Melissa Felderman of "Look What I Made" shares her experiences blogging about crafts.
Craft blogs are the grown-up version of Show and Tell, offering inspiration, community and a chance to shine. While giving a weekly browse, who hasn't thought, "Hey, maybe I could do that." But what would it take to start your own craft blog? Melissa Felderman of Look What I Made offers a behind-the-curtain look at what goes into her inspiring craft blog, including her struggles, victories and what inspires to her keep writing.
Why did you start a craft blog?
I have always been a crafty lady. Before I started blogging, I would share my crafts with friends and family and they were all so excited and curious about my work. Many people would tell me how they "could never" make anything I made. I decided to start the blog as a way to share my passion and help people get crafting. I wanted to show everyone how easy crafting can be!
Describe a few of your favorite or most successful moments hosting your blog.
I received an email from a reader telling me how she had been in a real-life rut. She told me that reading my blog had inspired her to start crafting again, and how she was finding happiness from her creativity. I was so excited to learn that something I made ignited passion in a total stranger across the country. It was such a fulfilling moment.
What do you wish you knew when you first started?
I wish that I had taken more time to research blogging and build my site. When I first decided to blog, I was so excited to get my content out onto the internet world that I neglected to really learn about what I was doing. I wish I had been more attentive to my brand and its look and feel.
What do you still struggle with? How are you working to overcome it?
I still struggle with finding new readers and getting my blog's voice heard. There are so many amazing blogs out there, it's hard to entice people to engage and dedicate time to reading my blog. Your voice has to constantly be present in the social media universe and I have to continue to post exciting content. Keeping up with social media and post momentum has been a real challenge. I still drop off the grid sometimes! But I try to always have some internet presence, even if it's just letting my readers know that I'll be back soon.
How do you build readership?
There are several ways to create a good readership. The first is to engage with social media. If I use a company's product in a post, I will tweet at them to let them know. Sometimes, the company will re-tweet to all of their followers. This generates a lot of traffic. There are also websites, such as craftgawker, where you can share your work. This generates a huge amount of traffic. The most important thing is to keep offering high quality and original content. This, above all else, will keep people coming back.
Any tips for balancing work life with a creative life?
This is a huge challenge. I have a very demanding desk job. Sometimes I have to put aside crafting for a few days and focus on my full-time job. When it gets really demanding, I get so burnt out that I don't have the energy to make any crafts. I battle this by treating blogging like a second job. If I have been too busy to craft for a few days and have a social opportunity, I will remind myself, "No, I have to work tonight." Treating my creative hobby as a job forces me to keep crafting and keeps me on schedule! I recommend this for anyone who is trying to get motivated!