Blogging Crisis - or How I Almost Quit Blogging

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This post has been a long time in coming. And there were days when I decided I would not share. And others when I felt compelled to share. But how? And why? And what?

Before I begin, let me say right up front, it is not my intention to offend anyone. And if I do, it is unintentional. I simply am sharing my own personal quest to find answers and then sharing the answers I found that work for me - not necessarily anyone else. I am not judging one blogging style over another. And I am withholding any personal opinions.

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In February, after participating in a Craftypod Blog Tune-up Class, I embarked upon a journey through the crafty blogiverse with the intent to learn more about how other's are blogging - their content, frequency of posts, number of subscribers and whether or not they support shops or ads and sponsors with their blogs.

The purpose - to better understand why some blogs seem to gain rapid growth in readership and others (especially some that I personally feel are more than worthy) not so much.

At the same time I wanted to explore the blog landscape to determine if my own blog needs to be adjusted to make it more relevant and useful.

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For several weeks after completing my journey, I can truthfully say that I wished I had never embarked on it in the first place! Dark, dark days, I tell you. I nearly gave up my blog all together.

This blog means so much to me and has become an outlet for personal expression of my creative nature and an opportunity to share the creativity of others. Besides the obvious delight in celebrating seasons and especially Christmas, my dabbler nature has been very useful in my quest to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to make beautiful music with their own two hands. Creativity is within the reach of everyone - it is an inherent part of being human. In fact, in my opinion, it is one of the very things that makes us human.

So - in the face of the rapidly growing "new" tendencies toward blogs almost exclusively based on what I call "sound bites" and "re-posts", I suddenly found myself feeling totally irrelevant - especially after becoming aware that many of these kinds of blogs were enjoying very large numbers of readers. 

I understand that these blog styles are prudent when the goal is making money  - but why do they generate such large numbers of readers? My own reader is populated with content heavy blogs, so I was surprised when venturing outside of it that so many blogs that enjoy so much attention are relying more on reposted content than original content.

Like I said - dark days indeed. But thank goodness I have in Diane a wise - very wise - and loving daughter who very quickly put things into a much better perspective for me. She helped me to understand a little better what is going on with many of these blogs and why the landscape is changing. Certainly social media and the tendency of so many people these days to use hand held devices instead of desk tops and lap tops changes how people read.

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She helped me to understand that my blog is unique and different - it has a place and a worthwhile purpose.

And then, shortly thereafter, Carina celebrated her own blogiversary - her 5th! And during that celebration she shared these very wise words.

" If you are new to blogging, I would like to give you a wee bit of advice: Follow your heart / your passions. Don't feel like you have to blog in a certain way or about a certain topic or that your blog should look a certain way. It is YOUR blog... and if people like it they will stick around. If they don't like it, it is their problem, not yours."

Just the words I needed to hear - again! With the help of Diane and Carina and conversations with Chris and Erin and Steff and Dawt I have come to a very good place! Thank you one and all for your help in putting the pieces of this shattered picture back together.

I like my quiet little corner of the blogiverse that celebrates life and  creativity and the seasons and the celebrations they bring; and I hope you do too. Through these past two + years, I have gained a family I am thrilled to know and extremely grateful to be a part of. It is the quality of my readership that I value most.

 

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My research has lead me to make a few decisions, however. I am going to make an effort to make some posts shorter since I know many of you are reading using hand held devices.

And since my original theme was Christmas after all, I am thinking perhaps I will try to make a post related to my roots once a month.

I will continue making tutorials because sharing creativity is a big part of who I am.

I will continue supporting Indie shops and the crafty blogisphere and hoping like everything more of you will follow suit. For me personally it has so far been a gratifying and very enjoyable adventure.

Give yourself permission once a month to buy something you don't necessarily need from a fellow blogger.  It won't hurt a bit!  In fact it is invigorating!

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And finally, I would love to hear from you! Won't you chime in with any thoughts, suggestions. Anything you want more of or less of on gingerbreadsnowflakes. Anything to add?  Anything to subtract?

Are the tutorials on gingerbreadsnowflakes useful? Suggestions for improvement?

How do you feel about the short "sound bite" posts? Why do you think they have become so popular? What is their value?

With fabulous aggregate blogs like Crafty Crow, and One Pretty Thing and CRAFT already in place, how useful are "re-post" type blogs.

Why do you feel tumblir type blogs are gaining popularity so quickly?

Anything, any thoughts, observations are so welcome. I hope you will share.

Thank you for sharing this tiny bit of the blogiverse with me.  I love having you here.

Added 7/14.  O my goodness!  You have all been so wonderful and kind and full of thoughtful input.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I have tried to respond to each one of you and express my appreciation.

