How to Improve Your Blog to Grow Your Creative Business

How to Improve Your Blog to Grow Your Creative Business by Dannielle Cresp on Creative Womens Circle By Dannielle Cresp

Blogging is great for business. We all know it. But when it’s not the number one thing on your to-do list, it can slip from a “must do” to a “should do”. When a month or two passes without any new content going up, we know it looks bad, but the longer it’s left the more difficult it feels to get back to it.

I’ve been blogging weekly for almost a year now without missing a single post. So today I want to share with you my tips for improving your blog to help your creative business grow, without adding too much more to your plate.

  • Have an editorial calendar and dedicate at least half a day a month to it. Decide what days of the week you’ll be posting over the coming month. I recommend less rather than more if your blog isn’t your main business. It’s better to be consistent once or twice a week than 5 days one week and nothing for the rest of the month. Use that half day to plan what you will write (even if it’s just vague topics for now) and the dates you will publish the posts.
  • Dedicate time write posts in batches. Set aside half a day to a day to write as many posts as you can. Take the photos you need to accompany what you've written, and then schedule them according to your editorial calendar. It might seem silly to not work on your main business for a whole day or so, but blogging is an important part of marketing!
  • Make your images easily pinable to Pinterest. Only use great quality images and add your post title to the image you’re going to use (like the example above). Also consider adding a 'pin it' button over your images. This makes your content easier to share amongst Pinterest users, and will help drive traffic back to your site. It's also a great way to bookmark and categorise your own blog posts for easy reference.
  • Have an e-Newsletter Sign Up on your blog sidebar and encourage readers to sign up (e.g. by offering them exclusive offers or something extra if they do).
  • Keep your colours and fonts consistent. Your blog is an intrinsic part of your brand, and consistency will ensure people will get to know you and your work by sight.
  • Only write as much as you need to. Blog posts needn't be long, especially if your creative business has lots of visual appeal. Write only what you need to and share some great images that will help you get your point across. There is no ideal blog post length. For many of you, images will be a way to share some behind the scenes work and you’ll only a short ammount of text to give those images some context.
  • Have some fun with it. It might seem odd that you would have fun with the marketing side of your business, but if you let your personality shine through a bit people can see there’s a person behind the brand and feel like they’re supporting someone rather than something. Even if you’re a team, it can be a great way to give some insight into who the customer (or client) might be hiring or purchasing from.

Blogging can be great for your business and it doesn't have to take up a big part of your daily business routine. Find a rhythm that works for you and and it will be much easier to stick to and to enjoy.

Dannielle is a blogger, serial organiser and passionate traveller. She has a secret love of 90s teen movies and can often be found hanging out on Pinterest. She is on a mission to help people bring happiness (and fun) back into their homes with a dash of organisation and a sprinkle of their own awesome style over at her blog Style for a Happy Home.

Image from © Lime Lane Photography with text overlay

How to Plan now for the Christmas Rush

By Susan Goodwin how-to-plan-now-for-the-christmas-rush

Christmas, a time for giving, a time for family and the lead up to it can be some of the most intense times for your business. It may be months away yet but if you do some prep work now you will arrive at Christmas not a frazzled mess but as a cool calm collected business woman who has just made the most of one of the biggest retail opportunities available.

Get your products ready Ensure all products, goods and services are going to be ready in time for the Christmas sales period. If they aren’t you will lose a big opportunity so make sure your deadlines are being met.

Plan when to let your customers know Work out a calendar of when the goods are available and how to best communicate to your customers during a time period when they are going to be bombarded with buy buy buy messages

Schedules your blog posts and social media Hopefully you are working to a blog content 'calendar' by now... If so, set aside a couple of days in July and do as much prep work as you possibly can to have December posts ready to go. Even if you need to add photos later, get the writing and scheduling done.

Plan out your cards Sending out Christmas cards? If they are physical cards, get them designed and printed before October. That way, you have time to write in them and get them into the post mid- to late-November in time for an early December delivery. If the bulk of your cards are going overseas, be sure to check the posting schedule and aim for an early November post date.

