Last week I wrote about How to Brand Your Blog/Craft Business Part 1 and how important consistency of look and feel and functionality is, this week I move on to ways to Build Your Blog - covering the four "C"'s
Whether your new to blogging or an old hand its always worth reviewing what's working, what's not and what you can do differently and better. Everyone has different goals as to why they are blogging but if you need to have a tidy and freshen up or you are new, here's four areas to consider.
Content is King
It's been said before but bloggers will keep reading and interacting with you if you write interesting posts. You need to think about who you are writing for? Your target. What will keep them interested...what's in it for them to keep reading. What do you like from other bloggers? Is it tutorials? Great links? Inspirational design and ideas? Help with blogging? Maybe it's something different. Often what you like is what your target will like. What do you get your most comments on? Take a moment to write down some new ideas. Some themes, partworks or series to maintain your readership and to get them coming back. Don't forget how important visuals are. If you don't have your own there are a number of sources available including Flickr, Google Images, Getty Images. You can always use one image to illustrate an idea.
Community is all around us
Think about who your key customer groups are. This maybe limited to your local blogroll, fabric, yarn and craft shops you love or it may extend to include Blog Swaps and Meets, other blogs you write for and their readers, the wider international blogroll and further still to your local retail community and charity links offline. Your blog may need to touch some, all or more of these groups. You may want to consider how you can build some of these community links (customer groups) into your blog content and listings. Its a way of helping others to build their subscriber base, build their business and brand/blog awareness, sell more or give back to charitable causes.
This is not for everybody and its not just about having an Etsy store. Although your Etsy store is an extension of your blog brand and vice versa, one will impact the other. See more in How to Brand Your Blog. But if you decide to take advertising on your site this has an impact on your customer's perception of your blog brand. Does the advertising sit well with your blog business, that is to say does it fit the personality and values that you have. So if you are a supporter of green values and post regularly about recycling yet support advertising from a petrol guzzling widget, then its not aligned. Similiarly with affiliate and associate programmes, just ask yourself does this fit with my blogs brand values and personality (which are ultimately your own as your blog is an extension of your own personal brand). If you do support an Etsy store or stand alone business then everything you do, say or support on your blog will impact on your own business. You must be consistent.
Customer Service - The Brand/Blog Experience
Its important to have good blog manners. This is the customer service or brand/blog experience we have with other bloggers. Are you leaving quality comments, are you sharing links, are you helping newbies, are you quoting visual and content sources, how are you conducting giveaways, when you commit to a SWAP or MEET do you deliver on time, when you commit to a meme do you stick with it. Taking this a step further when you have an Etsy store or business, ask yourself what's your customer service or the brand experience like. Do you fulfill on time, do you offer refunds, how do you resolve complaints, is the shipping time acceptable, whats your packaging like, what are payment options.
Take stock and look at what's working, what isn't and how you could do things different and better.
Food for thought
See also previous post Product Development and Pricing for Etsy
Next week: How to build your readership