Thursday, June 30, 2011

Blog Profile: Craft Buds

Today we have the opportunity to meet Lindsay of Craft Buds Blog, which focuses on the business side of having a handmade shop.  Lindsay and her friend collaborator, Mary, include craft tutorials, blogging tips and fresh ideas for promoting and running your handmade business.

Together they somehow manage three blogs: Craft Buds, Lindsay Sews, and Bugglebee.  Imagine all the knowledge these lovely ladies possess!  Here's one opportunity to glean some of that knowledge.


1. Craft Buds is a huge, very active blog.  Explain your process for finding information and articles.


Craft Buds is a collaboration between me and my friend Mary. We each have areas we like to focus on each week, which typically means we'll post one craft tutorial (Mary), a roundup of free patterns (Mary), a handmade business article (Lindsay), the fresh picks for the week (another roundup of notable crafts, from Lindsay), and we share the duties when it comes to hosting giveaways.

A huge source of finding inspiration is just reading other blogs! I subscribe to at least 400 craft blogs, mostly sewing or quilting related, and I scroll through them every day to "clear out my reader." I also visit linky parties (http://craftbuds.com/linky-parties) throughout the week, so I find a lot of ideas there. Mary is also always passing along cool things she finds. I also keep the weekly giveaways page (http://craftbuds.com/giveaway-roundup) up to date by adding any fun giveaways I find while sifting through my reader! Flickr and Pinterest are other ways I search for fresh content, but Google Reader is my number one tool.

2.  Where did you learn the many business tips that you print, and how helpful do you think they've been for your readers?


All different ways. For instance, I'd been reading about effective ways to use Twitter (http://www.craftbuds.com/twitter-for-crafters-the-basics-advanced-tool/) to market your business, and adapted those tips to the handmade world in a way that I found helpful. Mary told me she learned some things from my article, so I think it was helpful! Some of the other topics were just instinctual. Since I read so many blogs, participate in linky parties, and host a lot of blog giveaways, I created some tips on each business or blogging topic, trying to give a complete overview for beginners to everyone else (http://www.craftbuds.com/business/).

3. What is the most time-consuming part of running a handmade business?  How can those of us in the business save ourselves some of that time?
     
According to some of our featured crafters (http://www.craftbuds.com/business/), promoting their business through updating their online store is the hardest and most time-consuming part of running their business. Coming in a close second is promoting their Etsy shop or handmade goods through social media. It takes time to develop a following for your brand, but it's really just about being yourself and starting relationships with others. And then you actually have to find time to create and balance the business with your family life, which can be quite the task! 

4.  Your partnership obviously works well for you.  How did you and Mary meet and become partners in the blogosphere?


Mary and I actually live near each other, went to the same college, and are a part of the same church! But we didn't know we really shared the love of crafting and blogging until we'd both launched our own sewing blogs, Lindsay Sews (http://www.lindsaysews.com/) and Bugglebee (http://www.bugglebeehandmade.com/). I couldn't sleep one night, because I was thinking that we should go into craft blogging, writing, and designing together. (Since Mary is a graphic designer and I'm a writer/editor, we've talked about this partnership before.) I wrote Mary the longest e-mail ever with my ideas, and she loved it. We started Craft Buds this March, and have focused on creating regular features and meeting other people in the blogging community! It's been a great learning experience, and we're blown away by our awesome readers.

5. What other interests do the two of you share?  


Oddly enough, we both live in historic homes in different areas of our town, built before 1900. 


6. What is the one, most important, thing that others in the handmade biz do to grow their business?



Create and maintain a blog with great photography of your crafts. Visit other people's blogs and leave meaningful comments--don't just try to promote yourself. Learn to share space in the online crafting community, because there's enough room for everyone!

2 comments:

Mary said...

Great article ladies! Thanks for featuring Craft Buds!

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