Do You Really Need a Blog?
I have had several of my teammates and friends on Etsy ask me if a blog is really a necessary aspect to Building Your Brand on Etsy. My answer, is yes. But here’s the catch…it has to be well thought out, well planned, and match the look and feel of the rest of your social media branding. So how do you do it? This week on “Build Your Brand” I am going to walk you through some of the basics of blogging and a reason to have a blog for your Etsy store…from here on out I will refer to this as your Etsy Blog, please do NOT get this confused with Etsy’s self run blog on the Etsy website.
Need a blog for your Etsy store? What should I blog about? ow.ly/fE1zP Build Your Brand Through Your Own Etsy Blog & Promote…
— Kater’s Acres (@katersacres) November 28, 2012
Yes, You Really Do Need an Etsy Blog
The majority of Etsy sellers do not have blogs that are about their business or Etsy. While many have personal blogs where they tell about their lives or the things going on in their lives, few have blogs that are related to their brand. It is okay to have personal blogs, but what you don’t want to do is mix your personal blog with your business blog. As a general rule of thumb, this is a no-no. Think of your blog as your own personal website. Perhaps your blog (like mine) functions as a website. It should then be about your brand and not your kids, family, & personal life.
Let’s think about it this way…when you go to your favorite coffee website, say Green Mountain Coffee, the last thing you want to see is a picture of the upper management on vacation at the beach, in his swimsuit, with his adorable kids and their dog. What you go there for is to read about their new coffees, perhaps make a purchase, or learn something new about coffee or the brewing process in general.
As with any rule, there are a few exceptions. Here is one of those exceptions. Jocelyn is an artist and a very good one. Recently she took her daughter & her art to the mission field to teach other children the value of art and artistic impression. Please feel free to visit her blog and read about her awesome experience in Fiji. Notice how this blog post fits in seamlessly with her art & her blog.
What Do You Feature On Your Blog?
This the most common question I get. Most people understand they need a blog, but they don’t understand what goes into their blog. The answer is simple, if it relates to your brand it should go on your blog. Let’s use my blog as an example. I have 3 main goals with my blog: to feature my work, to talk about polymer clay, & to help others succeed on Etsy. Those are 3 very wide things. In fact, if I wasn’t a team captain or wasn’t active in Etsy teams, my Build Your Brand series may well disappear. But because I get so many questions and requests for help and advice, this really is the easiest way to answer them clearly & effectively.
For your brand, you also need to decide what you will feature. Many Etsy blogs take the time once a week to feature an Etsy artist. Maybe you can feature your favorite tool and write an article why it’s your favorite. Write a mini tutorial featuring something for entry level people in your medium. Make your blog about your art form with your personal style, but make it something people will want to come back to. If you are always writing about your new releases, generally, only your hardcore fans will be the ones to visit. Make your blog about MORE than you and your medium.
Here’s some other examples: Perhaps you are a candle company, post a few pictures of ideas & ways to display your candles. Perhaps your are a trinket shop, post your trinkets doing something (sitting on a self, on a cake, hiding under a bush), but be creative. Perhaps you are a painter…take a picture of your easel before, in the middle, & after your painting session and tell what went on during your creative process.
Develop a Publishing Calendar
Unless you are a huge business, whatever publishing calendar you decide on will be loosely created with plenty of room for flexibility. I do a lot of planning and organizing of schedules in my personal life, so to me, this step is easy, but for you it may be hard. If you know how to create a meal plan, this is basically the same thing. You are going to sit down in the next 2 days and decide on a content publishing schedule for next month. You can organize it into your own daily calendar, or purchase a cute calendar off of Etsy that you can reuse month after month (like the one at left from Crystal Gayle Photography).
Here’s what you need to do:
- Organize sales/holidays & any promotions you want first.
- Organize content around those events.
- Develop a loose framework for content publishing.
You can use this simple model on a week by week basis or one month at a time. My general content publishing schedule is loosely based around the following template. This being said, we do deviate from schedule periodically…as you will also deviate from yours and that is okay too! Here’s my average weekly content:
- Monday – New item release details & promotion
- Tuesday – Polymer Clay tip, trick, or hint
- Wednesday – Build Your Brand series
- Thursday – Polymer Clay Artist Feature / Polymer Clay Tutorial
- Friday – Weekend challenge idea
What Do I Link from My Blog?
Many people want to know what they should link from their blog. The simple answer is this: everything! Think of your blog as your main hub. Everything (and I mean everything) should stem out from your blog. For example, if you just released a new video on YouTube, don’t send people to YouTube to watch it. Embed the video into your blog and have people watch it there. You want to generate traffic into your blog. Use your blog to send people to your Etsy store, FaceBook, YouTube, & twitter. You own your blog, tailor it to work for you.
Stay tuned next week for more important information on building your brand.