Your hand-made crafts are unique to you, which is what makes them special, but selling crafts is to some extent like selling anything else and when you’re setting up a craft business, making sure things are OK at the beginning is a lot easier than correcting problems once it’s all up and running. Today I want to look at getting your craft blog off to the right start.
But first, why a craft blog? Why not a traditional website? Well at it’s core, every business selling crafts online is still a people business, it’s still a question of getting as many folks as possible to see what you’ve got. A properly set up craft blog will do that faster and more effectively than a traditional site. Even if you already have a craft website, a blog will be a valuable addition.
Selling crafts successfully is also about the ratio of costs to income – or what we like to call profit! If you can keep your costs down, you make more money, simple as that. The reason I mention this is that free blogs are readily available and, when you’re watching the cash, clearly tempting.
But I wouldn’t recommend that option.
The problem with a free craft blog is that ultimately someone else has control. Someone else says whether your content is acceptable. Someone else can decide that they want to put advertising on your blog. Personally I don’t want to be running a craft business where important aspects are beyond my control.
On top of that, a free blog usually won’t carry your own business name – or it will be an addition like yourname.freeblogsite.net or something like that. Far better, far more professional, to have your own top-level dot com domain name: Yourcrafts.com. It shows your potential customers who you are, and that you are prepared to invest in your own future. It shows you have confidence in your craft products. All that comes across, however subliminally, to your potential customer.
Anyway, the costs for selling crafts with a blog are negligible. Under ten dollars a year for a dot com domain name (I use namecheap.com), around six dollars a month from professional hosting (I use Hostgator.com) with all the online tools you’ll ever need to run your blog. Most importantly, you have total control over the way your craft business is run. That’s priceless.
Well I might be being over cautious. I’ve been with Hostgator for over four years now and while there’s the occasional glitch, as happens occasionally online, their service has been excellent (or I wouldn’t recommend them!). However, companies do change hands, managements change. It’s possible that at some time in the future the Hostgator service might not be what it is today.
In that case, with my domain name over at Namecheap, I can set up new hosting and install my blog at a different location in a matter of hours. Likewise I can easily transfer my domain name should I need to. It might never happen – and I’m perfectly happy with the service I’m getting right now – but if something should go down the pan, I’m in control.