A Guide to Starting Your Craft Blog by Leanne McAlpine

Hello again everyone. I hope you managed to stay warm and safe during the snow at the start of the month? It was challenging up here in Northumberland. Hopefully you have had plenty of time to craft.
Today I’m sharing with you how to start a craft blog.  Now I’m not an expert and my own blog is only just coming up to 1 year old, however in that time I have learned a lot. I put off starting my blogs for ages as I was apprehensive…not sure why? I really wish I had started it earlier.
I love my blog and try to post twice a week, however sometimes life gets in the way and it’s not possible. I have met some lovely people (virtually) through blogging and I love sharing my makes with others as well as learning from others too. The craft blogging circle is very friendly.
Blogging can be time consuming but it is very rewarding. If you haven’t started blogging yet, give it a go. If you want to be part of design teams for companies you need to have a blog, it will open up opportunities for you.
So where do you start?
First of all you need to decide which platform you want to use. Now there is loads of advice out there about which platform is best… believe me I studied the internet for months before I started mine! Ultimately, it’s up to you. There are free blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress. I use Blogger at the minute because it suits me, having said that I am thinking of changing eventually because the layouts are fairly basic. Despite this it’s a very simple format to use.
There are other platforms out there which you can pay for. It’s up to you and depends on how much you want to spend and how serious you are about your blog. If you want to own your domain name, then you need to pay for it.
Once you’ve chosen your platform, the next most important thing is the name. A lot of bloggers keep their blogs personal and use their name in the title, others have a separate name, whatever you decide to call it I would advise the name hints at what your blog is about, for example my blog is called Hiveofcreativity.
So, once you’ve chosen your platform and the name of your blog you need to write your first blog post…scary I know!
My advice would be to just be you, write about what you like to do. There are millions of blogs out there and there is always room for more. Make sure when you think about your post you think about photos you need to add to your blog, especially if you are doing tutorials. I still forget to photograph certain steps when creating something and don’t realise until I’m writing it up…it’s very frustrating!!
Now once you’ve written your post you need to publish it. It never ceases to amaze me how people find your blog. Within 20 seconds of publishing my first post I had 2 views!
Whichever platform you choose you will be able to view your stats as to how many views you have and where people are viewing from…believe me its fascinating.
To be successful at blogging you really need to embrace social media your blog will not survive without it. You don’t need to do all the social media networks but the ones that you use you need to do well, it really will drive traffic to your blog.
I use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. For me, Facebook and Pinterest are the main drivers of traffic to my blog.  There are loads of Facebook groups out there to join for craft bloggers and I would recommend joining a few to start off with then build from there. This is a great way of networking with other craft bloggers and it’s amazing how you come across the same people in different groups. You will no doubt meet the same people on Instagram as you will on Facebook. Now the change in the Facebook algorithm has caused issues with visibility of business pages, so being part of Facebook groups is essential if you want to be found.
Instagram is a great platform for sharing images of your makes and networking with other bloggers. Instagram is also a good way of making yourself visible to design companies as you can tag them in your photographs.
Pinterest is also very good for sharing your makes and drives a fair bit of traffic to my blog. For Pinterest it is worth setting up a business account, it’s free but really useful for seeing which pins work the best. You will get info weekly on how many saves you have had.
Pinterest is invaluable for information about blogging, however don’t believe everything you read.
Now using all this social media sounds all well and good but you need to have time to create and schedule your posts, that’s where scheduling tools are essential. There are several to choose from but I use Tailwind. It’s really easy to use and it’s free! You can use Tailwind to schedule pins to Pinterest and now you can schedule posts to Instagram too.
Once you’ve created some posts and joined some groups you need to start visiting other blogs and commenting, it’s really important to comment. If someone comments on your blog, it’s only polite to reply.
Apparently, you can make money from blogging…I haven’t…yet. To make money blogging you need to join affiliate programs. You don’t want your blog clogged up with loads of adverts though so make sure you are selective with what you advertise and I would recommend only promoting products you actually use otherwise you may put visitors to your blog off. I’ve only just started using affiliate links in my blog posts and I am yet to make anything from it. I have been selective and only applied for affiliate links for companies I like and trust. I googled which affiliate programmes these companies use. Now if you believe everything you read on Pinterest about making money from blogging you’re set to make millions…I’m sure some people have…but I’m also sure they have more time than me to dedicate to it and have probably been to business school!
I hope you have found the information here useful? Like I said at the start I’m no expert and I’m learning all the time, but please don’t be put off, give it ago…you never know where it will take you.
Thanks for popping by.
Leanne x




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