If you read my post yesterday about making 'Cakes in a Jar' then you saw me mention that we made them in a class I taught about *Blogging with your Handmade Business.* I taught it to a group of local handmade business owning ladies. I wanted to share a few things I talked about in the class here with you on my blog. I have to first say that I'm extremely apprehensive about giving any advice because I feel like I personally have so much room to grow and so much more to learn. I am merely going to share my opinion and things I've learned by trial and error over the years. I purposely titled the class 'Blogging with your Handmade Business' putting so much effort on the *with.*
1. Realize that blogging is merely an extension of your business.
There are usually two ways people find out about your blog. They either already found your online shop, met you at craft show or at store, bought something and followed a link over to your blog or they found your blog first through the blogging world, twitter, facebook ..etc. So realizing foremost that your blog is part of your business no matter what. That is, if you are leaving a link to your blog on your online shop and on business cards. Which I believe you should be doing, it's a good idea to keep customers connected. By realizing that your handmade business, small business, design business...is all related to your blog it gives you a different mindset and a different approach to what you want to blog about. Most readers want to know more about the maker themselves. We're all curious you know? So find ways to share who you are and other things you like to do while keeping it personal and professional. It's always good to share details about your handmade business and behind the scenes posts. It's refreshing to see how business' work and you never know who you will inspire to start their own business one day.
2. Keep it positive.
I think this is so very important to your business and your blog. When I say 'keep it postive' I'm actually referring to two things:
- Keep a positive attitude as to where your blog and business can take you. Make goals, dream big and don't give up.
- Keep your blog (and other sites like twitter and facebook that are linked to your business) positive too. Look at your business as a whole and try to see the bigger picture. Think of your small business in a way that you can imagine what it would be if it just grew and grew and grew. Would you want to look back and regret any negative posts you've written? So if you wouldn't be comfortable with 500,000 people knowing then maybe don't share it or say it with the 500 people reading your blog. You never know where your business can take you and, in my opinion, it's best to stay personal yet professional the best way you know how.
In the same breath I think it's absolutely important to show people who you are. It's okay to be real and personal but there are ways to do that without being negative. For example: I myself, have admitted secrets, share silly face photos, being different and what's lurking in my bag. There are so many ways to share your personality and that you are human without being negative. Make sense?
3. Always practice.
I think one of the key parts of growing a business and blog is to always try to be better. Try to beat your own personal goals, practice making over and over and try new things. Personally I love taking pictures, I don't really think I'm extremely talented at it but I practice over and over and over again. Try new things, try new angles, settings on my camera, try new light...everything. Photography has been one of the most rewarding hobbies of mine and I love challenging myself to be better and I think I still have a long way to go. It's been so neat to see my growth in photography over the years. This idea can be translated through your business and through blogging. Keep journaling blogging ideas, research ways to make your blog and business better and take some online courses or read books. Just try, do your research and practice. There's no way that it can't make you better.
Here is an example of my ever-growing photography skills. Photo on the left taken summer of 2010 and photo on the right taken just a couple of months ago.
**It's much better eh? At least I hope so.
Here are a few of my favorite courses for blogging and small business: Blog Love, Indie Biz and Dream Job.
My favorite books for handmade business are The Handmade Marketplace and Craft Inc.
Some of my favorite blogs to find tips for blogging and for small business are Design Sponge and Lemon and Raspberry
Do you know what Google is? Use it...okay?
I hope that something I've said has helped you. Like I said, I know that I personally have so much room to grow and so much to learn but I absolutely want to help others find their way too. These are just a few things I'm passionate about in my blog and business and just my personal opinion.