3 reasons blogging can help your online shop

These days, it can feel like there are endless bloggers writing about all kinds of things! Bloggers making a living just from blogging and sharing. 

But what about makers and product-based businesses? What's the value of a blog when you're not necessarily a lifestyle brand or writer?

1. Blogging adds a huge amount of SEO value to your website

Let's start with the most commercial hard-hitting fact: having a blog allows you to create content that targets search terms your customers are likely to be searching for in a wider context than just buying products.

It also means you have fresh content, which is a feature Google and other search engines will look for when they're scanning your page. Fresh content means you're likely to appear higher up search results (even if the result doesn't direct the customer to the new post or page). A great way to keep up to date without constantly adding new products!

2. A blog can add background, story and personality

What you write about is up to you. It doesn't have to be hugely personal or include photos of your children. But adding behind-the-scenes posts and sharing tips can really help to give customers more context about you as a brand.

More and more, consumers are looking for connection: they want to know who they're buying from. Writing blog posts gives you the opportunity to write with more personality, even if the post itself is just an update or list of tips!

3. Provide great content through a blog

Yes, tell your story and throw in some behind-the-scenes stories about your products and how you make them. That's blogging gold all by itself!

But you can also upgrade your blog to include content that customers will find useful, whether it's tips on how to look after your jewellery or free downloadables in your area of expertise. This kind of (free) content can bring in a broader spectrum of customers and increase traffic to your page. If it's easy to share, even better!

Sell your products

Blog posts about upcoming discounts, product features, and product launches can all be featured in blog posts, which can add great content and SEO value to your website and your brand. Weaving this in to other content can really pay off as well.

Over to you!

Starting a blog can be a commitment, but if it feels like something you'd enjoy sharing, it can add so much value to your shop and product-based business. 

And if you need help, check out our workshops. We'll make tailored suggestions on what to write about, and we'll help you to get the blog posts written!

5 tips to get you through the Father's Day rush

It's not long now until Father's Day is over, so we thought we'd share five of our favourite tips to get you through, whether you're extraordinarily busy or would like to get more sales in before Sunday.

1. Delegate. And put the kettle on.
If you're really busy, you need to make sure you're only focusing on the most important things, and that you're taking care of yourself.

What can you delegate at work? Packing orders, answering enquiries, social media, or even getting someone to just help tidy up a bit. Whether it's big or small, if you're under pressure and delegating will help you get through and make more sales, it's worth exploring.

You can also delegate at home. Get someone else to sort out the groceries and dinner, if you can, or make sure you have a food delivery booked or take-away option on speed dial. Make sure you have enough tea, coffee and good, healthy snacks. If you need to send someone out for supplies, do it now.

2. Make sure you're 100% clear on your last order dates and times.
If you haven't already figured this out, do so now! And make some lovely graphics for your website, social media, newsletter and marketplace platforms (such as your Etsy shop image or update).

3. Keep posting your products with links, and share behind the scenes photos.
If you're looking to get more sales in before Sunday, make sure you keep posting your products on social media, with links to the page or a reference name or number where appropriate. Busy people need it to be really easy to scroll, discover and then buy!

Behind the scenes posts can also help to engage shoppers by demonstrating that you really are able to keep taking orders, and that your products are popular.

4. Create a free printable or other immediate download
Offering your customers a free and quick printable colouring page for little kids, or a DIY card for bigger children can be a great way to add some extra value.

Plus, you can totally save the day by having a Grandad design for Sunday morning, in case anyone forgot him!

5. Make an 'After Father's Day' list
While you're prioritising all the important things, there are going to be some things that need to go on a list for after Father's Day. Get that list going now!

You might have to put off any Christmas prep, photoshoots, or adding things to a summer sale. Make a list so you know you won't forget about them.


Need a hand?

We're here if you'd like to send us stuff to do, or just need some moral support!

Spotlight on: Periwinkle & Clay launch a new range with our stock photography

Last week, we offered all our newsletter subscribers a selection of free mock up and stock photos to play around with and use. Well, it was a treat to see new designs pop up and lots of creatives make these images their own!

It was especially rewarding to see Claire from Periwinkle and Clay launch cards for the first time using our styled card images. Take a look at what she came up with.

Claire took this design from her clay tiles and turned it into a card:

Here's what Claire had to say:

I've been meaning to investigate greeting cards and prints for a while using some of the designs I've recently been working on. Some of the recent worded tile designs I've designed for the clay tile frames for Father's Day could be adapted to greeting cards/prints.
So it was perfectly timed to allow me to mock up a design and use it as a test piece on the Periwinkle and Clay Facebook page to test the waters. I always love testing the water with product ideas so see what my followers think, as the result has been overwhelmingly positive I'll look into some small print runs and see if they sell well.
So thank you Copper Boom for your lovely freebies and enabling a small business test an idea for new products so easily.

You're totally welcome, Claire! We wish you the best of luck with your Father's Day cards. There will be some loved Dads around this June, we can tell!

How to stand out from the crowd: 5 ways to boost your engagement online

The good news is, the creative industries are booming. Designer-makers, creative entrepreneurs, artists, poets and visionaries are more able than ever before to set up shop, share their story and sell their work.

And we're all better off for it. The handmade mug, the unique jewellery, the beautiful artwork: our desire for expressing ourselves through the work of others is higher than ever. We can't get enough!

But with this rise in marketplaces, small businesses, and creatives putting their work out there, it becomes even more important to stand out in your own unique way, and tell your story.

Here are our five tips to stand out from the crowd and boost your engagement with customers online.

1. Get yourself out there in the first place!

Step one: publish products, post on social media, and do it all regularly. One of the biggest misnomers we see from small businesses is this idea that they're spamming their followers to being "too noisy". You're more likely to be under-posting, in comparison to the amount of stuff out there. So your first step is to pick up the pace.

2. Look consistently amazing.

Okay, there are days when we're not on our A game. We're human, after all. But having consistently awesome visual content is an essential part of a successful marketing strategy. We're visual creatures, which is partly why social media is so powerful. Create a look for both products and lifestyle photos, and work to make sure you're looking particularly sparkly.

3. Do something unique.

Whether it's adding a signature colour pop, hilarious caption, or the use of a particular eye-catching prop, having your own unique style makes your brand more memorable. It's like a fingerprint - something that has YOU written all over it. Most likely this will evolve as you start posting more, but pay attention to what might work consistently as your unique way of sharing what you do.

4. Shine your weird light brightly.

Okay, maybe it's not that weird. But show your personality, or that of your products, to attract the customers who resonate with those qualities. For example, if you're into hilarious swearing, make sure you're showing people your hilarious swearing. If your products are quietly sophisticated, shine that soft, subtle light for the people who are attracted to it. It may not be neon, but it does need to be consistent.

5. Share your story - in big ways and small.

Having a clear and engaging about page is really helpful. It can boost your SEO, as well as giving potential customers a clear backstory to who's behind their new favourite products! Part of the benefit of re-visiting your about page is that you can also hone smaller parts of your story: the key anecdotes or qualities that you can share every now and then on social media, or in a printed note in your parcels. Rather than visual, this is about words and stories that get people interested in what you do.

Need a hand to stand out?

As part of all our creative services, we'll work with you to identify the key unique selling points you have as a brand, whether that's for a new set of photographs, an about page, or your social media content. Our photography skills and writing experience is incredibly high, but it's this commitment to uncovering what will help you stand out that we think is the most valuable service we offer.

You can get in touch to talk about what you need, or book our services. We'd love to work with you!

There's good news and there's bad news

As you may have guessed from the subject line, we have good news and bad news.

The good news is...

We're here to stay. Copper Boom Studio is so much fun, and we're delivering better content than ever with better feedback and a stronger team. Boom.

The bad news is...

It's time to put our prices up. This is never easy, but we want to make sure we're modelling a viable business model, set up for the long term. (Jenny wouldn't have it any other way.)

Since we became VAT registered last November, we've taken most of the hit on the extra 20%. We adore supporting small businesses, so this isn't an easy decision. But we're confident in our ability to offer value, quality and brilliant service as we head towards our first birthday.

And so, from 1 June 2017, our prices for half-day and full-day shoots will be going up.

But we've got your back

More good news! You can book in before 1 June for any date later in the year at our current prices. 

That's right. You can lock in the current prices of £300 inc VAT for a half-day and £500 inc VAT for a full day.

Book via the website or get in touch if you'd like to book in now for dates beyond July. 

You'll save £100 for a half day and £150 on a full day by booking before 1 June.

(All our other prices are staying the same.)

Introducing Frameishly

We've been fans of Bookishly for ages. Beautiful literary gifts, clever quote combinations, brilliant quality.

When Louise (the Bookishly Boss) mentioned she was launching a wholesale frame offering, we knew it would be awesome. We also needed some frames.

Welcome, Frameishly

After semi-joking about 'Frameishly' as a name, it's now kind of stuck, and we love it!

We now have full stock of standard frame and mount sizes.

We worked with Louise to get a full sample collection of all the frame colours, sizes and mount options to keep in our studio. Which means, for standard sizes, you don't have to post your frames if you're sending us prints to shoot.

You can even buy the frames we use in our photos.

One of the beautiful things about this collaboration is that we LOVE these frames. The quality is great, and the price is awesome for small businesses. You can buy everything on the Frameishly section of the Bookishly website. And if you need anything that isn't listed yet, Louise is ready to hear from you.

...and that includes our print mock ups!

All our stock images for prints feature Frameishly frames, so if you need something up extra quickly, you can simply add your designs to our hi res images in your favourite editing software. Boom.

Too busy to actually frame?

Louise has a print-frame-ship option so that you don't have to store stock or do the framing yourself. She's pretty good like that.

February inspiration

2017 is in full swing now and, as usual, we've been busy with a whole host of varied photo shoots. Recently, the products we've been receiving here at the studio have been providing a bit of life inspiration: 

Shooting these gorgeous leather travel accessories for Magpie Decor immediately got us craving some winter sun. Have a look at the rest of their wanderlust-inducing range: http://www.magpie-decor.com/ 

The jumper on the left, from The Little Pancake Company, with its yoga mat styling and get-fit vibe had us cracking on with our healthy lifestyle resolutions.

The Après ski jumper by Baby Yorke, on the other hand, had us reaching for a hot chocolate with all the trimmings. Everything in moderation, right? 

Check out The Little Pancake Company here: https://www.thelittlepancakecompany.com/collections/all-products/products/hello-wellness-cosy-chia-me-up-jumper and Baby Yorke here: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/partners/babyyorkedesigns/products  

Finally, we've just finished shooting these paper-cut party decorations for Rosie and the Boys. Of course, as they were cake toppers, we had to bring in cupcakes. Edible props are the best kind of props! 

That's the end of the little snapshot onto our shoots at the beginning of February. Now, excuse us whilst we finish up all the leftover cupcakes...