As an Etsy seller, you probably know a handful of craft sellers with popular blogs.
Having a blog helps you find new customers, build a fan following and – importantly – build an email list. And grow your etsy shop.
If done correctly, blogging really helps your shop in many ways!
The 5 Benefits of Blogging
- Blogging helps you build a consistent fan base you can always promote to. These fans want to hear about your new products!
- Blogging provides you a platform to talk about your work, your shop, your products and your life.
- Blogging helps you build email lists.
- Blogging builds your brand identity and trust. The more you write about your work and life, the more readers associate your shop with you as a person.
- And blogging – with the right kind of traffic – will help you get more sales on your shop without doing any other marketing.
Why don’t all sellers have blogs?
And yet, online sellers don’t blog. There are a lot of reasons for this. Here’s some of the reasons I’ve heard:
- I have no time to blog. (you can blog with just about 1 hour a week)
- I can’t write well. (Bloggers don’t have to write well. You just have to communicate well. More on this too!)
- I don’t know what to write about. (Here’s a list to get started)
- I don’t know how to get started. (Easy! We’ll cover this too!)
- It’s too much time and effort. (it is a little bit of extra time and effort, yes, but totally worth it)
Why Should I Even Think of Blogging? – Interview with Jess van Den (of Create and Thrive)
Blogging helps you build your brand as you narrate your story to an audience.
Writing is a way to tell your story. And your story is what makes your brand stand out.
We spoke to Jessica of Create & Thrive (it’s very unlikely that you haven’t heard of her but if you are new to the scene, you should definitely check out her blog).
Jessica: Blogging is a vital tool to tell your story and build your brand.
The entities of your shop definitely build your brand, yes.
The products you list, the photographs you post, the descriptions you write… everything contributes to the brand.
But there is nothing more powerful than a blog to tell your story.
And stories connect people. Stories about why you do what you do, and what’s so special about your creations is what connects you to your (would-be) customers.
There are two places where you can do this.
One is social media. Consistent, carefully-thought-out social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram etc. help you tell your story and connect to people.
The second is your blog. There is no other place more suitable than a blog to speak your mind and establish the genuineness of your work, your art and your business.
Jessica: Not only is it the one place where you can really tell your story in-depth, it also allows you to connect with and help your customer.
All that success starts from one single variable.
Among the most effective methods are the ones that involve spending money (on ads and such).
But blogging is the only way where you can earn a consistent stream of traffic to your shop without spending a penny. (but of course, you’ll be spending a lot of time!).
Jessica: Blogging is also a really important tool when it comes to bringing traffic to your website – and therefore your shop.
You can’t get stuck on what stories you should tell on your blog – a.k.a what to post.
There are literally a million things you can write about – your daily work, tutorials (DIY), one of your items and how you made it, some general advice that helps people in some way, curation (list of links that you found interesting)…
That list is endless. Jess puts it clearly:
Jessica: You want to use your blog to tell the story of your brand – why you make what you do; the materials and processes you use; what problem you are solving/what need you are fulfilling.
Ultimately, everything you do – right from creating something to marketing it – is about connecting with people.
And blogging is no exception.
Jessica: Use your blog to connect with your ideal customer – to show them that you understand them and their needs, and can help them.
What I’d like to emphasize here is the “ideal customer”.
You can blog randomly, about anything and everything that comes to your mind but it’s a mostly fruitless exercise if your goal is to bring more traffic to your shop through your blog.
Instead, you should draw you your vision of who your ideal customer is – is she working, is she a mom, is she interested in accessories, is she more interested in making accessories on her own (as a hobby) etc. – and then write to this one person.
Always write as if you’re talking to your ideal customer. Whatever you’d say, just write it.
That’s what a genuine blog is all about.
Getting Rid of Excuses!
Remember the list of reasons I mentioned right at the top of this blogpost? Let’s dissect them:
Reason #1: I have no time to blog.
Most bloggers update their blogs once a week. May be twice.
And it is mostly a simple update about a new item up on their shop or a general observation about their life that week. It’s very simple, no more than a page or two long.
The time it takes – typically – is about a couple of hours to write and publish. Think about it: 2-3 hours a week is not so bad.
Reason #2: I can’t write well.
Like I said before, blogging is not about writing well. It’s about communicating well.
When you talk to a customer, a friend or a relative, you don’t think of grammatical accuracy or literary talent. You just talk to make sure the other person understands what you’re saying.
Blogging is just the same.
Simple words, short sentences, clear ideas. That’s all you need.
Write as if you’re talking to your friend.
Reason #3: I don’t know what to write about.
Like I said before, there’s no dearth of topics that you can write on.
a) You can write about a product you made
Go into the details of how you made it, what materials you used, how long it took etc.
b) You can blog weekly updates about your work
Things like what’s something new you’re working on, what’s happening with your shop etc. Liz Marie once wrote about a curious little thing she does on her Sunday morning walks.
c) You can write about an upcoming promotional event on your shop
Give details about what the promotion is about, how buyers can avail the offer, the conditions etc. Here’s an example of announcing a giveaway.
d) You can write about other sellers, artists and things you admire
Amy occasionally writes about some interesting handmade she found and blogs about it like this one here.
e) You can make interesting lists of items that you like on Etsy or other places (don the curator’s cape!)
f) You can interview someone from your sellers’ community (or from your Etsy team)!
Grace of Lark+Arrow interviews crafters and makers in her “Ladies to Know” series. The series is simple but very insightful.
g) You can write something generic (but which will appeal to your audience and has some takeaways for them).
Deanna of BadonHillBlog wrote this beautiful piece that helps all Etsy sellers.
Reason #4: I don’t know how to get started.
And that’s the last excuse we’ll get rid of in the next section.
How to Get Started with Blogging in 2 Minutes
There are two ways to get started here.
One: debate about which blogging platform to use, go through tons of pages of features for each and then get confused.
Or two: sign up for something really simple and just get started.
We’re going to pick #2.
Here’s what you need to do to:
- Go to Tumblr.com and signup for an account.
- Set up your first blog. Handy tip: set your blog URL (the link) the same as your shop’s name. You can always alter the title/name of the blog later but your URL is fixed.
- Start posting!
You can promote your products on Tumblr directly too!
Blog readers do like to read about the new products you listed on your shop.
If you connect your Tumblr blog to your Around.io account, you can seamlessly post to Tumblr. That’s a cool feature our users love to use.
Using A Post Planner to Brainstorm, Plan and Write Your Blogpost!
Some writers just show up in front of their laptops and start typing out blog posts.
It doesn’t happen that way with everyone.
If you want to write something that really connects to your reader – and that’s important because your reader is your fan and customer – you should plan a little.
Here’s a simple strategy you can apply before you write a blogpost:
- brainstorm ideas that you can write on. Go back to the ideas under Reason #3
- research, note down stuff that you think should go in the post
- write a very brief “sub-headlines only” kind of an outline
- then build on this and write your blogpost
You know online sellers with blogs sell more, have a powerful brand and connect with their fans and customers better.
Now go ahead and get started right away!