My Blog Story Part 13

Every January for the past couple of years I have written out my blogging story of the previous year.  Sometimes it is fun for you, my reader, to hear about all the things that go into blogging and all the ups and downs we experience.  So in similar fashion I am going to update you on blogging in 2012.  I will say blogging in 2012 was very profitable for me, and for that, I am extremely grateful and really feel selfish for any bit of complaining I do about blogging. I know I am a rare case who gets to turn this whole thing into a career, but it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cryyyyy if I want to.  (Name that tune!) But it was also a year of huge changes in blogging and some of my most discouraging moments.my-blog-story-logo_thumb

In December of 2011 I had gotten a call from a casting agent from what would eventually be Craft Wars.  I was very humbled and proud that my name had gotten passed onto them.  I was excited about the possibility to showcase my talents on the show, but I was trying to not get my hopes up about it so I wouldn’t be disappointed if it didn’t pan out.  I really had a peace about it either way and knew if I wasn’t selected it just wasn’t meant to be.  In January and February that was looming over my head as they were making decisions and collecting information.  Do you ever have a time when it takes months for someone else to make a decision?  I felt like my life was a little bit on hold because I knew that if I got selected I would have to keep my March or April fairly open to participate.

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Meanwhile January started out the same as every other year.  I have a quick uptick in traffic, which is always nice, but then income plummets because everyone is recouping from Christmas marketing.  I also got to go to CHA at the end of January which is always one of my highlights of the year and a wonderful hiatus from the cold Midwest weather to the warm sunny California.  I also got to meet up with blogging friends and industry contacts and meet Tori Spelling (keep in mind I had no idea she was the host of Craft Wars at this moment in time).

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Pinterest (click to follow me) was on the rise and, while not quite the number one referrer to all my blogs, was a close second behind Stumble Upon.  At this point of course, I was loving Pinterest, as were the truckload of people who were joining the ranks daily.  However, I started to notice something.  For the first time in the five years I had been blogging, there seemed to be less engagement on my blog.  People weren’t leaving comments as much, weren’t asking questions, and weren’t staying on my blog as long as they used to.  I chalked it up to the beginning of the year and people taking more time to focus on New Year goals and thought things would change in February.

But it didn’t.  All throughout 2012 the engagement got worse and worse.  And I became very discouraged.  One of the blessings of blogging for me has ALWAYS been the interaction with my readers.  So I noticed myself pulling away too.  I cranked out tutorials but found myself not sharing (as often as I used to) the personal stuff.  I figured people don’t really want to hear it and they come to just be inspired.

I always knew that blogging was a great outlet for me.  And a whole bunch of other super talented women realize that too.  The creative niche is getting more and more saturated with awesome blogs. Now, hear me when I say, there is always room for talent.  I would never take that away from anyone, but with an increase in talent you tend to feel like just another blog and kind of forget what makes you unique.

It was also in 2012 that I decided to take on some contributors. Now I know what makes IC unique is me, and some of you probably don’t enjoy when I deviate from that, but it has been a major blessing to me.  At first I took them on to help alleviate some time in my schedule.  Not only do they get paid a small amount to be on here, but I also get to mentor each of them.  I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy the process of interacting with them and sharing my knowledge of blogging that I have learned over the last five years.  It is actually one of the things I enjoyed most about blogging in 2012.

And then in the beginning of March I get the phone call from the casting agent for Craft Wars.  I was in!  They would be flying me to L.A. in April for 4 days to shoot an episode.

Click here to read My Blog Story Part 14





Comments

  1. Your personal story is what started me following you in the first place. Sure I like the tutorials and such…but it’s your story that draws people in. IMHO

  2. I love your blog and I am an avid follower but I admit I do not comment. Sometimes I think about it but I just don’t. Don’t get discouraged! I do have to say there are more and more creative bloggers out there everyday and I’m sure people are visiting more blogs than a few years ago plus Pinterest. Keep up the good work!

    • Well thank you Renee. I appreciate all of my avid followers. I know you are there! But if you ever have a question or want to interact I am right here ;-)

  3. Excellent timing that I am reading this now, thanks for posting! Even by sharing trials and tribulations it oddly helps new bloggers/people like me benchmark our successes . I am getting to know all of the bloggers and love reading the personal side of their lives. I am considering growing my blog into a business because sometimes it does feel like readers just plain ‘ol don’t have the time to respond. Then I start doubting my abilities, etc. I have your blog in my feeds and always anxious to read your posts. Congrats on your success. Even if I don’t post daily I’m always reading and learning from you.

