Blogging Tips

tipscraftblogging

Starting a craft blog can be a fun but also daunting prospect. If you are a blog lurker and eager to start your own blog but not quite sure what to write or if you already have a craft blog and would like to build your audience and participate more fully in the craft blog community – then tune in over the coming weeks for tips and ideas on how to build a better craft blog.

Craft blogs are very visual – for most craft blogs are all about the pictures – images of fabric and yarn, images half finished projects and completed masterpieces, images of children wearing and enjoying the fruits of your labour, closeups of textures and colours, images for teaching and explaining – its really is all about the images. So how do you get those gorgeous crisp images that some bloggers seem to do so effortlessly and others struggle with. Jane from Yarnstorm is known for her colourful images and Anna Maria Horner also shows off her work through photography very well.

Here three quick tips to get your photos looking better – more advanced tips next week…

1. Lighting is key (check out this previous post for more on lighting your objects at home)
Natural light, natural poses, natural setting. I personally love to see objects in their natural environment lit by natural light. Kids playing effortlessly outside, or working busily inside on projects. Fabrics and knitting lit by the filtered light of a window shade.

And if you don’t have the natural light working for you then the next best thing is a mini photography studio in your space. Use a neutral backdrop to get the most out of your colours and textures – here are some at home studios here, here and here.

  • Don’t use the harsh unforgiving light of a flash unless you have experience with reflectors.
  • Do place your objects near the window – not in bright sunlight as this creates harsh shadows.
  • 2. Get in close – experiment with angle – use your macro lens.
    Interesting angles make for interesting photos – experiment with getting in close, photographing from above or down low.

  • Don’t always centre the image, creating tension with the image off centre or cropped can add drama and interest to your image.
  • Use your macro lens or macro setting, focus on one interesting detail.
  • 3. crop, edit, adjust in photoshop
    Use some digital photo software to crop your image, even play with minor adjustments in contrast and colour. If you don’t have photoshop there are plenty of online photo editors you can use. Here, here and here.

  • Do crop your photos – crop them to create tension – or crop out unnecessary backgrounds.
  • Do lighten your photos if they are too dark.
  • Do take heaps of photos so you have a lot to choose from.
  • Don’t go crazy with effects and add filters or borders.
  • More advanced photography tips next week.

    { 7 comments }

    tipscraftblogging

    Starting a craft blog can be a fun but also daunting prospect. If you are a blog lurker and eager to start your own blog but not quite sure what to write or if you already have a craft blog and would like to build your audience and participate more fully in the craft blog community – then tune in over the coming weeks for tips and ideas on how to build a better craft blog.

    1. Be polite:
    Craft blogging is about building communities and ‘meeting’ people of like interests, sharing ideas and being inspired. Craft blogs are places where people are expressing and sharing their ideas, and these ideas should be respected. Its ok to not like other peoples stuff and its ok to say so – but rudeness and meanness is never ok. So whether you are commenting on someones elses blog or writing about something on your own blog – try your best to not be nasty.

    2. Link your sources:
    When you mention someone else on your blog, a quote, an image or a post – always link the source. A simple [via] is sufficient, if it is a new idea/new thing that you found while surfing the web, it is not only respectful and polite to mention where you found the idea, but its in the web spirit to share the love around.

    If you do post and link, don’t expect a reciprocal link just for the hell of it – these will come but are certainly not mandatory – generosity tends to be catching.

    Don’t repost the whole of someone else’s post – reposting a quote is fine – but not the whole thing.

    3. Sourcing images:
    Do you have to ask permission before reposting an image? This is a tricky area and I don’t have a definitive answer, on whipup we simply don’t have time to ask everyone for permission and we feel that it is good publicity for the image owner, we use images in the spirit of sharing news and information.

    However if you are a new blog then it might be wise to begin by asking for permission before reposting images. If you don’t ask permission before using an image then you must:

    Remove the image if the owner does not want it used. If you have posted an image to your website and the author of the image contacts you to ask for it to be removed then you must do this immediately.

