How to Submit Your Shop Story

Craft a shop story to stand out from the rest

Let’s face it… right now, more and more people are starting to look at the internet to buy everything ever since the pandemic of 2020 hit.  If you are online, you might be seeing an increase in sales, or you might have seen a huge decrease.  This is because both buyers and sellers are jumping online.  If you are not online with your products, you NEED to be!  Here at Crafty Universe, we want to help the crafters get seen, so we are putting your “shop stories” on our website and driving traffic here for people to see those stories.  In order for search engines to find those stories, though, there needs to be enough of a story to be found!  Below, we are giving some guidelines on how to write up your shop story and how to get it submitted to our site!

Shopping Online Crafty Universe

Top Tips for Writing Your Story

In order for search engines to find the information they need to identify what a page is about, there needs to be a minimum amount of words in general as well as specific words.  “Keywords” are used by people to search and by the search engines to identify what is on a page.  Search engines are not people, so there needs to be enough words on a page for the program to be able to identify the theme of the information.  

There is a lot of debate on the number of words that is best, but typically a post needs to range between 600 to 3000 words.  Preferably, the best posts will be between 1500 and 3000 words.  It’s ok to go a little over that, but in reality it is not necessary because programs will not read past 3000 words.  Even if you get someone reading your post, they probably will not want to read 3000 words or more (unless maybe if you are Stephen King!). 

The guidelines will undoubtedly change in the future, but for our website, we’re asking that people submit their shop stories with a minimum of 600 words and preferably around 1500 words if possible.  

What To Put in the Story

There are many different approaches that people take to writing their story.  Some people have a natural story to tell.  They made a product, they showed people, everyone wanted it, so they started a business.  Some people have a family tradition that they wanted to share with the world.  I think I heard a story about a person that found a picture in their attic that was left behind by a previous owner.  The picture was so hideous that they decided to paint something of their own… and that started their business.  

You don’t have to have a gimmick to tell your story.  I definitely wouldn’t make something up (unless you have help from a certain someone that I already mentioned).  Just tell your story.  If that means saying something like “Hi I’m Blah Blah and I live in Joeschmoe City. I make knickknacks in my garage and am hoping to get one in every house in the world one day.” Well, go with that and then tell about what your product is used for or why it is needed in the world.  

Basically, figure out what you want to tell the people that see your story on here.  It doesn’t have to be the same thing as what is on your website. It can be specifically geared to one product that you are proud of or your best seller.  A story is good to help people to identify with your situation, but it is not the only way to reach people.  

Break It Up

It’s pretty easy to get lost in a sea of words on most blog posts.  Make sure to use paragraphs and break up your sections.  It can be difficult to break into sections when you have a story because you just want to tell your story.  Well, break it up with an image then!  It is definitely NOT a requirement to break up a post into sections, but it helps the reader when the post is longer.  

If your posts end up way longer than 3000 words, then consider making your posts into “parts” instead.  Like “Visiting the Craft Store – Part 1”.  (I fully plan on using that title at some point because there are so many changes happening on craft stores right now that are amazing!)

Don't Forget the Pictures!

If you didn’t use a picture to break up your sections, don’t forget to add in at least one or two images!  At the very minimum, you should have an image to express your shop or brand in some way.  Even if it’s a logo (which can also be told in your story if you just cannot come up with anything to write about)… something should be included as an image.  In fact, when submitting on our page, you might want to have a couple of images available just in case something doesn’t work.  If you are posting on your own page, try to have at least 2 images on the page that relate to the post in some way. 

Taking your own pictures for your own products is a MUST when selling.  If you are trying to explain about your product, use an image that shows what the product is and show how it is used.  If it has multiple uses, take a picture of each use individually.  I know this takes time, but if you want to sell the item then you want to make sure the buyer knows what the item is and how to use it!  Of course, if it’s something simple like fabric, you don’t have to show its uses.  Sometimes that can be confusing if you show a product with a specific design that comes in many types of fabrics and the buyer then thinks they can use a knit for a project that specifically needs quilting cotton. 

What Links to Include

We highly believe that linking over to the different online sources that you have can be very beneficial for your business.  So, make sure to include any shop links (Etsy, Facebook, regular website address) and any social media sites (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc.).  There are some people in the craft world that swear by a particular site while others stay completely away from it.  Everyone is different in their preferences, so whatever you use, make sure those customers can find it!

What to Leave OUT

There are many reasons to NOT post about a product.  Sensitive products and illegal products are ones that should not be blogged about unless you are discussing why your product is better than that.  However, when you talk about illegal products on your site, they can be blocked and your IP address can be banned from search engines.  I could get into the many different ways of why your site isn’t being viewed, but there are a lot of variables so that will be in a post all by itself.  Just remember that anything that is illegal, unethical, or even just borderline wrong should not be mentioned on your website. 

Another thing to consider is to NOT include trademarked or copyrighted materials.  For instance, if you are selling a “fan created” or “inspired” item from a game, show, movie, etc., make sure you don’t claim to be selling officially licensed products unless you have the right to do so!  We all know that there is a fine line between selling inspired products and intellectual property infringement.  I’ve consulted with a lawyer about my own designs because large companies refuse to take on anything that is even remotely close to a licensed design…. even if it’s not protected in the craft industry!  ALWAYS consult a lawyer if you have questions.  Yes, lawyers are expensive.  I highly suggest a legal services company such as the one that I work with. You can find more information at my LegalShield site where you can find options for personal and business.  (Don’t worry, we’ll cover many ways to protect yourself, your business, and your products in other posts.)

Just Keep Writing

Well, write up to 3000 words (I’ve tried to keep this short but close to the 1500 goal). If you get stuck and cannot write anything, browse the other shop stories that have already been submitted. (You can see those in the shop stories section on our site.)  We try really hard to help out when possible, but in reality you know your shop and what you want your customers to know about you, probably more than we do.  At minimum, get started writing something and see where it takes you.  For now, submitting a shop story is free, so make sure to submit it while we can still take them for free!