Business members for coming. Without you the group would be nothing – you are such great bunch!