329 – Winners and Wisdom from the Small Business Blog Challenge

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Player FM과 저희 커뮤니티의 Sue Monhait 콘텐츠는 모두 원 저작자에게 속하며 Player FM이 아닌 작가가 저작권을 갖습니다. 오디오는 해당 서버에서 직접 스트리밍 됩니다. 구독 버튼을 눌러 Player FM에서 업데이트 현황을 확인하세요. 혹은 다른 팟캐스트 앱에서 URL을 불러오세요.
Did you catch episode #321 a few months ago? Well, that show got a lot of attention! That episode gives a deeper dive into the details and benefits of blogging for your handmade business. At the end of that show, I presented a challenge to my listeners.

The Business Blog Challenge

The Challenge: Post a blog article dated after the airing of the episode and tag me over on Instagram. The first 10 people to do so would be the winners – including a prize. This was all spur of the moment and two things were running through my mind. First, maybe I should have only said 5 because would there even be 10 people to do this? I mean, it is a big challenge given blogging isn’t something typically connected with product sales. And second – what would the prize be? But I knew I could wing that. Much to my surprise, by the deadline date I had 8 people follow through. Which, I have to say, was completely impressive! And I decided the best prize I can give is to get more eyeballs on their businesses. Because after all, this is the big value of blogging – visibility to your business. And that visibility isn’t just for the day the article goes up, but ongoing. Evergreen content, if you will. Just like podcasts are. I also want to note, this is in complete contrast to social media posts. Because those - if you see them at all - are only organically visible for a few minutes to maybe a couple of hours.

Blog Challenge Winners

So, today I want to present to you each of the winners, their business, and the article that won them a spot on this show. Also, I’m going to share a little about the content in their articles because each one is so different and highlights a best practice or two. My hope is that this will motivate you to start blogging (again, listen to episode 321 to understand why). And if you’ve thought about it but aren’t sure what you’d write about, these examples will definitely get you inspired and your idea juices flowing.

8 Blog Challenge Winners

To my delight - 3 of these people decided to start a blog as a direct result of this challenge. That makes my heart so happy!

Business: Uniquely Made For More

Products: Handmade gift baskets Owner: Michelle James Blog Post: Is Gift-Giving Challenging? Highlights: Michelle chose to blog about one of the needs her business solves - ways to make your gifts memorable and significant to your recipients. In doing this, Michelle offers value to her readers beyond what her business offers. This is also an article she can link to in emails or social media posts on how to pick the perfect gift.

Business: Ahh-Land Woman Herbals

Products: Handcrafted plant-based remedies for health and home wellness and botanical, organic skincare. Owner: Gloria Brown Blog Post: What's the Tea? Highlights: Gloria's first article is a wonderful initial topic because she shares her personal journey to actually starting her blog. She writes as if it's a letter to a friend - very personable and casual. You'll see - she just draws you in. But she also sets expectations for her readers by explaining what we'll discover when we follow her articles. Gloria has laid the groundwork for so many topic options along a theme that relates to her products. Which, of course, she can link to text or photos within her blog.

Business: The Gunny And His Wife

Products: Modern, high-quality customized decor, accessories, & gifts. Owner: Lynda Stephens Blog Post: Not Ready? Start Anyway. Highlights: After hearing the Google search advantages of blogging, the value of adding content to your website overall, and of course, the visibility - Lynda decided to go for it. Her first post is short and sweet but it got her going. She decided to just set a timer and write. She calls this post raw and honest for that moment. Because she wasn't ready - but she started. Lynda's style is refreshing and fun and you get a true sense of her personality in these short posts, I can't wait to see what comes next.

Business: Ninn's Crochetworks

Products: Crocheted items, both wearable and home accessories. Owner: Lona Smith Blog Post: Summer Accessories Pattern Round-Up Highlights: While Lona doesn't have a website yet, she's currently selling on Instagram and hosts her blog on Blogspot. This can be integrated into her website at any time when it becomes available. Lona shares patterns she's discovered on her own search to accessorize her personal space. Roundups, lists, best of - all of these types of articles highlighting other businesses is a wonderful pay-it-forward strategy. It gets you attention with these brands. And in some cases, they'll share an article with their community, bringing attention back to you. Plus it helps your reader because you've done the work for them to find resources. By doing this, Lona positions herself as a go-t0 connection for crochet tips, resources, and advice.

Business: Artful Kreations

Products: Customized products of all sorts Owner: Margaret Esposito Kanakos Blog Post: Don't Worry About Those Gifts - I Got You! Highlights: Her article is a short, uplifting "I've come to your rescue" piece. She brings up all sorts of situations where a gift might be needed. Her continual phrase throughout the piece is, "I got you." She explains a challenge and says, "I got you." Something Margaret does so nicely in this article is present situations where her product can be a solution. Potential customers don't always come with a problem on their own, so she suggests it. Using her blog to make the connection between problems and her products as the solution is a great move.

Business: Kris The Creative

Products: Laster cutting Owner: Kristina Savasta Blog Post: Learning Your Local Market Highlights: Kris' article takes us through her back story of leaving a project management position to start her business. She walks us through her journey of understanding what her market wants, her offerings, and adjusting to the changes in the world of 2020. By sharing her experiences, Kris shows she can relate to life's opportunities, struggles, and shifts. Particularly for a customer who is a small business owner. Then, she presents what has been her ticket to getting sales and growing Kris The Creative. Kris has been thrilled to receive comments about what she wrote, which is sure to keep her motivated to keep going. <-- Tune in for an inspirational side story about Kris' business!

Business: Linden Square Co.

Products: Specialty Corporate Gifts Owner: Amanda Klingenberger Blog Post: Why Outsourcing Your Corporate Gifts Just Makes Sense Highlights: Amanda is a pro at taking strategic action. She's pivoted a couple of times to meet the demands of the market rather than sticking to her original idea. Her business might have looked very different today if she hadn't adjusted to these cues. The topic of her post speaks directly to her newly defined audience - corporate. The gorgeous photo on the post is perfect to attract the right customer. Amanda is spot on - you can instantly see that Linden Square stands for quality and style. Her post outlines the many steps a person would have to take to prepare a gift like the ones her company offers. With everything spelled out, it's pretty obvious that outsourcing the process is much more efficient and cost-effective than doing it onsite themselves. Amanda's first post is the perfect first step toward her goal of becoming a leader and authority in her industry.

Business: Cassie's Country Cupboard

Products: Pantry Items for Homecooked Food Owner: Cassie Menchhofer Blog Post: Keep Your Kitchen Cool Highlights: Cassie's article covers 7 ways to keep your kitchen cool and still get supper on the table. It's accompanied by the perfect image to get you in the mood for reading (or maybe eating, since she's showing her delicious fiesta roll-ups). In the article, she links to things she's referencing - sometimes to an outside resource, other times to her YouTube channel where she shares recipes, and occasionally directly to one of her products. All of these links provide SEO strength, of course. But none of them are salesy. They're helpful, which keeps the reader interested and involved. Another thing I love about this article is her final call-to-action to watch her Facebook and Instagram accounts where she'll be posting more tips. What a great way to stay connected with readers, build her social media following, and provide continuing value to her community. Cassie gets an extra shout-out because she was the first one to grab a spot in this challenge. 😊

Listen to the full episode to hear more about what you can learn from each article and how it will help these businesses going forward!

Resources Mentioned


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