Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Week 11: Part 1

Because of online blogging, I initially felt like a newsletter for my business would be a little redundant, however, I do see some benefits. The knitting community doesn't necessarily strike me as "newsworthy" enough to have frequent news updates. For my personal business, most updates would be handled through blogging. If I were to send out newsletters it would be twice a year for Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter fashion trend updates. My newsletter would contain the most prominent news about the the upcoming fashion seasons, as well as trend alerts, and trend forecasts. The newsletter would have a section that encourages readers to visit my blog for more frequent updates.
I feel that my customers would enjoy seeing this newsletter because it can inspire changes in their wardrobe and educate them on the materials I use. Honestly, after writing this blog post I am inspired to collaborate with my wife's business and create a combination newsletter for both of our target audiences. The news letter could also have a section titled "Did You Know?" and we can include a fun or interesting fact about knitting, textiles, or just a general fact that we think our target audience would appreciate. 
I looked over some competitors' newsletters and they consisted of mostly updates of the products they sell, upcoming giveaways and current sales on existing items. I wasn't interested in signing up for the ones I looked over, but I am open to signing up for a newsletter, especially if it can give me inspiration for my own newsletter and blog.

Week 10: Part 2

I believe my blog would do best with just three categories. Life, Work and Giving Back. These categories would give my target audience a well rounded glimpse of my life. They would get to see what I do daily to maintain success with my business and balance with my home and family life in the Life category. The Work category would have pictures and links to purchase products. This would give me an opportunity to give a backstory for each product's design process. Lastly, but not least, the Giving Back category would show details of how my family and I give back to the local community and my home country. This section would also contain images and backstories so that people can see what I am passionate about.

All of these categories would help my business grow and stand out because with so many other sources of knitwear, you get a unique experience with my company through my blog. My target audience could reach much more people because it's not just knitwear I'm selling, it's a lifestyle. I'm selling ethically-made, high-end, one-of-a-kind knits. My blog will allow people to feel connected to my process, therefore confirming the value of my products.

Blogs I commented on: Mark B., Maxim C., and Alexa K.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Week 10: Part 1

The lecture and textbook assignment really shed light on a subject that I have spent some time thinking about. Ever since beginning this blog for class, I wondered, "Should I start a personal/business blog?" After all, I am an unlikely person to be in the field that I just stepped foot in. I assume there aren't a lot of black male knitters, that hail from Jamaica. Where I'm from, there isn't a need for the skill of knitting (it's way too warm for wool). Also, it's most popular among women. I'm a married father of 3, and my life can get quite hectic. I'm also enlisted in the military! There is a lot about me that sets me apart. I feel that a business blog with an emphasis on my life as a business owner would be pretty appealing.

So, about business blogging. I feel that a business blog with human interest adds a personal touch that speaks more directly to the audience. When there is no human interest, a blog can feel like a pushy advertisement. Psychology has proven that people do not want to feel like they are being sold something. They want to feel like they have come to the decision to purchase something on their own. I agree with this. I really tune out direct sales, but I definitely have seen someone using something, and thought to myself "I could benefit from getting that too." I know that not every blog is selling something, but for the ones that are, the human interest and personal touch certainly can boost their reach.

Using myself and my business as an example, there are times when a personal touch is beneficial. Examples of this would be if I share a review from a customer, or share a picture of me wearing my own beanie. This could show someone an image they can relate to. I honestly cannot think of a time when my blog shouldn't have a personal touch. Because my business is small and it doesn't involve anyone other than my family, it is very personal. My blog would be a perfect mixture of personal and business posts.

After this blog assignment I am certain that I would like to start a blog for my business. I plan to use Tumblr as my platform and I will be using the tips from the lecture to keep up with blogging. I do have a lot on my plate already, but one more thing won't kill me!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Week 9

I began with searching for other knitters and yarn companies. The key search terms that produced some good accounts to follow were simply "knit" and "yarn." After that, I figured I would look for some people who are local regardless of if they knit or not. I did a search based on my location and followed a couple of people. I have to admit that coming from rarely using my Facebook page, and not being on any other platform, I am a little overwhelmed by all the networking! The lists feature on twitter is nice, I like to keep organized and now I feel like Instagram should have the same feature. It would be nice. I created a few lists; knitters and crocheters, fashion and trends, locals, and yarn companies. 

Managing so many social media accounts is certainly a balancing act. I feel as though twitter (as well as Instagram) will require quite of bit of work to gain exposure. I plan to spend a little time each day, liking and commenting on tweets in order to engage with people and get my name out there. I think that my customers most likely will see my tweets in the evenings, and on the weekend. I plan to make some more posts throughout the week and track which ones are most successful. I do have to keep in mind that hashtags, pictures, videos and the amount of text all play a factor in catching people's eyes as they scroll. I am on the fence about deciding to make my twitter slightly personal, like a glimpse of my life as a business owner or strictly business and sales posts. I'm hoping I can "crack the code" to successfully networking.