20 March 2012

Why You Should Have A Blog

This post is written by contributing author Genevieve Brazelton.

For many the thought of writing a blog seems daunting. It takes time to write pieces worth reading. You have to think of something interesting to say on a regular basis. What if no one reads it, are you wasting your time?

I completely agree with the first two sentiments, but it doesn’t have to be as much effort as you think and it is an investment in your business. However my reaction to the last question is a resounding No! Sharing your story is never a waste of time. 

Photo courtesy of Portraits to The People

It’s All About Story
For any small business, especially those based on art and craft sharing who you are, what makes you different and what benefit you offer to the customer is one of the best marketing strategies available to you.

We almost never buy from a place of pure need; we buy from a place of want. We are looking for an experience, feeling or connection. A blog is a way for you to create a voice, share your personality and connect quickly and more personally. A blog is a way for you to stand out in the crowd by sharing the details and story that makes you unique. You are starting a conversation that both your peers and customers can join in on. All this allows you to build trust and become their friend. Wouldn’t you rather buy from or recommend a friend?

Yes, You Do Have Something To Say
You may be saying that’s all great, but I still don’t know what I would have to say that would keep people interested. This is a tough question, but there is an answer it just requires a little thought and research.

Think of your target market, your ideal customer, the person who will immediately buy everything you make. What do they really want from buying what you sell? Do they value craftsmanship? Share details about how you make your product and what inspires you. Do they want to feel like they’re supporting a cause? Give them a peek into running a small handmade business, your own and others. Are they striving to lead a sustainable life? Tell them about your efforts to lead a similar lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of Portraits to The People

If you can nail down a “want” of your target market and address it with content, your own or others, they will turn to you again and again. The content doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be all yours, it just needs to be compelling and/or engaging.

I’ll assume that since you read this blog you read others. What makes you come back to them? You get something every time right? Maybe it’s a piece of knowledge, a break from your busy day, or a laugh that you can share. It might also be a voice that you can relate to or that feels friendly and familiar. Think of your blog as an added benefit for the customer, kind of like free shipping.

Now to take it one step further, besides the familiarity and trust that a blog provides it also gives you a presence on the web and puts you into the conversation. There’s a lot of strategy behind maximizing this potential, but basically if you’re a part of the conversation your target market will more readily flock to you than your competitors. The more visibility you have the easier it is for them to find you.

Get Started Now
If it has ever occurred to you to start a blog I highly recommend you do so. If you’re at loss for where to begin, start looking toward the blogs you already love as models. What do you connect with, the voice, the photos, the useful information? How can you put your own spin on one of those approaches?

What are some of your favorite blogs? What keeps you coming back to them?

Genevieve Brazelton endlessly researches the newest ideas in creative and social media marketing so you don’t have to. Genevieve’s strength is her keen outside perspective and sometimes infuriating logic that puts structure to dreams and lays out paths to goals. She is also the business side of Lightbox SF. Read more about her here.
Connect to Genevieve via twitter or facebook.