Saturday, September 26, 2009

14 days to go - Blogging, the in and outs - Part 1

Image by linda cronin via flickr

While this entry would benefit from being short, concise and to the point, it is not my style to be writing it in such a manner. So pull up a chair and grab a cup of tea. If you want to read about the in and outs of blogging (the long winded way), then this is the post for you.

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on blogging. But having blogged for a few years now, the following is a collection of my observations and what I myself as a blog reader love to see and read in a blog

By definition, a blog (short for weblog) is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. It is a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary with links to articles or other websites. A blogger : a person who maintains a blog.

Judging by how far back my archives go, you might think I'm new to the blogging world. On the contrary, I have been blogging since 2003. Not quite as long as some others, but not exactly a new blogger either. I started blogging on and in fact, I still blog there. As of current, my personal blog on Livejournal has a total of 2,187 journal entries, with a total of 8,005 comments made on the blog either by myself or by my readers. Impressive? Not really. But it definitely proves that I have been blogging for awhile.

There are many handmade crafters out there today. Many trying to sell their humble wares, myself included. As a new seller especially on, you are often told to 'start a blog' to promote traffic and interest to your store. And while starting a blog can be as simple as clicking a few buttons and filling in a few blanks on the signup page over at, what comes next? If you spend all your blogging time just talking about your stuff and flogging your store, people are not going to read it for the simple reason that it's boring!

So what then?

Image by E-magic via flickr

Why are you blogging?
When I first started blogging, I had a reason. My (then) boyfriend and I were seperated and in a long distance relationship. It was my way of showing him what I was up to and letting him be part of my life in a fashion. After we broke up, I continued blogging as I had fallen in love with it. I loved to write and what better way to show my love for writing than to write?

So be very clear on why you have started your blog and why you are blogging. If you are only doing it to promote traffic to your shop, I'm afraid that is not going to be enough. Blogs are tools to look into a blogger's life, heart and soul. If you don't put the human factor into your blog, your blog will never take its first breath and live.

I now run 3 blogs simultaneously. I still post on as that is my personal blog where my deepest and darkest secrets go. It is locked to the public and only pre-approved people on my friends list are able to view the entries I make. This ensures my privacy and keeps me safe from random naysayers as well as online drama and internet wars as I can be fairly opinionated sometimes. I also post on this blog (while running a mirror of this one on livejournal for the livejournal readers). My last blog is a travel and food review blog over at Berry travels which is unfortunately taking a bit of a back seat currently as I have been working hard on my crafts. They were all started up for different reasons, and as long as the reasons are still valid, the blogs will continue to exist.

I figured out my reasons, now what?

Once you know why you are blogging, this should be easy: start blogging! My suggestion is not to force it. Do not sit down in front of the computer thinking: I have to blog today. Your blog post will come across as forced and uneasy. Blogging should never be a chore!

Take a notepad around with you if you need it and jot down ideas for blog posts as they come up. I used to wish there was a way I could write blog posts up on the internet instantly as I thought of them! And they don't all need to be related either. You can talk about food on a craft blog, you can talk about yourself, or other people. It really doesn't matter! You obviously want a constant theme running through but don't sweat it too much. If you are an avid blog reader like me, you will definitely know that readers love to read about quirky random things, interesting things, and other things that might have happened to you around your life. We are naturally curious beings, so we want to know!

Image via Kevin Marks via Flickr

I feel stupid writing all these: is there even anybody reading?

How are you ever going to get anywhere if you don't keep those posts coming? It really doesn't matter whether or not somebody is reading. If you have been dropping links and promoting your blog as you should have been, then somebody would be reading it. Think about it this way: blogging is just as much for yourself as it is for others. One day you will look back through your archives and go "I did what? " and "Oh gee, that was dumb." It's like keeping a diary, a scrapbook, or even a photo album. Just in a digital form.

Plus if you keep writing quality posts (this is important!) and not just "Hey, my shop is this way!" style posts, people will start catching on and passing on the link to your blog to others. Interesting posts will spread like wild fire, so concentrate on writing and not how many followers you have showing on your Google Friends Application.

I don't want to share my life; my life is boring

Do not underestimate the power of human curiosity. Yes, I do actually want to know what you had for dinner. Yes, I do actually want to know what the weather was like in Tokyo. Yes, I do actually want to know that your cat spewed all over your laundry and you had to skip a movie so you could rescue your laundry. In these modern ages where people are just so busy working, working and doing more working, little things like these makes the day go by just that little bit quicker. Many of us read blogs at work: we just don't admit it since our bosses won't like it. So reading that you had a cheery day makes our days that little bit cheerier as well; reading that you had a bad day makes us sympathize and secretly be thankful that it wasn't us.

But if you are a private or a shy person, I understand how opening up the door to your life can be intimidating. It's not the end of the world of blogging, trust me. You can write about other things! You can share interesting links you found on the internet, you can share book reviews, you can share photos, you can share so many, so many things. You don't need to talk about you to have an interesting blog.

Just remember this: Nothing, absolutely nothing is considered boring. Unless you are endlessly promoting your shop. Because yes, that's boring.

Image via Andrew Mo via Flickr

I hope you have enjoyed my little essay so far. This is merely Part 1! Stay tune for more, and I do welcome feedback! I love getting comments so please do leave some. I check back on your blogs via your username as I love to follow new blogs and read them. So if you don't leave a comment, I don't know where your blog is to follow =P

Part 2 coming soon!



