Saturday, 13 October 2012

6 Ways to Develop a Successful Scrapbooking/Papercrafting Blog

Over the last 4 years I've written and I've read thousands
 of blog posts.  I've learnt a thing or two along the way.
If you are new to blogging, or even new{ish} (I remember
well how daunting that can be) I've listed a few pointers
here, to steer you in the right direction if you need help!

If you are wanting to learn how to increase your readership
(and perhaps also your comments) and maintain a successful
 blog read on. I can show you how to increase your hits
(which indicates how much exposure you are getting)
and the number of comments you receive.

None of these things matter if you are not bothered about
them. Some people keep a blog just for fun and that's great!
I read some of those and love them, but ultimately my criteria
 here on my own blog is to use this space to showcase my work.
Of course I have formed some special friendships along the
way and that is a bonus!

Getting onto a Design Team is the goal of many.  It's fun and
as you progress onto kit club/manufacturer teams the free
stuff you receive is such fun to unpack and utilise each month.
When you apply to a team, you are always asked to provide a
'link to your blog'. Well that's because they're gonna check
 you out - so you want your online 'home' to look clean and tidy,
loved and lived in, full of happy times and friends.

1. Keep unpleasant personal issues & grievances off your
blog (and all public social networks).

2. Keep your focus on the positives in your life, not your
ill-health or bad relationship with your _____ (fill in the
blank here).

3. Make your titles pertinent to your content (in other words
 name your posts according to what is in them). For example
 my posts are always called the name of my layout aswell
as the names of the manufacturers I've used.

For example:- My Sunshine Layout {Webster's Pages}.
This will help you SO MUCH when you are trawling through
your archives looking for a layout or supplies list you need
(especially when you start submitting your layouts to
magazines for possible publication).

When manufacturers (or individuals) are trawling the
internet looking for examples of papercrafting using certain
 product lines guess who's work will pop up first?!
 The more info you give the better - for example
 'Summer Days Layout' {Glitz Design - Hello Friend}.

4. Keep your posts short. Too short is off-putting and
indicates lack of interest to me and too long is simply
 'too long'! 10 - 20 sentences is about right, with 10 - 12
sentences being ideal. Of course there are times (like now!)
when your posts will obviously be longer - I'm talking
generally here.

Greet your audience. Add a couple of lines about what's up
in your life (so they can connect with you as a person not
only a crafter) then dive into your content and end with a
 couple of lines sign off if necessary. Sometimes it's not :)

The sad truth is there are a billion blogs out there & everyone
is really busy - your blog is probably not high up on their
list of 'Have To Do' things every day so making your posts
concise, interesting and upbeat gives you the best chance
of capturing and holding people's attention!

5. Always advertise for your Design Teams, your talented
friends and kit clubs you subscribe to, etc.
(Do unto others as you would have them do unto you).
Networking is a win-win situation all round, which is
why God suggested it in the first place...

6. Be generous with your knowledge. Look at your life like a
funnel - keep pouring information through it. Seal it up and
 the flow stops. In other words don't be stingy with your
 information - share tidbits with your readers - it shows
that you are kind and a team player.

 These are traits most Design Teams look out for.

I could write at least another half dozen pointers to add.
If this post generates sufficient interest I'll do just that :)
Keep well everyone!


Stefanie said...

Thanks for the great upbeat and informative post. I agree with all you've said.

Kim Price said...

I really enjoyed reading this article Helen. Thank you so much for sharing!

Desire Fourie said...

Helen thanks so much for this. Even for a 7-year plus blogger like me these are great pointers. Looking forward to the next series of pointers.

Fi said...

Great reading Helen with some excellent tips. Hope you are having a great weekend.

tania said...

you see!! you are sooo generous! what a great post with so many tips! thanks helen. for me...of great help!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

These are amazing tips Helen!! And your right about the upbeat part... yes, we all have our downers and something bad that has happened to us... and it is OK to share those things... but not downer/negative stuff all the time... I actually stopped following someone because of just that reason... it got tiring on a daily basis to comment with... "I'm sorry you had a bad day yesterday".... tell me something GOOD!!! I can promise you something GOOD happened in your day! lol!! So I'm not saying don't tell me the bad things... I am YOUR FRIEND... of course I care when something BAD happens to you... but not negative all the time :)

sandi said...

Yup! Agree with all of these Helen! Another great post my friend!

2Pennies (Jennifer) said...

Thanks very much for this! Please write more! I realized only a few weeks ago that being on a design team means you get free stuff to create with. I had no way of knowing this, so I thought I couldn't afford to even try.

A few notes for bloggers from my experience:
1. Don't be too wordy at the beginning; jump in to the meat of your post. I follow a lot of blogs on Blogger, and only the first five or six sentences show up. I'm looking for ideas and challenges to spur me on; if a writer spends the first six sentences talking about her life, I'm not going to click on "more," go to the blog and read the rest. I just don't have the time.
2. My pet peeve: when bloggers offer a challenge, state they will announce the winner on a certain date, and then don't do it. That means I have to keep checking back or risk losing the chance to claim any prize. It increases hits to the blog but decreases my interest in playing along again (given the number of challenges available to me). The best challenge blogs make announcements when they say they will and then put "winner" in the title or the first several lines of the post.
3. If you offer challenges, please put the rules in an easy-to-find place! Some blogs have a separate "challenge rules" tab or have the rules for all challenges posted on the side, which is very helpful.

This is the longest comment I have written in my entire life. I really appreciate your thoughts on this topic!

2Pennies (Jennifer) said...

One more thought for bloggers: Please make sure your blog is easy to read. White words on a black background or blogs with the background showing through are almost impossible for me to read, even if I use my screen options to make the words appear bigger.

Keren Tamir said...

Love this Helen. And love reading between the lines. Al u said is so true

Lynn Le5 said...

Thanks for all the great tips Helen!!! I'll be checking in for more ;)

Gayle Price said...

Helen you have such a wonderful wealth of knowledge and wisdom and I love that you love to share. I'm not really a "seasoned" blogger, I'm still just feeling my way and muddling my way through and pretty much just doing "my own thing", so I really appreciate your tips and the info. you have shared here. xx

Marjie Kemper said...

Wonderful advice, Helen. Every word is true!

yyam said...

You've brought up some good points Helen. :)Being positive and upbeat is very important. I hate it when people whine.

Personally, I write for my readers and not I usually title my post with something that would draw my readers to respond. I search my posts by labels.

Lynnda said...

Great post Helen!!! I totally agree on some points you made!!!... And you are right about the upbeat part!!! we have to be positive... but of course sometimes we have our down moment... but not like always .... :)

Thanks for sharing... hugs...xoxo

Lynette said...

Great tips if you are keeping your blog purely for scrapping purposes...and I will follow your tips now that my public blog will only be used for scrapping.


Denise van Deventer said...

Thanks Helen...this is really soo true! Congrats on your layout being featured again at is really a beaut!!! Then also, congrats on your layout also being featured in the new Scrap 365...I got it this morning at CNA and I was sooooo excited to see your layout there! Way to go are going places!!! ;-))

Tracey Sabella said...

Thanks for the tips, Helen!! So much truth shining through here!! ~ Blessings, Tracey

Laurence said...

Great post, all that you say seems so evident... thanks a lot.

Sandi Cl~ said...

So true!!