    Give full credit for every image and link back to the author of the image. This is absolutely essential – to note where you found the image, who the author of the image is and link back to their website. If you have forgotten or can’t find it again – then don’t use it.

    Do not use the image if the blog or website specifically requests that images not be used without permission. Some blogs will have a little section in their sidebar that says please don’t use my images without permission – you must respect this.

    Never hotlink an image. Hotlinking or stealing of bandwidth is considered very bad manners – if you want to repost an image you saw somewhere then download it and upload it to your server.

    Do not use an image if it will damage or diminish the value of the work in any way. This means using an image in a derogatory way – making fun of it or being mean about it or the creator.

    { 7 comments }

    tipscraftblogging

    Starting a craft blog can be a fun but also daunting prospect. If you are a blog lurker and eager to start your own blog but not quite sure what to write or if you already have a craft blog and would like to build your audience and participate more fully in the craft blog community – then tune in over the coming weeks for tips and ideas on how to build a better craft blog.

    Writing is an essential element for a better craft blog. The most successful craft blogs – the ones that have almost a cult following, are the ones that have just the right combination of personal and creativity topics covered in their blog writing. They are easy to read, funny and wise, interesting and personal (but not too personal), they give advice and share their ideas but also show their human frailties. Soulemama and posie gets cozy are two examples.

    1. Edit your words before hitting publish.

    Before you hit publish on your post, make sure you read over what you have written and make sure it is what you want to say. Writing on a blog is difficult to undo, once its out there – it is out there. Even if you delete the post afterward it is still out there – published in your rss feed.

    2. Good writing is simple, conversational, anecdotal and friendly.

    Writing like this however takes practice. Don’t expect to be a great writer overnight. Choose one interesting thing to discuss at first, write a little about your personal life – discuss your children, work, homelife – no need to discuss all the gory details, just the interesting snippets, discuss your latest project, your exciting news, share your joys and adventures and your latest craft obsessions. Be honest with your readers, be a friend – but you don’t have to tell them everything.

    3. You don’t have to write about your personal life

    Writing about your personal life is not mandatory, you don’t have to tell the world about your nervous breakdown or marriage breakup. Its fine to keep on topic and write only about crafting, making, designing, art or whatever your latest creative endeavour is. Discuss your creative process, your inspirations, your design ideas, your craft successes and failures, but a little window into who you are helps to build a loyal audience.

    Combine the personal

    { 9 comments }

    tipscraftblogging

    Starting a craft blog can be a fun but also daunting prospect. If you are a blog lurker and eager to start your own blog but not quite sure what to write or if you already have a craft blog and would like to build your audience and participate more fully in the craft blog community – then tune in over the coming weeks for tips and ideas on how to build a better craft blog.


    1. Write about and show others your talents, skills, ideas, inventions and creations.

    Discuss your creative process, show off your successes with gorgeous photos and don’t forget to mention the disasters you had along the way. Show your human side as well as your talent and skills. Become known for your style – be it eclectic and diverse or simple and plain – you will soon find others who share your style and design sense.

    2. Give a little to your readers – share your design secrets -offer free patterns and tutorials.

    Provide these clear and concise patterns and tutorials, with clear photographs, as either tutorial posts or downloadable pdfs. Make them available in your sidebar, or otherwise easy to find, on your blog. You don’t have to do this often and you don’t have to give away all your secrets, but readers will appreciate your generosity in sharing your knowledge, skills and ideas.

    3. Share the love around

    Communication and sharing the linky love is key to building a better blog. This includes reading and commenting on others blogs, but also an mentioning on your blog the work of those whom you admire. You can have a links section, but more important is a mention within your post of fellow crafters who have inspired you, or whose pattern/project/tutorial you have used. Share the love and you will get more back in return.

    { 12 comments }