Tuesday, May 20, 2014

attention new bloggers! {and new quilt blogger blog hoppers}

Plum and June

Beth of plum and june's New Blogger Blog Hop holds a special place in my quilty heart.  (My intro post from last year is over here.)  For those of you who aren't familiar, the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop is a really fantastic way to meet and connect with a group of bloggers with whom you share one major thing in common:  newness!  Which, to be fair, carries with it a certain disconnect (at least until you get more solid footing and a little followership).  So when Beth wrote asking if I'd share some advice for new(er) bloggers—thanks Beth!—I immediately started thinking about all the things I wish I'd known before hovering over the "Publish" button for the first time.

As Erica mentioned in her advice post, quality visuals are a definite plus.  In that spirit, I've scattered a few throughout this post ;o)

Link up!
For as vastly distributed as we are across the globe, there are a surprising number of spots where you can really feel like a "regular" every week if you just take a look around and put yourself out there.  By way of example (this is by no means an exhaustive list!): WIP Wednesday at Lee's, Needle and Thread Thursday at Kelly's, Finish it up Friday at Amanda Jean's, Paper Piecing Party every weekend at Kristy's, and Sunday Stash over at Molli's.  And then there's the semi-annual Blogger's Quilt Festival (going on now!) over at Amy's.  And don't even get me started on the quilt alongs...

Link to!
That's right! Were you inspired by something you saw on flickr? Pinterest? Another blog? Or, are you talking about a project that you previously posted about? Click the "Link" tab, highlight that text and show me exactly where to go.

A sketch from my high school doodling days.
Because I like it.

Be genuine.
It'll come through.  Of course at first you might struggle to find your voice.  (I distinctly recall not really knowing who exactly I was addressing—...myself?—when I first started blogging.)  You're at a really great advantage having a solid group of peers (and onlooking alums!) stopping by via the hop, but also give some thought to your dream audience, and write to them, too.

Feel the love.  Spread the love.
I've found that (most) quilters are inherently welcoming.  Embrace it.  Emulate it.  The end.

This is a mock-up of my *January* do.Good Stitches design.  (Or, how not to be accountable.)

Be accountable.
No one wants to start a quilt along only to be left hanging and without full instructions at the end, right?  Try not to be that person.  Or at least communicate that life has gotten in the way and you have no choice but to be that person in that moment (by doing so you'll actually still avoid being "that person").

One of several free patterns in my craftsy shop.  Clearly not overly concerned these days about giving anything away ;o)

Figure out what works for you.  And be willing to adapt.
When all is said and done, you have to carve out your own place in the interwebs—preferably one that you'll stay motivated to maintain.  I initially started blogging as a complement to my Etsy shop, where I planned to sell only quilts, not patterns.  (In retrospect... Ha. Ha. ...Ha.)  So for whatever reason, I swore early on that I'd never post WIPs because (1) I didn't quite understand why other people would want to see my process to begin with, and (2) in a world marred by copycats, I was nervous about "giving too much away."  Let me tell you, after I started blogging (in a vacuum) those two points went out the window about as fast I came up with them, leaving me with a completely (and somewhat frighteningly) blank platform.  But you know what?  That forced me to explore other blogs I admired, and really helped me make this my "happy place."

#opgivewarmth is one way I try to give back, along with giveaways, free patterns and free palettes.

Give back.
(In whatever way is meaningful to you.)

And finally, think outside the blog.
I have to say, I avoided joining Instagram for the longest time. As far as I could tell, friends joined IG and (their words, not mine), "basically stopped blogging." Gasp! Determined not to let that happen to me, I avoided IG altogether. And then I met my coworker-blogger-friend (not in that order) Amanda of Material Girl Quilts, who—within a day, tops—told me that I *had* to get on IG.  So I did.  And between that, flickr, and the blog, I've ended up with a nice little trio for getting (and staying) connected.  I encourage you to explore outlets beyond your blog if you're anxious to get more engaged in this ever-evolving community.

And that's all I've got to say about that!  Thank you again to Beth for organizing such a wonderful event.  I very much look forward to meeting some new friends over the next few months.  And for those of you who are interested but haven't yet signed up, you can check out the hop guidelines and leave a comment expressing said interest on Beth's post over here.

xo

14 comments:

  1. That is all great advice. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  2. Good advice (and eye candy pictures) thanks! I've put my hand up this year to be part of the blog hop -eep!

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  3. This is great advice, I'll second that. I participated last year and learned so much from my fellow bloggers. I'm really enjoying the advice pieces springing up again so thanks for sharing!

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  4. Great advice. Particularly linking TO. So many people forget to give credit or even to send people around their own site. I love to explore, so give me the tools. It's what makes us a real community :-)
    E xx

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm excited to participate in the blog hop this year and see what I can learn from it all!

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  6. Awesome advice! Thank you! I am really looking forward to participating in the blog hop this year (I completely missed it last year) and learning from everyone.

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  7. I've been blogging for 3 years now and STILL feel like a new blogger, ha. I wish I'd known about the new blogger's blog hop a year or two ago! I totally missed out, but oh well. It's fun reading others advice!

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  8. Great tips and pretty pictures. That's so funny about instagram. I was the same way and for the same reasons, LOL!! I finally caved about 2 weeks ago and joined. Now I'm loving it and definitely not slowing down on my blogging :--) I'll follow you!

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  9. Good advice. Love the way you write. :)

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  10. you do unbelievable work! even your HS doodles are stunning. great tips, too. thanks for sharing.

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  11. This advice is so encouraging. Thank you so much.

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  12. This is great advice, thanks for sharing. I'm new to sewing and blogging and wow so much to learn! I still haven't managed to even bring myself to post anything yet (not quite sure how to start) IG I've been going pretty strong on..well you might say my three boxers have anyway..lol..they took over my account so I figured I'd try blogging..that is once I bring myself to post ;)

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so... you're thinking about commenting, are you?

if you don't mind my saying so, please do! i love hearing from new quilting friends! good or bad, let's hear it ;)

p.s. I'm so sorry, but I've had to disable anonymous comments due to sneaky spammers. I hope you understand!