A coworker recently asked me: “I would like to start a blog about my crafts, how do I do it…where do I start?”
I began with that same question a couple months ago before starting mine. To find the answers, I turned to my local library Deschutes Public Library. Since childhood, I have thought of the library as a magical place filled with ideas, inspirations, and imagination! All for free!!!
So a simple search for “blogging” on my library’s website http://www.deschuteslibrary.org led to my borrowing the following wonderful books from my library:
- Houghton, Robin. (2012). Blogging for creatives: how designers, artists, crafters and writers can blog to make contacts and win. Cincinnati, Ohio: How Books.
- Frey, Tara. (2009). Blogging for bliss: crafting your own online journal: a guide for crafters, artists & creatives of all kinds. New York: Lark Books.
- Gardner, Susannah. (2011). Blogging for Dummies. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley
After looking through these resources, and checking out the various blog sites, I decided to go with WordPress. Then I looked for free WordPress specific resources. I did a search on the iTunes App Store and discovered a free “learning WordPress” app for the iPad. The WordPress site itself offers excellent free tutorials for new users, so I went through most of those. I found WordPress to be fairly user friendly with a short learning curve. Several things were intimidating at first – like which free blog page design to select but WordPress let’s you experiment with many and change your format.
When it came time to start up my Etsy shop (my next step after getting my blog established) I turned to the library again and found excellent resources on starting an online craft business. My favorites were:
- Sutton, Derrik. (2011). How to sell your crafts online: a step-by-step guide to successful sales on Etsy and beyond. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.
- Gatski, Kate. (2013). Starting an Etsy business for dummies. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley
- Turner, Marcia Layton, (2013). The complete idiot’s guide to selling your crafts on Etsy. Indianapolis, IN: Alpha. (This book was such an excellent resource, that I bought the kindle version on Amazon.com so I could always have access to it on my iPad.)
I also wandered the shelves at the library in the craft book section and came upon these wonderful books:
- Chapin, Kari. (2010). The handmade marketplace. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub.
- Chapin, Kari. (2012). Grow your handmade business: how to envision, develop, and sustain a successful creative business. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub.
I live in a smallish-medium size town and if you live in a larger town/metropolitan area, your library may have even more wonderful resources. All free! You can buy the books you want to keep as ongoing resources later, but you can start your research with no investment, except your time to browse! Enjoy the resources, resources, resources!