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.
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.
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).
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.