How to sell handmade Cards - Writing a blog11
Posted on 6th August 2012 by Papermilldirect
Filed under How To Sell Handmade Cards
In this post you will learn how a blog can be a useful marketing tool for selling handmade cards or wedding stationery. Part of our Selling Handmade Cards series where you can learn all aspects of starting a small card making business.
How do you get people to find your online shop?
One of the first hurdles for a handmade card maker beginning to sell their cards online, is marketing. How do you get people to find your shop amongst all the people selling handmade cards? Without visitors how can you make any sales?
It's great to look at what other card makers are doing. Daslia make and sell a lovely range of handmade cards.
What is a blog?
This is a blog! It's a place where you can publish news and articles that are either about your work or discuss something that your target market will be interested in. There are a number of free blogging platforms that are really user friendly. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can write a blog. We would advise trying a www.blogger.com blog, you can set one up in minutes.
This is the blogger dashboard, once you have learned what the icons along the top do, writing and formatting a blog post is really simple. Just start typing
Do craft blogs only get read by other crafters?
Not always, but a large majority of the people that read crafty blogs are also bloggers and crafters. However, blogging is NOT a waste of time for people wanting to sell handmade cards. Craft bloggers and readers are akin to a little personal team of marketeers that will happily share your work and be your personal cheering team! Getting your work shared online is important for increasing awareness of your product, being featured on blogs or shared across social media may find your work being spotted by influential people. 'Influencers', are the editors of popular blogs, the curators of front page and blog content on online marketplaces like NotontheHighStreet, Folksy and Etsy and even more exciting the editors of magazines and newspapers and the owners of galleries. It's a great feeling to have your work featured in a print magazine you can hold and show your Mum or for sale in a real bricks and mortar gallery! Blogging will really help connect with these on and offline content curators and influential people who can take your handmade card business to the next level.
What to write about in a paper crafting blog?
A blog sets the scene of your online shop. It gives your shop personality and style, allowing people to see a little more about the maker behind the handmade cards. The content you share is vital to the success of your blog. It needs to keep existing readers coming back and also to attract new readers. You need to work out your target readership before you start building up content. Examples of content to share on a blog:
- Papercrafting Tutorials - these appeal to other handmade card makers and also to print magazines who are always on the lookout for new designers. Once you build up a readership you may find you also get approached by supplies companies (Like us!) to create designs using complimentary packs of their products.
- Works in Progress - Most creative people are fascinated by the process involved in your making, offering 'sneak peeks of your designs and ideas, draft sketches or parcels of new supplies that have arrived, can really help to pique interest. It also adds authenticity and gives people an idea of the amount of time, effort and energy involved in card making.
- Inspiration - Share sources of inspiration and your 'loves'. Photographs, stories, people and just the day to day stuff that inspires your work and defines you as an artist. Your loves are likely to coincide with the loves of your target market.
- Fellow Card Makers / Crafters - Writing about others can help you connect with the card making and crafting community, the card maker featured is likely to share the post with their own networks, bringing your blog to the eyes of a raft of new potential customers and blog readers. Only feature crafters that complement your style and work, this way their audience are more likely to enjoy your work too.
- Snippets about your life - as we said a blog is a way for people to really feel they are getting to know the designer - by sharing a few well chosen snippets from your day to day life you can help ensure your personality comes across. Be careful not to share too much!
- News - Use your blog as a place to promote all the offline events you will be attending.
Work really hard on your photography to make it bright and appealing to your readers, photos are often what will make an ordinary craft blog become and extraordinary and highly popular craft blog. The reason it's easier to promote your blog than your shop is because you are not sending people directly to a shop when you share a link, it's "look at this" rather than "buy this". You are sending them to an article of interest, something of value or entertainment to them. It's the antithesis of the hard sell, you are creating a story around your work and building up a portfolio of interesting content to encourage people to follow your blog posts. You are making friends and really connecting with a group of people through your blog posts.
What is SEO?
Google and other search engines have formulas that they use to decide which web pages they show for any particular search query. Technically you can 'optimise' what you write by including certain words that you think people may be searching for on google. These words are known as key words and the practise of optimising your blog content in this way is one part of a practise called search engine optimisation - better know as SEO. Building up a network of quality links back to your blog from influential websites is also really important in SEO. We all want our blog posts and products to be seen on the first page of google so following simple SEO techniques when writing content will help both your blog get found more often and also your webshop. We're going to be looking at SEO in depth soon, in this series of 'How to sell handmade cards' - it's a big subject and needs a post all of its own!
Next week I'll be talking about networking on Social Media more generally, using sites like Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook to help build your blog following and also increase referral traffic to your card shop. Do you have a blog? Please leave us a link to it in the comments - and if you haven't started one yet, we'd love to hear any queries you have, I'd be happy to help allay your fears and smooth out those crinkles that are stopping you blogging.