Welcome to a new year my friends! I’ve had a very much-needed yet still busy break during the holidays and I hope you’ve enjoyed your holidays as well.
I don’t normally do this, but I’m feeling a bit reflective tonight so I’d thought I share. I went and pulled up my top 10 most viewed posts from 2014 and SURPRISE (or not really a surprise), they were all crochet projects.
1. Cozy Infinity Scarf
2. Crochet Rug from T-shirts
3. Olaf Amigurumi
4. Star Ornament
5. Baby Mary Janes
6. Double Strand Infinity Scarf
7. Basketweave Coffee Cup Cozy
8. Owl Pouch
9. Flower Coasters
10. 5-Petal Flower
Here’s my reactions, aka me talking to myself.
:Well, duh. Readers come to see your patterns. Plus, traffic is good!
:But all my other poor projects! whiiiiine.
:Remember what Dan said at Blogging Concentrated: 80% of your traffic comes from 20% of your posts. So true, so true.
:Stop whining! You can still do all the other fun projects, but now you know what drives the traffic, so focus a bit more on the “moneymakers”. FOCUS!
:Sigh. You’re right, you’re right. No whining. More crocheting. … with movies and fun drinks and Milano cookies.
So there you go, my inner monologue.
This is probably the point where I should come up with my resolutions for 2015…
… but to be honest, I don’t want to make any. Sometimes, I think we get so caught up in the business of blogging and always rushing to the next trend, the next trick, the next fad, the next social media channel that we lose sight of what we enjoy about the creative process. It’s so much work to be the CEO and to think and do everything, many of us face burn-out, often.
We offer our products for free – our patterns, our tutorials, our insights, our hearts, our families, our lives. There’s so much support and friendship in the blogging world, but there are the naysayers as well, and those bits hurt. A lot. I was recently accused of stealing a crochet pattern that I created all by my lonesome, and holy hell, I could not concentrate for days, I was just so mad and upset. I was put on the defensive and somehow could not convince the accuser that I really did not even know about her pattern, let alone steal it. I’m not sure what upset me more – that I was accused in the first place, or that I couldn’t convince her of the truth. But either, it put me off the idea of blogging. I still posted, but I definitely lost a bit of the heart that goes into it.
It made me step back, a BIG step back, and made me think about why I do this blogging thing anyways. I couldn’t help but think why do this if you’ll have to deal with all sorts of maliciousness – accusations, copyright infringement, pattern scraping – on top of the usual work of writing, editing, photography, marketing and social media. I mean, ugh, why bother? With a full time job, 2 crazy kids, and a commute I have yet to get used to, why not just give it up?
But you know what I remembered? I do this because I like CREATING. And I like SHARING my creativity, because what’s my creativity good for if not shared with others who might be inspired by it? Despite the ugliness that exists, there are SO MANY wonderful, supportive, amazing readers who make the journey totally worthwhile. The friendships that I’ve made are priceless. And if I didn’t blog, I just wouldn’t be who I am today.
I am so much more open to talking to people and making friends. I’m not afraid of asking for help, or pitching an idea. I think maybe I’m just less afraid in general. (Except for spiders. Still terrified of them.) Because I started a blog on a whim, I am now working as a social media manager on a marketing team. Would ya believe it? It is such a blessing, and a relief, to be able to earn a steady income doing what I love, as I just don’t think I’m cut out to be an entrepreneur trying to make a living off of blogging alone.
Resolutions for 2015:
No ebook or speaking at a conference or making a certain amount of money or hitting a certain viewership level. Just being grateful for what I have, being honest about what I can accomplish and enjoying the journey.
• More crochet – Google Analytics and my readers don’t lie. Plus I have all that yarn! So, more quick gifts and amigurumi. Maybe I’ll even get enough guts to do some videos! ooooooh. And just for full disclosure and to out it all out on the table, I don’t think I’ll be providing PDFs of my patterns, nor do I think I will ever start selling patterns.
• Use what’s in my stash. I have so much stuff that I’ve bought for projects that never took off. Well, it’s time to get those projects up and rolling, instead of going out and getting more stuff. Just looking through the boxes this week has ignited some serious inspirational flames. Now I just need to find the time (and daylight) to execute, execute, execute!
• Projects of value. With us now being much tighter on space, functionality of projects becomes that much more important. If not functionality, then at least much less expensive projects or using what I have on hand, so I won’t be so heartbroken when said project gets destroyed by little hands and stomping feet.
• Blogging in the moment more. I’d really like to do less obligatory posts or filler posts and really spend more time on creation. And if that means I post less, then so be it. It doesn’t mean that every one of my posts will be some epic project, since sometimes, the quick crafts are the most fun, but I don’t want to be crafting and posting for the sake of publishing something.
• Same goes for social media. With every social media channel changing up their algorithms to force more organic content, why not be more organic? If I don’t schedule something, then I don’t. If I don’t have a constant Twitter or Facebook feed on my page, then oh well, I don’t. I’d rather spend time being with my family than trying to figure out how to get Facebook to show my posts to 2% of my readership instead of 1%.
Granted, this doesn’t mean I’m not going to be paying attention to the latest trends, fads, and blogging business tricks. I’ll be doing plenty of that at work. But after a whole day of blogging and socializing, the last thing I want to do when I get home is more of the same for my own blog. Which is why I’m really hoping to pare down my own blog to nothing but the good stuff, because to be honest, that’s all I have time and energy for!
I hope you’ll stick with me this year as I navigate this road. It all sounds familiar yet feels very different to me, so I don’t really know how this is all going to turn out!