Posts categorized "Blogging Business" Feed

The Business of Blogging: Blogging for Business!

Business_blogging_head

Welcome to our series of posts on the business of blogging! Each Thursday for 6 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you build, market, and successfully create a small business with your Typepad blog. Late to the party? Check out our other posts about the Business of Blogging.

Last week in our Business of Blogging series, we talked about how to integrate your shop into Typepad. Hand in hand with this, there are many ways that you can promote yourself and your items right on your blog with blogging.

For instance, maybe you sell handmade crafts on your blog.  This could be anything and everything from greeting cards to scarfs to birdhouses.  Whatever you make, you have to obviously MAKE it to sell it.  Having a post or a series of posts on making your project is a great way to draw attention to your items.  Here are some ideas:

  • Start from the beginning.  Have an initial post about what's required to make your project including all of your materials, equipment, and planning material. It helps to illustrate how much work goes into making your items. Take pictures of the materials before and after they become your item.
  • Tell your item's story. What made you want to create this item?  Was there something particular that inspired you, be it an event or a person?  How did you learn to make it?  Did you take a class or are you self-taught?  Has someone encouraged you that you're thankful for?
  • Show your work. Lots of work goes into making your items.  Take pictures of some of the steps that you go through.  The more work you do, the more you can feel justified in charging for your item!
  • Display the final results. Your items are awesome!  Show them off!  If it's a clothing item, get gussied up and wear it!  If it's a toy for your pet, take a video of you playing with your puppy or kitty!  The ideas are endless to show how amazing your items are and how they can enrich someone's life by purchasing them.

These ideas can be applied to all kinds of items that aren't handmade in the same way, like art work and photography.  Show how much work goes into finding just the right subject that you want to take a picture of or paint.

If you're creating something even more elaborate - maybe building furniture or sewing a wedding dress - make several posts about the process.  After all, your work is intricate.  It's unlikely that just one post could cover all of the effort that goes into it.

Another way to engage your readers is to ask them what they think.  Is there a group of people that this would make a great gift for, like moms or college graduates?  Are there other colors, fabrics, or styles that would nudge them over the edge into making a purchase?  Perhaps there's something you can do just slightly different that would open up a whole new avenue of sales!

Bottom line, the more you blog about the process and the item, the more opportunities that you have to catch a reader's eye and get them interested in what you create.  As we all know, more opportunities means more possible sales.  Instead of thinking "ABC: Always Be Selling," think "ABB: Always Be Blogging!" instead.


The Business of Blogging: Integrating Your Shop

Business_blogging_head

Welcome to our series of posts on the business of blogging! Each Thursday for 6 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you build, market, and successfully create a small business with your Typepad blog. Late to the party? Check out our other posts about the Business of Blogging.

 

You've got a blog, you're starting a shop, but how to integrate the two?

If you haven't started by first comparing the eCommerce solutions out there, then by all means finish reading this post before you do so; it may just save you some time and heartbreak. And while we don't natively offer eCommerce, we make it easy for you to integrate your preferred eCommerce solution with your Typepad blog, provided you use the right service.

There are too many hosted shop services for us to cover here, but it wouldn't hurt to consider one of the following (we aren't affiliated with any of them; we just happen to like them):

What you really need to do, though, is take into consideration the type of shop you'll need. What will you be selling? Is it handmade, resale, direct downloads, or something else? Once you've got that figured out, use your preferred search engine to locate options that fit your needs. Some search terms to get you started:

  • embed shop (or store, ecommerce--try all three)
  • hosted shop (or store, ecommerce--ditto the above)
  • online store builder
  • simple shopping cart

Review and compare the shops that look like they'll fit your needs. Now check whether or not they allow you to embed the store, or your items, elsewhere. Do they? Rad! If they don't, then it's best to not move forward with them.

So, your shop is all setup and you're ready to add it to your blog. There are a few ways this can be achieved, and it all depends on the options your chosen service provides.

Embed the shop as a widget in your blog's sidebar

This option will display your shop widget on all posts and pages of your blog. Copy the code provided to you from your selected service, then use either a Notes Typelist (add | publish) or an Embed Your Own HTML module, pasting the code into whichever of the two you choose.

Code pasted? Excellent job! Now save and publish your changes.

Embed the shop as its own page

Depending on the layout used for your blog, embedding your shop on its own page may be a bit cumbersome. Lucky for you that we've covered this topic in the past, right here at Everything Typepad! It's the ideal solution for you if your shop doesn't seem to be fitting within the given space very well.

As with the earlier embed option, you'll need to copy the embed code that your selected service provided. Once copied, compose a page (Compose > New Page), then click the HTML tab of the editor. Paste the code into the page, then click Publish, making certain that the HTML is still visible (returning to the Rich Text tab could corrupt your shop's embed code). Once published, click the "view page" link to make sure it looks the way it needs to.

If your shop service provides you customization options to narrow or widen the content, you can use that to make the shop better fit the space available. If it does not, however, use the CSS tip provided in the article linked above. Make sure to follow the directions carefully.

You can copy the URL of the page you published, then add it to your blog's navigation bar so readers can quickly, and easily, access your shop content.

Embed specific items rather than an entire shop

Does your selected service allow you to embed specific shop items? That's pretty cool! Being able to embed a specific item means that you can include it, via the HTML tab, in a blog post when you are looking to feature a product to your readers.

