Hoobynoo World is a place filled with happy, bouncy characters, all illustrated by myself with accompanying character profiles written by my husband, a children’s author. Before I started this business I was a freelance graphic and web designer. The business is just over a year old and running it from home, the biggest challenge is getting yourself out there and found by the general public. Like most small small businesses, I don't have a huge marketing budget so I did a lot of research on how to market myself effectively and for little cost.
The answer to that was quite simply, blogging!
Aside from the obvious benefit of creating posts to promote your product/service when you blog, you create more opportunities for you to appear in Google and be found in search. But blogging is so much more than a search engine tool, it allows you to connect with your customers and your audience, it puts a personal face on your company or brand and builds trust between you and the consumer.
In order to create variety and keep readers coming back to your blog, it's very important not to just use your blog as a sales tool but to provide valuable content that offers advice or 'How Tos' or provide valuable information that would be relevant to your readers.
I will often write fashion posts as this is relevant to the products I sell, focusing on new trends or collections. I also offer advice on social media at a basic level as it is something I have had to learn myself over the years.
As I am very involved with the handmade community, I will post trips to craft fairs, and craft tutorials. This provides a variety of content that will appeal to a wider audience bringing more people to my blog and then to my website. The other benefit of blogging, is guest posting, such as this one I am writing which provides links to my website which is good for my Google rank and SEO.
I also welcome other bloggers to guest post on my blog as this provides a wider range of interesting content for my readers and offers a different perspective. I look for bloggers who are an expert in a particular field and will offer real value to my blog and its readers.
The blogging community itself is huge, which offers other opportunities for you to connect with other like minded people. There are blogging conferences, Twitter hashtag groups and many bloggers will use Blog Buttons or a Blogroll to promote other bloggers.
The other way that your blog can help to drive your business is through advertising, many of the well established blogs feature paid advertising from large companies, this is a fantastic way to create an additional revenue stream for very little work.
So with a little effort you could create an amazing marketing tool for yourself simply by adding a blog to your website or creating a free one. Results will not happen overnight but it is much more likely to give you a return on your investment than say a full page spread in a magazine.
Chiara Stone is a designer and owner of Hoobynooworld.co.uk, where you'll find these funky acrylic fashion jewellery, phone covers, handmade accessories, wall stickers and much more.