I used to keep a journal when I was a little girl. I would write down all my thoughts and hopes.Â It wasnâ€™t always something secret or scandalous, but just a daily recording of what I was doing; a time capsule of who I was at that point in my life.Â I think thatâ€™s what draws so many people to the blogging world.
Blogging is becoming increasingly popular with creative entrepreneurs, because it gives sellers another avenue to reach customers and potential clients, and a way for those customers to peek into the life of a creative soul. Maintaining and promoting a blog is also a great way to form a community with potential customers and fellow artisans.
Two creative entrepreneurs I talked to have found that maintaining a blog alongside their online shops has been a powerful business tool.
Paula Small owns Castle and Cottage, where she sells vintage-style signs. Being a proud owner of one of her marvelous creations, I can tell you that her work is not only lovely, but also high quality. In addition to selling her work, Paula has also opened up her life to the blogging community.
Her blog is where she talks about her inspirations and musings â€“ anything from rose bushes to good-looking tennis players.Â Paula says she likes to share personal stories, and that â€śreaders appreciate seeing your 'human side'.â€ť
Apparently so, because Paula says her sales have almost tripled in the past year because of her blog presence. By using Google Analytics to gauge traffic, Paula has also been able to see that as her blog traffic goes up, her web store visits increase. A lot of Paulaâ€™s sales are generated from her blog, and through networking with other bloggers.
Her advice to Meylah readers looking to start their own blog?
- Just do it! Don't fret about all the details because, most of it will be "learn as you go" anyway.
- Be yourself. Let your readers see who you are, not who you can imitate.
- Reach out. Visit, follow and comment on others' blogs. It's not just 'if you build it they will come'. You need to invite them!
Another blogging advocate is A. Jarrett, the photographer behind Gabrielle Kai Photography (the business is named after her daughter). Her pictures capture natureâ€™s serenity and quiet vignettes of everyday life. I own two of her prints, and just looking at them gives me a warm glow.
The same happens when I read her lovely blog, where she posts delightful inspirational images, quotes and anecdotes about her life. She also posts about any upcoming promotions or sales in her store and says that â€śhaving a blog and an online store go hand-in-handâ€ť.
Jarrett says that the Gabrielle Kai photography blog has become her best source of marketing. Most of her referrals have come via her blog, and she even has had readers request images theyâ€™ve seen on her blog that she never would have thought to offer for sale in her store.
Her readers give her great suggestions and feedback. The blog is a great way to gauge buyersâ€™ interest in a particular photography subject or series.
Some great advice on blogging from Jarrett:
- Write from your heart.
- Create a sense of community with your readers.
- Reach out to other bloggers and introduce them to your work.
Both of these successful women have similar thoughts and advice about starting up your own blog. Take their advice and run with it!
If any of you have a blog that you would like to share, or some tips about getting started, feel free to leave a note in the comments section.
Good luck with your blogs!
Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com