spent the day strolling through the Upper East Side, hitting my favorite flea market and wandering through Central Park. I can't wait to clean up and photograph my new finds, which b and I sorted through from a table piled high with trinkets and junk.
I've been thinking about all the good blogging tips Amy of greenjeans gave at the American Craft Council talk on Wednesday night. She and Rena discussed how keeping a blog can improve visibility for your business, and she suggested the following:
•post photographs to catch readers' eyes.
•mention the name of your business in your posts to increase the likelihood that it will come up in a search. for example, there are other businesses named greenjeans, one of them being a restaurant in toronto. mentioning amy's business name increases the chance that her greenjeans will come up if someone does a search for it on google or another search engine.
•set up an rss feed for your blog so that people who read multiple blogs per day can be notified of when you post. many people prefer to run down their list of daily blog reads quickly, only reading the most recent post. having an rss feed also reminds people to read your blog if they're not inclined to keep them bookmarked or use another method.
•be patient- she mentioned at first having just a few readers, but in time her readership has increased.
Some of the benefits of keeping a blog that Amy and Rena mentioned are:
•it's the easiest free advertising a business can take advantage of. there are several free hosting companies, google (blogger) and typepad being among the most popular.
•both sellers of handmade and small production goods, blogs enable Amy and Rena to provide back story on their designers. This leads to the creation of community, as readers/ customers become acquainted with the artists and are able to follow links to the artists' own sites or other sources of information.
•This, in turn, benefits both the shop owner and the artist, creating a new business paradigm of cooperation versus competition.
•If you own a web shop, posting photos of new goods on your blog can create interest and even pre-sell items. Rena mentioned the incredible success she had selling online the in-store show she did with collage artist (and her now business partner) lisa congdon. I don't think rena anticipated the response she would get online when she started posting information on this exhibition.
•this sort of leads into the benefits of having an online shop, but they both mentioned the ability to sell internationally. (and the relationship of having a blog that leads people to your shop from all over the world.)
a few questions were fielded from the audience. one woman talked about being an artist who has exclusive gallery representation, and how she has to monitor what she says on her blog, as she is not allowed to represent herself. this philosophy was very contrary to the way Amy and Rena operate, as mentioned above, in their desire to spread the word as much as possible about people whose work they sell.
the salon was very graciously hosted by the american craft council, publisher of american craft magazine and home to a significant collection of craft and design books, catalogues, and periodicals. it's located on the 6th floor of a building on spring street near lafayette which is home to poet's house and marc jacobs' studio. the library is open to the public by appointment. there was great food and drink provided, and the salon drew a good crowd. the event was videotaped by both etsy and faythe levine of the indie craft documentary.
it is great to see the american craft council, which has historically supported the traditional craft arts such as woodworking, ceramics and metalsmithing, become acquainted with the current diy/ indie/ crafter movement. there was a bridging of generations at this event, as the younger crafters bring hand work into the electronic age. I look forward to attending more events, or browsing the collections there.