CLBeads is one of the most successful shops on Etsy. Going by the visible statistics of that shop. As of the time writing this post, they make an average sale of 52,302 items in a year. Even if you assume that they sell their 1 $ priced item the most. Then, the minimum amount of sale they make each year is of 52,302 dollars.
Moreover, their highest costing handmade item is of 1832.07 dollars. Even if that item amounts to 1% of their total sales. Then, calculating the money they make with their handmade crafts amazes me.
But you know what is more surprising than that? CLBeads lists their own website on their Etsy profile.
Many crafters feel perplexed to own a separate craft blog along with their Etsy store. If that idea puts you in a delusion as well. Then, you must read further.
Why the Need to Start Craft Blogs
The simple and brief answer to that is – YOU OWN IT.
But for the ones who do not get that must know some of the horrors of NOT owning a website.
1. A Third Party E-commerce Platform Can Go Out of Business
No matter what external e-commerce platform you sell your art on. It has the possibility to go kaput.
I know that may sound humor in bad taste. But then the truth is that Google’s every foray into social networking has tanked. The misfortune is not endemic to that internet giant alone. Big names like Myspace and Twitter have all seen a decline since their glorious heydays.
So, instead of moving from one platform to another every few years. It makes sense to have your own platform along with other third-party platforms.
2. A Third Party Platform Can Kick You Out of Business
Imagine a scenario when you wake up to see that your handmade store is no more on the internet?
I know it sounds super scary.
The harsh truth is that it has happened to a lot many sellers on Etsy.
Even the ones who were making a killing on that platform wiped out.
These selling platforms may change their policies anytime making you the culprit. Meaning, what you may be doing today is valid which might become a crime tomorrow. Hence, on the pretext of violations of their rules, your business can attract a risk.
As the old saying goes – Never put all the eggs in one basket. Therefore, it makes sense to own a handmade store in more than one marketplace. Moreover, if you own your blog. Then, you can use it to route your audience to all the other stores where you sell.
3. Your Craft Blog Is Your Own Sales and Marketing Hub
No matter where you sell your crafts. You need promotion to propel your sales.
This applies to even when you sell via some brick and mortar store or through craft fairs.
The content on your craft blog kick starts your evergreen sales funnel. This fuels your future sales and brings in a steady stream of new prospects for your business.
Thus, your own craft blog is of bigger significance than your craft store. Your e-commerce platform may change, but your handmade blog should remain the foundation.
It is the place where you showcase all the nitty-gritty involved in your craft making. Thereby forging stronger connections with your audience. Thus, even the best selling crafters on platforms like Etsy also own a personal blog.
Now that you understand why writing craft blogs is a must. Then, the next step is to know –
How to Start a Craft Blog Business the Correct Way
There are many handmade business artists who blog on free blogging platforms. By free I mean the ones by Bloggers and WordPress.com.
If you too own one. Then, I urge you to check your blog url. It must be something like xyz.blogspot.com or xyz.wordpress.com.
These are sub-domains and not actual self-hosted websites. Meaning they are a small portion of an external big website. You do not own these urls nor do you own the content that you build there. Furthermore, these free blogging platforms do not offer many avenues to monetize them.
So much like the craft stores that you build on third-party platforms. These free blogs are rather much the same. Your blog and its content can anytime go out of business.
So, the solution lies in starting your own self-hosted art and craft blogs.
How to Start Self-Hosted Craft Business Blogs
I have been in the business of online business for years. But still, for a long time, I toyed with the idea of having my own self-hosted blog.
I had 2 reasons for procrastinating on that decision. One was the expenses and the other was a technical learning curve.
Only when I started my first self hosted website, I felt a sense of shame of not doing it earlier. The process was much easier than the mammoth task that I had assumed it to be.
If you too think the same, then I get it. The online ways of doing business seem daunting. But trust me they are not. Also, it is not expensive. It costs less than 50 $ a year to own your own blog. I will show you how to do it in the steps below:
1. Decide on a Hosting Plan
If this is your first attempt in creating a blog for your handmade business. Then, you can begin with the StartUp plan by SiteGround.
It has the hosting space and the essential technical features to launch your craft blog. Through my affiliate link, it will cost less than 4 $ a month for your first invoice.
Once you have got the web space, then you need to ———
2. Attach a Domain Name to Your Hosting
You need a name or the url to the web space you bought in the first step above.
You can go with your own name or with your business name. There is a whole list of Dos and Don’ts that go in choosing the domain name. But as a thumb-rule, stick with one that you will not regret later.
Or if you already bought a domain name. Then, you can use your web address to connect it with hosting. You can then get help from SiteGround’s customer support to change your DNS and Namer Servers.
3. Review and Complete
This is the final step. You need to fill in your account details and make the payment.
Congratulations! Now you know how to start a craft blog business. You can start one today to widen your reach and grow more sales.
While making the payment, make sure you pay for 12 months instead of 24 or 36 months. Do not get in the temptation to pay for a longer duration to lock in the initial low cost. Because if you know how to grow a craft blog, then you will need to upgrade from the StartUp plan soon. In that case, paying upfront for 3 years at a reduced price will not work in your favor.
Most of the other hosting services lock you in for 3 years with low costs. But you will get to realize within 6 months that their technical support gives you a hard time.
I have had more than my share of downtime error frustrations from my previous host.
Since the time I shifted to SiteGround. My worries about the technical aspects of running a site have reduced. Their technical support service team resolves my queries within no time. This is where SiteGround brings in a marked difference.
Do not commit the mistake I did as a rookie. A cheap hosting service will limit the growth of your blog. Rather make an investment in one that will advance your blogging venture.
Gone are the days when setting up a pop-up store at your local craft fares for business was enough. Today the digitized modes of doing business have brought in a disruption. Amidst the chaos of online modes of social media marketing and sales. It is your self-hosted blog that sets the foundation of your marketing plan.
A blog is a resource that helps make connections. It lets your audience know you and your craft. Furthermore, it helps your buyers know the marketplaces where you serve.
You may move from one e-commerce store to another. It is the blog that will let your audience follow your journey.
Thus, having a blog for your handmade business is a must. Hosting companies like SiteGround make it easy and affordable to start one (less than 50$/ year). Their simple set-up takes away the horrors and overwhelms of starting one. The steps listed in this article will help you with the same.
Do you have a self-hosted blog for your handmade crafts? How do you use it to grow your sales and influence?
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