Similar to creating a page, for embedding a specific item,  you would copy its embed code, then compose your blog post as you normally would. Once finished, click the HTML tab, then paste the code into the location you'd like it to appear. Preview the post to verify that it looks the way you want, then share it with the world!

Rock and Roll!

Now that you've got the rundown on how to embed your shop, you're one step closer to getting it up and integrated with your blog. Your readers are going to love having such easy access to your wares, man. All the other bloggers will be totally jealous.

Ready to share your shop with other Typepad bloggers? Make sure to visit and submit your shop link to shop.typepad.com!


The Business of Blogging: Five Shops in the Spotlight

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Welcome to our series of posts on the business of blogging! Each Thursday for 6 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you build, market, and successfully create a small business with your Typepad blog. This week, as part of our 10th Birthday Celebration, we're taking a look at some great bloggers who use Typepad to promote their small businesses. We hope they inspire you as much as they inspire us!

Elise Blaha

image from eliseblaha.typepad.com

In the Typepad Gift Shop, you can find everything from arts & crafts to e-courses, which is exactly what you'll find with Elise Blaha Cripe's Elise Joy Workshops. Elise, who authors the personal & craft blog enJOY it, started offering online scrapbooking workshops in 2009. Her classes are organized into daily lectures, many with helpful videos, that are insteresting and easy to understand. The classes are hosted on a private blog and are meant to be completed at your own pace. Throughout the workshops, she is available to answer any questions and provide clarification. At the end of each workshop, PDFs of class lectures are available for download. In addition to offering workshops and blogging about her life, Blaha can also be found offering valuable insight about what it's like to run a small business.

Marc Johns

Marc Johns

Marc Johns' drawings are famous. Chances are, you've seen them all over the Internet, inked onto peoples' bodies, and perhaps, framed in your own living room (signed originals and other prints can be purchased in the shop). Whimsical and marvelously witty, his illustrations of pipe-smoking rabbits, lightning bolt-emblazoned cats, and birds who prefer to travel via hot air balloon have been exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Athens, and just about everywhere else. Johns blogs about his drawings daily at Marc Johns: Serious Drawings.

Kal Barteski

Kal Barteski

Kal Bartestki is a professional artist who specializes in painting, writing, design and keeping life inspired with her Bulletproof Positive Attitude. She sells her work internationally and keeps a daily journal at [i] LoveLife. Her ARTshop and online gallery can be found here.

A published author and winner of a Women Entrepreneur of the Year Award, she is a creative powerhouse and inspiration. Living the life she imagined - she is passionate about art and artists. When she is not elbow deep in paint she is busy speaking about art, creativity and the effects of creativity.

Rachel Ball

Rachel Ball

Based in Seattle, jewelry artist and photographer Rachel Ball runs a lifestyle blog, Elephantine, which features gorgeous photos, daily inspiration, food videos, and fiction. Add a popular Etsy shop of the same name which features gorgeous, modern everyday jewelry, and a kitchen shop called Mignon Kitchen Co. to the mix, and you've got a recipe for a charmed life. With a background in graphic design, Ball is particularly adept at capturing the beauty in simplicity.

Emily Winfield Martin

Emily Winfield Martin

Emily Winfield Martin makes paintings, books, and other things. She is the author and illustrator of a paper doll epic called "The Black Apple's Paper Doll Primer" and an illustrated novel for children, "Oddfellow's Orphanage". When she was small, she spent every moment drawing, reading, dressing rabbits in fancy clothes, and having many peculiar daydreams. When she grew up, she began to illustrate those peculiar daydreams, and in 2005, she created a cottage industry called The Black Apple on Etsy, which sells all manner of art and etceteras. She blogs about her art and daily life on (Inside A Black Apple).

Check out other posts in our Business Blogging series here!

We're 10!


The Business of Blogging: Making Money with Affiliate Programs

The Business of Blogging
Welcome to our series of posts on the business of blogging! Each Thursday for 6 weeks, we'll debut a new post designed to help you build, market, and successfully create a small business with your Typepad blog. Let's get started!

Affliate programs offer one of the easiest ways to make money with your blog - sign up with a service, apply for some affliates you like, and place their links on your blog. When someone clicks through your link and makes a purchase, you'll get a commission. The details depend on the program and the particular affiliate, of course.

Affiliate programs might be a good fit for your blog if you write a particular topic or have a small but devoted and passionate audience that trusts your opinion. They're great if you do product reviews and would like a little kickback for promoting a business or service.

There are a whole bunch of affiliate programs to look into, including:

Some affiliate services are geared toward specific topics - look for one that best matches what you enjoy writing about.

Once you've found a program you like, you can add links into your posts using the code provided by the program. Many affiliates also offer banner ads that you can place in your blog's sidebar. Just follow our simple steps for adding code to your sidebar to add those banners to your blog.

Finally, here are some tips for successfull affiliate marketing:

  • People are more likely to shop online with stores they know and trust. Keep this in mind when looking for the right source for an item you're promoting.
  • Some affiliate programs offer major incentives to get you to promote their products but that doesn't mean it's always the right program for your blog. If you write about car parts, you won't make much money off a banner ad for shoes, for example. Keep it simple and targeted.
  • Start small. You may be tempted to go on a spree and sign up for a dozen programs and place as many ads on your blog as you can. This can be off-putting for established readers of your content and turn away new readers. Pick a few products you really stand behind and promote those. This will keep your reputation and readership in tact.

Do you have a favorite affiliate program or tips for working with affiliates? Share it with the Typepad community in the comments for this post.