Since starting A Spoonful of Sugar in 2008, we have learnt a thing or two over time about blogging, building our readership, and engaging with our lovely readers. We often get emails from new bloggers asking for advice on how to build up their blogs. We will be putting together a few posts over the next few weeks that look at various aspects of blogging for crafty folk with some of our top tips, insights, and things we have learnt along the way. We hope you gain some valuable ideas that you can implement on your own blogs. We would love you to share your own experiences in the comments.
I had the mindset of “if you build it they will come” and focussed all our efforts on sharing lots of crafty ideas, free tutorials, and recipes on our blog. This has worked well, and over the past three years our readership has slowly grown. I didn’t think I had time to get involved in social media as well as a blog so avoided facebook, twitter and the like. However I noticed we were getting left behind by not embracing these mediums and since becoming more active in recent months in various social media, we have noticed a huge increase in our traffic, and have been able to “meet” and connect with many new readers. At the end of the day, you only have so much time so it is about using your time wisely and getting a good balance between designing projects and writing posts, and connecting with people through emails, comments, and social media.
Here are our top 4 Social Media sites for Crafty Bloggers:
I have discovered that facebook is not just for teens. In fact a recent study showed that 72% of users are aged between 25 – 54 years. We started up A Spoonful of Sugar facebook page in July, and now have a terrific group of lovely readers there. It is a good way to let readers know of updated blog posts, and we love when our readers share photos of things they have made from our tutorials and leave comments for us. You can find our facebook page here.
Pinterest is a lovely place to hang out and admire all the wonderful inspiring photos that people have pinned. It is a great way to bookmark projects that you hope to make one day, and to catalogue all the inspiring ideas that you can find on the internet, especially whilst browsing craft and food blogs. You can follow people’s virtual pinup boards and see what lovely treasures they have found which is a terrific way of finding lots of new blogs and to follow trends in crafting and design. If you click on a photo that has been pinned it will give you the details of the original source. I have managed to find lots of new blogs this way, and it has also promoted our site to lots of new readers, and is now one of our main referrers. You can find out Pinterest page here if you would like to follow us.
Stumbleupon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends new content for its users. When a web page comes up, you can “like it” and it will then find other pages for you based on your preferences. It is a fun way to discover new sites. You can follow people on stumbleupon and see the web pages that they have reviewed and liked. We have had a few of our tutorials and projects “stumbled” and it is now one of our main referrers. You can find us on stumbleupon here.
We only joined twitter three weeks ago so it is a bit early to comment on how many connections we will make this way. We have noticed some traffic coming through from twitter already – and our twitter followers are slowly growing. Whenever we do a new blog post, we “tweet” it so we can alert our twitter followers that there is new content on the blog. When you follow someone on twitter it also suggests, based on your preferences, others you may wish to follow. As a result we have discovered quite a few new bloggers. Due to time constraints I don’t imagine that we will be tweeting all that much but it is proving to be a good way to provide short updates, and to connect with other people interested in quilting, sewing, crafting, and baking. You can find us on twitter as aspoonfulsugar and we would be delighted if you followed us there.
Now it is all very well and good having accounts on all these social media sites, but you also need to give your readers a way to easily share your blog posts to all their followers. We were using the blogger share buttons at the end of each post but they were quite small and didn’t really stand out that much. More recently we have installed the Share This buttons which show up at the end of each post and make it easy for readers to share the content they like (Look at the bottom of the post to see what the buttons look like). It also makes it easy for you to share your own blog content easily between your social networking sites. As a result you can easily share your blog posts to facebook and twitter so that your followers there can be updated.
If you have any comments to make about how social networking has worked for your blog or crafty business, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments. Have you found other social media sites to be effective (eg tumblr)? What works well for you?
If there are any other topics you would like us to address, please let us know.