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Small Business Guide to Blogging


Isn’t it ironic that you can read a guide to blogging from a blog? Every small business should have one—read on to find out how to start yours.

Blogging 101

The first thing to know about blogging is that your customers are your readers. So blog for them!

Second, the content you’re blogging about should be constructive. It’s easy to think of blog ideas when you think of what you’d like to know. Topics can include day-to-day problems, social media tips, display ideas, inventory management, what gets you inspired (including self-help books and self-care strategies), the list is endless really.

Third, you don’t have to write a lot, but you should post often. When it comes to blogging consistent content is more important than thorough content. Speaking of content, people are visual thinkers and learners so images are important. Believe it or not, a catchy title can go a long way as well.

Finally, get the whole team involved. Your blog will go places further than you imagined when you bring in others to help.

Executing your blog

The easiest way to stay consistent with blog posts is to plan them out. A great way to plan your content is to become inspired by customers! What questions have they been asking lately? Is there any sort of product that seems to be in higher demand?

Similar to your physical store, you should interact with your customers online. That is, if someone comments, respond!

Last but not least, analyze your readership numbers. If something doesn’t seem to be working, try something new to see if that fixes it.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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Social Media Magic

Social Media Magic

If everyday tasks get in the way of daily social media posts, check out these tips and tricks.

Plan your posts

Choosing a topic is the hardest part of social media. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be; pick a theme, and post it. This could be a new line of fabric or an interesting tool. Some people prefer to post based off the day of the week, such as “Top Tool Tuesday,” “What’s New Wednesday,” and “Show and Share Sunday.”

Don’t be hesitant to repost the same topic again; in the world of marketing a consumer has to be exposed to a topic or product seven times before they’re compelled to take action.

Take the photo

Now that you know what you want to post about, take a photo. Use your phone and remember these three rules: lighting, background, and focal point.

Make sure your product is the focal point of the photo, there’s good lighting, and the background is not distracting. Be sure to take several photos at different views and angles. The more photos you post the better.

Write a caption

Writing a caption is the second hardest part of social media. If you’re struggling to come up with copy, answer these three questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. Why do customers need it?
  3. What do you want them to do? (Call to action.)

Simply answer these questions as if you were talking to a friend. If you’re posting a product, don’t forget to tag the company and add a hashtag so your image is exposed to as many customers as possible.

Keep a consistent social media schedule

Now that you’ve got content down, create a schedule so you can stay up to date. Google calendar offers an easy, color coded way to plan your social media posts. Make sure to display holidays, events, and classes, and fill in accordingly.

Inspiration for this post came from “Social Media Magic in 5 Minutes,” by Kate Colleran, Joanne Hillestad, and Kris Poor published in the October 2020 issue of American Quilt Retailer.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Disaster Planning

Disaster planning

Disaster planning: what a bleak topic to address, right? Despite it’s lack of appeal, it is important for your business to prepare for whatever this winter may throw your way.


Do you have an easy way to contact your employees to let them know if the store will close during inclement weather? What if their checks are delivered by mail? Some changes your business could make (like switching to direct deposit) will make your life easier in the long run too.

After letting your employees know they can stay at home, send an email blast to your customers letting them know too. Don’t forget to post on social media as well (and the best part is you can do all of this while still in your pajamas).


You likely already have systems in place to help with the aftermath of a disaster. Review your insurance policy to make sure things your business may be susceptible to (flooding for instance) is covered. Knowing what your insurance covers before you use it can help alleviate the stress that comes from disasters; coverages can even include things such as shrubs, business continuation, and much more. Speak with your insurance agent to find out more.


It goes without saying, but a big part of disaster planning is the planning part. Is your business ready in case the power goes out? Keep extra blankets and flashlights handy in case this happens.

Regularly checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is always a good idea. If you don’t already have escape routes planned for fires, then add that to your list too (and post the routes in each room). Your employees will only be ready during a disaster if tools are provided before, so for everyone’s safety, educate your employees on how to handle themselves and customers during a worst-case scenario.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.