If you’ve been running your crochet business for awhile, or even are just starting, you might have thought about starting a crochet blog. I mean, most of your favorite designers have crochet blogs, so it seems like the logical thing to do. You start to look into how to start a blog, get drowned in all of the information flooding the internet, and feel like you’re back at the beginning with not knowing what to do so you don’t get started at all. I was in this exact spot for such a long time. I wanted to start a crochet blog, but not being a tech person I never thought that I could actually do it. After almost a year of having my blog, I am happy to say that I absolutely love blogging and today I am going to share with you my easy guide for how to start a crochet blog! This is the first in my series of blog posts that will help you get started on your crochet blogging journey.
How I Got Started
Back when I was thirteen years old, I had this dream of being a crochet designer. I would create adorable patterns, put them on the internet, and then would be a success. Sounds like a simple enough dream right? Not really! I let self doubt, fear of failure, and intimidation of starting a business get in the way of making this dream a reality. I also had a bunch of chronic health problems stop me. However, years later, those same chronic health problems helped motivate me to turn my passion for crochet into a business.
When I was dating my now husband, Stephen, he encouraged me to pursue my dream of being a blogger and designer. He saw how much I loved writing, and how I was struggling with trying to find a job that would fit with my chronic health issues. He believed that I could make my own job, and so I started looking into how I could start my blog.
Let me tell you, there was so much that I had to learn! I thought starting a blog was as simple as clicking a few buttons, and then having a website. Then don’t you just write patterns and post them, which sparks the cash flooding in? Well, after reading some blogging articles, and starting my site, I soon learned that I needed to learn quite a few things those basic blogging articles never tell you. After blogging for almost a year, and taking some courses, I’ve learned what system works for me. I’ve been getting a lot of requests for creating a blogging series, because a huge part of my audience wants to start their own blog. Maybe that’s you! If it is you, don’t let the fears that I had intimidate you. I want to help walk you through some simple steps, and explain some of the stuff you’ll hear thrown around, so that your blogging journey can start off as easily as possible.
(The rest of the post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full affiliate disclosure here.)
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Why Do You Need a Blog?
If you already have a crochet business, you’re probably already creating patterns or finished crochet items, and maybe already have learned how to start a crochet business business and have been successful doing that. Or you are struggling to get your patterns and products out there without any direction on how to do it. No matter where you are, having a crochet blog can help you grow your crochet business and can help you make money with crochet.
When you have a blog, it is your personal space to do what you want. You can create a site that fits the aesthetic of your business, put your content on there without having to pay anyone to list it, and you get the money that is made when people visit your site. Say you list your crochet patterns or items on another site, if there was a day that one of those sites would shut down then you lose that customer base. You wouldn’t have anywhere for them to buy your products, and your business would shut down alongside the site you had them on. When you have your own site, you don’t have to rely on a third party service for your content to get out into the world. You have your own place for people to come to where they are guaranteed to always get what you create.
By having that place for people to come to, your business can grow beyond what other services can get you. Beyond being able to sell your patterns on your site, you also can get money generated when people come to your website. Through signing up with ad networks, affiliate programs, and other revenue streams, you can earn more money beyond just your products. If you post your patterns for free on your blog, that draws in a huge audience of crocheters. That brings them to your site, which brings more eyes seeing your patterns also available as pdfs, and then more people buy them. You also can get ad revenue through them coming to your site! Having your own site also helps with being able to work with more brands! So in the long run, your blog can help your business not have to solely rely on physical products or other sites to make you money.
If you want to learn more ways a blog can help you grow your business, check out my interview and blog post featuring Taylor Lynn Crochet called Top 5 Ways a Blog Helps Grow Your Business.
Want to Watch What’s in this post? Check out my tutorial video!
First Steps: Web Hosting, What is it?
Ok, so now you’re convinced that you need a crochet blog! What do you do now? The first step is to pick the site that is going to host your site. You might hear the word web hosting thrown around in the blogging world, but don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. Essentially your web host is your landlord for your little space on the internet. They’re the company that makes your site possible by providing you your own space to customize and share your crochet genius. You pay them a small fee per month, and your web host makes sure your site runs quickly, has enough space for you to create your content, and even can help you when your site encounters technical issues. They also provide you with your very own website name of your choice without having another company’s name in your web address. Just as a good landlord should!
What Web Host to Use: Siteground vs. Bluehost?
When I was first starting to do research on how to start a blog, I found a bunch of bloggers recommending bluehost because they said it was a good place for beginner bloggers to start. So I signed up with a 3 year plan with their company, paid for it all, and thought my site would run smoothly. However, earlier this month, I learned just how wrong I had been. I started getting more traffic to my site after starting my Hello Summer Blog Hop. During the middle of the blog hop, my site started slowly crashing one day, and by the end of the day all that was showing up was a blank page. My site was officially broken. I thought that I was done for.
So I reached out to Bluehost’s Support to beg them to fix it. I tried contacting them four times to get support, but all of their answers said that nothing was wrong. There was obviously something wrong though because when people tried to go onto my site nothing showed up. I started becoming desperate! I thought my hosting site was there to help me, but they didn’t. I asked some of my other blogger friends what to do, and they said this thing happens with Bluehost all the time when people start to get more traffic. I also contacted a tech support service they used themselves, and the guy confirmed what they said that Bluehost puts people to the back burner when they get a lot of traffic. Their servers aren’t designed for people to get a lot of traffic, and even though they promise it unfortunately it doesn’t happen. They recommended Siteground as a great alternative.
