How to Post a Great How-To on Craftstylishcomments (2) June 1st, 2009
Although I've been a designer, crafter and all-around sewing girl for a long time now, blogging was really new to me when I started with Craftstylish. To kick it off, we all generated editoral calendars that layed out topics to carry us through the first few months of posts... All the ideas sounded great on paper, filling me with confidence as I set off on my weekly adventure. I fell into a pattern each week-- The first part of the week was spent creating and the middle of the week was devoted to photographing and writing. Late in the week, I would research crafty places on the web I could write quick posts about. Much of the time, I sailed through the week with ease, projects came out as I imagined, and I stumbled upon interesting finds on the web filled with pearls of crafty wisdom. (Some weeks the projects I planned really didn't work out and I would have to punt...and I couldn't find anything good to write about either!!)
Blogging about these projects and crafty finds was another story. Early on I seemed to have the knack for turning creative endeavers into boring, lackluster posts. It's one thing to create craft, it's quite another to put it out there in a way that will attract the interest of others in the craftstylish community. Because most things are a snap for me to get the hang of, this was a character builder of sorts...I actually had to work at it to learn how to create an interesting post.
I know that there are at least a few of you out there who have been tempted to post a project or write about your craft...I invite you to give it a try! I think you'll be surprised at how fun (and rewarding) it is to post a project and then read comments from fellow craftstylish members. I loved getting comments about things I posted! (Thank You)
Here are a few things that I learned along the way.
Blog about your crafting bliss. This is the perfect place to share your creative energy...You can inspire someone else to craft by showing CS members how to make something new...For example, you might inspire an embroidery girl to learn to knit. (Tina, I will finish that mini cardi some day!)
A Great Picture is Worth 1000 Words. Take good pictures--"Pretty" grabs the interest of readers who are scrolling down the page looking for something fun to make. This is where I really struggled--then I discovered that if I took my pictures outside in natural daylight, they came out much better.
What to take pictures of....Of course you need that beauty shot of the finished masterpiece. If you're posting a "how-to", take a photo of each important step...especially the ones that are hard to explain. Get close-ups and crop unnecessary background out (if you can).
Throw the grammer book out the window and be free with your verbage. While you still need some good grammer, don't obsess about it... When I'm writing a post for blog, I try to sound fun and conversational instead of textbook...(I hope that was the case.)
Take a minute before you press the "publish" button. It's really tempting to get instant gratification by publishing your post the minute it's finished, but I encourage you to save it as a draft and walk away for a bit. When you come back, give it a quick once-over...you'll be glad you did. I'm always amazed by the number of things I change from the first draft. Sometimes I'm sitting there thinking, "why did I say that" ...or even worse "that doesn't make any sense". This brings to mind a popular sewing rule--"measure twice, cut once"!! :)
In addition to my two cents on the subject, I would also recommend that you check out "Making a Great Blog" by Diane Gilleland. Even if your goal is not to create your own blog, there are a lot of great tips in there to give you the confidence to blog about your craft. I thought the section on photography was excellent!
Even though I won't be posting weekly projects anymore, I'll still be keeping my eye on craftstylish to see what creative stuff emerges... And, I love craftstylish, so I sure I'll be ringing in with a project or some other crafty goodness of my own every now and then!
I wish all of you the best!
(You can keep in touch with me at jsterndesigns.com.)