    • Well thanks Jeanette and welcome to blogland. I think it is so good for people to see that even though I may seem far ahead of you (because I have been doing this for 6 years) I have the exact same feelings you do. Stay tuned for the rest. ;-)

      • Marilyn Ojeda says:

        Hi Beckie: I’m so new at all of this. Are there any books that give directions of how to set up a blog etc. Would love more information and I’m enjoying your blog. Don’t be discouraged.

  4. I love your stories and blogging advice. Yes I love your projects but your most valuable assets for me is the advice you give. You make a wonderful mentor. I know you’ve mentored me with my blogging even if you didn’t know it. Oh and you’ve inspired me. I also loved you on Craft Wars:) It’s not about who wins on those shows but who makes the biggest impression with the audience.

    • Awww Sunny best comment of the day. Thank you! I appreciate that more than you know. I just hope I leave his blogland a little better than it started.

  5. I love when you share these stories, Beckie. Its great to see inside your mind. :)

    • Thanks Michele there is a lot up there I just never know how to say it. This series helps me formulate all the things I think about over the years.

  6. Thanks for sharing, Beckie! I felt the same way about Pinterest (and traffic from other social media outlets) over the past year or so, but didn’t know that a bigger blogger might feel the same way. I love the traffic I get, but where I used to get 30-40 or more encouraging comments every day, now I’m lucky if I get 10. I do miss the interaction. I feel like I have to spend time updating social media stuff, so I haven’t been reading and commenting on other blogs the way I used to. And I miss that. The connections are the best thing about blogging.

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your heart and being honest. I love how open you are. :)

    • Awww sweetpea, I adore you. We all feel the same way. Everything changes so fast. It is easy to just want to put our head in the sand. This blogging thing has taught me I have to keep growing, learning and ADAPTING…even when I don’t want to.

  7. As I recall, I came to your site (from somewhere) due to a personal post! Then I started to delve into your DIY posts (fabulous) and here we are! Though my blog is more to amuse friends/family at this time, I know how nice it is to receive a comment so I try to leave them often, even if it’s only “Great job”, just to let you know I was here.

    Keep sharing your heart – DIY or personal. Regardless, when I visit, it’s like catching up with a friend…almost daily!!

  8. Can’t wait to see the next part…and I do hope you’ll be putting that being at Haven was a highlight of the year, because getting to hear you speak was most definitely one of MY highlights! Thank you for always being so willing to share your journey, expertise, thoughts, opinions and knowledge with us…it is inspiring!

    Heather

    • It sure will be part of the story. It was actually a big part of it. And I so appreciate you saying that Heather. I hope I can hang out with you girls a little more this year at Haven.

  9. Thank you, Beckie for just putting it out there. I started following you last summer and have been able to get over a lot of hurdles from reading your personal story. Your honesty is greatly appreciated and I look forward. To the next post.

  10. I have followed you for a bit now and I enjoy reading some of the personal stuff. But for the most part I like anything that is NOT LIKE ALL the other mommy blogs out there. I like something that grabs me from the moment I see it in my Google Reader. If I am seeing it on all the other blogs, I usually just skim past these posts. I love your honesty. I hope you like mine.

    • Honesty is always what I love. I try and be original and allow my voice to shine. Some days I do and sometimes I don’t. I recognize blogging is like a buffet and not everyone will like everything I serve. But the the stuff you do like I love when you interact with it and share it and tell people about it. After all…isn’t that what we do with a good buffet? HA!

  11. I love the more personal stuff about who you are and your family. It is truly inspirational too! Sometimes(dare I say) even more so than they tutorial. I say this because I come here for inspiration not in being crafty(something which I am truly not) but to know I could maybe start a blog. That there were strong women out there blogging and being successful doing so. I cannot remember how I found you but I do remember that it was at a time when I had lost my job, money was tight, and my relationship was feeling the strain. I am still somewhat in that same state. However I am trying to work on the things I enjoy and improve my skills, so I can eventually make a living doing the things I love. Those glimpses into your world pulled me out of the darkness that was my world. Yours and a few other blogs very clearly saved my life by simply bringing joy back into it. Thank you.

  12. Maryann @ Domestically Speaking says:

    So true, I don’t think I completely realized it till I read it, but with how much blogging and social media has changed… My output has changed too. I’m going to have to ponder on the pros and cons of that. Can’t wait to read more.

  13. JillMichelle says:

    I don’t doubt that Pinterest and feed readers affect interaction on your blog, but I love it! I think I’ve followed you for four years now? As another youth pastor’s wife I’ve always felt connected when you’ve shared personal stories!