I contacted Siteground, they had amazing service that listened to everything that was going on, helped me get a new service with them set up right away, transferred my WordPress site for free over to theirs, and took care of all of the tech issues they found in less than 12 hours. It was a life saver! When I contacted Bluehost to cancel my service because I had so many issues with them, they would not give me a refund for my contract with them even though I had over 2 years left. I lost $200. When I tried to fight it, they said that I never said the right words, so they never expedited my ticket to be higher priority. I’m not a tech person, so I had no idea what to say. So overall, I’m sharing all of this because I don’t want the same thing happen to you!
Was it worth it? Absolutely! Since switching to Siteground, I have not had any issues, and they have security checks that check for tech issues that catch problems before they happen. Their service has been amazing. They are also the same cost as Bluehost’s hosting plans, and do everything to make sure their customers have quality service. You pay them yearly, so it’s also a smaller money commitment for starting out. Some of my most trusted blogging friends use them, and highly recommend their service when you are a first time blogger.
Let’s Start Your Blog!
So with all of that background, let’s get to starting your blog and making your crochet blog a reality!
The first step is to go to www.siteground.com. Then you’ll click on either hosting at the top of the page, or on the wordpress hosting box on the homepage. WordPress is the leading blogger platform that is used by top bloggers, and is recommended by just about everyone. Siteground with host your WordPress site without you having to pay WordPress’ fees, and it will run exactly the same as a premium WordPress site.
Right now, I have the GrowBig plan for $5.95 a month because my audience is growing and I’ve had my site for awhile now. When you’re first starting out, you only need the Startup plan. Just cut out one less cup of coffee from a coffee shop, and you’ll have paid for your website for the month! This gives you flexibility to build up your audience for a cheaper cost, and you can always switch plans over to a higher traffic (one with more pageviews) one.
Once you pick your plan, it’s time to choose your domain name (i.e. your website name). Choosing your domain has to be one of my favorite parts of starting your blog! This is the time when you get to choose what web address and name your blog is going to have. Some blogging site will offer free web addresses, but this means that their company name is then in your web address. It’s not completely yours. If you pay the small fee, then your site name is all yours, which catches the eyes of craft companies more because they see you officially have your own site. So come up with a name that captures who you are and what you want your crochet business to be.
Once you’ve picked out your domain name, it’s time to fill out all of your information like your email address, client info, and payment info. At the bottom of the page there will be a couple of extra services that you can add on. If you picked to register your domain name through Siteground, then that fee will be added on there. The other two options are for Domain Privacy and SG Site Scanner. I really recommend getting the SG Site Scanner added on there! What it does is do a daily sweep on your site to check for issues, malicious code, and if anyone is trying to hack your site. It will even let you know when that happens, and Siteground will fix it for you! For a non tech person like me, this is a huge lifesaver.
Once you’ve completed this step, you’ll now have your very own website! Next you’ll need to download WordPress, which you can find in your Siteground user dashboard after you’ve logged in. Siteground has a great tutorial on how to download if you want to do it yourself. However, if you are a non tech person like me, you can go to the support tab on your user dashboard, click on install application, and create a support ticket for them to install it for you. Setting up your crochet blog really can be that easy!
When you click on the install application link on your support dashboard, it will take you to this page where you can submit a ticket (request for support) with the Siteground support team. Pick the WordPress application (or WordPress + Woocommerce if you’re planning on having a store on your site), and then fill out the rest of your info. Then click submit, and the Siteground team will have WordPress installed in 1 business day or less.
After you’ve received your notification that your wordpress site is ready, you’ll go to the My Account tab in your Siteground dashboard, and in the section where it displays your domain name you’ll click on Go to Admin Panel. That will take you to your WordPress Dashboard, which will look like this. Your WordPress Dashboard is where you will be taken to whenever you log into your site*. The Dashboard has everything ranging from where there is a quick draft, how many post you have, an overview of insights, and other insights from plugins you install on your site. The tab on the left will have all of the different sections where you can do things on your site. I recommend playing around with all of the sections so that you can get familiar with what features WordPress offers you.
*If you want to access your site and WordPress Dashboard, you can type in your domain name with /admin at the end of it, for example: www.mycrochetbiz.com/admin. This will take you to a wordpress log in, where you’ll create log in info for your wordpress site, which you’ll log into whenever you want to access it.
One of the areas on the left tab to explore, is the appearance section where you can access the themes section where you can customize the layout of your site. When you go to the themes tab within the appearance section, it will show you themes that you have installed, and specifically which one is active right now. Since your site is brand new, it will be set up with the basic WordPress theme.
If you don’t like the theme you have installed, you can click on the add new link at the top of the theme page, which will take you to a page that looks like this with all sorts of themes you can choose from. There will be free themes and premium ones with more features. If you don’t feel like any of these represent your brand well, you can buy themes from Etsy or other sites that you can find by searching for WordPress themes. I cannot stress enough that you want to make sure your theme is mobile responsive. I’ll say it again: make sure your theme is mobile responsive! Most of the traffic you’ll get to your site is from mobile users, so you want to make sure your theme will work with that. You can find out if the theme you like is that by looking at the details for that theme.
Once you have picked out the theme for your site, then you can start brainstorming content ideas like free crochet patterns, helpful crochet tips, crochet tutorials, and anything else crochet related that you want to have on your website! As we keep going in this How to Start a Crochet Blog series, I will be covering some of the different aspects of blogging that will help you get started as a crochet blogger. I’m so excited to release the rest of the content for this series!
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