If your cards are virtual, get onto the design now and pre-schedule them to be sent out.

Sending gifts or products to key clients or agencies? Think ahead and be sure to make your present relevant and as inspired as possible. Avoid the cliches and ensure you give a gift that will be remembered and appreciated.

Wrapping paper, not just for the presents you are giving, but for your own products Think about how wrapping a product can benefit your brand and delight your customers. Do test runs, get costings and have everything ready far in advance.

Wrapping your products in a creative way could work in-store or at markets. Think about how to make this an engaging aspect of your customer's experience. Could you set up a wrapping station and allow customers to wrap their own gifts? Or have expert guides on hand to help? For online customers, offer gift wrapping as part of the service or for a small charge. Beautiful photos of the final wrapping are a must and will encourage people to take the option of wrapping and be happy to pay for it.

Then, prep for sales beyond Christmas Think ahead: will you offer sales and discounts in December, or just from Boxing Day? Make a sales plan and act accordingly. If your website needs to change prices on the 26th, ensure you won’t be needed to manually input pricing changes on Christmas Day. Perhaps inside the gift wrapping you might consider adding a discount card to encourage repeat custom, or an easy way for them to share their gift on social media. Make it fun and engaging to increase your exposure. Plan it, pre-schedule it.


Overall, planning and scheduling as much as possible earlier in the year, will ensure you're calm and efficient during December. Not only will sales be flying out the door, you will have engagements and parties of your own to attend. Make sure your business is well looked after so you can enjoy the celebrations and not be locked in the office till midnight writing out Christmas cards (which could’ve been done in October!).

Plan and schedule and you will have time for both success and pleasure this Christmas.

Susan Goodwin is the designer, sewer and creator of Rocket Fuel, ensuring you are decked out in style while cycling. Read her blog or follow her on Twitter @rocketfuelstyle.

5 Tips for a More Productive Day

By Dannielle Cresp 5 Tips for a More Productive Day by Dannielle Cresp on Creative Womens' Circle

Productivity and creativity aren’t always the best of friends. Sometimes you’re really feeling it and want to do all the things and other times it can feel a bit like you’re wading knee-deep through mud. Here are some of my favourite ways to push through and make a really productive day.

  • Start with Two To-Do Lists. First write down all the things you need to get done, not just today, but all of them. Doesn’t matter about order or priority for the mean time, just get them all down on paper. Once they’re all there, take a highlighter and highlight all the ones you want or need to get done today. Put them on your second to-do list and put that first big one out of sight.
  • Get your working environment ready. It might seem like procrastinating but think about what you need for the tasks on your to-do list and get them out so they are within reach before you start. Nothing makes it harder to stay productive than searching for something you need desperately mid-task. Also get a bottle of water so you’re keeping hydrated whilst working.
  • Decide the order of your to-do list and eat the frog first! When deciding the order of tasks, do the hardest thing, or the one you don’t feel like doing the most, first. Then do something that’s quick and/or something you enjoy. Once that thing you didn’t want to do is out of the way you’ll feel lighter and more able to get on with everything else.
  • Batch your tasks so you can stay in the right mindset. Need to write a series of blog posts? Do a few together whilst you’re focussed on writing. Need to organise your social media for the week? Schedule your posts and social media updates in one hit - guarateed to make you feel super on top of it all.
  • Take proper scheduled breaks. It might seem counter-productive to be taking a break when trying to be productive but it’s amazing what 20 minutes of fresh air and slowing down will do for you during your efficiency and creativity. If you try to run at full speed all day, everyday, you will get tired and worn out and your productivity will suffer. Taking a break allows your body and your brain to reset and even in a world of deadlines, we all need that!

