Q&A with Valerie: All About Blogging | Occasionally Crafty: Q&A with Valerie: All About Blogging

May 15, 2014

Q&A with Valerie: All About Blogging

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I get asked a lot of questions about blogging, especially from my "real-life" friends.  With SO many blogs out there today, you might be wondering if starting a blog is still worth doing.  The short answer:  ABSOLUTELY!  So today I'm going to answer some of those FAQ's about how I blog, why I blog, and how you can do it too!
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Q:  How long have you been blogging?
     Chances are, you haven't been with me since the beginning!  My first post was in April 2010, so it's been 4 years!  I can't even believe it.  You can see my very first project here.  You can see my writing and photography has improved a ton since those first days.  



Q:  Why did you start a blog in the first place?
     I was an avid blog reader for awhile.  I loved to re-create things I saw online and give them my own twist.  When I started coming up with my own ideas, I knew that I could "do what they were doing", and so I decided to give it a try!  
     At the time, I also had three young kids at home (then 5, 3, and 7 months old).  I was in desperate need of a creative outlet!



Q:  What's your favorite kind of "crafting" to do?
     This may be obvious if you've spent much time on my blog.  I love to make things with vinyl or by using vinyl as a stencil!  My second favorite is anything for the holidays or seasonal decor.

find this here


Q:  I want to start a blog.  What would you recommend I do to get started?
      The great thing about blogging is that there is a space for everyone on the web!  Bloggers are some of the most friendly, supportive people I know!  You can start out with a free blog on Blogger like I did, you can hire someone to create a website for you, or you can do a combination of both!
      The number one thing I would tell you to do is to start from the beginning with your own domain.  That means, buy your own website name with a ".com" or ".net"   I waited awhile to make the switch and basically had to start all over with things like statistics, followers, etc.
       If you are serious about blogging, consider also having a company host your website on their servers.  Blogger does this for free, but once you get a lot of traffic, you'll need something more.  One website I recommend for hosting is WebHosting Hub.  You can get your website online in a a matter of minutes, and they always have great deals!  

                                        

       There are plenty of free premade blog templates that you can use out there, and those are great to get you started.  But to stand out from the crowd, you'll want to create your own "brand", with your own look, feel, and design.  You can hire a designer or read tutorials and do it yourself!  Have fun and be creative!

Q:  Who designed your blog?
       I did it myself!  (With a lot of help from online tutorials!)   If I wanted to do something, like create my own blog header, I would just search for a DIY Blog Header tutorial online, then follow the directions!  I have a secret "test" blog to try things out before I make changes to my real blog.  You can do anything you want with a little trial and error!  Next week I'll be sharing a post about DIY Blog Design!

Q:  How do you and Laura split the blog duties?  It would be so fun to blog with your sister!
     It is fun!  We live in separate states so this is a way for us to stay connected!  When we first started working together, we would alternate posts, promote each other's posts as well as our own, and I handled all the business stuff since I had experience with it.  Once life got crazy, we pulled back from our crazy pace and decided just to blog as life allowed.  We check in with each other to see who has something to post.  Sometimes the blog is quiet if we're both busy or uninspired.  Whoever posts is responsible for promoting that post on social media, and we split any sponsored work that comes our way.  
     We want to have fun and share our talents, but our families and "real lives" come first!



Q:  How much time do you spend on blogging and everything?  It seems like a lot!
    It sure can be a lot!  I know people who blog as a full-time job: either they rely on the income they gain or they aspire to being able to support their families with that income.  I tried that for awhile and I realized I was becoming the mom with my face glued to the computer and my kids saying "Mom, mom, mom?" all the time. So now, I blog or do social media no more than an hour a day, two if I am editing photos, and I craft when I have extra time.  I try to keep it under 10 hours a week.  Any more than that and I am neglecting my house and family.  Since our goal isn't to make money from blogging (though we do make a little!) it's just not a good investment for us.

Q:  Where do you see your blog in five years?  How will you know it's time to move on?
     That's a good question. I've flirted with "quitting" blogging before, and I missed it during my self-imposed break.  I suppose when I am just tired of the work and I don't miss doing it, I'll know it's time to step away for good.  I love sharing my ideas with you readers, and I really love it when someone makes something I've posted!  But I have a lot of other things I want to do in my life, and in five years- I'll probably be on to something else.



Now a question for you:  Do you blog?   Would you ever start one?  If you ever need help/advice/support I'd love to help you out!


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