Attack of the Blog

typewriter keysBlogging: Along with social media, it's the great connective tissue of the craft and indie biz community.

In this explosion of small biz e-commerce, potential customers want to know who they are purchasing from, and they will rely on your blog to get insight. Not having a blog is kind of like not having a face; it's hard to tell who you are and what you're about.

Don't have a blog yet? Have one but don't know what to do with it? Here's a little nudge in the right direction.

How do I get started?

The hardest and most important part of any task is to start it. If you don't have a blog yet, check out any of the numerous sites out there, like Blogger and WordPress. If there are other blogs you enjoy and like the look of, find out what blogging platform they use and look into it.

If you're lucky enough to have an IndieMade site, your blog is built in and you can get started right away!

What do I write about?

The short answer: You and your biz! The long answer: Not just you and your biz.

You want to keep your readers engaged, so you're going to have to do a little audience analysis here. Who are you writing for? What would those people enjoy reading about?

Share personal stories and new products, but also share links or advice that your readers will find valuable. You can actually re-read my post about Twitter and expand on each of the topic types I recommend.

How often do I need to do this?

Blogging takes time, so you need to make it work for you. If you only have time for one blog post per week, that's perfectly fine. Here at IndieMade, we like to post two times a week, but other blogs will post every day - sometimes several times per day!

In short, it's really up to you, but make sure you set a schedule and stick to it for consistency.

What have you found helpful in your own blogging experiences?




image via Lars Odemark on flickr

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Axel McCarthy

One thing I try to remember as I'm writing my blog posts is that even though it's current to me, my reader might be a long time in the future.

What I write is going to be indexed by search engines like Google or Bing, and it's going to stay in that index pretty much forever. Some blogs are lucky enough to get regular readers, but mine isn't like that. Mine is very practical, with specific tips for people trying to solve specific problems. That means that readers find my posts almost exclusively through search engines. (My Google Analytics data supports this.)

So if I have timely info in my blog post, I try to make that clear. Instead of saying "next month" I'll write "May 2011". Instead of writing "the latest version of the software" I'll go with "version 3.2". And so on.

(By the way, I really love how you finish off the post with a call for comments, asking your reader to contribute... I think that's a great idea.)

Carrie Keplinger

That's a really great point, Axel, thanks for bringing it up! I've run into this confusion, also, especially when searching for posts on technical issues. I'm usually left doing more research to see what version they're talking about circa 2002.

To bring this to the indie biz level, I'd say be careful about your wording with new collections or albums. Instead of simply saying "my new collection," say "my spring 2011 collection, [insert name here]." For an album, perhaps you'd note somewhere [name of the album](June 2010). Make sure you include something to give your future readers a reference point!

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