But I need to clarify one thing apparently.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Crafty Crow, One Pretty thing and CRAFT!  As I wrote to one reader, these sites are most definitely responsible for my having at least half of my online  "family".  And I have the greatest respect for Cassi, Rachel and the staff at CRAFT for the dedication to consistently providing top quality content.

I am trying so hard not to step on any toes and in so doing, I worded my question badly.   So I will ask it this way.  We already have three of the best possible aggregator sites out there - have for some time now. How useful are MORE 're-post" type sites?  Do we really need 100's more - as several readers said it - re-posting the same bunch of tutorials over and over and over?

I have had several requests

I have had several requests re the wall paper!  I have no objection.  But i also have no clue about how to do this!  Lately I have been shooting everything high res but "dumbing them down so my blog will load fast.

Anyone who can help me with how to accomodate this request - I would be grateful.

Since you read mostly on a hand held - I especially appreciate you going to the extra trouble to leave me a comment.  This was a tough post to write and the comments mean so much to me. Thank you.

I am glad you decided to keep

I am glad you decided to keep blogging. I didn't realize that blogs that re post other content were so popular. I would rather read a blog that has a voice and a story to tell.

Daphne, I was surprised too. 

Daphne, I was surprised too.  I do rely almost completely on CRAFT, Crafty Crow and One Pretty Thing.  thos three sites give me more than i can process as it is!!!

Love your new "look" by the way.

What an interesting post. I

What an interesting post. I feel like an oddball sometimes when I blog - I do it for myself and the connection with like-minded people on the internet, and I often have wondered about the same questions you put up. Especially - how the heck do they have so many readers? But since I'm not willing to devote any more time or effort into my own site right now, I'm not going to try to compete - I just keep hoping that folks who like my site will subscribe, keep coming back and comment, continuing the crafty conversations.

Often when I go to a blog, it's the picture that captures my eye and then I read as much as I want to - long posts don't put me off, but then... I don't read them on a little screen. I think your tutorials and posts are all great.

Honestly, my favorite blogs are the authentic, unique ones. I love CRAFT for it's aggregates of features I don't normally come across. But as far as others, I often see repeated links so I don't go to those as frequently. "Sound bites" and "re-post" sites may be good eye candy, but if I don't feel the person behind them, it won't make it to my feedreader. I understand how they make money, but is there a crafter behind them that makes their own stuff? That's what has meaning for me when I spend time on the internet.

Tammy, your blog is in my

Tammy, your blog is in my reader for sure! And I appreciate so much all the work and time and thought you put into your posts.  It can't be easy maintaining the blog and still finding time to create all the lovely items in your wonderful shop.  One of these days I hope to be the proud owner of one of your bags.

Thank you so much for all your thoughtful comments and especially for this one!

I have been reading your blog

I have been reading your blog for about 6 months or so, I think I discovered you when I was looking for Scandanavian Christmas decorations and I quickly became hooked. I am glad that have decided not to give up blogging and are able to overcome those dark moments.

I am especially happy to find

I am especially happy to find out how you found me!  I am pretty hooked on Scandinavian crafts aren't I?  Can't wait to share what I am working on right now!  but you have to wait til Christmas in July - July 25th!  I will tell you - it IS Scandinavian! 100%!

Carina is right! And All

Carina is right!
And All those blogs you mention are rather boring. That is not the kind of bloggs I like to read. A good blog (like your blog) has personality and something to tell.
That is my oppinion, but in the same time I think that it is nice that there are so many blogs, there is something for all, but sometimes it is a hard job for me to find the blogs I like.

You are right Margit!  If I

You are right Margit!  If I learned anything wandering around the blogiverse, it is that there is something for everyone!  In fact there is so much I personally enjoy that I can never hope to keep up with it all!

Thank you for your kind words and thank you for being a part of my family since the very beginning.

I know that I can only speak

I know that I can only speak for myself, but I love your blog. I always find it a peaceful place to come to, one I can rely on as consistent in its high quality, one in which I feel at home. It is like a very lovely spot that you like to go to to feel good. Keep up the good work, my friend, and do not worry about the numbers. (I believe you told me that one time.)

You are right - I did tell

You are right - I did tell you that!  This was a pretty emotional post, so probably I failed to make my point well about the numbers.  Not so much referring to my blog as to the fact that there are so many blogs that are very content worthy to be read and appreciated by many and yet they have small reader numbers.  Others with little or no original content actually have large numbers.  I am finding that mystifying.  Seems to me it should be the other way around.

And may I say here that I have huge respect for bloggers like yourself who are sharing truth - real honest to goodness daily life experiences.  Maybe not as popular as the Hollywood/glossy/magazine perfect  life some portray, but much more real and valuable and authentic.

YOU are completely amazing raising and home schooling a family and maintaining four blogs - daily! 

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