  14. Beckie, you have completely inspired and motivated Monica and me over the last year and we are so thankful for you. On a personal note, I love hearing your thoughts, and since I struggled with feeling insignificant and insecure last year, I really appreciate you being honest about your feelings!

    Jess

    • I adore you both and I am so super grateful God allowed our paths to cross. You are going to blow up someday and I will say “I knew them once.”

  15. I know how you feel!!! I just opened a little store for all of my treasures and someone said I should start a blog to share my talent with the world. So I did. But I get discouraged when no one reads. I did get one comment tho! Yay! Haaha

    • I know it can be very discouraging. But keep plugging away. Companies who own blogs in conjuction with the sellable wares make 40% more money than those that don’t. :-)

  16. Honestly, I mostly skim past the blogs in my Google reader – open one occasionally when it catches my fancy but honestly I don’t have time to do any of the DIY projects although they’re definitely fun to read about – I keep thinking “maybe someday”. Depending on how busy or far behind I am I might just skip a whole bunch of blogs. But I agree with the others who say that some of the personal stuff is what makes it worth coming back to – even when I was super busy and marking whole blogs as (“mark as read”) rather than going through them I avidly looked for each new edition of Operation Restoration: Life Edition. It seems to be outside of what you normally have on your blog (which is good or I wouldn’t still subscribe :)) but that series totally captured my interest!

    • Well thanks Karen and I know there are soooooo many blogs out there and don’t mind if you eat a la carte at my house. Thanks for encouraging me to keep sharing personal stuff. I definitely want to be more than just a creative person to my readers.

  17. I have enjoyed following your blog in 2012, and being that 2012 was my first year blogging, your blog story has given me encouragement, inspiration and challenges that I would have missed out on otherwise. Thank you for putting your bloggy mind out there and for giving newer bloggers something to strive for. Can’t wait to blog along side of you in 2013.

    ~ Ferly
    Gifts We Use {to grow, love and serve}

  18. Your blog was one of the first I started following–and I still love it. With my google reader I’m bad about rushing through them all–especially when I’m a bit busy. I’ve been trying to comment more because I know how much time is put into every post. But even if I fail, you are still one of my favorites!

    • Awww bless you Barbara. I don’t mind at all. I love when every once in a while you say hi. It is so nice to just hear that I am one of your favorites ;-)

  19. I always enjoy reading your posts Beckie and love when you share more about your blogging journey~ looking forward to your next post!!
    :)

  20. Dork Chocolate says:

    Your blog was added to my reader while I was pretty drugged up during medical leave last November, so I have no idea how I found it – but I’ve enjoyed following you enough that it’s survived my annual blog purge. You’ve even helped inspire me to do a few tutorials of my own (now I just have to post ‘em). So I’d say that you’ve been quite successful in balancing crafts/DIY/upcycling posts with your personal posts. Please don’t stop.

    • HA…I literally giggled when you said “Your blog was added to my reader while I was pretty drugged up during medical leave last November, so I have no idea how I found it –” I will take it no matter how you found me, thank you for your encouragement.

  21. Love reading your story Beckie, can’t wait for the next installment. I’ve gone through the same thing with less comments and also not taking the time to leave comments like I was for a while. I thought the problem was just mine, that people were losing interest. I haven’t hit my 2 year blogging mark yet but there have been lots of ups and downs. I think I’ve concentrated too much lately on advertising and social media and building followers instead of writing quality posts. I look to you and other seasoned bloggers for guidance. MENTOR ME! seriously, can’t wait for the next installment of your blogging story.

  22. I love reading your blog(s) and seeing your implementation of crafts and projects.

  23. Well I am a newbie to your blog and I luv it, this is my ritual before anything else….cupp of coffee and sit down to read my blogs! I have made I guess you can say ” Blog ” pals and chatted with many. You all inspire me, and I learn so many new and fun things! I’m an Indiana girl as well ! But… you had me at the end of this blog… LA wow… Lots of Luck ! A girl from the midwest will show up the others! Go for it and keep in touch , let us know how it goes! If you need a pal to go out to LA with you… Me! :) haha

  24. I love your blog! Keep up the good work.

  25. Amy Jo Trager says:

    Ohhhh! Another blog story update! I love when you do these. I’m a few months behind on this blog, so I have about 20 tabs open of all the posts I want to read from IC!

  26. First off I would like to say superb blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Thanks!

    • Oh man I just go for it. If it is something I am passion about it usually flows. I am long winded I guess and never without words. I am sorry I can’t be of more help.

  27. Can’t wait to read more!!! I’ve LOVED all of your blogging series!!! Please don’t keep us waiting too long :)

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