Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You're the Boss: Part 7

I just giggled when I looked at the tip that I am supposed to expound on today.

Start a Blog
Blogs are another great {and free} alternative to a website, and a great way to get the word out about your business.  Update your blog frequently and it will be likely to show up at the top of web searches when people are looking for your types of products.

I was feeling bad that I have not been blogging very consistently lately... feeling a little worthless to my sweet bloggers... and now I'm supposed to tell you all about how you should be like me and start a blog!

Well... be like me and start a blog... but then be better than me and give your readers something to read.
Okay, now I will tell you why I think starting a blog is great for your business.

First of all, if you don't have a website a blog is a great way to have a free presence online.

I knew nothing about blogging before I started this blog.  To be honest, I am not really a blog follower myself.  It's kind of a random set of circumstances {which we all know is really just God's divine knit work} which got me into this crazy blog world.  

I was checking my Google Analytics one night {which I have said I am obsessed with doing} and I noticed that the number one Google search term that was leading people to my calendar shop was 
"how to make a felt hair clip".


So I tried it.  I went into Google and typed in "how to make a felt hair clip".  The first link that came up led me to Ashley Johnston's Make It and Love It blog.  So I started browsing around her blog and loved what  I saw.

I saw that she had over 4,000 followers. {Which, by the way, has more than doubled in the last six months... she now has 8,700 followers... if you are not one, you should really become 8,701.}

Then I noticed that she had sponsors.

I thought, hmm... maybe I should sponsor this blog.

So I sent her an email asking about sponsorship.

Then I started thinking, hmm... maybe I should start spending some money on blog sponsorship rather than Etsy showcases {which didn't seem to be getting me anywhere}.

And with that, my blog journey had begun.  

I started madly searching the web for fun crafty blogs.  I emailed several that I thought would be a good fit for my business and started calculating who I should sponsor.

{Since I am a little off topic here, let me just insert that I do not sponsor a ton of blogs.  Currently I am sponsoring Make It and Love It, Gussy {the blog}, and Bird Crafts.  I basically took the money that I had been spending trying to market on Etsy, and switched it to this blog sponsorship.}

As I started reading through these blogs I had two thoughts.  One, wow, these women are amazing, and two, I could write a blog.  When  I saw how many sponsors some of these ladies had I realized that they were making a pretty good living sharing their random thoughts with the world.  I thought... I have lots of random thoughts.  Maybe if I shared them with the world, I could make some money.

So there you have it bloggers... in all honesty... I started this blog as a business, with a plan to make some money off my random thoughts.

I had no intention of making it personal or letting you in on my life.

See how well that plan worked out.

I should have known better.  I can't keep things to myself.

Back to the point... which was... what?  Oh right... start a blog to increase your business.

I have a friend named Kelly that makes the most amazing cupcakes on the planet.  Her business and her blog are called Once Upon a Cupcake.  She has never had a website.  She doesn't advertise other than word of mouth.  But if you notice the Unavailable Dates she has listed on her blog, you will get a glimpse of how in demand her cupcakes are.

All the pertinent information that Kelly's customers need is clearly listed right there on her blog.  For Kelly, the blog was a temporary solution while she was waiting for her Web Designer husband to build her a website... but in three years she has not found the need to create one.

If you do already have a website {which I did before starting my blog} a blog can be a great way to increase traffic to your website.  Since starting my blog I have seen a huge increase in sales.  They are up over 280% from this time last year.  I know that many of my blog followers have become Much Ado About You customers {and I really super appreciate it}.

Now, I don't want to give you the impression that you can just willy-nilly start a blog, and the customers will come running.

I was very methodical about my blog.

The first thing I did was make a list of about 40 topics that I thought I could blog about.  I figured that gave me at least 8 weeks worth of material, and that should be enough to see if this whole blogging thing would work.
Then I ordered my fancy blog {from Designer Blogs... who are very affordable and who I highly recommend}.

Then I started blogging, and let everyone know it.  

I mean... I pimped myself out.  I sent an email to just about everyone I know telling them about my blog.  I posted it on Facebook, and then kept posting {and still do} every time I blogged.  I put a notice in my shop.  I emailed everyone I knew that had a business and offered them a free trial sponsorship on my blog.  I'm telling you... I really spread the word.

Forget what Kevin Costner taught us... if you build it, they will come.  You are going to have to work to build your blog, but if you are really serious about building your business, a blog can be a great tool.


  1. I'm loving this series. I started my blog a short time ago & I'm trying to figure out where to go.
    Thanks for sharing such great info!!

  2. Im so glad I found your blog!!! This series is super helpful!!! Now if I could just get some followers over in my little corner of the blogsphere!!!