Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blogging about Blogging

If you have a little craft business like me, a blog is a great way to let people know about your products with very little (if any!) start up costs. A friend of mine has a little jewelry business and mentioned wanting to start a blog like mine to show it off but thought it might be too hard. Well, I am here to tell you that its pretty easy!

If you are interested in starting a business blog (or a personal one for that matter) here are some tips and tricks I learned along the way:

Gmail Rocks
First, I created an email account through gmail especially for blog business communication. I was having trouble sorting through personal email and painting email so I have found this quite helpful. Plus, gmail groups your email conversation with one person in one place, so when you go back and forth about something it keeps it all together. This comes in handy when I get 20 emails back and forth with one person about their order.
I created my blog using blogger. There are a few options out there but I have found blogger to be very easy to use. Choose a name for your blog that shows a little about what it is, that way it is easy to remember and Google loves it.

Decor & Headers
Blogger offers a variety of templates you can choose from with different color schemes and backgrounds. When I first started my blog, I altered my background and added the header myself. One of my favorite sites for blog backgrounds and tips is The Cutest Blog on the Block. They offer free backgrounds, extras and tips for customizing your blog and their instructions are very easy to follow.

For a header, I used - a site that allows you to create digital scrapbook images with pictures and add in some free extra graphics and backgrounds.

If you want to take it to the next level there are some great ladies (and gents too) that have blog design business. I worked with Stephanie of Dirt & Lace Designs for my new blog button and she is great. She has several design packages to choose from and her prices are very affordable.

Once you have the blog set up and looking how you like it, you are ready to post. Give your post a catchy title and start writing! You can change the font size, color and style once you are in each post if you want. If you click Post Options, you can even edit the date and time that your post will be put up. This is helpful if you like to do a weeks worth of posts in advance like I do.

You can label your post and give it a "tag" so that readers can go back and look through that post category later.

Not ready to show your post to the world? Still working on it? Just hit Save Now to save a draft. You can go back and edit it later, then Publish Post to publish immediately or at your scheduled time.

I suggest creating a "blog pictures" folder on your computer to store your blog pictures for uploading. To insert into your post just click the landscape icon and browse out to the picture you want to use. Note, blogger puts the picture at the very top of the post and then you have to move it around to where you want it. I suggest uploading all the pictures for that post at once, starting with the picture you want to end up at the bottom of your post first. Then click and insert your text around your pictures.

If you use a picture from someone else or the Internet, be sure to give that person credit and add a link to their site or blog using the link function. To do this, just highlight the text you want to turn into a link, click the link button (chain with a globe) and paste the web address into the bar.

Under the layout tab in blogger there are all kinds of "gadgets" you can add to your blog. This is how I added my slide show, blog lists, featured on buttons, reviews and more. It really allows you to customize your blog and add in a the little "extras."

If you have any specific questions about how I added a feature to my blog send me an email at customnurseryart (at) and I will do my best to answer it!

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