Crafts on Sea is a hub for informative advice and inspiration to get both grown-ups and kids creating out of the box crafts, including story stones, tree sun catchers, and even learning how to create headbands and accessories out of old clothes. Along with her two small children, author Kate Williams demonstrates how to get stuck into handmade projects and posts achievable ideas to try with kids. In this spotlight, Kate chats to us about why people should read her blog, how she measures its success, and how she likes to work with PRs.
Why should people read your blog? What makes it different? We love doing crafts in this house but we’re also pretty normal, Crafts on Sea is predominantly a crafts site but there’s a lot of family lifestyle stuff in there too. I’d love to say that my kids wake up every morning and want to do Montessori inspired educational activities but actually it’s all YouTube and watching surprise eggs round here. If I want my kids to do stuff I’ve got to make it something that interests them so we make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we’ve done science experiments with Batman and sponge painted the Death Star. Last week I taught my kids about engineering with Jelly Baby Santas. If it doesn’t interest me or my kids, we don’t do it – it has to be fun.
How do you measure the success of your website? I am addicted to both Google Analytics and the daily updates on my ad income but I also had someone ask me last week about using a playdough I’d made to help my kids calm down with a group of children she was working with who were going through grief. Success as a business is important, but making a difference to people will always beat that.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? Go self-hosted at the start so you don’t have to think about it later, write what interests you and don’t be afraid to change things up, it’s what helps you to grow.
How do you work with marketers and PRs? I’m normally contacted by PR’s but I will pitch sometimes if I have a great idea that I think would work. I find sometimes that the challenge of creating content for a brand is really good at helping me to stretch my horizons. I like a challenge and I like to be able to prove that I’m worth a brands’ interest and trust in me.
How do you use social media to promote and share content? What are the challenges? Oh the joys of algorithm changes! I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest and as a blogger I find it essential to network with other bloggers and discuss how each form is changing or challenging you so you can work out how to make the most of it. I’m also a great believer in email lists – they’re the only thing that is in your own control and can’t be changed by social media changing how they work.
What can PRs do in working better with you? I much, much prefer it when PRs are totally honest and open with you from the start, it makes it so much easier when you both know what’s wanted and what the company would like in return. I would also say that a big issue with craft blogs is being offered payment for work with craft supplies, I don’t know of any craft bloggers who don’t have cupboards rammed full of the stuff.
What has been your blogging highlight? Going to Downing Street was pretty cool, but in all honestly being able to be my own boss, be at home with my kids and still pay the bills is the best bit. Having a job you love is a great thing.
What will be big in your blogosphere in the coming months? YouTube is the area I want to really look into next year as it’s becoming a bigger thing in blogging. We moved to Cornwall this year and I’ve started sharing more about our family life and our adventures here and places we’ve visited so that will be a bigger area for me too.
What does the Vuelio Blog Ranking mean to you and how does it affect your blog? Vuelio offers bloggers a great way to connect with brands and PR’s, there’s no league table in blogging and sometimes it’s hard to assess how you are doing so acknowledgement by an organisation as well known as Vuelio really is a big deal.