Thursday, November 25, 2010

How to Write a Great Knitting Blog

As a serial blogger and a crazy avid blog reader, I feel like I have some wisdom to impart on blogging, especially for those who want to start or improve their own knitting blog.  I know I'm no means an expert, but there aren't many posts on the subject.  So if you want to write a good knitting blog, here are some steps!

1.  Decide what you're going to cover!

You might say "Well, this is silly obvious," but trust me, I see it broken all the time. I don't know how many blogs I've followed because I've seen good stuff, only to have the writer decide that he or she would rather blog about their favorite music, or just push their formspring answers to their blog, or post nothing but pictures of their baby.  Now, I love music and babies, and I'm not saying you should post only about knitting on your knitting blog, but stay true to your original content, at least once in a while.  Usually if a blog goes a month or two without any posts that interest me, I stop following it.

2. Photos!

Photos are an important part of any blog.  They can illustrate a point, provide comic relief, demonstrate, explain a technique, even just give your readers' eyes a rest from all those words.  In a knitting blog, photos are even more important - and not just photos you take off the creative commons group at flickr.  You need your own photos of your projects, mistakes, and crafty creations. Many blogs, like Attic24, have tons of followers just for the gorgeous photos (I should know, I'm one of them.)

But of course, having photos isn't enough. They need to look good, too! But there tons of resources online to make pictures pop.  Mimi from Eskimimi Knits has some great photography tutorials. that's worth mentioning :)

3.  Make it personal.

If I want to gawk at beautiful finished objects, I can just take a peek at Ravelry - there is some gorgeous stuff on that website! But if you're posting up stuff on your blog, you should have some personal story around it.  If you're having some trouble writing, here are some good questions:
  1. Why did you decide to make this item?
  2. Who are you making it for? Is it a surprise? (And, in the future, what was their reaction!)
  3. What are you doing new with this pattern?
  4. Details! What yarn are you using, what needles, did you do a gauge swatch, was it hard to get the gauge? 
  5. What would you tell someone who wanted to make this pattern? Should they? Or not?
  6. Mistakes! Yes, the world wants to see them, it makes the rest of us feel better about ourselves (teasing.)
  7. What do you think about when you work on this? Does it calm you down or frustrate you? Are you ripping back 2 rows after every three, or did you finish in a night while watching Grey's Anatomy?
The list could go on, the sky is the limit! But you need to make it personal.  This isn't just a beautiful sock/shawl/dishcloth/stuffed turkey, this is YOUR sock/shawl/dishcloth/stuffed turkey.  Be proud! Be disappointed! Be whatever you feel like being about it, but make it yours. Tell the story behind the stitches.

4. Pillar Content? Pshaw!

If you're really dedicated to making your blog better, you've probably read the myriad of other articles out there, many of which throw out the term "pillar content." Pillar content is, basically, blog posts that are insightful, witty, and teach your audience something.  For a knitting blog, this free pattern will probably be a tutorial or a free pattern.

While pillar content is great, many knitters are great bloggers, have good photos, and succeed perfectly well without pillar content.  Of course, these bloggers have excellent "all of the above:" Great photos, good writing, and a blog theme that ties their posts together.  As a knitting blog, you don't really need pillar content to succeed.  You just need to be your own, quirky, crafty self, and enjoy what your doing!

5.  Avoid these two things at all cost.
  1. Apologizing.
  2. Begging for comments/followers.
I know that everyone is guilty of this, but please.  Just don't do it. Maybe you've had a freak ski accident involving a revolving door, a gorilla, and two dozen donuts and you've been in a coma for the past month, but chances are, you just haven't had anything to post about, or you haven't had time.  Don't post about how you don't have anything to post about.  Don't post about how you don't have any free time.  It's whiny, and it makes me as a reader have less respect for you.  So you didn't post for a week.  Apologize to me by showing me what else you've been up to!

As for the second one, let it rest.  Blog for yourself, not for others.  Don't get discouraged by no one commenting or following you! If you focus on your analytics, your pageviews, and your comments, the fun will slowly drain from blogging, like a leech gorging itself on your foot when you're swimming.

After all, we don't say "If no one tells me how good this scarf is, I'm going to stop knitting forever!"

At least, I hope not...

Well, there are my four golden rules.  There are other rules, of course, which apply to all blogs in general, but I thought I'd make some just for knitting blogs! Hope my advice helped, feel free to pitch in your two cents! I hope I came of as insightful, not ranty (since this post was born from a rant I had.)


  1. Eeeep -

    You're a mindreader!
    I'd just been looking for more blog tips, and voila`! I do have a question, though. Which of those things do you think I need to work on (one or more)?

    Also, thanks so much for putting me on your little knitty blog list! I appreciate it so much! *CUTE SMILIE & HUG*

    How did you get your NaNoWriMo button? I'm in it, too, and wanted one. :D

  2. This is quite helpful. I should read over this again and try to apply it to my blogging =3
    Thanks! <3

  3. I have a question! ;)
    With your Yarn-Related Blogs gadget, did you add all of the blogs, or does it find them for you?
    ALso, where'd you find the cute template?

  4. This is awesome! I'll definitely be using your ideas in my future knitting blog posts!!

  5. Though born from a rant, this post is pure gold!! I so agree with you on all your points.

    Sometimes I wonder about how personal to go. I'm a dismal cook. Should I show my flops? I'm slow to design sometimes. Should I show my agonizingly lack luster first drafts? Maybe. Hmmm. A post about personal best disasters. That might be interesting!


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