Words by The Jewellery Spot founder, Victoria Brown
What if I told you there was a tool to help you connect with your customers, drive traffic to your website and provide extra value to your clients? And what if I told you it was completely free and available to you now?
Yes, this really does exist and it’s called blogging.
Blogging is such a powerful tool, which I believe is currently underused by the jewellery industry. With just a little planning and forethought, it can be used to strengthen brands, open doors and build networks. I know all this from personal experience.
With a background in journalism and communications (and as a self-taught jeweller with a passion for contemporary jewellery), I started my blog The Jewellery Spot. This was little more than six months ago and at the time I knew only one or two people in the industry. Fast forward to today and I’ve built a network of contacts across the jewellery trade, nearly 2000 followers on Instagram and a fledgling business. I’ve also been invited to numerous events (including an all-expenses paid trip to Paris).
None of this – and I mean none of this – would have happened if I hadn’t put myself out there on my blog. Blogging can open doors, act as a shop window and help you to build a network of like-minded businesses and potential customers.
I believe every brand and jeweller should have a blog. But why am I so passionate about it?
Firstly, it helps you connect with your potential customers. Writing a blog gives you the chance to talk about issues that are important to you, and important to your customers, and find common ground.
It also encourages people to visit your website, gives you an authority in your industry, helps build trust, and gives your customers added value.
Furthermore it can increase SEO for your website, which can help you get to the top of search engine rankings and attract more potential customers to your site. You can also invite influential people to guest blog on your blog (bringing their followers) and you can write guest blogs for their website in return — getting your brand in front of more people.
So, what if you’ve already tried blogging? You might say to me, “It doesn’t work”, “I don’t know what to post” or, “I just don’t have the time”.
I hear you! It can take a little bit of time to set up and update a blog. But I say the results can be well worth it. Blogging doesn’t have to take you (or your marketing team) all day. It just takes a little bit of strategy and thought to blog clever:
Batch produce your content
We all know about the value of batch production — I mean we work in the jewellery industry, for heaven’s sake! So, you need to apply the same principle to your marketing. Planning your blog content once a month (when you’re in the zone) will be so much quicker than writing it every week. If you’re really focussed, then creating enough blog content for a month shouldn’t really take you much more than a couple of hours. Working in this way also helps you keep your messaging consistent.
Use the same content for social media and newsletters as on your blog
Chances are, you’re already producing content for your social media accounts and newsletters (and if you’re not, you should be). Using the same material, just slightly tweaked, saves you a bundle of time. I mean you’ve already done the hard work creating the content.
This also keeps your marketing messages consistent across your different platforms — essential if you want your brand to cut through all the noise.
Invite guest bloggers to help with the workload
What if I told you you don’t need to produce all the content yourself? In fact, some very successful blogs rely almost entirely on user generated content, like the hugely popular Selfish Mother blog.
Guest bloggers who are aligned with your audience will not only write the content for you, but they’ll also enrich your blog with a different point of view. And if they have a following of their own, they can even bring their fans to your brand. I call that a win, win, win!
Keep it simple with just a striking image
If you’re really stuck for time, and are just not in the writing zone, then don’t worry. A simple striking photo can tell a thousand words. So, if you have an image that fits the story of your brand then don’t be afraid to use that occasionally as your blog post, with just a caption. People are so stuck for time that they don’t always want to read an essay every week.
Post less frequently
Now, if you’re doing all of the above, and you’re still not managing to cope with producing your blog content, then just change how much you’re posting. The most important thing with any marketing content is to post consistently. It’s so much better to post once a month every month, than to aim for once a week and be haphazard. Create a plan that you can actually stick to.
And therein lies the secret. Because blogging once won’t make a difference. Blogging twice won’t either. And even three times won’t make an impact. Frankly I wouldn’t even bother.
But if you’re committed to really making this work, then consistency is absolutely key to a blog’s success.
You need to pick a schedule and stick to it. It may only be monthly, and that’s fine if you consistently post every month, at the same time. (However, bear in mind that the less frequently you post, it will take longer for your blog to get traction.) On average it will take 12-18 months for a blog to action so it’s vital that you keep consistency and don’t get disheartened as you’re building your audience.
I hope I’ve managed to convince you of the huge advantages of blogging and how easy it can be to manage a blog. If you need any inspiration you can take a look how I do it at my blog www.thejewelleryspot.net.
See you in the blogosphere!
Victoria Brown is a journalist, marketing expert and founder of The Jewellery Spot blog. A self-taught jeweller, she now coaches and trains other jewellers how to market their businesses effectively. If you’d like to work with Victoria to get your marketing and communications plans on track, then you can contact her here at Victoria@thejewelleryspot.net. Or check out www.thejewelleryspot.net for more information.
Victoria Brown is currently offer jewellery professionals free access to an Instagram strategy course. Find out more below: