Things to Consider When Starting a DIY Blog

Welcome to part two of the Business of Blogging series. This is an eight part series where I tell you all about the business of blogging and what I have learned along the way. If you are just joining us make sure the go back and start from the beginning so you don’t miss any information or tips. Don’t worry your not far behind all you missed is the introduction and what I wish I knew before starting a blog. Alright lets get started.

I have always been interested in what goes on behind he scenes of blogs, youtube channels, and basically all successful social influencers. I want to know what the typical day looks like for a full time blogger or YouTuber. In my research about DIY and craft bloggers I couldn’t find any posts that talked specifically about the work it takes. They all talked about sharing your crafts, taking good photos, make tutorials and all the other obvious stuff.

Well this post is not like the others. I want to shed some light on all the work that goes in. I am not trying to convince anyone that being a DIY or craft blogger is a bad idea. As a craft blogger I feel like we as craft bloggers have an elevated work load because on top of making the blog post we have to make the project that the post is about. So I am going to start with my biggest tip.

Start in a Specific Niche

What I mean by this is choose a specific style of crafting to start with. This way you can focus on that one crafting category (scrap book, painting, drawing, card making, knitting, crocheting, ect.). I personally to this day struggle with creating content and keeping a consistent audience because I do all types of crafts. By not narrowing down my niche I get overwhelmed with ideas and crafts to make but then struggle to follow through on all those ideas because I get excited on the next thing before I finished the first.

So this year I am going to focusing on narrowing down my niche to a specific type of crafting. By getting specific in your niche you are letting your readers know what you do. Your readers will easily be able to say oh she/he makes cards. Then if they like card making or find your content interesting they will continue to come back. Yes there are other crafter who are all over the place like me so that is how I keep readers coming back but I know I could grow my audience by narrowing my niche. So this brings me to my second point.

WatercolorsStart with what you have

A craft blog is a great reason to learn new skills and share them with your readers but first you need to get readers. So start with what you have. This goes for camera gear, your computer, your work space, and your craft supplies. I think all bloggers think well I don’t have the newest and best camera so I need to get that for my blog but you don’t.I started blogging by taking photos on my iPad. Smart phones have great cameras and they make editing easy because you can do that on your phone as well.

The same goes for craft supplies. Look in your craft supplies and see what you have. Most crafters tend to do one style of crafting a lot more than others. Figure out what you do the most and work from there. I always think of all these great project ideas but I realize I don’t have any of the supplies for them. Just like making a grocery list when thinking of post ideas be looking at the supplies you have and a lot of times you will have great ideas. I noticed the posts I make from supplies I have always turn out better and more successful than the other.

Craft your stash. This will help keep supply cost low. This way when you need to buy something you haven’t spent all your money on craft supplies already. Something else to keep in mind when thinking of your posts is to think about what your going to do with it when its done. You don’t want to spend all this money on supplies for great posts then have random finished projects every where.

Work Work Work

Lets talk business. I am assuming that if you are still reading this you are interested in turning a DIY or craft blog into a career or at least a side hustle. So far we haven’t talked much about treating your blog as your job but don’t worry we are about to get into that. Just keep in mind that I am talking about my personal experiences and that everyones experience will be different.

Starting a blog required full time hours with part time pay.

Honestly the one thing I underestimated was the amount of time the goes into a successful blog.  I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work but I did not realize how much time it truly takes. When starting a blog most bloggers are doing everything them selves. Even some full time bloggers still do every thing for them selves. Therefor your productivity depends entirely on how much time you put into your blog. If you are like me you probably currently have a job that you rely on as your income.

When starting a blog as a business you have to think like a brand (we will get more into this next week). Keeping with the craft theme, Jo Anns store is a business and yes a brand but with in that Jo Anns sells other brands of craft supplies like Cricut for example. Before Cricut can sell any of its products on Jo Anns shelves they must test the product to make sure the crafters buying it will like it. They also have to plan the perfect time to release the product.  That is the same for every single post you put out.

Create a process

Before I put out a tutorial on my YouTube channel or blog there is a lot of prep work that goes in. This will probably be a similar process that you will do for your craft blog. Remember when creating tutorials for your readers that there is never a right or wrong way to make that craft and to encourage creativity. I alway say that my tutorials are just guides to spark ideas in my readers to create something new. Also your readers may not always have access to all the supplies you are using so remember to not use anything that couldn’t be easily substituted with another tool to supply.

My tutorial process generally follows these steps. First I think of the craft I am going to make (this usually involves Pinterest and other research to make sure the craft hasn’t been made a bunch of times already) . I like to draft out my project on my computer making it easier when I go back to create the posts to not forget any information I want my readers to know.

Next I check for my supplies to make sure I have everything I need. Then I will sit and draft out the steps to make the project. After that its time to make the craft. I make sure I have all my supplies, a clear craft space, memory card space, and a charged camera battery. Slowly making the project and taking photos along the way. The photos give my readers a visual of what I am talking about. After that I put my post together.

If I am lucky everything will go to plan but that usually doesn’t happen. There are many times I have to remake the craft because I need a few more photos. In addition to getting content for the blog I also have the think about photos for marketing.

Time ManagementTime Management

Later on in this series we will go into more detail about scheduling blog posts. For now I want to talk about how your post schedule will affect the crafts you make. I feel like there is two main categories of crafters. The ones who like long crafts that could take days or even weeks to make. Then the quick crater who likes fast easy crafts. Personally those are the crafts that I prefer so that is what I make for my blog.

When thinking of your crafts keep in mind the amount of time it takes to make. If it is something that is going to take you days to make it might be a better idea to create a series. Make several posts about the same craft to avoid overwhelming readers. This is also a great way to give readers something to look forward too.

Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of time it takes you to create a post. Personally it takes me a couple hours to create a post. Ultimately it depends on the craft and how much detail I need to go into. The amount of time for the craft and the post all determine how far in advance you need to start your craft. Most bloggers don’t create a post and publish it when their finished. To learn more about creating content and posing schedules make sure to come back for part five of this series.

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Something Terrible Happened

When bloggers, youtubers, and social influencer share their lives they usually only share the good parts. I know personally sometimes I get jealous of how great their life seems but I have to remind myself they are human just like you and me and they too have bad days. They just choose not to share them online.

It was one of those days.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel like it is just one thing after the next? Well that was my day the other day. I left my house with low tire pressure and ended up having to buy a new tire. There was a nail in my tire and it could not be patched. I know this could happen to anyone but with the holidays money was already tight as is. Oh well I got over it pretty quickly.


Then I went to work on some video footage and my external hard drive would not turn on. I save all of my photos, videos, and blog drafts to an external hard drive. Well hoping it was a problem with the cord or the setting on my computer I went to Apple for help. At the end of this long day I found out it was the hard drive and I would have to take it to a data recovery technician.

This process is very expensive. I am just so sad and mad about this because not only is all of my work on their but personal photos as well. So now I am disappointed about possibly losing all of my personal photos and videos. Then all of the preparation I am doing to keep giving you content while I am on away is lost as well.  

I am going on vacation in a couple weeks so thankfully I still have time to get some things together. Although, I am still going to be missing a lot of content. I appreciate you all and your patience as I try to figure this out.

Take a deep breath and move forward.

I just thought I would show you into the behind the scenes of my life. I am human just like all of you and every day things happen to me as well. Just like everyone else I work hard but sometimes life happens and things get in the way. At the end of the day I remind myself that tomorrow is a good day and to focus on moving forward to better things.

May Favorites

I haven’t done a post like this before so if you like it please let me know. I thought I would try something new. I also have been working a super secret project for you guys so stay tuned for more details.

Here of some of my favorite products I have been using lately. I try to incorporate a product from different categories of life. I also try to link everything.

1. Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Moisturizing Mousse

I wanted to try a self tanner but I didn’t want to pay a huge price so I tried this. I think it works great! Its easy to apply, you don’t have to wait for it to develop, and it doesn’t turn orange. When it starts to fade it looks natural. One thing I like is that if I want it to be darker I’ll take a shower in the morning and apply it right after then that night I will apply a second coat. I also apply this with a mitt I bought separately, I think it makes a huge difference. 

2. Resistance Bands

I don’t always have time to go to the gym so I got these resistance bands. They took my home workout to the next level. I like these because they act as if I am using weight but with out taking up the space of weights. They came with a little carrying bag to keep them all together and I store them in my living room end table. I think if someone wanted to add a small piece of equipment to their workout these would be what I recommend. Their good for total body use and take up very little space, plus their cheep but good quality. 

3. My platform bed frame

I had a platform bed that I had for three years. I like it but it was very high so I could store stuff under it. Since I didn’t need the storage any more I decided to get a lower bed. I wanted something cheep, sturdy, easy to put together, and minimal in appearance. After some much digging this is what I got. I had my doubts at first but after using it for a few months now it had held up great. It is very sturdy, easy to put together, doesn’t squeak, and still has enough space under it for some storage. I am very happy with this purchase. 

4. The Knot Wedding Binder

I like to keep things organized and write everything down so when I started planning my wedding I quickly learned I needed something. I researched and researched some more and this is what I purchased. I love it! There is pre made pages, and schedules, and tabs. This is truly an organizers dream binder. I could not have made a binder this organized myself. This is also my first wedding and the first wedding of my siblings so the tips and information this binder provides is amazing. There is even a plastic page where you can put the business cards of all your venders. Down to every last detail is in this book. Then I also like that there is still space in the rings so I can add my own pages. They also have an app and website that all align with the binder. This would be awesome for yourself or even an engagement gift to someone you know is getting married. If you want to read my engagement story  here it is.

5. The Wireless remote control for Cannon DSLR cameras

I never thought I needed one of these but I do, You do. If you like taking photographs I would highly recommend this little tool. It was cheep but effective. When I have my camera on a tripod and I ma trying to take some self portraits this helps but it can be used for so many other occasions. Like when taking photos that you don’t want to have any shake in this is great or with kids or animals you need to get their attention. I recommend any one to add this to their camera gear. I was easy to connect and start using right away. It is small and come with a little bag. It light weight and doesn’t bulk up your camera bag at all. 

I hope you all enjoyed this post and please leave a comment if you want me to make this a monthly thing. I hope you enjoy these products. Also I am thinking about making a post about my camera gear to blogging equipment, let me know if that is something your interested in. I really appreciate your feedback.

 

 

 

 

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How Brands are Causing us to Have Insecurities

All of us have our insecurities but it is up to us to over come then. In order to love others we must learn to love ourselves first. We have to look at ourselves in a positive mindset to see others positively as well.

The other day I was walking through the grocery store and I found myself in the cosmetic and bath section. I wanted to try some new shampoo and a different foundation. I would normally grab what I usually use off the shelf and not even think to read any of the packaging because it is what I would normally use but this time was different. I decided to take the time the read the labeling on some of the shampoo bottles.

I quickly realized that some of the wording on the bottles caused me to think about my hair type. You may be thinking this is a good thing right? Yes in some ways it is, obviously we need to know what our hair type is to choose the correct hair products. I am currently trying to get my hair to grow for my wedding so I know I was something nourishing and moisturizing. When looking at shampoo that falls into those category they often described that they were for dry damaged hair, frizzy hair, uncontrollable hair. I started to think, is my hair damaged? Is it uncontrollable? I noticed I was touching my hair and that I was insecure about how my hair looked as I was standing in the isle of the store.

After that I started to pay attention to the wording and marketing techniques that brands used. I went home and red some of the labels that  my other products used. I honestly was shocked. In todays society women and girls are strongly influenced by celebrities and trends in that current moment. Im sure this causes brands to frequently change their packaging. A large problem though is we as females feel we need to buy those new products to look good or be ‘cool’ or ‘beautiful’.

Why do we let brands control what beautiful is though? Why is it that most of us cannot leave the house without putting on some type of makeup to fee better about ourselves.

I know this is a very ranty post but if you have made it this far I just want you to know one thing. You are beautiful and you need to tell yourself that. Don’t let the wording that brands decide to use on their package determine who you are. Also I want you to comment down below of some of your favorite beauty products.

Here’s to Something New…

When I first started my blog almost a year ago my main focus was DIY, or so I thought. I realize now that my focus was crafting. I love to craft and being creative but it truly works your mind. Lately I my mind hasn’t been where it needs to be, to happily craft like I want. I never do anything I don’t want to so I stopped crafting, which meant I stopped blogging.

I had time to take a step back an evaluate my life. I am at a time in my life where things are changing and I am experiencing major life events. I realized that DIY does not only apply to crafting but so many aspects in our lives.

I want my blog to be a place to share with others and connects with them. I want to share my creative ideas along with other things happening in my life. I want this to be a place for people to come and read about me and my story. I want my readers to know that their are other people experiencing what they may be going through weather it be good, bad or creative. I want my readers to know that I am a real person with a real life.

Something to look forward to.

From now on I am going to share with you not only my crafts and creative ideas but things happening in my life and world around me. I want all of you to know me and feel connected to me through life and creativity. I want to create a community where we can all go to get guidance, reassurance, and support. Connect with other through comments, to hear not only about me but about others as well.

Here is to new adventures and experiences.