30 April 2012

How to Create a Successful Craft Blog

Like many of you, etsy was the main reason I started blogging. What seemed to be a mandatory step to get the word about my shop out formed a life of its own and turned, thanks to you, into a living and breathing organism that keeps on inspiring me to grow.

Illustration by Anna Emilia

Before I continue, I feel compelled to forewarn you that this post is not going to be bulleted, numbered or colored for ease of skimming. I doubt you will get the quick fix for your a successful blog if you don't have the time or the patience to read between the lines. So, just to test your devotion, today there will be a few lines to read between. 

I have to admit though that the reason why the Kanelstrand blog grew so fast is closely connected to my etsy shop - a totally unsuccessful venture at the time (not so much now, I hope). Yes, you read that right and I am ashamed of that fact but it's the truth.

I was offering unique felted bracelets that took days to make (you can follow the process here) and which, if I had to price accordingly would have been impossible to sell to anyone except the Sultan of Brunei perhaps.

Thankfully, the lack of interest to my heartfelt and arms-hurting felted jewelry let me concentrate on the blog. After the initial emotional and creative surge of setting up an online shop followed by an incomprehensible (to me) lack of sales, I needed to put my inspiration to action. I joined the best team on etsy, team EcoEtsy, and became a staff writer for a great green site called Green Living Ideas. I kept on writing every weekday for my blog but I had made a decision to not turn it into a personal blog. Instead, I wanted to share knowledge. I wanted to give.

Illustration by Anabel Bouza

Talking about giving, the first time I was asked to organize a giveaway was by a wonderful crafter, who has ever since been an inspiration to me - Julia of Whispering Willow - right after a very successful interview on the pages of Kanelstrand, and after reading the extremely positive feedback to their amazing handmade hygiene products. 

From then on, almost no Wednesday has passed without a giveaway on Kanelstrand. Unlike many bloggers I don't charge to organize giveaways. I simply want to give back to as many hard working eco-conscious souls out there as I can.

And, talking about giving back,  in the autumn of 2011 I organized a massive campaign for Team EcoEtsy members, offering them 1 month of free advertising. Starting last month, I have one ad space booked for a different EcoEtsy member each month.

In other words, it's all about YOU giving. Your readers don't come to your blog to give, they come to take from you. And the more you have to offer, the better. Don't worry that you will be left without. There is enough of everything for everybody. What we are missing though, is love, and I suggest YOU start giving it!

Good luck!