There are hundreds upon thousands of blog posts written about how to start a blog. You can do it in under 20 minutes. There is definitely not a shortage in helpful people who want to add even more noise to the blogosphere. But, what do you do after you’ve started your blog? How do you get your voice to be heard above the millions of blogs that already exist? THIS blog post from Impact branding & design has some shocking statistics on business blogs. I was especially shocked to read the blogs have become the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information. Whatever kind of blog you are creating and wish to run, let’s make sure that you aren’t lost in the chaos and overwhelming information available to you.
Post consistently. Maybe one of the most challenging parts of anything that you ever do is the need to be consistent with it. Blogging is no different. You don’t have to post every single day…I think that’s a mighty tall order, and many would agree with me. But definitely more than once monthly. I aim to post 2-3 times a week. I don’t always make it happen (I do have kids that like to throw life to the dogs every occasionally), but that’s why I also have drafts and scheduled posts. Which brings me straight to my second point.
Utilize Scheduling. I don’t have much experience with other blogging platforms, but I do know that WordPress will allow you to write and schedule blog posts for future date and times. On the first of every month, I take the time to write out 4-5 of my “Telling Tuesdays” posts…I Feature other artists and crafters, and can knock these out for the whole month within a few short hours. If I know life is gonna be exceptionally busy ahead of time, I will go ahead and write and schedule posts accordingly. For example, this post is being written on March 11, but I’m scheduling it for March 16, because it’s spring break and we will be busy.
Add Elements as you Go. Wanna create videos? Great! Shoot it, edit it, post it. Wanna add a weekly or monthly feature? Awesome! Title it, write it, keep up with it. How about interviews or testimonies? Yes! Call them, record them, post them. My point being, feel free to add to or remove different blogging elements as you go. You don’t have to have everything figured out and ready to go from the day you start. If you get an idea that you think will be great, figure out how to make it work for you. And if that idea isn’t generating the interest you need it to, or if it’s sucking too much of your time, it is ok to drop it like a bad habit. Maybe come back to it at a later time when you have more experience and knowledge to tweak it better.
Go Slowly. I’ve been blogging and creating for over five years. I have an aresenal already under my belt. If you are just starting off, you’ve got nothing. But your excitement and enthusiasm is high and you are eager to jump right in and spend all of your time building. I want to encourage you to slow down. It takes time and effort to build an audience and create a profitable blog. Don’t get burned out the very first month.
Save Those Drafts. Just because it is a terrible idea right now, or it wrote up badly the first time, doesn’t mean that you should just trash it. Oftentimes, you can come back to old ideas with a different perspective and make it amazing! These will create an arsenal for yourself that will beat writers block in the best way. Keep track of all of your ideas as they come up, and then expand on them later.
Be Willing to Change. Adapt as necessary. My crochet business started off as hats…terrible hats. Then it morphed into photo props, which changed further into costumes, and then became dolls, and finally has settled with Crochet patterns. I love designing new crochet Patterns. If I wasn’t willing to change and adapt, I would probably still be stuck making hats and feeling frustrated and stressed because I can’t keep,up with production right now, and the competition for crochet hats is so high! Have the same attitude with your blog. Be trendy and original and then adapt as your ability, interest, and society continues to change. I mean, last year when PokémonGo first came out it was huge! But after just a few weeks, it had died down dramatically and didn’t have nearly the interest. Yes, Pokémon is still popular, about like it always has been, but not nearly as much as it was.
Develop Your Niche. Sometimes you have to focus this in a very purposeful and conscious way, sometimes it just happens. As an example of an unintentional niche narrowing, I started this blog because I wanted to help hand-crafty-salesmen succeed. I thought that was a great niche to write about. And it was…but it was still way too broad. As I’ve continued blogging, I have noticed that my posts tend to focus on the crochet-artist. It’s what I do, it’s what I know, it’s what I am best equipped to write about. As my business has morphed into creating patterns, my blog posts have continued to narrow even further to focus on the crochet blogger and fellow pattern-designer. If you are blogging about writing Crochet patterns, it’s probably not a good idea to throw in a life story about how your precious 3-yo finally mastered toilet useage. Exciting? To the mom-audience, yes. Relavent to your particular readers? Probably not.
