Why You Need a Blog

January 16, 2018

Why add a blog? Will it help your business or will it just give you one more thing to do in your already too busy schedule? The answer is yes, because it adds the defining element to your personal branding that is so important to your business (i.e. sales) and especially to an Etsy seller.

Okay. You've decided to create a blog. Now what? Where do you start? First, pick a platform. There are several to choose from and I will give you a small breakdown of each with it's strengths and weaknesses from an Etsy seller perspective. For the sake of this discussion we will assume this is not a blog to make money from or be a full time endeavor but just a place to talk about your business and a bit of your life.

First, there's Wordpress. A wonderful platform, difficult to master. Unless you have a very fancy blog in mind with lots of bells and whistle (which Wordpress is awesome at) then you might not want to start here. Also, there is the aspect of price. The platform itself is free, but the hosting is not, which can add up quite a bit. Most hosting is around $15 a month and easily goes higher from there, so that would be a minimum of around $180 a year. There is a free version of Wordpress but it's a bit restricted in appearance and functionality.

Second, there's Squarespace. A learning curve for sure, but not as complicated as Wordpress. Cost is about the same as Wordpress but you can add a shop pretty easily once you learn how to navigate the platform. Customizing your appearance is a bit hard as the templates are very generic and it takes quite a bit of time to get your blog looking like you might want it to.

Third, Shopify. Easy to learn but unless you want a full blown independent shop it is costly. Starts at $30 a month and goes up from there. That's $360 a year and the blog functionality is a bit limited although still viable.

Finally, my favorite, Blogger. I know you hear lots of negative reviews of it, but they are usually from die hard Wordpress fans. If you want an elaborate blog with lots of added modules and functionality, then Wordpress definitely is for you. But if you want a pretty blog that can direct your customers to your Etsy shop, link to all of your social media sites, and let them see the process behind your crafts or service, then I think it's the best all around for that purpose. There are even blogs that have expanded enough for the owners to make a living off of them on the Blogger platform! Simple to learn, easy to post and completely free except for buying a template you love, and that is easily done from Etsy. Many of the designers that create Blogger templates are willing to help you get it set up and ready to post to which is all you need, right?

This blog is on Blogger. I have had sites on all of the above platforms, and finally came back to Blogger and it has made the task of blogging so much easier for me. I am still learning how to streamline the process and as soon as I develop my skills I will pass that info along to you. If you have tips to send my way I am eager to hear them!

One thing is for sure, blogging is part of your branding. If you only blog once or twice a month (regularly) you will increase your customers confidence in your business and that can easily translate into more sales. Plus blogging can be fun, seriously. So go to Etsy, find yourself a template, and get that baby online!

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