There is a ton of a blogging advice available on the internet, and, while some of it is craft specific, rarely does it talk about the actual content in terms that are relevant to craft blogs. That’s not very helpful when you’re trying to figure out what to write and how to put together your posts. What are your options when you’re writing about crafts? Through my reading, I’ve observed five basic styles of craft posts. They’re not the only styles, and posts frequently mix and match different elements of them and many craft blogs feature noncrafting content, but these are the most common ones that I’ve noticed.
Show and Tell
This is the most straight forward sort of craft blog content, especially for an active crafter. You get a chance to let your WIPs and FOs be the focus through photos. Clear, attractive photos are a must for these posts because your blog readers will want to be able to see what you’re talking about. If you discuss details in the body of your post, be sure to remember to include close ups that illustrate what you’re talking about.
What the text part of a Show and Tell style post should do is fairly obvious, but sometimes regular WIP updates on long term projects can leave you short on ideas. Once I go over the construction and the struggles I’ve had with a project, I find myself scratching my head for other things to write about. Sometimes I write about the inspiration behind a project, new techniques, similarities between my current project and older ones, or what I plan on doing with my project when I’m done.
There’s a frequently perpetuated myth that amazing photos are a must in order to run a good craft blog. As a lover of pretty shiny things, I have to admit that I find myself doing that, but there is a place for text heavy posts on craft blogs. One of the most popular knitting blogs I can think of, the Yarn Harlot, features Story Telling style posts more than anything else.
Story Telling post can be a variety of things. It can be a witty anecdote about something that happened while you were crafting. It can be an essay that uses crafting as a means to explain some universal truth. It can be a story about how crafting coexisted or helped you cope with other events in your life. Because Story Telling posts can be about almost anything, they can be difficult to write. They’re the most personal sort of post you’ll find on a craft blog, and they’re creatively demanding, but they make for strong content.
Curated Content is content from another source that you feature on your blog. It could be anything from a list of cool links you found online to a selection of inspiring pictures you found. This is a great style of post for those days when you haven’t had time to work on a project and have nothing new to share. While you don’t have to have made something yourself to write a post, curated posts can still be time demanding if you want to write them well. In smaller internet communities like the knitting world, a lot of the same links and photos get passed around. In order to keep your curated posts interesting, you need to endeavor to find things that your readers might not have seen before.
There’s also the issue of putting together these posts respectfully if you intend on using other people’s photos. A quick e-mail to the owner of the picture to get their permission to use it doesn’t eat up much of your time, and it shows that you care about other people’s content and copyrights as much as you care about your own. After you get permission, don’t forget to credit and link back in your post!
Book and pattern reviews can make for interesting posts. Everyone likes to hear if a book is worth their money or about the writing style of a pattern. It can take some of the guess work out of buying new things. Unfortunately book reviews and pattern reviews require getting new ones and, unless you’ve established yourself and are getting review copies from publishers, that usually means buying new patterns and books. That can get expensive fast.
Luckily there are lots of less expensive things that are frequently neglected when it comes to reviews, especially when it comes to knitting and crochet. I’d love to see more reviews on craft supplies (most of us have a significant stash to draw from) and techniques. There are tons of options when it comes to material and techniques, and it can be hard to pick the best ones for a project.
Instructional posts like patterns, tutorials that explain new techniques, and DIY projects are incredibly labor intensive, but they’re totally worth the effort. Most importantly, Instructional posts are a great way to give back to your readers. They’re legitimately useful content, and they help keep your blog from turning into pages of navel gazing
I know I favor the Show and Tell style because it’s the easiest for me to write when I’m having trouble juggling my blogging, crafting, and life. I’m hoping to try to add some variety to my blog and break out of that rut. Do you have a style you lean towards? What’s your favorite style to read on other people’s blogs?