Explorer Beastie & Garcia Beastie

Your Daily Dose of Beastie!

Out and About With Explorer Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesI have a confession to make… If it wasn’t for those little woolly monsters of mine, I would have no online presence at all. Except an email address. Oh, and maybe an Etsy account. But that really would be it. So I owe the Beasties a big thank you – for dragging me out of my technological fortress of solitude, and for being willing to pose for the endless photos that I’m SO glad I don’t have to be in myself. Through them, I’ve been able to make contact with people all over the world, and get a sneaky peek at their latest craft successes, their studios and, most importantly, what they had for dinner! How awesome is that?

As a result, I’ve started gathering up social media accounts like they were Pok√©mon (oops, showing my age there with that oh-so-dated reference). And that means that on pretty much any given day, there will be breaking Beastie news somewhere on this vast interweb we all inhabit. So today I thought I’d give you the roadmap to all our online homes… I’d hate to think any of you were missing out somewhere! We’ll start with…

Instagram

… Because it’s my favourite. It’s so easy – I take a photo, I monkey around with it in the editor and BAM! Done! I also find it good for keeping up with the people whose pictures I actually want to see – not too much sponsored content, and no pesky algorithms deciding what appears on my screen. Well, not yet, anyway. Come and find us there! There’s something new almost every day. And don’t forget to share your own monster pics using #beastiefamily and #beastiesofinstagram!

Twitter

…Is the newest addition to the family, so I’m still getting the hang of it! I’ve managed to find a few of you on there already, but I figured some readers might not know that I even HAVE Twitter yet – in fact, that’s part of the reason for this post! You can expect new stuff here every couple of days, and possibly more once I get my head around what’s going on.

Facebook

Oh, Facebook. I’d love to spend more time with you, but your mobile apps really do make the experience less than enjoyable. However, I do still try to post new stuff at least a couple of times a week, and it’s another great place to share your own Beastie pics if you’d like to! It’s also a good way to get in touch if you don’t want to use the email contact form. On Facebook, you’ll find links to all my latest BeastieBlog posts, plus fun stuff like this recent snap of Explorer Beastie “helping” in the garden.

Pinterest

I’ve read time and again that maintaining a Pinterest profile is a great way to develop your crafty business. I will be the first to admit that I have no idea how this might work, but hey – it’s fun anyway! And it appeals to the magpie tendencies that have led me to accumulate boxes of old magazine clippings and photos that I just can’t bear to throw away. Here are a couple of the boards I update most!

 

And finally…

In a flurry of enthusiasm after the Irish Blogger Conference just over a month ago, I joined Snapchat. It was peer pressure! Everyone else was doing it! And I wanted to bagsy my username (@crawcrafts – soooooper imaginative). But… um… what exactly is it FOR? And why are there no instructions? I’m also disconcerted by the fact that every time I open the thing, my phone camera switches on and I’m greeted by my own bewildered face staring back at me. So if any of you have any hints you’d like to share, even if they are “you’re not 15, what on earth are you doing on Snapchat?”, please let me know in the comments!

We’ll be back on Friday with an update from Paddy and Plunkett. And if you’re looking for us in the meantime, now you know where to find us!

Heights of Abraham Cable Car

So, What Have We Learned?

I love it when a plan comes together.

Last week, I thought I would try my hand at seeking out some Dublin-based blogging events. I was expecting to find something to look forward to a couple of months down the line, so you can imagine how lucky I felt when I found that one of the main events in Ireland’s blogging calendar was happening that very weekend, in a hotel a mere stone’s throw from Beastie Towers! SCORE!

So, Explorer Beastie and I packed our bags and spent last Saturday at the 2016 Irish Bloggers Conference. We heard from loads of different people, and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things we learned with you all. Plus I’m more likely to remember it if I write it all down.

Now, if you’re all sitting comfortably, let’s launch into…

The Monster Guide to Blogging Bliss!

And we’ll kick off with…

Hint No.1 - Be Positive (CrawCrafts Beasties)Entertaining complainers are as rare as virtuoso musicians and masterpiece-painting artists. Who wants to read a series of rants about the fact that no-one is visiting your blog? If you’re blogging, chances are you want to share something you’re interested in or passionate about with the world. Talk about what you love with enthusiasm and humour, and people will surely come back for more.
Tip No. 2 - Be Yourself (CrawCrafts Beasties)…Even if what you’re into isn’t popular. Talking about something you genuinely believe in will win you more loyal readers than slavishly hopping on every bandwagon going.

And while we’re on the subject of readers…
Tip No.3 - Join in (CrawCrafts Beasties)Don’t be shy! If you like what you read, say so. Start conversations. Reply to your comments. Join online groups based on your interests and pitch in on the forums. And if you’re sharing links to your own online places, don’t just drop them in there – ask for feedback, or tag someone who you think will enjoy it.
Tip No. 4 - Check your stats (CrawCrafts Beasties)Ah, something I need to be doing more. But it makes sense – for example, by finding out when most of your readers tune in, you can tailor your posting habits to ensure that your words of wisdom reach more people. You’ll also start to notice patterns in what appeals most to your readers, or what draws new ones in, and you can use this knowledge to plan what to talk about next. And that just makes everything easier!
Tip No.5 - Be consistent (CrawCrafts Beasties)Being consistent doesn’t mean that all your posts have to be exactly the same. But your regular readers will come to expect certain things from your blog, and being consistent in things like your tone of voice, what you talk about and when you post will set them at ease before they’ve read a word. You’d all be pretty freaked out if the BeastieBlog morphed overnight into a foul-mouthed diatribe on contemporary economic policy, wouldn’t you?
Tip No.6 - Take good photos (CrawCrafts Beasties)I can’t claim to be an expert photographer, but nothing detracts from your blog more than pictures that are grainy, or that have been squished and stretched until they look like something from the world’s worst hall of mirrors. Always start off with high-resolution photos – you can make big pictures smaller, but you can’t unshrink small ones!
Tip No. 7 - Be upfront about ads (CrawCrafts Beasties)Ah, can there be anything more annoying than reading an entire article, only to find out at the end that it’s basically just an advert? If you’re doing a sponsored post, be a good human and make it clear from the outset… Your readers will trust you more.

And finally…
Tip No. 8 - Hang in there! (CrawCrafts Beasties)One thing that a lot of the bloggers (and other speakers) at the conference had in common was persistence. They all made it clear that any success they’d had didn’t just happen overnight – more often than not, it was the product of long hours, hard work and a few people along the way telling them that their ideas were terrible. So keep going – you never know what’s around the next corner!

Thanks to the Irish Blogger Association for a really interesting and informative day out. And if you have any blogging tips of your own to share, let us know in the comments!

We’ll be back on Tuesday with a new Beastie for you to meet… In the meantime, have a monster weekend!