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The Top 5 Things I Wish I’d Known About Being a Craft Blogger

Photo by Flickr user Jamie Anderson

I’ve been blogging for four years now (three years “officially”), and I would love to go back to the beginning and start over. I would kick butt. I’m not sure at what, though! But seriously, I’ve learned so much, and I’d love to share some things that I wish I would have known at the beginning. It might help some of you who are new – and if you’ve been blogging for awhile, you might be able to relate. Here are the five things I wish I would have known about craft blogging.

  1. Having a blog means less time for crafting. Another way to say it is, “Once you have a blog, you should be deliberate about making time for crafting.” You don’t think that the writing, social media or keeping up with e-mail is going to take over, but it will if you let it. Social media is notorious for sucking up endless hours. So it’s up to you to make sure that it doesn’t (unless you want it to). I absolutely love the writing, so less crafting isn’t that big of a deal for me. Though I still need time to be creative – after all, it’s why I started my blog in the first place.
  2. You might have the strong desire to quit a few times. I hope knowing that you might feel this way a few times over the course of your blogging career makes it easier for you, if it ever comes. Sometimes those feelings mean you should quit. But I encourage you to let those feelings ride for a bit if you have them – and see what happens. For me, it was fleeting because of stress. I truly love what I do, and I’m SO glad I didn’t quit.
  3. Don’t lead a guest post title with the name of the blog. A lot of you probably already know this, but when I started, I didn’t. I used titles such as “Guest Blog by Amy of Mod Podge Rocks” for a long time. For SEO, you should use “Mod Podge Candleholder from Mod Podge Rocks.” Or something along those lines.
  4. Be willing to investigate new forms of social media. There is always going to be something new – for instance, Pinterest. I swept Pinterest under the rug for a long time, and think about how many more followers I could have gotten by starting early. It doesn’t mean you should sign up for every new social media tool, but take some time to investigate the new ones and if it looks decent, start an account.
  5. For any features or guest posts, save the picture to YOUR blog. Don’t just use the HTML code that someone sends you. It’s fine to use for the text, but over the years blogs come and go – you don’t want to have a bunch of guest posts with broken images. Save the images to your server.

As I said, I hope these tips help you. And now, I’m curious – what is one thing that you wished you knew when you started your blog?

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22 Responses to “The Top 5 Things I Wish I’d Known About Being a Craft Blogger”

  1. Peaches says:

    True. True. True. All excellent points (and very familiar). That point about less time for MAKING is critical.

    The one thing I wish someone had told me? There are two types of blogs; blogs that are created with the author in mind, and blogs that are created with the audience in mind. There is plenty of overlap (especially w craft blogs), but oh how I wish I could go back to the first six months and take back all those hours making stuff just because I thought these was a market for it. Now I make what I want, when I want, document the process and just *hope* someone will like it. My audience build will always be slow, but it keeps me happy with the results and I never feel burned out or overwhelmed like those first six months. Lesson learned!

    • amy says:

      Good call Peaches! I agree. Mine was a bit different but similar which is that I spent time making projects and focused more on quantity than quality and what I really wanted to do. I didn’t do it intentionally, it just kinda happened. And it’s NOT worth it. I actually wrote an apology to my readers, who were like “wha?” But I felt crappy about it, so I thought it was worth saying something. 😀

  2. Lisa Rychlik says:

    My 15 yr old daughter just started a blog to show how she is trying to raise money for a trip to Japan in 16 months. She will blog about her fundraising efforts, which will include crafting, she paints, makes jewelry, draws, mod podges, everything. Any advice for her?

    • amy says:

      Hi Lisa! I would tell her to come on here and check out articles. She should also guest post. If she Mod Podges I would for sure love to have her as a guest on Mod Podge Rocks! Please e-mail me modpodgerocks at gmail. Thanks!

  3. Great tips, as always. That last one is fairly new to me, so I appreciate that.

    Oh, yes, and I highly recommend creative bloggers add Google+ to their social media 😉

  4. Network, network, network! I’m finding it invaluable right now!

  5. Niki says:

    Great post with good information.
    To Lisa, I would say for your daughter to tell why Japan and what she’ll be doing there…give people reasons to want to see her succeed. I’m sure her passion will shine through. What a cool thing for a 15 year old to be doing…and such great experience for her future.

  6. Lolly Jane says:

    Love the point you made about blogging take up more craft time. So true. Just to simply craft…you have to stop and take pics! The best is making sure the hot glue doesn’t dry before your pic is snapped, haha.

    I wish I would have hit it hard 5 years ago when we started our blog. I was so confused what it was and didn’t realize how big blogging would be in the future. Hindsight, right?

    Great post! Pinned it (:

    • amy says:

      Same here my friend! I started four years ago and diddled around for a LONG time. I wish I would have been more focused. But I didn’t know what I was doing 😀

  7. Charlie says:

    I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to put simple ads on my blog (over a year)! I kept thinking that my readers would leave because they’d be annoyed with them. As soon as I put them up, I had more subscribers! It’s like people suddenly thought, “Oh, hey, she’s a legitimate blogger with ads and crap…maybe I should follow her.” lol I could have earned a power tool or two with those months of (small) income. Oh, well. 🙂

    Aloha,
    charlie

  8. Jennifer says:

    great tips Amy! I would love to take the knowledge I learned from you and go back in time and do things better, hehe.

  9. Mitzi Curi says:

    Very interesting points! Thanks for the helpful information.

  10. I would say both that you will have less time for crafting and that you have to PLAN what crafting time you do have better. I’m the queen of unfinished projects, and that doesn’t really work when you want to publish a new tutorial every week. Readers will get really sick of “what I’m working on” posts that never seem to come to fruition with a finished project.

  11. I’m still pretty new to the whole crafting blog thing…I totally started my blog on a different subject. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t named my blog so quickly…that’s just what my friends always called me…Mom 4 Real, but it has nothing to do with crafting. I wish I hadn’t spent so much time comparing myself to other blogs. I spent a ton of time in the dumps because I didn’t think I was good enough. Since I took the pressure off of myself and started doing what I love, my blog has started growing and my projects are getting featured almost daily…Staying Positive is Key!

  12. Pamela says:

    I work full time and trying to build my blog too. Sometimes I feel like is it worth to keep on? But like you said, Amy, it just gets a little stressful at times, but I really do love crafting. I have decided though to go more my own way. I would participate in other blogs challenges but found the traffic was not customers or people with questions, just other crafters wanting to see more details of the work. I want to share “how” I did my work, encourage questions and sales also. Great advice and tips here! Thank you.

  13. Alison says:

    Just found your site – great advice!

  14. One thing I also think is important is good photography. If it can’t be good it should be decent. Your project might be fantastic, but if your picture was taken sitting on your kitchen floor with shoes sitting by the door…not so much. Take time to google a few lessons on photo basics and lighting or the lack of use of flash. Positioning your project or using a additional props to make your image look more interesting is also improtant. Also, learn a few basic ways to use your camera more manually. If a picture is worth a thousand words…its’s worth the time! We are all very visual, take advantage of posting your photos as large as you can on your blog. Bigger is always better!

  15. Rachelle says:

    Hey! I just started blogging and there is a lot more to it than I thought. It is pretty intimidating honestly. I also realized what a poor photographer I am! Anyways, this website is great and helpful. The comments are helpful as well. Thanks for the posts!

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