Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Having a blog...it's not rocket science! A few things I've learned and still need to work on...








I started a family blog nearly 7 years ago when my youngest baby was just a few weeks old.

In my first post, I shared these pregnancy pictures that my husband's
cousin Chad took when I was 32 weeks pregnant.


 

I started that blog to update out of state family and friends 
on the life and happenings of our growing family of five.

It didn't take long for me to *think* I knew what I was doing.

Several years later, one of my sorority sisters introduced me to a blog called
The Long Thread.

I had no idea there were so many great free tutorials and ideas just floating around.
To me a blog was just pictures of my family and little updates about our life.

Now that same sorority sister has an amazing blog called Our Wonderfilled Life.
Michelle is an amazing mom of five boys!
FIVE!
Four of them share the same birthday.

Once I found craft blogs, I literally became addicted.
I started getting my craft on after a very long hiatus.
Being a stay at home mom with three little kids didn't allow much extra time to do my own thing.
I was getting inspiration that got me excited about crafting and creating again. 

It wasn't long after that my family blog started getting taken over with crafts and projects that I was making.
I decided in January 2010 that I would start my own craft blog and name it Holy Craft.
A name that is explained here.

I don't think I realized how much work would be involved in blogging.  
I guess I didn't think it would be that hard.

Boy, I had a lot to learn!
I had no idea what a link up party was.
I didn't know how to link back
I didn't know how to embed code
I haven't the first clue how to do blog design
For the first year, I had no idea you could schedule a post

My pictures were a disaster (still something I struggle with)
Sometimes I would work so hard on a project and be so excited about that project that I would just throw it up on the blog without realizing how important presentation is.

If there is one thing I have learned from blogging it's that
presentation is everything

I still struggle with this very much.
I don't know how to design my blog
Right now, the design on my blog doesn't reflect my personality
I was fortunate to win a blog redesign in a giveaway a few years ago but currently it doesn't reflect my style
I'm super excited about a blog makeover next month.

I think I joined the blogging world just as a boom was happening.
Some blogs that I was reading took off like a shot and left me disappointed that I wasn't receiving that type of following.

For some reason I never really felt like I was a real blogger until I hit 1000 followers.
Maybe I read that somewhere.
Or maybe it was just a personal goal to attain

I've been blogging for two years now and I still have a lot to learn

I feel like I am just now figuring out Picnik and making blog buttons, just when Picnik is going away
I was contacted by several people who wanted to follow my blog through e-mail and had no idea how to set that up.
I went to install an RSS feed on my blog last week only to find that I already had one...with quite the following!

I haven't felt like my blog is at a point where I can accept sponsors yet
I invest a lot of time into my blog and would love to be getting something more out of it
but first I want it to be a product I am pleased with.
It's not there yet.

There are a few things that I do think I do right.

I respond to every.single.comment I receive
(that is if you are not a noreply blogger-check out this tutorial on how to change it)

There are some other great BIG bloggers that are amazing at this and I want to give them a shout out.
Most of these bloggers, I have followed since they started and it's been fun to see them grow their blogs over time.

Cheri at I am Momma-Hear me Roar
Cheri started blogging at about the same time as I did and I have followed her from the beginning.  I feel like I knew her from way back when.  Cheri is the real deal.  She will respond to your comments and is the sweetest thing.  Cheri is one of the most creative resourceful bloggers out there and should definitely be one that you follow.  I wish that I was half as creative as Cheri is.

Katy at No Big Dill
Katy is a gem.  She's a mom of five girls and one sweet little newborn son.
Katy is an amazing seamstress.  We actually chatted by e-mail last year for quite some time about her sewing and pattern making.  She is such a great talent and pays such close attention to detail.  Katy also has some amazing photography on her blog.  She's got some adorable subjects to photograph and it provides such amazing eye candy.  I wish that I was half as good of a seamstress as Katy, and I wish I had just a little bit of her talent in photography.

Allison at House of Hepworths
Allison is hilarious.  I find that when you blog about crafts and home decorating it's hard to be funny, but Allison seems to maintain her personality (and humor) throughout her blog.  Allison is one of those bloggers that is worth following on pinterest or facebook.  She's got some of the funniest pins out there.

Shelly at House of Smiths
Shelly is another one of those bloggers who is just plain funny.  You can feel her personality come through in her posts and she's been very honest the past few months about her weight struggles and how she's losing it. Such an inspiration.  I love her decorating style and want to move in with her and her cute little girls.  I don't think she would notice.  But if she did, she would probably hand me a hammer and a nail gun and we would have our best time.

All four of these bloggers have a HUGE following.  They have sponsors, lots of kids, tons of new projects, but yet they are still able to remember why they blog and are loyal to their followers.  

There are several big bloggers out there who don't respond to comments, don't follow up, and don't seem to care about their readers.  I can see that their motivation is only growing their blog and making money.  It's a sad truth to blogging these days.

I think the most genuine bloggers are the ones that are able to take the time to respond to their readers.

Blogging is a learning process for me.  Something that doesn't come easy.
But I am thankful for the people who believe in me enough to read along
to comment, and to share with me in this journey.

Please vote for me to be one of the top 25 creative mom blogs out there.



11 comments:

Sarah said...

Love your blog. I just voted for you.

Allison @ House of Hepworths said...

Great post! I was so not expecting to read about myself in your post today. And I am blushing! Thank you for making my day. What a nice surprise for me as I'm just reading along with your blog as I usually do.
And I have to say, the other bloggers you mentioned are top notch as well.

You also gave some really great advice about blogging!!

labbie1 said...

I am so with you! There are some large blogs out there that have a lot of comments and when I have taken the time to comment I have never had any feedback to even know that they know I am there reading. So, I quit commenting and just read. I think you are right that replying even in the comments is really important...at least to me. :)

labbie1 said...

PS--just voted for you! :)

HeartVintageDesign said...

I just started to follow you. I'm pretty new to craft blogging but have had a community news blog for several years. I have both Wordpress and Blogger blogs. Since I now sub by e-mail I guess you have it figured out. I don't really worry about blog design so much and just use default designs. If I can help you, just let me know.

Carri said...

I so love your blog...personality..your blog about blogging really hit home for me since I started sorta blogging about 2 years ago but really started making an effort this year. And I couldn't feel more lost most of the time. I'm an empty nester and am determined NOT to let technology get the best of me. I too want a quality blog and a fun blog. I gladly voted for you. Good Luck. I'm a new follower now.

Carri
www.simplydonewright.blogspot.com

Amy said...

I think it is hard to find your groove. I have a photography blog WWW.amybphotography.blogspot.com. that I keep separate from my family blog. However I begets know which one to post to when it is a grey area like a project. I am a pretty open book in my personal so I feel like my photography blog could use more of me, but how much more?
Thanks!

The Answer Is Chocolate said...

What a great post. Thanks for being so willing to share with all of us!

Michelle@ourwonderfilledlife.com said...

Just getting a chance to check in with you and wow you have been up to so much!! I can't agree more about taking time to respond, such a good point, and remembering where you came from in blogland, some forget and the ones who remember, really connect with their readers on such a personal level, love this post!! And it was such a surprise to read about little ol' me thank you my dear!!! xoxoxo Michelle

momto8 said...

nice to know more about you! love your pregnancy pics...you are lucky you have them! i have exactly 1 picture of me pregnant...and I was pregnant 9 times!!!

Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon said...

great post! we learn something new each day! the blogging community is a fun place! thank you for sharing with us at Uncommon! Bonnie :)