Hi again! Hope you read my previous post about connecting with your customers. Yes, that is the one. If you have not read it yet, take a few minutes off to sneak a peek at it. Now that the cat is out of the bag, I guess it is appropriate for me to offer you some pointers that will help you do it right.
Let’s get started…
First with the blog. If you don’t have a blog already, it is time you started one. Starting one doesn’t take much time, there are many blogging platforms out there which you can use to create one.
Wait a minute..! Just because there are so many blog platforms out there, it does not mean that they are all suitable for your purpose. They all have their own uses though. So, let me list out the top three blogging platforms that just might be right for you.
You will find this to be a versatile platform that can be put to many uses. It comes in two flavors, the WordPress hosted blog available at wordpress.com and another for self-hosted blog sites available at wordpress.org. I would strongly recommend you to opt for the latter as it gives you the flexibility for endless possibilities. It might require some extra cost and work from your end for hosting and maintenance, but it is totally worth it.
WordPress offers a wide variety of tools and plugins to customize and optimize your blog/site. And guess what? You can also have your store on it (Shhh…! that’s for my next post).
I guess most of us know, or at least have heard of Blogger, a blog publishing platform by Google. If you are looking for a no-nonsense platform, just for blogging with limited themes, then Blogger is for you. Blogger is easy to setup, all you need is a Google account, few clicks and your site is ready. You should start with Blogger if you are new to blogging.
Well, for those of you who do not know about Tumblr, it is a hybrid between microblogging and social network. Tumblr has been steadily climbing up the ranks on the internet since it was acquired by Yahoo! It is among the best blogging platforms that Etsy sellers can use, especially if you do not intend to write long posts. You can add photographs with links and description.
That’s not all… there is another surprise for you. You can also add links to the products from your Etsy store and Tumblr will automatically display a “Buy” button on it. People can buy through your blog (how cool is that?).
You can map your own custom domain to all these platforms. For a small cost, if you are using a WordPress hosted blog.
|Cost||Free (premium themes cost extra)||Free (premium themes cost extra)||Free (premium themes cost extra)|
|Hosting||Basic WordPress.com sites – freeWordpress.org – self hosted (hosting charges applicable).||Free||Free|
|Strengths||Huge number of tools, endless customization possibilities.Great developer and support community||Simple, easy to use||Social network aspect, community driven|
|Advantage for Etsy Users||Customizable site, in addition to blog, it can be a standalone ecommerce site by itself.Various plugins available for SEO optimization etc.||Easy setup and maintenance,Google SEO advantage at basic settings,Easy domain mapping and site monetization||Good for sharing ideas and promoting products by using photos and videos.“Buy” buttons against your Etsy product link on the site|
|Disadvantages||A bit pricey compared to othersNeed some basic skills to customize||You do not have complete control over the codes, like on WordPress||Commenting support needs to improve.The buy button is available only on desktop version for now.|
Now, have a look at the comparison between these three blogging platforms and pick one that you think is the best for you.
Free Blogging Platforms vs. Self-hosted
Friends over at FirstSiteGuide put this cool video comparing free blogging platforms and self-hosted solutions. Check it out: