5 Tips and Mistakes to Avoid When Blogging About Your Jewelry
Broken links. If you want to alert readers (and potential jewelry customers) that your jewelry business is appearing at an upcoming craft show, you won an award, or had your jewelry featured on a blog, adding a link to that site is a good way to let readers find out more details. But links can go bad quickly, as soon as the other site takes down a page or changes their site design. On my blog, broken links appear with a red line through them–really not attractive. I try to remember to scan old posts occasionally and fix or delete broken links. There are plug-ins you can add to help with that.
- Posting without credit. Sometimes images show up uncredited and appear to be in the public domain, but if you know who took the photo and/or owns the rights, include that in your caption. Never post text or images tagged with a copyright symbol or photo credit without asking permission. You can actually get in trouble for that, even though it's harder to bring a case against online copyright infringement than print media, especially with a small blog.
- Stealing vs. cross-promoting. When in doubt, ask yourself whether posting something you found elsewhere on the web will help the source (driving traffic to their site or business) or hurt them (send their traffic to yours instead). If the latter is true, ask permission and offer to credit the source. If you want to use a photo from someone else's blog, contact the blogger and offer to credit her/him and link to their blog when you post it. I've done this and have never been turned down.
- Being overly possessive. On the other hand, don't protest someone else's use of your work until you've analyzed the situation. Another blogger once reposted a photo that I took of a famous piece of jewelry on my own hand, which made me both photographer and model, clearly indicated in the caption I gave this image. The blogger mentioned my blog in her caption but not my name and didn't give me a photo credit. Getting this picture was a coup and, for that reason, it draws a lot of traffic to my site (mainly via Google Image searches). Having it reprinted on another site threatens my search rank. A few years ago, I might have requested removal or at least proper credit. Instead, I let it go. Why? Because the blogger posted a link to my site on her homepage and in other posts, which drives traffic my way. I'm sure she didn't mean to steal my thunder and I have way more to lose than gain by getting all copy-righteous with her.
- Remember: It's all about building community. Your blog doesn't always have to be about you and your jewelry. Include occasional plugs for fellow jewelry artists and bloggers and they will do the same for you.
NET PROFITS appears regularly in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about how blogging can help your business and ways to get started in "Join the Blogging Club," January/February 2012.
CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, and Washington Post. Follow her at The Jewelry Loupe and @thejewelryloupe on Twitter.
NET PROFITS appears regularly in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about promoting your jewelry through blogging in "Join the Blogging Club," January/February 2012.