Tuesday, January 1, 2008

6 Questions to Really Ask Before You Start a (Craft) Blog

By on Tuesday, January 01, 2008 4 Comments

A brand new year! Perhaps one of your New Year's resolutions is to start a blog. Blogging is catching on and more people are at least thinking about it. A couple of readers emailed me to ask for some advice. So here goes.

Before taking the plunge, ask yourself these questions to find out if you have what it takes to be a blogger especially if you are already juggling your job with a craft business, family and perhaps a website. If you can answer yes to all the questions below, then all the best. Be warned though - blogging can become addictive. Do you need another addiction besides beads?

1. Do you like writing?

If you do, the chance to be your own reporter-editor-publisher all rolled into one has its appeal. Not sure? If you've tried keeping a diary in the past, or write frequently for work or pleasure, then it might be for you. Being an avid reader is also an asset. With practice, writing skills will improve and your unique "blog voice" will evolve. But if crafting a paragraph or even a sentence is a chore, then blogging is not for you.

2. Do you have a reason to blog?

People blog for many reasons. At the top of the list is the creativity quotient. Artisans like you are already creative so you might enjoy an additional outlet. Blogs, unlike static websites, allow you to connect with your customers, to showcase your work and to keep them updated about important aspects of your craft business. Some bloggers just want to express and share their passion, knowledge, opinions or thoughts. Still others want to earn money with their writing. Blogs can also be a documentation tool, a place to put musings, findings and photos.

3. Are you reasonably computer savvy?

There is a lot more behind a blog than just writing content. You will not be a webmaster in the true sense of the word, but you as the blog's owner will have to maintain it like one because nobody else will. Although it helps to have tinkered with website setups before, it is not necessary so long as you are up to the challenge of learning blogging software, choosing templates, trying new features and the occasional problem-solving. Some blogging platforms are harder than others, some are free, some cost. If you are new to blogging, you'll have to investigate which suits you and your pocket best.

Count yourself lucky if you know somebody with blogging experience who can help you over the initial technical hurdles and hold your hand for a bit. But don't count on continued aid. You must be able to research the internet for help when you encounter glitches or solve them yourself.

4. Can you spare the time?

Blogging and the maintenance of a blog does eat into your spare time. So does blog advertising which requires social networking. Who will know it existed unless you told everyone? Although it helps if you already have an existing website to add your new blog.

In a way, blogs are like newspapers. Both are published regularly and readers expect deliveries/posts. Nobody really wants to know if you've had a hard day at the office or a design deadline. If a newspaper or blog fails to deliver, subscribers will switch.

Successful blogs are updated frequently - at least a few times a week. You must be consistent and committed as a publisher, in for the long haul. If all your new year resolutions typically don't make it past February, your blog will languish in cyberspace along with countless others.

5. Are you creative?

"Content is king" is a common saying in the blogging world. Writing original content is the key. Plagiarism is not acceptable. If you are blogging on something in common with other blogs, you will need to give a different spin to the subject and have enough flexibility and creativity to come up with new ideas. Overly verbose posts are not indicative of creativity, neither are the one liners. Being creative does not imply being all over the place with your content either. Stay focused on your blog theme.

6. Are you organised?

You have to be efficient if you are writing a blog in your limited spare time. In order to be efficient, you have to be organised, not just to free up time but also to come up with and manage the photos and information you need as blog fodder.

Organisation involves planning ahead. Even a good blogger can have occasional periods of writer's block. Posts written in advance takes care of that problem whilst the blogger does something else for a change. What happens to blog posting during vacations and unexpected events also does require some thought.

A set routine will help you get into the habit of blogging. Organised bloggers take one further step - they write several posts in one sitting. When you have good flow, why stop? One good thing about writing ahead is the chance to edit and rework your post before you finally publish.

One last tip, especially if you are writing a craft blog - a picture is worth a thousand words! I have come across a number of jewelry blogs without photos. It's pretty hard for the reader to get excited about your jewelry if they have to wade through the text. The chances are, they would flip to another blog.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips 

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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for this - as someone going the other way, a blogger getting into craft stuff, this is useful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad it was useful! Good luck with the craft stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you. Your blog always has very useful information.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great post, Pearl and the links to other posts like the 3 cs in blogging. When I come to your blog I don't know how time flies! Keep it up. Dita.

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