I often receive emails from other crafters and artists asking questions about how to have a successful blog and how to increase your readership. Here are 12 tips that I’ve found to be helpful at increasing blog traffic or “hits” to your blog site:
1. Start with an attractive Blog Header and Layout– Personalize your header to reflect who you are as an artist, a quilter, or a designer- no matter what your style is. The color and layout should be interesting, eye-catching, pleasing and work well visually with the rest of your blog layout. Don’t be afraid to change your header with the seasons and ask for feedback.
For those of you who feel intimidated by the idea of designing your own blog header, ask a talented friend to make you one or you may also hire this job out. Talented artist, Heather Bluhm, who I met at ArtFiberFest, offers this service on her website. Her work is wonderful and I highly recommend you check out her portfolio.
2. Write Interesting, creative and relevant posts. Then Edit them. Of course, not every post I write fits this criteria, but I try to write about interesting stuff in my life. Try not to be too wordy, or you will lose your audience. As Martha would say, “Editing your posts is a good thing.” Don’t forget to also proofread your text and use spellcheck, (an excellent tip from commenter, Jeanne.)
3. Post Relevant Pictures. I love to see blogs that post pictures and visuals. Let’s face it, most artists and crafters are very visual people. We want to see what you are talking about.
4. Post Tutorials, How-to’s, or Free projects. Everybody LOVES free tutorials or how to make something. It will bring them back on a regular basis looking for more. It can even be something as simple as my Carla Bird.
5. Leave interesting and relevant comments on other blogs. People love it when you leave comments, they also get curious and search out your blog to find out who you are. So do their readers.
6. Link to other’s blogs and websites where you can. If you mention a friend or a particular site or technique, link to them. This is standard Blog etiquette. Pretty soon, they will be linking to you back. But, beware of overlinking….so much that it is distracting. Instead, find that happy medium.
7 . Use Tags in every post. Tags are freeform words which describe your post contents. Tags are an excellent way to organize your blog content and provide a useful way for others to locate information.
9. Participate in similar content Forums and have your blog address within your signature. Occasionally it is ok to mention the answer or technique is found at a specific blog post, and link back. Moderation is the key here- otherwise, you will lose credibility.
10. Participate in popular online challenges of likeminded people. I currently participate in Illustration Friday and used to participate in Monday Artday. No matter what your interest is, you can find an online challenge that suits your fancy.
12. Advertise only when firmly established- and in tasteful moderation. Nothing turns off readers more than a cluttered blog site filled with ads- especially Google Adsense ads. When your blog is firmly established, you might consider selling discrete space on your blog to businesses you know and trust. The ad could be designed by you and very tasteful.
I would love to hear back from those artists, quilters and crafters who implement one or more of my tips above. If you have a tip I did not mention, feel free to leave a comment. In the meantime, Happy Blogging!