Just a little bit of planning at the beginning of the day can really help make it a more productive - and ultimately more creative -one. Giving yourself the permission not to do everything on your big to-do list and just taking it one day at a time can really make a big difference. Tackling each day like this really helps you to prioritise what the important things are to you and your creative business, which is the cherry on top!

Dannielle is a blogger, serial organiser and passionate traveller. She has a secret love of 90s teen movies and can often be found hanging out on Pinterest. She is on a mission to help people bring happiness (and fun) back into their homes with a dash of organisation and a sprinkle of their own awesome style over at her blog Style for a Happy Home.

Image from © Lime Lane Photography with text overlay

My Advice: Staying on top of admin

By Lizzie Stafford There aren’t many small creative business owners who would openly admit to loving their admin work. Tasks like bookkeeping, emails, invoices and social media build up and eventually seem to take over, so you feel like you have little time left for the actual creating. We asked three organised business owners how they stay on top of the books without going insane. In the wise words of potter Ilona Topolcsanyi: “Admin is like a leg wax: if you move quickly, the pain is minimal and the results are pretty damn sexy.”


Check your emails twice daily. No more, no less.

Bek Smith, photographer, Bek Smith Photography & Journal

"Keeping on top of admin is so important when running a business and it's sometimes easy to let the most important tasks slip past you if you don't have a productive system in place. As a photographer running my own business, the best piece of advice I have been given is to check your emails twice daily. No more, no less. This way you can tackle your inbox in two chunks and focus your full attention on each gorgeous client."


Create a routine. Schedule manageable, bite-sized tasks into your weekly calendar. 

Nat Carroll, creative director, designer & illustrator, the Seamstress

"Instead of leaving things like marketing, taxes and blog writing to the last minute, which leads to unnecessary stress and tight deadlines, try creating a weekly routine that incorporates these tasks into more manageable, bite-sized items that you can follow through on every week.

Try to stick with it, no matter how busy you might be. Block it out in your calendar. I find Monday mornings are a good, quiet time in the week to plan my goals, write posts for my blog or work on my next self-promotional piece. I also like to finish up on Friday afternoons by dealing with my finances; I'm creatively exhausted by then and need a different kind of task to carry me through until the start of the weekend.

I've found that approaching my business in this way creates more structure to my week, which helps when you only have yourself to answer to. I've also found that I am closer to my goals because I've worked at them every week, in little baby steps, instead of feeling overwhelmed by my 'to-do' list and struggling to find the time to make those things happen."


Your time is important. Regularly measure and assess the value of it.

Ilona Topolcsanyi, potter, Cone 11 Ceramics + Design Studio

"In the first few years of our business we needed to do everything ourselves because we couldn’t afford to pay someone to do it for us. As the business grew, we assessed the value of our time. We asked ourselves: “Would we be better off paying someone to do that so we can concentrate on what we do best?”

What are (my) roles and responsibilities? Can I afford to hand this task over to someone else? If not, then am I equipped with the skills and knowledge to complete this task within a reasonable time frame? Will it save me time and money to be trained?

A few simple computer programs allow a lot of the boring tasks to be automated, reducing the amount of time I need to spend tied to my desk.

I use Campaign Monitor (to manage the studio mailing list and e-newsletter). We have an ipad in the studio with a link to the subscriber page (on our website), which allows visitors to join the mailing list. Gone are the days of transcribing the long list of illegible email addresses.

For the bookkeeping we use QuickBooks and take advantage of features such as automated recurring expenses, importing electronic bank statements and issuing quotes that I can easily turn into invoices. While we can’t afford a regular bookkeeper, we also can’t afford countless wasted hours trying to figure it out. So we invested in some basic training.

For the rest of the tasks that I can’t teach my computer to do for me I allocate two mornings a month with a lovely cup of coffee, a raspberry danish from Dench Bakery and re-runs of Sex in the City."

Lizzie Stafford is a freelance writer and editor and owns and runs Künstler, an independent magazine and bookstore based in Winn Lane, Brisbane. She is the Brisbane events coordinator for CWC.