BONUS: Blog Post Ideas for the Crochet Blogger. And because I know how hard it can be to come up with such specific blogging ideas, I’m including a list of great topics for you to start with. I’m going to close with this, and say that I’m proud of you for starting a blog, and I hope you will be successful. In fact, I know you came be successful if you are willing to continue with the world ☺
- Review a pattern
- Write your own pattern
- Talk about your recent project – go into detail
- Favorite tools of the trade
- Luxury yarn
- Funny memes or comics about crochet
- Round-up of patterns and ideas
- Interview a customer
- Appreciate your customers
- Interview one of your hooks – be humorous
- Narrate the creation of one of your products
- Tutorial a complicated stitch
- How did you learn to crochet
- Why are you blogging?
- Talk about the title of your blog/business (if it is obscure like mine is)
- Common frustrations of crocheting/blogging
- Learn a new skill and then blog about your experience (Tunisian Crochet, crocheting in the round, etc.)
- Feature other crochet artists – share the love!
- Donate to your favorite charity and write about why.
- Appreciate the artists of the craft.
It’s that time of the month again. No, I’m not talking about THAT time of the month…ew! It’s not that kind of a blog 😖 It’s time for me to share 15 of my favorite tools for you, the incredible crochet blogger, to take advantage of. Like Mr. Beetle is always telling me: work smarter, not harder! And these 15 tools will definitely get you there. Disclaimer: these are affiliate links, and if you purchase through my blog, I will get a small portion of your money. You get awesome tools, and the honor of supporting me as I work to supplement Mr. Beetle’s income 😍
A to Z of Crochet: The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Crocheter Just getting started, or been crocheting for many many years, this book is like the crocheters bible and offers lots of good basics to keep in mind, and great advice for getting better.
Crochet Stitch Dictionary: 200 Essential Stitches with Step-by-Step Photos Sometimes you just want to use a fancy stitch, or can’t remember a beloved stitch, or maybe you just want to learn new stitches, or create your own for a sepcefic style you have in mind.
Ergonomic Crochet Hooks with case It’s a given that a crochet artist will need hooks, but if you are blogging about your crochet, you’ll be doing a lot of it. I strongly recommend that you Protect your wrists and hands as much as you can. These hooks are a great place to start!
Yarn storage bag with multiple pockets Multiple projects going on at the same time? Or a large project that involves lots of color changes? This bag will be a life-saver!
Stitch markers that double as stitch holders Stitch markers are life-savers on every front, but these that double as stitch-holders may save you hours of having to repeat work. Especially if you have kids, pets, or a husband who likes to move your work. Or even one of those vacuuming robots (I discovered this one the frustrating way the other day when my roomba ate half a skein of yarn)
60-Inch Tape Measure While not a necessity, it’s definitely helpful to have a tape measurer on hand. Make sure your hat is the right size, and your clothing is going to fit, and be able to tell customers finished dimensions. Definitely handy.
The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs: 500 Classic & Original Patterns Wanna teach your blog readers some new stitches? Or expand your own knowledge and ability, or create videos of how to do stitches? It’s like a crochet-stitch dictionary!
Book Light – Rechargeable Reading Lamp I just recently started using a book light and have increased my productivity by at least twice. There are tons of applications here. Add light to your photographs to lessen the shadows. Help you see and read patterns easier. If you Crochet while watching tv (or while your husband plays video games), and everyone else wants the lights dim or off, clip the book light to your shirt and keep working!
How to Read a Crochet Pattern I have met so many people who have been crocheting for years and yet they claim they’ve never learned to read a pattern. I think that this is vital for the crochet blogger. If you can’t read a pattern, you can’t write a pattern, you can’t review patterns, I can’t see how you will have a productive blog. All you can do is share your latest creation, and I think you’ll not gain many followers.
Blogging For Dummies The ins and outs of blogging. I mean, it can’t hurt.
Camera Camcorders Good pictures are so so important for selling your products, and will definitely help out the blog as well. This camera doubles as a camcorder for taking videos, which is a perfect addition to any blog.
Champagne Sequin Backdrop If you are going to be doing videos, a professional backdrop is also recommended. Maybe you make your own yarn-based backdrop…just make sure that it isn’t too busy to distract your viewers from your message.
Light box Again, quite a useful contraption for making professional-quality images for your blog and products.
The Beginner’s Photography Guide I know some people who will argue with me, but I really think that the pictures you use on your blog can make or break you! Know what you are doing, and do it right…the internet world will silently thank you.