  1. Hi Celeste! I am new to blogging (1 week & 2days!) but am loving it! This was a great post...I like your writing style because even though I was learning something it did not bore me. I am now one of your followers!
    Steph aka SassyBelle:)

  2. For us crafty sorts, I think a blog is a good idea to serve as a sort of portfolio/record. I know before I started blogging I was terrible about remembering to photograph the stuff that I made, especially the stuff that I then gave away! Now with the blog I'm a lot better about recording my work, if only so that people can see all the sorts of things I make.

  3. Thanks for your insight on blogging. I was reluctant to start a blog but it's turned into a good outlet for me. It keeps me accountable to myself and my sewing projects. I try to make it interesting, but as long as I'm happy with it, that's fine.
    I promote other Etsians every Monday and I enjoy that. My shop just isn't that wonderful and I know it:)
    Off topic, we have the music teacher thing in common, except I'm a former teacher. I wish you luck in your career and in your blogging!

  4. Thanks for this little essay. It definitely reminded me to think about what the purpose of my blog is. I think right now it's to document what my family is up to, as well as promote craftiness. I'd like to start adding some tutorials for different projects, as well as refocus on more of my projects. Again, thanks, this helped me to re-center my blogging purpose.
    FYI I found your blog from your Etsy post in the business section, and I will definitely be adding you to my list of blogs I read.

  5. Thanks for sharing your experience. I love blogging, too, but I agree it's not all about selling for me. If it was I'd be SO disappointed! I found out I really enjoy it!


  6. I often wondered if I would run out of idea for blog posts - but I seem to have more and more ideas! I, too, find it a very fun way to share my day, my art, and the antics of my critters =p So far no 'spew-age' today! roflol!

  7. A good post!
    Sometimes I definitely feel a bit stupid and that no one will read anything, but I guess everyday things can be interesting as well. I'm still struggling with the "why" part; I'm not sure what I want my blog to be - personal, for my artwork, for design... I guess I can be many things at once.

  8. Very interesting to read. I often blog about my life and wonder if others are interested in reading about it. I can only assume they are when they leave me comments :).

  9. Very interesting, my blogging is different than most in that I prefer not to write, I like sharing photo's and comments, tid bits of my life

  10. SassyBelle - I'm really glad you found my writing style interesting! Definitely hope to see you around here more often!

    Purplelizard - you are right! It can serve as a portfolio and definitely works as a kick in the bum when it's needed. I'm terrible about photographing as well, but my urge to share is too strong!

    Dotty Jane - Thank you for your well wishes. I think as long as we are all happy doing what we are doing, then that in itself makes what we are doing wonderful. =)

    Erin - I'm glad to be of service! I think using a blog to document a family's growth is beautiful. Heaven knows I wish I had a growing family myself!

    Sheryl - It wasn't until these few years that I have used my blogs for slightly more promotional intentions, but before than, blogging was purely a creative outlet! So definitely, if all blogs were purely of promotional content, I'd be highly disappointed too!

    Kathleen - No spewage is good! My cats have been good today too. Thank goodness. Haha.

    Laura - we all have to start from somewhere. When I started it felt like an endless monologue! But the key to it is really just to keep on going. And yes, a blog can definitely fit to more than one purpose - as long as you've worked out what that is!

    Challen Charms - Comments are like fuel isn't it? It's lovely to get them. I know I love getting them!

    Sunweeds - Aye, this is true. There's no set style to blogging and there are many different types of blogs out there. I was going to touch on that later on in the series as well. Thank you for pointing that out!

  11. Great tips! I'm following you to find out more!

  12. Thanks for a great post...
    I do blog predominately for myself I guess, but try to post what others may find interesting and valuable....I love blogs with lots of eye-candy, and an insight into something fascinating and new.
    I love my blog to contain elements of joy, nature and crafting.

  13. Great helpful post for a newbie like me :-)
    Love your writing style

  14. I have been blogging for 2 years and only on etsy for a few months. I try hard not to write about my etsy stuff more than once or twice a week. I also write book reviews, and write about my collections.

  15. Thanks Celeste very informative post so far. Looking forward to the following posts. You have touched on all of the things that I struggled with and continue to struggle with somewhat in your post. I sometimes find it very hard to blog because I am a little shy and I feel like no one on earth could possibly want to hear what I have to say. Also, it is very discouraging when you have several posts and no comments on any of them. I wonder if you will be addressing the commenting subject in one of the follow-ups to this post. Thanks again.

  16. Celeste,
    I thank you.
    I also find that the words just flow and so want to reach out to those like me who share my passion for design through jewels and jems...a little biz wouldn't hurt tho (sm)
    Will be watching for part III.

  17. This is a really good post. I don't think it would be possible to keep going with a blog that's just about promoting, how boring!

    I do tend to keep my UlvDesign blog a bit less personal though, but it's still fairly new and I need more time to really find a good balance. What's funny is that I'm kind of affected by the way my blog looks as well - if the design isn't really what I want, then I'm not inspired to write.



I love to read comments and chat, so please do leave me some titbits! Thank you so much for adding that little bit of sparkle into my day. Hopefully my blog post added some into your day as well.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin