Social Media and the Artisan: Blogs (Why)

by Robyn Hawk on January 10, 2011

In this "real time" world of Twitter and Facebook there have been several people who have fostered the opinion that - blogs are dead!

They couldn't be more wrong! Especially for the Artisan!

A "blog" according to Wikipedia is:
blog (a blend of the term web log)[1] is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaningto maintain or add content to a blog.

For the Artisan a blog fills the gap that you are able reach across  at an Art Faire or Gallery!  it is basically your handshake across the table...

Are you selling online? well I think that was a resounding YES! how do you get the "personal" information across to your customer?  the stuff you would talk to someone about face-to-face?  you start a blog!

I come from the Art Faire/Craft Show circuit and I can tell you that it is much easier to convey the message of "hand-crafted" in person...the customer, after all can see you (a person), talk to you and feel the passion you have for the work.  

Well this is what a blog can do for you!

Let say you have an Etsy or ArtFire shop...what can you blog about?

  1. YOU!  tell your readers about who you are...where you come from what your goals are...if someone were standing in front of you and asked you what you do - what would you say?
  2. Things that inspire you - sunsets, the still evening ocean, the frenzy of a lightening filled get the picture!   Oh and that is very important - remember to add photos to your blog - we are a very visually stimulated culture!
  3. Do you occasionally do local shows - trunk show in a local gallery? your blog can also be a newsletter.
  4. Is your work taking a new direction?  talk to your readers about the new look - what inspired it - you get the idea...
  5. Are you taking classes to learn a new technique - share your successes and failures with your readers (failure isn't a bad word - especially if you explained what you learn through failing).
  6. A personal favorite of mine is to "romance a stone"  - do you use gemstones in your jewelry?  are you a lapidarist (lapidary) ? Take the time to study the chemical, physical and optical properties of a gem that is new to you. Follow it up with the history of the gem and some of the metaphysical properties. Now you have enough information to "romance" the story a little...easy to do as most stones have history.
  7. Take them through you creative process - nothing says "handmade" like seeing it!  ...from sketch to completion.
  8. Talk about related things you do that further your expertize - do you go to Gem Shows?  Tucson Gem Show?  give them the experience.
  9. Ask important - this is a two way conversation...just because you don't have comments on your blog posts doesn't mean stop blogging.  Are people commenting, liking and asking questions when you post your blog on Facebook & Twitter?  then they are commenting.
  10. What stones would they like to see?  Do they like this piece better with a ruby or a rhodocrosite?  Show them a selection of stones and ask them to chose a 3 stone grouping for a new piece...
OK - that is ten things you can get started with...

I am going to close this first section on blogging by paraphrasing a note that Sam Patania (third generation Arizona Silversmith) sent out with his blog...

I use my blog to write the kind of things that I wish my grandfather had written down for me.

Next:  Blogs (What is RSS?)

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