How to Start A Craft Blog

I love to write and craft and think it would be so fun to be able to be a craft blogger! Bookmarked this post because it is filled with tons of info plus it includes a free resource guide!

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Welcome! I thought I’d put together a page on how to start a craft blog since I get questions from time to time on how I got started. These steps will help you start your very own blog where you can share your creative projects with the world. Who knows, you might just make this into your livelihood! These are the exact steps I took to start Little Girl Designs a couple of years ago. I had had other blogs back in the day, but decided to start completely from scratch so my blog and business would have more focus. And I’m so glad I did!

How to Start a Craft Blog

First, You Will Need a Name.

A domain name is your blog’s name. This one is littlegirldesigns.com (Little Girl Designs.) Think about your niche, and who you want to write for as you’re brainstorming. And consider these tips:

~ Shorter names are easier to type and to remember. If your name is concise enough, you can use the same one across all your social media channels. (I didn’t do this—learn from my mistakes! :))
~ Try to not have words that end and begin with vowels next to each other. It makes the URL more difficult to read.  (i.e. iloveanimals.com)
~ Don’t use words that need an apostrophe. (i.e. werethebest.com) I made this mistake with a former blog, and it annoyed me to no end to see that misspelling every time I logged in. haha
~ Research your ideas to see if they are in use already or if there are near matches. Also research your blog name on social media—especially Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
~ Consider a name that will grow with your business. I’ll admit that when I started Little Girl Designs, I had a completely different focus for my business—that of designing printables for children. True story.
~ You might want to use your own name. That is completely fine, just make sure it hasn’t been used before. You don’t want to be tanjamatthews2.com.

Choose a Platform.

I chose my “blogging platform” to be WordPress.org. This was for a variety of reasons. I wanted the freedom to be able to make any design changes I needed as well as run ads on my blog. There are other websites to start a blog for free like blogspot and wordpress.com, but they limit the amount of design changes you can make. WordPress is the industry standard for blogs these days and is regularly updated. There are thousands of articles on how to use WordPress, and many of the themes and plugins that are created are made for that platform.

If you are not looking to create a business, I would go for a free blog site option like blogspot.com or wordpress.com. Your url will look something like this: littlegirldesigns.blogspot.com. However, if you’re wanting to earn money from your blog and business, establishing your own “dot.com” is important.

Pick a Domain and Hosting.

Here’s where you’re going to get chills. Or at least I did. When I finally decided on littlegirldesigns.com as my URL and blog name, I logged onto Bluehost to purchase my domain name and hosting. It was so surreal.

Go to Bluehost.com, and click on “get started now.”

It would be so awesome to make money writing and making crafts! And this blogger does that! She also has a free blogging resources pdf that has a ton of information for a blogging newbie like me!

Then select your plan as seen in the image below.

It would be so awesome to make money writing and making crafts! And this blogger does that! She also has a free blogging resources pdf that has a ton of information for a blogging newbie like me!

You’ll then be directed to this page where you’ll enter your new domain. Whoohoo!

Bluehost Signup

There are many different hosting options, but we decided to go with Bluehost and have had a great experience with them. For blogs that are just starting out, it is a great option. I’ve heard that when you hit a high threshold of people coming to your site, you need to switch hosting to a more expensive plan, but ours is not at that place yet. I love that Bluehost starts at $3.45 a month to host your site. That is a REALLY good price, friends.

When you sign up with Bluehost, the process is really simple. They also have a chat feature that I’ve utilized when I’m confused.

Install WordPress.

The next thing you’ll need to do is install WordPress. Log into bluehost.com and click on the cPanel. You will see a screen full of icons. You’ll notice that along the side of the screen there is a “Walk Me Through” option where someone will help you with your questions. If you don’t need help, click on the “Install WordPress” icon, and you’ll be redirected to the Mojo Marketplace. Click on one-step installs and on WordPress. After you click, “Start”, you’ll need to fill out the information for your installation. If you get stuck at any time, you can use the chat feature. (Thank goodness for the chat feature, but you’ll see it’s pretty straight forward.)

Choose a Theme.

A domain is your blog’s house, but your theme is the decor. We started out with a free WordPress theme which worked well for the first couple of months. Then I started wanting different options and found that the theme couldn’t support them. I began researching and admit that after a few days, I handed that task over to my husband. There are A LOT of theme developers out there, and not all of them are created equal. My husband is a graphic designer and has done a lot of work on websites so he was able to quickly discern if a theme designer was legitimate or would end up being a headache later on.

With that said, we ended up choosing a theme from Angie Makes. There are several options to choose and from there, you can update the colors, fonts, etc. Customer service with Angie Makes is phenomenal. The developer personally emails us back and regularly updates the theme to coincide with WordPress updates. This is really important because if WordPress updates something and your theme doesn’t update, you might end up with a really clunky-looking blog overnight. The AngieMakes theme will cost you $70, and it is totally worth it, believe me. We were spending way too much time trying to figure out how to DIY our free theme (and half the time, it didn’t work.) Save yourself the hassle.

