As a handmade business owner, you hear and see a lot of people talking about why a blog can help you grow your business. You might see income reports from bloggers showcasing how they are able to make thousands of dollars each month having a blog, and you wonder how you could ever attain that. Guess what, it’s totally possible! Having a blog gives you the opportunity to expand the reach of your handmade business, and provides a way to create content so that you don’t always have to be hustling for people to see the things you make.
This week on the E’Claire Makery Video Podcast, I had the chance to chat with Taylor from Taylor Lynn Crochet all about how have a blog helps you grow your handmade business. Taylor first learned how to crochet from her aunt when she was 13, but didn’t pursue it more till she was 23. Seeing all of the cute crochet items on Pinterest inspired her to want to make them herself, so she sat down with a hook, yarn, and lots of crochet video tutorials determined to learn how to crochet. Now she has her own crochet blog, makes beautiful crochet patterns, and even has her own courses! She’s seen her own success in her business once she had a blog, and now she loves helping others grow theirs.
You don’t have to do crochet though to have a blog for your handmade business! Any type of craft can have a blog to help grow their business. In my episode with Taylor we chat all about how to utilize your blog for growth, and here are the top 5 easy ways that a blog helps you grow your business:
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(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.)
1. A blog gives you your own space to create content.
Most handmade business owners use platforms like Instagram, Etsy, Facebook, and Pinterest for their business. Those platforms aren’t owned by you though, so if they shut down or you get removed from them, then all of the hard work you put on there just disappears without your own place where you’ve had all of it online. Having a blog helps provide a place for your content to be created, stored, and you don’t have to worry about if something would happen to your content on another site.
I love having the freedom to do what I want on my site. I can tailor it to be exactly how I want without any constraints from other sites. For my blog I use the combination of Bluehost and WordPress, which I absolutely love! Bluehost is a hosting website that is basically the landlord for my blog, as Taylor puts it. Through Bluehost I am able to have my own domain name without any other site name in it, and complete control over what I place on my blog. Plus, it comes with one click WordPress installment, which is the top blogging software for most bloggers. Together the combination of the two has helped me create awesome content exactly how I want it to be!
2. A blog helps you to build your brand and promote your products.
When you have a blog, you have the unique chance to build your brand beyond just what you put on social media or other sites. You can share more of who you are through blog posts you write, which helps your audience continue to connect with your content and in turn connecting with you. This helps build trust between you and your audience so that they feel like they are supporting you each time they buy from your business.
It also gives you a place to promote your products more in depth then what is on your listings or on sites like Instagram. Instead of working in the constraints of limited words on listings or social media posts, you can create a whole blog post that details your product. You can share the story behind it, what supplies you used, and anything else you think your reader would want to know. For example, this is great when you have a paid only crochet pattern that you want to share details about or that you a lot of questions asked about it. In the post you create for that pattern, you get to share how you thought of the pattern, what yarn and how much of it you used, what skill level could make the pattern, and why you love it. You can also share more photos the showcase your pattern even more.
3. A blog provides a place to share free patterns, which in turn can drive traffic to your online shop.
As you search Pinterest or the web, you’ll see a lot of bloggers offering free patterns or tutorials on their blogs. For a long time I wondered why you would even want to do this since you aren’t making money from offering free content. I was wrong though! Free patterns or other free content allows you to share your designs, and at the same time drive traffic to your online shops. Say you have a free crochet pattern of a sweater that you want to offer on your blog. You create a post that shares the pattern that you made, and wonder how you can make sales from that. Include a blurb in the pattern or even create some sort of graphic where you can share that the reader can buy an inexpensive pdf in your shop. Link that blurb or graphic to your Etsy store (or other online shop), and people will often click on it and buy the pattern because they like to have a downloadable copy that they can print off easily. You can also have a photo in the sidebar of your blog, like I do on the right, where I share that I sell on Etsy and if someone clicks on that photo it will take them directly to my Etsy store.
4. A blog gives you the chance to make money through alternative sources like Ads or Affiliate Sales.
One of my favorite things about having a blog is how many ways it gives you to have different revenue streams. This means that you don’t just have to rely on the sales in your shop to make money through your content. One of the first alternative income streams that people sign up for is placing ads on their blog. The best beginner ad service to use is Google Adsense, which is free to sign up for and there aren’t any required number of views on your blog to sign up for it. Essentially you just have to prove to google that you have a site, get traffic to it, and that you have content on your site. They have you install a code they provide by placing it in the header of your website, and then once they’ve reviewed and approved your request you get to have ads. You make money from ads each time someone visits your site. It’s a super minimal amount per view, but if you are able to get enough traffic to your blog then you can get a nice consistent revenue source from it.
Another way you can earn money through your blog is through affiliate sales. How do these work though? Affiliate programs are created by different companies where they will give you certain links specific to your site where every time someone clicks on the link it will install a cookie on the person’s webpage. This lets the company site know that the customer came from your site, and if the person buys from that site within a certain time frame then you get a percentage of that sale. A great beginner affiliate program to be a part of is the Amazon Affiliate Program, where you share links of products on Amazon and make sales when people buy from Amazon. This gives you chance to link almost any type of product you might want. However, you want to be careful that you recommend products that fit with your brand and content. If you run a crochet blog, then you don’t want to include a link for exercise equipment. Instead, your reader is looking for something like yarn or certain hooks you recommend. If you’re passionate about a product that you like to use, share why you love it and people will see that and want to get it themselves.
Once you have your link though, where do you put it? I put mine in the materials/supplies section of my blog posts when I’m sharing a free pattern. I’ll list yarn, hooks, and any other supplies they need, along with embedding the link for those products that I list. Then I’ll also include a part of My Amazon Picks where I’ll share a photo plus a link that amazon generates for that product. The photo links look like this:
When you’re including links for products, you want to put yourself in the shoes of your reader and have options for the different type of crafters or people you’ll be getting. Find the best deals for quality products that you would recommend, and include those in your post. If you used a more higher quality yarn for your project, include a link for that along with a few alternative cheaper yarns that could be used. The better the deal, the more likely your reader will want to click the link and buy the product, especially if you highly recommend it to them.
There are many other companies besides Amazon that offer affiliate programs such as Lion Brand Yarn, Joann’s, Michaels, and many other craft companies. There are even affiliate programs for certain services that you use such as me using Bluehost for my website. Just search the company you’re looking for with the term affiliate sales added to your search, and you’ll be able to see if a brand that you love has an affiliate program.
5. A blog gives you a chance to serve your audience.
Probably the most important way that a blog helps grow your business is through being able to serve your audience through your site. You can serve your audience through providing free resources such as posts about business tips, having free patterns, creating printables, making tutorials to show how to do something, and making a space to inspire their crafty side. I use my blog to serve my audience through all of those ways, and I love getting to do it! If I have these skills and knowledge, why not use it to help other people! Serving others as a business owner provides so much reward as you hear from people how your one post helped inspire them to do something, or helped answer a question they’d been having. It creates a way to build a relationship between you and your reader, as they come to trust you for information or help on things they might be wondering. In serving them, the connection you build also helps your reader want to buy from you because they want to support you because of a way you have served them before. It is totally worth all of the time it might take to create a post, series, or course to help your reader!
I hope that this post helped inspire you to want to start a blog to help grow you business! I love getting to have a blog to serve my audience and help build up my business, and can’t say enough how rewarding the journey is even amidst any hardships that might come. Be sure to watch the latest episode of the E’Claire Makery Video Podcast for all of the tips that Taylor and I share! Also check out her amazing shop, blog, and Youtube channel.