One of the best things you can do for your craft blog is to create
and publish a free tutorial. Tutorials serve as anchors for your blog,
continually bringing in traffic and new readers for years to come. A great
tutorial helps to establish you as a designer and expert and is a free gift to
your faithful readers.
Putting together a high-quality tutorial involves a lot of
different skills including being a designer, writer, editor, and photographer.
All of this work takes time! Once your tutorial is published, you should do
everything you can to get the most mileage out of it. The more times it gets
linked to, pinned, or shared, the more traffic your blog will get and the more
potential you’ll have for building your readership. A larger readership means
more customers for your products and more opportunities for you as a designer.
It’s win win.
What's an aggregator?
A quick and easy way to make your tutorial work as hard as
possible for you is to submit it to craft aggregator sites. Aggregators are
websites that constantly collect and post new material from around the web. These
sites serve as hubs, curating the web by highlighting what’s new and
interesting. That’s a useful service for many people! As a result, aggregators have
The two biggest aggregators in the craft world are Craftgawker
and Craft Gossip. Craftgawker averages 5 million pageviews per month. Craft
Gossip’s readership is about 1/4 that size, but still impressively vast. If
your tutorial gets reposted on either site (or on both!), you’ll see an intense
traffic spike. The post will get pinned and repinned and some of that traffic
Both Craftgawker and Craft Gossip encourage bloggers to
submit the tutorials for consideration and both publish lots of content every
day. Just follow the submission guidelines on each site. It's free to submit takes about five
minutes. Both sites accept a wide
variety of crafts. You don’t need to be an established blogger, either. If
you’ve got a great tutorial, even if it’s your first post, submit it!
I’ve had many posts picked up by both sites over the years,
but I’ve known about Craft Gossip the longest. The other day I began thinking,
“Who is Craft Gossip”? The site is heavily peppered with ads so this is clearly
somebody’s business, right? I had to find out.
Here’s the story behind Craft Gossip
Craft Gossip was founded in 2007 by Australian husband
and wife team, Shellie Wilson and Vikram Goyal. They also own Craftbits. Their
goal with Craft Gossip was to start a site that would cover the entire gamut of online craft,
from the small craft bloggers to the industry behemoths like HGTV. In order to
cover every category of crafts, Craft Gossip hires independent editors for each
category. The editors are required to post new links and articles five times
each week, although many post much more often. Craft Gossip now has 20 editors
and the site publishes 30-40 posts each day.
Each editor has total independence when it comes to what
they choose to publish. Some of the ad revenue from the site is used to pay the
editors, and their pay is in part dependent on the traffic they bring to their
pages. According to founder Vikram Goyal, the editor of the most heavily
trafficked Craft Gossip site regularly earns $2500 a month.
An editor’s perspective
I got in touch with Craft Gossip’s sewing editor, Anne
Weaver, to find out more about her job and what she’s looking for in a tutorial.
Anne has been the editor of the Sewing category of Craft Gossip for five years.
She told me the Sewing site on Craft Gossip averages 200,000 hits per month.
Anne says working for Craft Gossip is, “the best part time job ever!”
Here are Anne’s tips for getting your tutorial published on
“There are a few hard and fast rules for determining what I
publish on Craft Gossip. The main things I look for in tutorials are clear and
accurate instructions. When I read through a tutorial, I work the steps in my
mind. Good photos of the finished project and of important steps in the
construction are also helpful. I also look for newly published material, or at
least projects or designers that are new to my readers. After all, Craft Gossip
is about the goings on in the crafting community. Fresh gossip is always welcome!”
“I try to get a good mix of project types and difficulty
levels each day because readers come to Craft Gossip with a variety of sewing
interests and experience. I like to see an original idea, but I also know that
different authors’ instructions about the same topic can appeal to different
readers and different learning styles. For example, I’ve published many links
to tutorials showing how to install an invisible zipper. They area all showing
essentially the same technique, but each tutorial explains it in a different
What can you do with a sudden traffic spike?
It’s important to take a step back for a moment to think
about this influx of readers from the aggregators. Most people who come in this
way will be on your blog for only a few seconds. What do you want them to do?
It only takes a second to share or pin a post if there are social
media icons right there at the ready so add them to your blog! If someone takes the time to
comment or thank you for the tutorial, respond quickly and be warm and
welcoming. If a reader makes the project from your tutorial, highlight it on
your blog or Facebook page to inspire other people to do the same. Every
interaction is important.
Some portion of those who click through from the
aggregator will linger. If they can easily subscribe to your blog or newsletter
they will become faithful readers and, over time, customers.
relationships takes time. The first step is bringing people in.