Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tips from the Best: One Artsy Mama

Hello!! I'm SO excited to start a new series here on Destination: Craft. I'm calling it:
I've asked some of the bloggers I admire to share how they feel you can best grow your blog. I hope you really read and enjoy this series because these bloggers are really awesome and have a lot they can tell us about being the best blogger we can be.

First on the line-up is Amy from One Artsy Mama. I first "met" Amy when I participated in her contest One Crafty Contest. It was a blast! She has some amazing advice, so keep reading!
****************************



Hi there, friends!  I'm Amy, aka One Artsy Mama, and I'm thrilled to be here at Destination: Craft today to share with you a little about what I've learned since I started blogging a year and a half ago.



The Beginning:
I started One Artsy Mama was because one day I was searching for St. Patty's Day craft ideas to do with my son and ended up visiting a blog called That Artist Woman.  The author, Gail, is an art teacher who blogs about various projects she does with her students and/or personally.  I immediately thought to myself, "I need to do this!"  I've always been the creative type; I'm happiest when I'm making something whether it's using with paint, fabric, wood, stencils, jewelry, or anything else you can imagine.  I also love sharing that with my Little Crafter.  I decided that starting a blog where I shared my/our projects would be the perfect outlet for me and would hopefully be an inspiration to someone out there who was looking for fun things to do with their children.

{I think this was my original header...or at least a very early one!}


Getting Started:
I started posting about some kids' projects, and after about a month, I think I had around twenty followers...my mom, my husband, my mother-in-law, and as many friends as I could convince to read along.  One day I was feeling discouraged and complained to my hubby that I had started this blog in the hopes of sharing with and inspiring other people, but I felt like that was never going to happen because I didn't know how to get anyone else to visit my little corner of the blogosphere.  He just looked at me and said,
"You're smart, figure it out!  Figure out how to market yourself.  Look at what other people are doing and give it a try."
It was fantastic advice and just what I needed to hear.  I'm not much of a risk taker, but I realized that I was going to have to put myself out there and give it my best shot if I was going to be serious about this.  I started researching and being proactive. 

Within six months, I had 200 GFC followers.  By my one-year-blogiversary, I had 1000.  Today, I have over 1300, plus those who follow via email, bloglovin', Linky Tools, and Facebook.
Now, don't misunderstand, it's not about the numbers.  It never has been.
But for me, the numbers are a reflection of the fact that yes, I've gotten myself and my projects out there to do what I set out to do.  People are seeing, being inspired, and creating for themselves...one of my favorite things is when a reader sends me a photo of something they made that they saw on One Artsy Mama.  LOVE that
                 {our monster}                        {monster we inspired a reader to make}


The Growing Process:
Here are some of the risks I took that you may want to consider as you work on growing and improving your blog.  Each one links to a post I have specifically about that topic in my Growing Your Blog Series:

* Link Parties {joining them and hosting one}
* Building Real Relationships with other bloggers
* Accepting Advertisers/ Becoming an Affiliate
* Learning how to use Social Media to promote your blog
* Hosting Giveaways

Have there been awkward moments?  You bet your bottom dollar.


I've had projects that totally failed, posts nobody read, contests that barely anyone entered, and recipes that flopped.  I've contacted fellow bloggers who never responded, and I'm sure I've dropped the ball on a few folks who have contacted me, no matter how hard I try to stay on top of it all {if that was you, I'm so sorry}!  But despite the fails, the risks are worth taking.

The biggest risk I've taken recently was deciding to run a craft contest.
In hindsight, if I had known how much work and time was involved, I don't know if I'd have attempted it, but I'm so glad I did!  At first, I was afraid no one would enter.  I was hoping to get enough entries to have a Top 20, and as it turned out, 100 crafters entered the preliminary round!  I also had to take the risk of contacting companies and shops, asking them to sponsor prizes for various rounds and/or our overall winners.  It was a massive project, which took several months to plan and several more months to run, but the investment of time and energy was worth the effort because it brought so much inspiration to my blog as well as a bunch of new readers and friends.  If you're thinking of attempting something like this, here are some things you'll need to consider.

Taking the Leap:

Overall, my best advice to beginning bloggers is to take the leap and
don't be afraid to try!
Befriend other bloggers and learn from their expertise.  Put yourself out there and see what happens.  Your first attempt at something may fail, but you'll never know if you don't try...and chances are, you'll learn from your mistakes and the second time around will be a different story.  Blog growth doesn't happen overnight, especially if we're talking about real readers versus people who follow just to enter a contest.  But the more you're willing to try new things and step out there with what you have to offer, the more you'll find your own place in this wonderful thing called the blogosphere.  Good luck!


4 comments:

  1. Great series!!! Love the advice here, feel free to link up to our weekly Heart&Home series at www.mercyinkblog.com, open Tuesdays through Sundays every week. Thanks & blessings!
    Lauren :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great info!! I'm so excited for the others!

    Sharing on FB and twitter!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love that you're doing this series! I literally scour the blogosphere looking for advice and tips from other bloggers. I'm featuring this today on the Weekend Wonders link party!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for the great post! I am reading through all your tips right now. I just started a blog a month ago and was wondering how in the world you get others to start coming to your site. Great advice! I am going to try linking up to parties today as you suggested!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments!!