Blogher Handmade

Breakout Session #1A: Content & Community Building (Beginning)-Your Social Media Solar System

Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Etsy, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. The social media universe keeps expanding, and most of us swing between thinking we obviously must use every single tool and app out there to raise our profile and thinking that it’s all a waste of time without any return on the investment of our time and energy. The answer may be to choose one or two platforms to be the sun in your social media solar system and let all of the other tools and apps and channels be the planets and satellites that revolve around your primary platform. This panel will review the various social media opportunities and their strengths and weaknesses as a vehicle to feature your crafty work.

Breakout Session #1B: Content & Community Building (Intermediate-to-Advanced)-Building Community Around Craft

Many creatives are finding the most success when their online content is more about their community than about themselves. Challenges, projects, contests, collaboration...all of this can be a significant part of your online presence, and this panel will provide guidance from bloggers who have not just built businesses, but are building true-blue community around a shared love of a particular craft.

Breakout Session #2A: Growing Your Reach (Beginning)-Using Content and Community to Grow Your Reach

Learn all the basic advice about building your blog traffic, encompassing content, community and marketing solutions. Presented in a simple timeline format allowing you to tackle the simplest tasks first and work your way up to more complicated approaches over time, the goal is to be able to see traffic results after the first 30 days!

Breakout Session #2B: Growing Your Reach (Intermediate-to-Advanced)-Using Technology to Grow Your Reach: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A strong foundation of great content and a solid engaged community is a must for any long-term sustainable online site, but the fact remains that a large portion of your traffic is likely still coming from search engines. And if it's not? It could be. SEO is not an option, it's a must-have for any blogger serious about growing their reach. The goal of this session to is to take your SEO past the basic steps and plug-ins you may already employ and help you get even more out of the technology available to you. Now, keeping those folks around once the search engine brings them there? That's your job.

Breakout Session #3A: Monetization and Business Models (Beginning)-Introduction to Monetization Models for Creative Bloggers

This panel will review the basic models for monetizing your blog and online presence, with and without the sale of goods, including: 1. Making money with your blog: Advertising, affiliate sales, sponsorship, all methods that live on your blogs, and where it’s more likely to be a numbers game, i.e. the more traffic, the more money you typically make 2. Making money because of your blog: Using your blog as a platform to establish your expertise and as a platform for your skills, helping you to secure freelance, consulting, speaking, teaching and other gigs. 3. eCommerce: On your blog or via Etsy and other third party sites.

Breakout Session #3B: Monetization and Business Models (Intermediate-to-Advanced)-Craft + Money: The Next Steps

If you're already making money with your creative blog or business, this panel will take a deeper dive into the ramifications of monetizing, and how to take it even further. Like any business, yours should probably have multiple streams of revenue, and you should be investing some of your efforts into being able to understand and articulate: - The true value of your work - How you are different from other artisans in the market, and why it matters - How you are developing new products that don't just express your artistic vision, but deliver what your customers want and need

Closing Session: The intersection of craft, passion and sustainability

How do you balance your passion to share and encourage with your need to sustain your life and your business? Bloggers, like so many other creatives, often experience a conflict between their love of art, desire for authenticity and pride in valuing their work. Does the online space create a way for "starving artist" to become an oxymoron? Or is it only a promotional tool for offline pursuits that will be what really sustains you?