Interview with Grace Gulley – Craftmaker, Online Seller And Founder of CYL

What do you call someone who loves California, ginger and Bikram Yoga?

“Grace”.

Grace makes and sells beautiful macramé through her shop Lark+Arrow but that’s just one small bit of what she does.

Read this too: How to use your blog to grow your Etsy shop

Right under the hood of the shop, you have her blog which she frequently updates – with interviews, tips and more. We wanted to find out if blogging has helped her shop, her business and her brand. So we got in touch with Grace.

Grace also runs a collective, “Craft Your Life” where she writes frequently – covering a wide range of things including artists, the way we work, goal-setting, happiness and more.

Here’s Grace’s thoughts on blogging for online sellers and craftmakers:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, your shop and your work at CYL

Grace Gulley - founder of CYL, craft maker + online seller

My name is Grace Gulley and CYL was born early this year when I realized I needed to feel connected to something in order to refuel my own creative spirit. The idea behind the community is that women should lift one another up, instead of tearing each other down. I wanted to create a positive space where creativity could flourish, and that fear of being vulnerable could subside.

2. You blog once a month on an average (August had more though) at Lark+Arrow.. It’s a mixture of some simple but very relevant tips for sellers and some interviews. Do you have a specific goal or posting schedule or is it random?

lark+arrow

Honestly, going into the New Year, upping the frequency of blog posts is top priority. I started Lark + Arrow only a few months after CYL. At the time I had no idea what to expect. I was holding a full-time job and thought that it would be something to have my evenings be more fulfilling. It has snowballed since then and I can see the positive effects both are having on the creative community. Writing was one of my first creative loves. And blogging is certainly an outlet for me to share that love. I am getting more organized and moving towards this two things being my full-time ‘jobs’. So the plan is to post three times weekly on the Lark + Arrow blog.

3. What are the benefits of having a blog for your shop (or just blogging somewhere)? (benefits can be both marketing-related and personal…)

I believe the benefits of blogging are multi-fold. As I mentioned, writing is one of my first loves so it’s an outlet for me to exercise that creative ambition. I also firmly believe that people do not buy your product, but your story.

people buy stories, not products - blog etsy shop

And what better way to share your story and who you are than by blogging. It gives your audience a chance to connect with you. Lastly, as evident by CYL, I think community comes first. You should always aspire to motivate and inspire others, make them feel good about themselves. Blogging is a definite avenue for that.

4. If an Etsy seller wants to get started right away with blogging (for their shop), what would your recommendation be? What are the first steps to get started?

Sadly, I am not as nearly as fluent with Etsy as I should be! I skipped Etsy and went straight to Shopify so I could incorporate a blog into my shop. I’ve heard wonders about WordPress, and am in the process of setting up my first one. So once I’m finished there I can speak on that! I can speak highly of Shopify though as they do make it simple to set up your store, and incorporate a blog.

I think one of the first things you should do when preparing to launch a blog is spend some time brainstorming. Think about what you want to say, what’s your goal with your writing.

how to use a blog to grow your etsy shop

Have a few ideas or stock articles ready-to-go. An editorial calendar is also a tremendous help. Consistency is key when posting (and yes I realize presently I’m not the best example). But strive to post on a somewhat regular basis. If you can post one time a week, that is fine. If you can honestly say you have time to do four posts a week, go for it!

5. Blogging is something that works well when there’s a community around it (like the one around Lark+Arrrow or CYL). How do you think sellers+bloggers can build that community when they have a blog?

Absolutely! Instagram has been the ticket for me. The community I have is nearly entirely from that platform, and they’ve just followed me over to my blogs. I think communities form when there is a clear focus and mission. When there is something relatable and of value. CYL’s mission is very clear and the community is strongly tied to everything CYL now does. Have a mission, state it clearly, and stay dedicated.

Thank you very much for the interview, Grace!

Don’t forget to follow this up with: How to use your blog to grow your Etsy shop.

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