Those are the basics on how to start a craft blog. But if you want to set it up for success, you’ll also want to follow these tips:

Brainstorm Your First 10 Posts.

Ten posts? Really? Yes, really. I highly recommend making your blog go live with a minimum of ten strong posts. Not ten posts that say things like, “Wow, this is so cool! I wonder if this will work if I hit “Publish”?!”, but strong content that will help others. What kinds of DIY projects and crafts do you like to make? Start there. Is there a holiday coming up in the next couple of months? Do you like to decorate for the holidays and make special crafts for them? There you go!

How to come up with 50 ideas in 20 minutes.

Get a stack of 3×5 cards. Write your main topics on 3 to 5 of them. These will be your menu items. (Mine are DIY Crafts, Tips, Life, Letter-writing, etc.) Now set your phone alarm for 20 minutes and brainstorm as many DIY projects, crafts, and ideas as possible that fall into those categories. If you get stuck, move to the next category. Don’t think about whether or not the projects are actually feasible, just write-write-write. When the alarm goes off, you can go back and refine, but it’s better to have a lot of ideas that can be fleshed out or adapted then nothing.

 

I love to write and craft and think it would be so fun to be able to be a craft blogger! Bookmarked this post because it is filled with tons of info plus it includes a free resource guide!

Learn How to Take Great Pictures.

Photographs will make or break a DIY or crafts blog. And yes, I know the photo above is not a great example of that, but it’s cute, so I hope you’ll forgive me. :) You don’t need to have a fancy camera or have the world’s best indoor lighting in order to take great photographs, though. Start with these few items:

~ White foam board from the craft store is your new best friend. Buy at least three pieces: one to lie your items on flat and two to stand up and form a sort of box around the piece on the floor. Does that make sense? The two pieces of foam core that are “standing” will reflect light onto your piece. You can also use sheets of scrapbook paper with minimalist designs for your background, but definitely use the two large pieces of white foam board to reflect light.

~ Use natural light. Turn off the glaring kitchen light and take photos in the brightest part of your home. As someone who lives in a dungeon in the PNW, this is a really difficult task, but if I can do it, you can too. You might find that your daughter’s room has the best afternoon light so that will be your new photo studio. You’ll only need it when you’re quickly shooting photos, though. Note that indirect light is the best, so avoid shadows and glaring sunlight. Photographers like the hours before sunset when everything is golden—hence, the golden hour. You will love that time of day too.

~ Learn how to use your camera. Google YouTube videos, read your manual, whatever it takes. You might need to purchase (or borrow from a friend) a tripod if you’re struggling with blurry photos. We have a DSLR but I often use my point and shoot because it is a pretty nice one. I always thought I’d have to buy a super expensive camera for nice photos but with the price going down on quality cameras now, you can actually get away with a point and shoot. This is the one I’ve been using, if you’re curious. It’s an older model, so I’m sure the new ones are even more amazing. (p.s. We do shoot all of our product photos with the DSLR, however. Just want to be clear on that one.)

It would be so awesome to make money writing and making crafts! And this blogger does that! She also has a free blogging resources pdf that has a ton of information for a blogging newbie like me!

Get to Know Pinterest and Instagram.

As soon as possible, set up business Pinterest and Instagram accounts. Other social media sites are important too, but since you’re a craft blogger, you’ll find that you’ll get more traction on social media sites that focus on images.

I’ve found that it’s really important to create boards that are in your niche that have a similar look and to curate (re-pin onto your boards) pins that are beautiful and high-quality. Aim for pinning 50% of your own work and 50% of other people’s work. When you’re just getting started, the percentage of other people’s work will be higher, but that’s okay.

I use BoardBooster to automate some of my pinning. It allows me to fill up secret boards with pins that I want to pin later and then I set the secret boards to slowly “drip” those pins out onto my own boards and Group Boards. BoardBooster seriously has been a life saver for me. I do pin organically almost every day but it also pins throughout the day so my boards are consistently getting new pins. Here’s a video that shares how I use BoardBooster, if you’re curious.

As for Instagram, the key is to have clear photos, a similar color palette, clear calls to action (i.e. “Click the link in my profile to learn more . . .”) and relevant hashtags. That’s it? I know, by now your head is probably spinning with information, so I’ll make this simple for you. Go to the leading bloggers in your niche and click on the hashtags that they are using. If the images fit your ideal people (the readers you are writing for), then that’s a hashtag you’ll want to use for your images. Keep a list of hashtags on your phone in an app like Keep so you can quickly copy and paste them into the comment section of your Instagram posts.

By the way, I highly recommend the blogging course, Elite Blog Academy, as it was a total game changer for me. It only opens for enrollment for a few days out of the year, but you can get on the waiting list by clicking here OR better yet, download this awesome goal-setting workbook by the team at Elite Blog Academy. They’ll notify you when enrollment opens.

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