Friday, May 20, 2011

Getting Noticed - How to Connect with Blog Editors

As the editor of the Art Bead Scene, I'm often queried by jewelry designers and beadmakers asking various ways to be featured here. I thought I'd share some tips today on how to become part of a online community, connect with blog editors, and maybe even end up featured on your favorite blog.

(Pendant above by designer Rose Noble, featuring a fox from Humblebeads.)

(Typewriter pendant from Kylie Parry)

Before you sit down to type up that email to the editor of a blog, ask yourself this important question:

What is the main focus of this blog and what type of artists do they regularly feature?

Here on the Art Bead Scene we feature handmade beads by artists and jewelry that is created using art beads.  We also highlight unique findings, tools, business tips for those who sell jewelry and other news that relates to jewelry designers - like books, contests, events, etc.

So for example, someone who makes bridal jewelry with pearls and crystals wouldn't be featured here, unless they were making bridal jewelry with handcrafted artisan beads.  Then we'd be talking.

If you are searching for blogs to feature your handmade jewelry, look through older posts on the blog to see if you are a good fit for their audience. 

Here is a great article on introducing yourself to blog editors from Modish.  It's a must read!

(Spoken Words necklace by Judith B Designs.)

Now, there are ways to increase you chances of getting featured on a popular blog and one of them is to participate regularly in the discussions that are happening on the blog.  Yes, I'm talking about leaving comments - that's how we discover our readers and potential designers to feature.  Say hello and connect with the writers and other readers here on the blog.  Commenting - it's more important than you think!

Another way to increase your chances of being featured on your favorite blog - take amazing photos of your work.  If you sell online do whatever it takes to learn how to use your camera to take the best possible photos of your work.  It should be your number one priority when running an online business. There is no shortage of advice on this topic.  Check out all these helpful photography hints on Etsy.

The Art Bead Scene offers a few other ways for you to connect with us and our readers.  First we have our monthly challenge and love seeing what jewelry designers and beadmakers create from the inspiration pieces.  I'll share a secret - if you submit your challenge piece within the first week, your chances of being picked as a featured designer greatly increase!  And if you do join in the monthly challenge be sure to blog about it so we can feature you on the blog tour at the end of the month.

Also take advantage of Bead Table Wednesday - we share what's on our bead table each week.  Leave comments on the photos and blogs shared and you'll make all sorts of new friends!

Please don't email a blog editor and ask to be included in the links on their blog roll.  Those links are purely editorial and the editor's favorite picks.  It's a blogging faux pas to ask. 

(Birds on a Wire Pendant by Kylie Parry)

Submissions to the Art Bead Scene:

I'm always on the look out for a great guest post.  If you feel you have a topic you'd like to write about, email me and share your idea.  It could be a project featuring art beads, a lesson you've learned from your jewelry business, a tip you have to share, etc. 

I don't feature beadmaking tutorials here on the ABS.  While we adore art bead makers, our blog is written for jewelry designers who love to use art beads.

When you email me, be sure to include your website and blog link.  If you don't hear back from me, feel free to email again in a week to follow up.  I'm a busy gal and sometimes my to-do list is screaming at me while my emails pile up.  But please understand I may have to politely decline a submission.  It's not you, it may just not be a good fit for the blog. 

And don't spam me, don't email me just because you want to sell something.  Have a good story for me, share something amazing about your work or what inspires you.  I don't like spam any more than you do!  I like making connections and meeting interesting, creative people. 

(Baby Hedgies from Humblebeads.)

I'm often asked how I pick the beadmakers for the themes and treasuries that are posted here on the ABS. 

I'm more likely to pick a beadmaker I know and have shopped with.  This is where the editorial part comes in, I feature work here that I love. 

I'm also more likely to pick a beadmaker on Etsy.  It's easier to search for specific themes and I know the chances of finding some 'wow' factor images are pretty high.  That said, if I know what I'm looking for and know that a bead artist only sells from a website I will go check them out on their site. 

For beadmakers, I started an Art Bead Scene Parade Flickr group - this is a great place to share your beads. I do take notice! Add your art bead photos to the group, I want to see them.  I can't know every bead everyone makes, so posting things in this group would help us both!

If you have followed all this advice and you still haven't seen your work here on the ABS, don't despair - keep connecting with us and sharing your amazing work.  Your turn will come!

Thank you for visiting us everyday, leaving your wonderful comments and inspiring us with your creations.


KristiBowmanDesign said...

Thanks so much for the tips Heather, I've been looking for just this kind of information!

steufel said...

Great insights! Thaxs for sharing, Heather.

Gardanne said...

Get business post, especially the link to Modish.

Linda Landig said...

This was such an interesting post, Heather. Thank you for sharing.

sandi m said...

Thank you so much for sharing this invaluable information.

Do Be Do Bead Do said...

Well, thank you Heather for answering a question I have had for a while. Oh, and by the way, Hello, I am Sandi Lee James and I make polymer beads.

somethingunique said...

Hi Heather, you must have been reading my mind i was just wondering about all this info and bamm!!! there it is, thanks so much for your fabu posts enjoy them very much take care ttfn L:)

Cynthia said...

Great post! Thanks for the inside scoop! Very informative.

Andrew Thornton said...

Heather, these are sage words of advice. I often times get asked to include people in my blog roll. My first reaction is, "Who the heck are ya?" If I recognize the name, I'm more likely to consider it. But I really feel as though a link is an endorsement. You're saying, "Look at these people because I look at these people." So, unless I'm feeling it... rarely do folks get their request granted.

Usually, I end up telling them to stick around and ask again in six months. The funny thing is, that zero people have actually done so. Some folks read an article on boosting their SEO and they get all hot to get linked to. I've noticed though that heat burns out fast.

So, I kind of think of it like dating... let's start off nice and ease and work our way up.

Hazel Ward said...

The Art Bead Scene Parade is an interesting group, thanks for the link; I predict a big rise in the number of photos posted there now, so I'm looking forward to browsing the eye-candy *G*

Bev said...

Thank you for the info, Heather... very helpful.

Myléne Hillam said...

Great article with great links. Thanks so much for that helpful information.

Alice said...

Heather, thanks for all the great information! Now I'm off to check out the Bead Parade.....

ladynoble said...

great information Heather and Andrew I like that you compare it to dating!

p.s. thanks for using my necklace, I love that little fox!!

Shannon Chomanczuk said...

I loved Andrews comparison :-)
Very well written article and I too am off to check out the flickr group.
I just wish btw was another day because I always forget to get my post ready the day or 2 before. Hmmm, maybe I can do a btw reminder or something (I work in my salon on wed)
I am off *poof*
Shannon C

Sharon Wagner said...

Thank you for this very helpful and insiteful post. Andrew's comments were as well. Networking on the internet is very different than face to face, but the elements of good business practice are timeless.

Chris Hansen said...

Heather - thank you so much for sharing these great tips on getting noticed! Andrew - love your comment as well!