I'm super excited to be joined by Katie Carr in this blog post sharing her knowledge on how blogging can help your handmade business.
Welcome Katie! Please tell us a little about you and your business?
I'm Katie, founder of Katie Carr Creative and I'm a copywriter. But I also do a lot of marketing and graphic design. So any kind of content, whether it's web design, web content, email marketing, blogging, creating social media, captions, branding, strategy, planning, all that kind of stuff. I'm a jack of all trades and I'm not ashamed of it.
Katie please tell us what is a blog and how would having a blog benefit people with a handmade business?
Blogging originally started out more like a diary that people could read, and it could be used to build little communities that way by leaving comments, but now it's changed quite a lot. It is a really great way to promote your business, you can still use it as a diary or a journal. But I think it can be really useful to use as a way to build an audience just to get a little bit of more insight in your product and to show yourself off as an expert in your industry. Also just have fun with it!
Katie what type of blog content do you think Handmade Business owners should be creating?
If you sell products when you have a blog you can explore so much more than what you can just share on social media and in terms of the industry that you're in. You could consider sharing the following types of content:
The reasons why you do what you do
If your products are ethical share where you sourced ingredients, or materials from.
You could do a product roundup we just had Mother's Day, and Easter and there is the Jubilee coming up, there are lots of opportunities. You could also include other makers in your network
Katie is a blog a big-time commitment?
I think I would probably allow for maybe an hour to write a blog from scratch maybe less if you are copy editing something, which is when you've had it transcribed from a video. I think when you're just very passionate about something, you're just able to write so much more freely about it, and you don't have to think so much.
I would suggest if anybody starts writing a blog, and they get really stuck, just to leave it and come back to it or change it because there's no point forcing it if it's not fun. That's why a lot of people, if they're if they're blogging, they might just do it more like a diary or journal type thing and talk around their experiences. But it's really as much or as little as you want. And it's about commitment, not really consistency with blogs, as well maybe create one a month. But Google really likes it, if you're putting content onto your website, even if you're just changing a few pieces, it really does give a boost you in the rankings as well, if you're looking at it from that point of view.
Katie what is the difference between a blog and a newsletter?
So a blog sits on your website and is always there for people to see and go back and read through. If you're sending a newsletter out, that will go directly to, people's inboxes. So what you can do is put a couple of paragraphs in your newsletter, and then have a 'Read More' option. So if they want to carry on reading, they can go over there to your blog and read it.
I know some people that really like writing newsletters, and they'll then make that into a blog. So people may have of already read it, but then that's very good for SEO, if you've got a blog there. Email is very good for getting into people's inboxes and just being able to speak to people directly. When you're putting things on social media, it's just going out there and you don't know where it's landing, who it's landing with.
But if you've got a list of emails from people that have bought things from you then you can start promoting it through that way as well. There's all kinds of different options. Don't feel though that it's just a whole load of writing that you need to do, you can repurpose content all the time. People can sign up so that they get a notification when you've written a blog, or you can just communicate that in an email.
Katie is it good to feature guest bloggers?
I think that's a really lovely thing to do. When you're working from home and you're working by yourself, I think having a network is really important. I've seen it done so many times, whether it's yoga teachers, they set up classes and they might have another business visit to do a card reading, or somebody talking about crystals things like that. You're don't have to be doing solo stuff all the time, you can feed into other networks and get to know more people. I have seen quite a lot of craft businesses or small businesses, coming together and creating a gift box for people, at certain times of the year. But I think as well from a marketing side of things, it's, it's a win win for both people, because, you can talk about that person that you're featuring on your blog, for example, across your network, and they can talk about you.
I don't believe in competition, I think collaboration is so healthy. I think it's a really nice thing to do. And it is actually a good way to build, know, like and trust. If someone came to me and said, can you do Facebook ads? I'd be like, yes, but I'm not an expert, but I know somebody that can really help you. And I think because the digital and online world is so saturated, people really value recommendations from people or just having smaller networks and groups of people.
Katie, what is the best way to promote a blog?
I think you have to consider how are you coming into it, you can obviously have a range of blogging styles sometimes it could be more like a journal, or it could be a little bit more formal business like, or it could just be tutorials, or how to guides, but first decide on an angle. Also consider who would benefit from this, so is it just a lot of stuff about yourself, which is fine, you can talk about that absolutely anywhere. If it's something that's going to benefit, your customers, then obviously, you can talk about it the way that you will talk about your normal products, whether it's on social media or in newsletters, and if you've got an email list.
I think people will find it as well, because if you're directing people to your website whether it's for products or anything else, quite often they will look at other areas of your site.
You can also mention your blog on your stories and you can put it in your highlights. Make sure you're highlighting the benefits of reading your blog, such as if you head over here, you can find out more about this, or we can show you how to do that. Or if you want a step by step guide, it's here, or whatever it might be.
Katie what are your top 3 tips to make blogging work for Handmade Business owners?
1. I think just have fun with it. First and foremost, if you don't get any joy from it, then just don't do it. Because people will just pick up on the fact that it's, it's either rushed, or it's just been a real hard slog for somebody. So if your preferred method is video, record a video, drop it into otter AI. And then you can just reuse that from there. I'm an introvert, and I prefer to not be on camera. So I prefer to do the other thing first. And that's fine.
2. The second thing I would say is, just make sure it's all in your own voice. Don't try and sound like anybody or censor yourself in any way. If you're a bit of a scary person, that's fine write how you talk. Again, if you're transcribing a video is perfect, because, it's all your own words. Don't worry about grammar, you can start sentences with and. Also don't worry about the technical side of writing, just put it on the page, if it's poetry, drawing illustrations or whatever it might be, just get it down there. It's all very creative.
3. If you are you are really stuck you can make a plan, there's no harm in making a bit of a plan. I do this with quite a lot with some of my clients, when we're creating a strategy. It's a bit of a brainstorm, think about what things you love, what things are interesting to you, consider all the things that you do, and then you've got a whole bank of things to write about. Then it becomes very normal, nice and a natural thing to do. Just take some time to focus on writing a blog, as opposed to quickly tapping out something on Instagram which is more short, sharp and quick.
Katie thanks so much for all your amazing advice. Where can people find out more about you and the services you offer?
I normally I work with coaches and consultants, and I have got a background in corporate. I mainly help women step away from dry marketing and formal writing and just embrace themselves. I think it takes a little while to do that but know you can still be professional and have pink hair and wear converse, it's fine. I offer one to one sessions, whether it's, helping people in designing Canva, creating some kind of strategy or just having a bit of brainstorm.
I can help with newsletters or any kind of like writing, anything with words, websites, anything like that, I can spin the copy around, whatever it is. Then I can work on like a retainer basis where I manage all people's content, or I can just come in every month and just write a newsletter, whatever it might be, I'm very flexible. As I said at the beginning, I'm an unashamed jack of all trades. I can create bespoke packages and things for people wherever they need. You can find me on Instagram @katie.carr_copywriting or my website www.katiecarrcreative.co.uk/
Love Lynsey xx
The Handmade Business Coach