Suzanne at An Open Sketchbook draws little illustrations of things from her life. There are lots of places where you can find lists of blogging tips, but are any of them as cute as this? No. They are not. Check out her original post - the comments are very good reading if you want even more tips from other bloggers!
Suzanne's pointers are really spot-on. I especially like "become a resource."
A few weeks ago I noticed that sellers in the Etsy forums were often asking, "what do I do with a blog? What do I write about?" Although I'm hardly a pro blogger myself, I put together my own little list on a thread and called it the "Quick and Dirty Primer for Newbie Bloggers." Although some of it repeats what Suzanne wrote above, here's what I wrote:
- First of all, if you don't enjoy writing on a regular basis, don't start a blog. Regular posts, either daily or several times a week, are key to a successful blog.
- Read other people's blogs- especially established, successful blogs such as "oh, hello friend." This will give you a feel for what a popular blog is like. Read them. Read lots of them.
- Decide on a specific theme for your blog. Successful blogs have focus, meaning the writers stick to a certain topic (such as vintage clothing or polaroid photography) and rarely deviate from it. You don't have to write about the same thing every day, but keep all of your posts generally related to your theme.
- What to write about? SIMPLY PUT: write things that will make people interested in you and your Etsy shop. Show works in progress, pictures of your workspace or studio, new products, give tips or tutorials, share photos and links of things that inspire you. You can also ask readers for ideas and feedback.
- Remember that your blog is an extension of your Etsy business, not your personal diary. Don't post twenty pictures of your cats or four paragraphs about how flaky your friends are. Yes, readers do want to know about you personally, but keep it short, upbeat and drama-free.
- Blogs should be heavy on images, light on text. As someone else has said, "the internet is a big picture book." Pretty photos draw readers in, huge essays of text scare them away.
- Keep your layout and background simple and clean, so they don't distract from your content. (Again, look at popular blogs for layout inspiration.)
- How to get readers? That's the million dollar question everyone's asking. There are LOTS of forum threads and blog posts on this topic. Search them out and read people's ideas.
- That being said, it is generally agreed upon that leaving thoughtful comments on other people's blogs is a great way to get readers. Check out the blog list threads in the Promotions forum, and try to comment on at least 3 blogs every day.
- Don't stress out about getting more followers. Be patient, and remember: quality content first!
What do you think? What makes a good blog, in your opinion?