1200 Blog Post Ideas (What Should I Blog About?) Because we all suffer from writers block from time-to-time.
We all have one: a giant container. A recycled cookie tin, or maybe a cleaned-out butter or icecream tub. That is full of odds and ends buttons. Shaped buttons, colored buttons, small buttons, large buttons, glass buttons, plastic buttons, metal buttons. The beautiful world of buttons. Ever wondered what to do with all of those buttons? I mean, you can’t use them on a garment; there aren’t enough matching ones. Never fear! This week’s link-up is full of delicious button things for you to dream about ☺
There are so many cute and adorable ways to recycle buttons for necklaces, brooches, rings, hair pieces, and so many more.
These button necklaces from PiperLondonUK are so cute, and would make the perfect gift for any seamstress or sewing dabbler.
How precious are these tassel button earrings by VintageOoakDesigns?
And finally, the snap button charms from SnapButtonJewelry are just gorgeous! We all know how much I just adore colors.
As the world of Pinterest continues to explode, we see more and more beautiful diy art works. Buttons are, of course, not to be excluded!
The Ladybug is obsessed with elephants, so you know I have to debut these adorable button elephants by Cool Creativities.
Changing My Marbles shows us how to make our own button letter canvasses.
With Beauty and the Beast coming out, I just had to show case this Belle silhouette. Designed4Her has several of the Disney princesses as button wall art.
As always, I have to dedicate an entire section of my link-up to the beauty of crochet!
Craft Bits shows us how to crochet our own buttons…how easy and versatile are these?!
Emily Flower made these vintage-ey button flowers that are just precious!
Then I can’t forget to showcase how Elvee Dickenson has used buttons to take a simple crochet cloche and step it up in the cuteness realm.
A couple weeks ago I posted about one of my newest patterns: Fauxy the Fox. Isn’t she just adorable? You can find the pattern in my Etsy shop if you are interested. But, I wanted to make a whole collection of woodland-y animals. I’ve heard that collections sell really well. When my mother-in-law requested an owl to gift to someone else, I knew what creature was coming next!
As always, the first thing I did was basic research. What does a real owl look like, and how can I cutesify it to be a similar style to match my fox? I found my inspiration pretty quickly and then set off to make my own. Four times. That’s how long it took before I realized I wasn’t gonna be able to make my own. The first one was *special*. No matter how many times I redid the eyes, they always looked off somehow. The second one was top-heavy. I just could not figure out how to fix it. The third one was lumpy and awkward, and not even worth trying to fix. I just didn’t like the fourth one…it might’ve been fine, Just not what I was aiming for. Ho hum. Oh well. Back to do more research.
I came across this gorgeous pattern from Skopa Och Inreda, which I guess is Swedish for Create and Decoration. It was a bit challenging for me to figure out, since the whole blog is written in not English, but straight-forward enough that I could figure it out ok with some google translate.
For example…V 7: at the beginning of each row skip understood the mesh so that the work reduces a mesh width of each row 15, 14, 13 and so on until there are only three stitches. (Each row ends as usual with an air mesh). Of course, that makes no sense. But my smartie brain was able to figure out that she is talking about ROW 7: at the beginning of each row, skip one stitch (or sc2tog, which is what I did) so that the width reduces by one stitch for each row until there are only three stitches left. Each row ends with a ch 1.
So, if you can get past the linguistics and peculiar word translations, it is a beautiful pattern and well-worth your time. My other complaint, though, is how large the owl ended up being. It is hard to tell from the pictures provided on the blog, but it is HUGE! There are some instructions for making the owl smaller (which I will be following when I make this again), but it was an unfamiliar pattern so I didn’t want to further confuse and frustrate myself. Overall, I think this owl pattern is adorable, I just wouldn’t recommend it to the American beginner crochet artist.
I’m not a huge fan of st. Patrick’s day. It just doesn’t do anything for me. I appreciate the green (it’s my favorite color), and the rainbows, and the pots of gold. But as a holiday…I really could do without it. My husband is begging for some kind of cabbage and beef, but that’s just not a tradition my family partook in. However, I am a sucker for themed crafts! And you are all in luck as I Feature st. Patrick’s day handcrafty goodness this week.
From leprechaun pranks to nature hunts, there are a plethora of fun holiday-themed things to do with your kids on St. Patrick’s Day.
How about a GREEN scavenger hunt from HappyHomeFairy? What I love most about this is that the kids can do it inside, just in case it’s still cold and snowy where you are. Check out the blog to get the full image and download it!
