Back in October (!!!) I shared some of these thoughts over at Tara Dara for her Blogging series.
In reading back over this post, I’ve tweaked a few things – and I’ve added some other ideas. So even if you read this back in October, maybe slog through it again for the new stuff. I’d love to hear what you think!
I’m thrilled to be sharing what I’ve learned since I started blogging – but I don’t feel like any kind of expert.
This is the kind of hobby (or job, if you’re lucky) that is always changing. There are always new things to learn, alsways new things to adjust to and change. So I’ll give you a little of what I’ve learned so far – but know that I’m right in there with you – trying to figure out what I’m doing.
I have been blogging for almost two years - but I debated and considered starting a blog for about 6 months before that. Even though I’d been crafting and sewing for years. I honestly did not think I had enough projects in me to support a blog. I also didn’t think anyone would ever read it – but we can skip going into my insecurity issues for now. :)
After much pressure from my family I gave it a go. And I found that being creative is like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. Now that I’ve immersed myself in this blog, I find myself having more ideas than I have time to do. Inspiration is everywhere.
So my first little “nugget” of advice is – to just dive in. If you are thinking or dreaming about starting a blog – go for it! As trite as it sounds – you won’t know if you can do it until you write that first post and hit “publish” for the very first time.
I think this applies to almost anything in life. And it’s a lesson I don’t want to forget. It’s easy for me to say, “I should wait on that, I need more experience, A few more things need to fall into place”. I am trying to be more proactive this year and diving into new things and taking chances!
So back to blogging- once you hit publish, what next? You’re waiting now right? Waiting for those comments, visitors, and that follower widget to have someone’s face in it besides you and any family members you have asked/bribed to join. You’re looking at all the big blogs (and there will ALWAYS be bigger blogs) who have tons of all those things. And they’re all fun. It’s a complete kick to have a comment pop up and have someone you don’t know tell you that what you just posted is awesome.
It’s easy to get caught up in that. If people don’t comment, you can fall into thinking your project isn’t good. When before you posted it you liked and and put it up on your wall or whatever. I know I’ve been guilty of that.
Or you’re looking at your stats and worrying about how many people are coming and how to get more. And FOLLOWERS!! What if you get unfollowed? (And you will. Everyone does. Really.)
The trick for me is remembering that’s not really why I started the blog. (maybe it is why you started – so if that’s true then ignore this. lol )
I started a blog because I wanted to make new things, learn new things, decorate my house, freshen up my closet – and maybe make some new friends. It’s about creating.
(This is a gorgeous printable by Landee See Landee Do)
This has really been drilled into me these last few weeks. I believe all these things – I really do. But I also didn’t realize how often I checked that little Follower widget – until it was gone. I checked it a lot. :) So GFC going away has been a good – though painful – thing for me. It’s been a good reinforcement that I am blogging for the “creating” – and the community – and not the numbers. That’s not saying that numbers are bad – or not an awesome thing. I’m just saying I don’t want it to be all about that for me.
I love this quote. I’m thinking of painting it somewhere or etching it into my desk or something.
Not really. But I do like it a lot.
I had some thoughts on photos here – but I’m going to add that to a different post. Since this is crazy long already!!
So now – you’ve got projects you love, and you’re having a blast! What now?
Find some other bloggers you connect with. Make friends.
One of my favorite things about blogging is the friendships I’ve made. I had no idea when I started blogging that I would meet so many amazing people and make so many friends.
My snarky 16 year old son calls them “blends” (blog+friends). So when I tell a story, I get the standard question, “Is this a real friend or a blend?”.
My response is always “both!”. It’s so important to me to have a group of gals that understand me – and what blogging is all about!
(Because let’s face it, “civilians” as my friend Viv from The V Spot calls them, don’t always get it, do they?)
“What do you mean it took you 12 hours to make and post that book page pennant??”
“Well see, I had to stop and take pictures between every step. Then I had to take 85 shots of the finished item. Then I had to edit and brighten and watermark all the images. Then I had to write a post about it. It’s fun!”
The beauty of a blogging community is, not only do you have new friends, but you have people you can ask questions and go to for support or when you get stuck.
Stuff I’ve asked my friends, “What is a hashtag and is there a secret list of them somewhere I have to use?” and “Did that last project totally stink or what?” and “I have 2 entries on my giveaway. Will you come enter??”. :)
It’s so nice to have a support group.
The other thing I’ve found is that pretty much anyone is willing to help. That’s what makes this community so fun.
So thanks for reading through my ramblings!
So — I’d love to know. (And bonus points to you if you actually read this whole post!)
If you have a blog, what do you wish you knew when you started?
If you don’t have a blog – what do you wish we knew? Is there anything that stands out to you when you’re reading a blog that you love?
(I’m sure there are things you don’t like as well – but let’s keep it positive :)