Summer of the Blog
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.

Day 01

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.

Story Telling
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
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!

Day 18

Review
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
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?

16 Comments

  • I know I’m totally number one but I’m trying to mix in more show and tell. I think I’ve written a few good essays about knitting through cancer but I want to write more. Perhaps one discussing the similarities between knitting and kung fu?

  • I do a lot of book reviews and I’d like to do more, but I never have enough time for reading!

    In my dream world, I would have a lot of artful tutorials. But in real life, I do mostly Show and Tell posts for the same reasons you’ve mentioned.

  • I love the Show ‘N Tell posts that explain the inspiration behind an idea, I always find it interesting to see the source and iterations something goes through before the creator deems it ‘done’. And I really love people that do a book review and actually show you something they’ve made from the book (not always feasible because, well, time is hard to find, but when folks do that I love it!)
    I don’t know if you’d consider it another craft post style but I also like interviews done with famous/up-and-coming craft/fabric/art people. It’s fun to hear about their inspirations and creative processes.

    • I wish more people who did book reviews actually sampled a project from the book. It’s interesting to hear about what the instruction style is like to follow.

      And I love interviews! I didn’t add them to the list because I don’t see them very frequently and my post was getting really long.

  • While I love tutorials, I am a big fan of the show and tell, both in my own posts and in blogs I read. What can I say? I love pictures. I can’t really publish a post without it having at least some form of visual interest in it, be it a picture of a relevant WIP or FO, a picture of something that happened, or even a collage of some recent Pinterest finds.

    I’m actually drifting towards that last one more and more often, it’s a great way of showing nifty things without your post turning into a pic-spam. Plus, you can link to your own Pinterest-account, or board, or (and I prefer this one) directly to the link you found on Pinterest, when possible.

    I’m not as big a fan of the curated content-type of posts on some blogs, (there’s many that do it right, though) because some bloggers tend to use it too often. It always reminds me of those memo-boards in the supermarket where you can just write whatever it is you’re selling on a card and stick it on the wall. Nothing wrong with curated content, nothing wrong with guest posters, or copy-pasta-posts from other websites (provided you wrote the original content and have permission to post it elsewhere), but don’t overdo it, would be my advice.

  • You can’t go wrong with awesome pictures really! I also like it when bloggers share handy little tips and tricks they’ve picked up.

    One of my favourite types of post to write is yarn reviews. I generally do them whenever I’m about to start using a new and particularly interesting yarn. They’re a great way to motivate me to swatch, people seem to find them useful, and I end up with a permanent note of my gauge on the internet. Everyone wins!

  • I really enjoy reading the story telling-type posts, and would like to write more stuff in that category, but everytime I sit to write, I find myself doing more “show and tell” than any other thing :/…
    Great post by the way ^^

  • I definitely lean towards the show and tell posts, both on my own blog and ones that I visit. I do love the other types as well. I’m hoping to do more tutorials this year, and I think book reviews with sample projects are fun! I’m going to remember that one! Great post, Andi!

  • Thanks for this post. This is is great inspiration for some changes in my blog. Right now, I’m a show and tell blog.
    But there is another point in blogging world, especially in sewing blogs. There are some blogger who are very popular. These popular blogger sew the same clothes (same patterns, sometimes from one of the blogger..) and butter each other up. It doesn’t matter wether the clothes suite them or not. Horrible! Thats way i kick some blogs out of my list.

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