Every kids loves to explore physics and chemistry. GrowingAJeweledRose has a bunch of delectable science experiments themed around St. Patrick’s Day that would be perfect for an older child.
These minute-to-winit games by NotSoWimpyTeacher are perfect for children of all ages. Develop those fine motor skills!
No mainstream holiday would be complete without a whole slew of witty t-shirts and appropriately colored accessories to choose from.
MichelleCowartGifts has created this entire outfit that is just previously darling! From the cute pink and green colors to the very professional embroidery, we are just in love. It even comes with perfectly striped leggings, and a headband completes the look.
We are pretty fond of this classy t-shirt by BlueYeti as well. You can’t go wrong with something basic, simple, and green.
A day full of green and leprechaun’s isn’t complete without shamrocks. I’m kind of in love with all of the following four-leafed clover beauties!
CreationsByLLove has these adorable blocks with a shamrock in place of the O.
I love scarfs…and this one by TrendyStop would be a perfect addition to my collection! Bonus: get a free hair scrunchie with your purchase.
How precious is this mug and saucer from AprilsLuxuries? This would be a perfect gift for any Irish-loving friend, or maybe a special just because luxury for yourself.
As always, I have to include a section in my round up that is dedicated to the fiber arts.
This beautifully dyed yarn from DestinationYarn is enough to motivate anyone to create some beautiful holiday-themed art!
CuriousMooseVintage has this gorgeous hand-woven messenger bag listed. Vintage, and with other colors besides just green to allow for useage throughout the year and not just for st. Patrick’s Day.
This bold statement necklace from MagDamHandmade is definitely worth your consideration as well. Beautifully hand-made with precious little wooden beads added for a dramatic effect.
Couple years ago, I would feature other artists in a segment called “Telling Tuesday’s”. It was fun to explore and discover new treasures. I’m not sure why I stopped. Maybe I was trying so hard to promote myself that I didn’t think promoting others was worth my time and effort. After all of the research I’ve done about blogs and online businesses I know that it is very much worth my time and effort and I’ve decided to start it up again!
Rainbows. I love rainbows. Something about all of the bright vivid colors in an organized gradient order…it makes me happy. After all of the sadness and illnesses I have endured and witnessed the past few weeks, I could use more happiness. I know that our country is going through a very sick time (I’ve heard of schools all over the country detonating “Lysol” bombs and closing for flu and strep). Can’t we all appreciate more happiness? So, this week I am focusing on rainbows. All of my sources come from Pinterest and Etsy.
Of course you know I have to dedicate an entire section to crocheted rainbows! The colors, the stitch textures, the different interpretations, the incorporations…so delicious.
This adorable unicorn with the curly hair by Strawberrrryy is just precious!
How about a vintage dress like this pattern from WonkyZebra.
I am in love with this gorgeous beaded necklace by HandmadeByNataniel! This took some time and patience to create.
And finally this cute flower garland by StitchedUpCraft…I might have to make one of these for myself!
Can you believe that they make edible rainbows?! I’m thinking of flavor explosions of wonderfulness in my mouth. Such vibrant colors, so beautiful.
I cannot even believe that this rainbow cake topper is food! Made by HugsandSparkles and just perfect for a little girls’ art-themed birthday party. Edit: the rainbows are made from non-toxic polymer clays, so while you can’t eat them, you can keep the pretties after the party is over 😍
These edible butterflies from SugarRobot look like they can just fly away.
How about rainbow carrot seeds? Maybe not a true representation of the full color spectrum but still a pretty neat offer from KenyonOrganics
Whatever you are celebrating, rainbow favors are bound to make it more delightful for your guests: from weddings to birthdays to hostess gifts.
How about hand-poured candles in adorable mason jars? SoapForYourSoul is responsible for these beauties.
These rainbow organza bags from LoveLettersEtc provide beautiful pops of color and allows personalization with what you can put in them.
Who doesn’t appreciate stickers for their party needs? These rainbow and clouds from SGStationary are just perfect!
A list of rainbows would be incomplete without being able to make your own! Here are just a few diy rainbow goodness to enjoy.
22 Rainbow Kids Crafts offers everything from paper plates to pompoms
MikeAdamick talks about how to paint a rainbow wall. What kid wouldn’t want this in their room?
Ziplock explains on their Facebook page how to make these rainbow roses. Whether it actually works or not, I dunno, but the idea is way cool?