I was talking today with a metalsmith friend (in person, no less!), who asked me, ”
Okay, why would I need a blog?”
She has a perfectly lovely website, why add more work to an already overworked chief-cook-and-bottlewasher?
I explained that if she had a blog, every time she published a new blog post, the blog would notify lots of other websites, “hey, this blog has been updated, check out the new stuff!”
And some of those other websites would be blog directory sites such as Blog Catalog, Technorati (and more), where people go when they’re looking for blogs to read.
This brings you new viewers and possibly new customers.
Even more than that, a blog, for an artist/jeweler/craftsperson, gives people a way to get to know you, trust you, see that you’re a real person. It gives you a way to tell your story.
And if you’re selling online, how do you give people that “art show” experience of meeting the artist? I was at a home show of enamel work by another friend, Karen Seymour-Ells, who does gorgeous work, by the way. I was listening as she explained her process on a certain series of pieces to a customer.
I already liked those pieces, but listening to her explain it, got excited! I wanted the pieces even more! And I know how to enamel!
Transmit some of that excitement through your blog.
So, that’s why you would want a blog!
Now, the next question I’ve been getting a lot lately is,
“Sheesh, what’s with all this facebook/twitter/social media stuff I keep hearing about, do I really have to do all that?”
Here’s the short answer:
If you’re not interested, and you don’t have time, sure, don’t do it. But you might want to at least grab your own name here and there (as a user ID on the various services). And everyone should be on LinkedIn, which doesn’t take a lot of time.
Other than that, my suggestion to those just getting started is: pick one (social media) site at a time, get a feel for it, go slow, read up the dos and don’ts of it.
And… here’s a piece of advice from the recent WordCamp Chicago: the blog should be the center of your social media universe. Go ahead and participate on other sites, but bring that content back to your blog.
What does that mean? Well it could mean something as simple as having one of those twitter doo-hikies on your blog where people can see your twitter stream right on your blog. (If that doesn’t make any sense, don’t worry about it, start with the blog and add from there as your time and interest dictate.)