BlogCamp has given me so much to think about, I am actually feeling really overwhelmed and excited about the possibilities of a directional change to my blog, but I'm still unsure of where to start. When I tried to sleep that night, my eyelids would flutter open as my brain tried to process what it had learnt. I'm scared that if I don't write it all down or start making some adjustments to my blog Right Now, I will forget all the advice I was given.
Having attended this seminar to help clarify what I want to do beyond my year of crafting, the day raised a few more questions in my mind than it gave answers. Is Wordpress better than Blogger? Can I even say the W-word on the Blogger platform or will my blog mysteriously disappear?
I learnt about scrapers and leaky juices, which all sounds very unhealthy.
We received some legal expertise in relation to the basics of privacy and copyright. In short, it means that I might have to bid a reluctant goodbye to Gerry and my plan to introduce you to my other closet crafting thespian friends in any future posts. Although if he - or Channing Tatum (not fussy) - ever knocked on my front door to issue me with a Take Down notice, I'd be quite up for that.
Meeting the group of bloggers and people who are considering starting a blog was a real highlight. These are some of the attendees, taken by me in a privacy-abiding manner, and their pretty green goodie bags.
I briefly met Leanne from Manda Burms Farmstay, who now blogs at Cottage Tails, her friend Robyn, and Sheena, who we may see starting up blogs of their own one day. I hope they do. I also got to chat a little more at length with Madeleine from NZ Ecochick and Meghan from Adventures of MNM's, who between them both have 8 years' blogging experience behind them. It was really great to spend some time with these women, they are very inspirational people.
This is Vicki, the coordinator, or, as I like to call her, The Font of Blogging Knowledge in all her privacy-waiving, consent-giving glory. She is bright, bubbly and I suspect if there is anything she doesn't know about how to become a successful blogger, it probably isn't worth knowing.
Interesting term that; successful blogger. There was some discussion about how to encourage traffic to your blog and page ranks, which really could give someone a complex if things like that are important to people. If you think about it in high school terms, my blog's current page rank means I would be the girl who walks unnoticed past a group of popular kids. I am invisible. It doesn't actually matter though to me, because you are here reading this and you can sit down at my cafeteria table any time :).
My blog may be small, but this year has never been about readership numbers for me or how visible my presence is on the internet. Maybe in future it might become more important. This year has been about the promise I made to myself 12 months ago to throw caution to the wind, try new things and document my creative journey. I have enjoyed following and connecting with many talented people who share their knowledge so freely with others.
This space is successful to me because I actually held true to my promise that I would blog and craft for an entire year. It is proof that I can teach myself to do anything if I apply myself. A year ago, I did not know how to crochet, how to embroider, how to use an overlocker and I would never have thought I could reupholster a chair. But I did all that, and more.
I have received comments from people who told me that I have inspired them to have a go after they have read about my experiences here. That is success.
The regular readers who consistently leave comments here strike me as being loyal, funny, encouraging and genuine and this year has shown me that real friendships can be formed through the internet. These genuine connections are what has made blogging so rewarding and constitute success (in my opinion). Thank you, you are the reason why I have lurched forward on so many projects when I doubted myself.
Our little community of crafting bloggers were able to band together for a really worthwhile cause. This demonstrates, albeit on a small scale, the impact that bloggers can have to make a positive difference in other peoples' lives. This is success.
Having had some time now to reflect on the day, I think I just need to go back to what is important to me and why I blog. First and foremost, I write and I create and I share with you because I enjoy it. However, my family remains my top priority and I blog when it fits around their needs. The minute I think about needing to blog more frequently than I do at present, I start to sweat and worry my stories will sound forced. If I cannot write from a place of honesty and with a willingness to write, I don't want to write at all.
So, I still need to mull things over, but think I am leaning towards reinventing my space. Whatever it may look like, it will still have a creative aspect to it. It's an undeniable part of who I am and makes me happy, but there are also other areas that I would like to explore and share with you too. Will you join me? Spring, new beginnings. I like that.