For over a year I ran my own Etsy store. It was a troublesome time in my “day job,” and it was the perfect creative outlet for that frustration and disappointment.
I read, studied, practiced, and learned and eventually built not only a profitable business but one that I enjoyed managing.
Then things shifted, and something had to go. The Etsy store was it.
In many ways, it’s something I’d love to do again if I could find the right product. But in the meantime, I took the knowledge I learned about product development, digital marketing, SEO, and managing my workflow and applied to other new ventures.
From this side of things, if there was one thing I would recommend for other Etsy store owners, it is to run your own blog. But not to write it yourself.
Why do I need a blog for my Etsy store?
While Etsy does a great job pulling traffic into shops, the common wisdom in the handmade market is that you need to have your own website. But, when you step off the Etsy cliff, it can be shocking how difficult it is to drive traffic all on your own.
However, with a powerful and well-developed blog behind you, you can either drive more traffic to your existing Etsy store or support your own platform. Or, both.
Blogs do several things, regarding digital marketing:
- Content connects your products and your business to the keywords customers are searching for. While Etsy can drive you traffic that comes to Etsy, it’s actual ability to pull traffic from customers doing Google searches is limited. Unless you’re willing to pay for the Etsy-Google ads. In my experiences, these were simply a way to kiss more of my revenue goodbye. For others, they may be successful, but you’re still paying for them.
- They establish you as an expert in your field and demonstrate your expertise in your product or craftsmanship – a huge selling factor for customers. For instance, let’s say you sell t-shirts or coffee cups with vinyl lettering. You are one of the hundreds of Etsy shops selling these products. However, if your customers can connect to you personally and see you and your products as one, you’re much more likely to seal the deal.
- It is good advice to diversify your selling streams. A blog will help connect to your alternative sale paths, whether it be Facebook or your own Quality content with powerful keywords boosts all of these efforts in search ranking, helping drive your traffic.
But, here’s the catch, I don’t think handmade business owners should be doing the writing.
Why should I hire a writer for my Etsy store blog?
If you run an Etsy store, you’re a handmade business owner. You’re busy tracking orders, creating orders, shipping orders, messaging customers, creating new products, searching for and purchasing raw materials, and probably attempting to also manage social media marketing.
You’re busy. You’re on the verge of being overwhelmed. And at the same time, you’re watching your bottom line like a hawk (or you should be!).
Hiring out blog writing might not seem worth it. A lot of people just add it to the massive pile of other marketing work they do and carry on.
Unfortunately, this isn’t going to work very effectively for a few reasons.
- Writing is hard. Good writing is exceptionally hard. Unless it is your talent. I find all too often that when small businesses, especially handmade businesses, do have blogs they are published infrequently or erratically. And they read more like product descriptions than the type of engaging content that will connect customers to your store.
- Writing is time-consuming, especially when it isn’t your area of expertise. If I were to sit down and create say, a clay bowl, it would take me endless hours. I would make mistakes have to fix it and along the way, create some really awful chunks of clay. It isn’t something I have expertise in. But I can research and write a 500-word blog post in 15 – 20 minutes. And I love doing it.
- You’re already way too busy. I get it; I was there. I was investing endless hours each week to create engaging social media content, push updates to my Etsy store, create new products, photograph them, research titles and tags for maximum search ranking, and writing descriptions. Oh, and filling orders as they came in. There was no way I was going to be able to get that dream blog up and running at the same time.
But, is it worth it?
If you’ve never worked with a writer before you might be a little uncertain what hiring a freelance writer might cost.
But like most things, there are freelancers with a wide range of rates, and offering a diverse selection of services. Rates depend on whether your writer needs to research keywords, provide images, and most importantly, the length of the content you’d like. Nearly all writers charge by the word – some set rate that includes a wide range of the above components of any blog post.
You can also arrange to have your writer upload the content directly into your site and create social media content to accompany it, making the entire process automated for you.
The best part about working with a writer (rather than some service) is that the entire process can be customized. Various clients or businesses have unique needs – different clients have different voices they want to speak to their customers with, and a great writer can give you that.
Especially for those who aren’t keen writers to begin with, few regret the decision to work with a writer to promote and support their store.
At the end of the day, you’re busy. But being busy shouldn’t keep you from promoting your products and showcasing your talents with the support of an engaging and unique blog.