Can you believe it has been a year?! That’s right, a full year has passed since I started this blogging adventure and I can hardly believe it. I have learned so much, and yet I still feel so clueless some days!
A year has passed since I began blogging, and 6 months have passed since I shared my very popular post on Blogger Burnout. It seemed only fitting I share with you where I am today, and where I plan on taking this adventure over the next year…
I want to start with a few pieces of advice I have gained on successful blogging and how I have tried implementing them into my own blogging:
- Establish a social media and blog post planning calendar. I’ve heard it keeps you on task and consistently posting, which will increase your reader base. In reality? I’ve tried keeping this calendar for the past two months and have failed miserably. But guess what? December is just around the corner….let’s hope the third time is a charm!
- Invest in a good camera. Pictures are everything, and quality photos will draw an audience. I put this one off for a long time. First of all, good cameras don’t come cheap. Second of all, my iPhone photos look totally fine! Or so I thought… Lucky for me, I had a friend who sold me her Canon DSLR camera at a great price. After using it I realized my iPhone photos were in fact terrible. I also learned that while I may be great at styling a room or a shelf, I am horrible at styling photos. I can knock out a craft in an hour, but I spend a good 2-3 hours getting it all styled and staged in the proper lighting, not to mention finding an artfully thought out backdrop.
- Engage with the blogging community. Find other bloggers who inspire you and join Facebook groups where bloggers can share experiences. This one has been hit or miss for me. If you search online or through Pinterest, you will find a plethora of bloggers who claim to have gained millions of followers overnight. Most of those bloggers are also willing to share their secrets to success for just a few hundred dollars. While I have found that I love hearing both the frustrations and the successes of other bloggers, I realize each story is completely different. Some rely heavily on Pinterest. Some are excellent at growing through social media. While I hope to continue the growth of this blog, I also know I didn’t start this adventure in hopes of blogger fame. It is and always will be a creative outlet where I can share, and hopefully inspire others to craft, decorate, and re-purpose in ways they never may have imagined on their own.
For someone who claims to be totally organized, it is a hard statement to believe when looking at this photo…
6 months ago when I was feeling totally burned out and overwhelmed, I had around 5 different projects and events going. Clearly I am not so great at learning a lesson…or I am just a glutton for punishment because today hasn’t changed much. The current laundry list:
- Blogging (obviously slacking here as my posts have been less than routine!)
- Selling my hand made crafts in a local boutique
- Securing a booth for a local hand made holiday market
- Teaching craft classes in a local wine shop
- Enrolling in a 4 week Business Start Up program offered through the state of Ohio
- Writing a DIY article for submission with a local online magazine- this one paid off, as I am going to be published in December! I will be sure to share the link!
As you can see, our living room has been turned into a staging area for how to style my holiday market booth. It also serves as a reminder everyday that I have to get my butt in gear and do more crafting to fill my tables!
A woman in my Wreath Making class snapped this photo, and I just love it! It serves as an inspiration and reminder that a well laid out photo makes a much bigger impact on my readers and Instagram followers.
What has changed over the past 6 months is that instead of feeling burned out or overwhelmed, I am beyond excited about all the opportunities I have in front of me. I have also realized that had I not jumped in head first on all 20 different projects and ideas, I never would have been able to narrow down what it is I enjoy the most and how I plan to embrace it.
This all leads to the question I am sure you are already asking- where is this all going? What do I plan to do with my blog over the next year?
While I plan to continue blogging, the one down side I have found is the lack of personal interaction. Maybe it is my 7+ years in retail and sales, but I love being engaged with a customer face to face. I love to hear their stories, and in the case of crafting, I absolutely love seeing a person’s face when they have made something that seemed totally impossible on their own. With that said, my next big step is taking this hobby and growing it into a business. In 2018 you will see some changes to the blog, including a link to shop my hand made home accents online. I will also be putting more time and effort in my local community, setting up pop up shops and teaching crafting classes in several locations. I am trying to be patient as all the details develop, and while it all is still a dream in progress, it gets closer to becoming a reality each day.
In my continued effort to learn and grow in the world of blogging, you can look forward to routine posts throughout the month of December. Expect posts on DIY Christmas gifting ideas, hopefully at least one finished room reveal, and perhaps a sneak peak of my new business and it’s launch date.
And with that promise, it is time for me to get to planning my calendar, and putting together some amazing home decor ideas to share with you!
Enjoy the weekend, and as always, please share your thoughts and advice in the comments below!