Hey, welcome aboard! My name is Mary Beth (but you can call me MB; everyone else does.) I've been writing my blog, Supafine, for six years. I run two etsy shops ( Supafine and Supafab) and regularly contribute to the fabric blog True Up. Just this spring I shook hands with Amy Butler. (Life? Complete.)
But I started out with three readers, just like everyone else does.
As you stand in the doorway of this huge, possibly overwhelming world of online craft blogging and business, just keep this in mind: Everyone starts out on square one. Really. ... And everyone knows that good things take time. We've all been there.
That said, I have some tips for ya. Hunker down with some tea. Absorb. Think. Take your time. Pass the shortbread.
I love this part. Just think of it as research! Find yourself a newsreader (I use Google Reader) and just start adding the feeds of your favorite blogs (look for "subscribe" or "RSS" buttons). As you're reading blogs, click on links, surf around, let yourself be carried from one interesting post to another. When you find a writer or a blog that speaks to you, subscribe. Soon you'll have a feedreader brimming with news, tips and inspiration. Feeling lost? Ask for help!
If you use Google Reader, click the star to mark posts you like. Depending on the platform, you might star something, heart it, fave it, or give it a thumbs up. This is one way to be sure you can find it later — and also a great way to show a little love (the backbone of community!). I also make sure to bookmark things that stand out, so I can use them, find them, or blog about them later. I use Delicious.com to keep track of my bookmarks, but you can use your browser’s bookmarks bar or anything you like.
Share what you’ve made! Show us what, how, why. You’re a crafter. I know you’ve got projects. Let’s see ‘em. Me, l love to read Blair Peter’s Wise craft blog just to see what she’s created lately. I head to Angry Chicken for sewing tips. If I just want some peaceful beautiful inspiration, I stop by Buttons Magee or Inchmark Journal. What do you make? Show us! We want to see. Tell us! We want to know.
4. Speak up
There’s no sense being a wallflower. After you’ve shown us what you like, what you think, or what you can do, it’s time to talk. Comment! Leave comments on blog posts that have touched you or impressed you. Give advice on posts that ask for it. Ready to branch out? If you like to sew, you could join the Sew Mama Sew forums. If you like knitting or crochet, seek out the forums on the needlework web site Ravelry. Feeling extra chatty? Twitter might be a good venue. You don’t have to join everything: keep your involvement to what feels right to you. The rest will follow.
5. Reach out
Having trouble turning that heel? Looking for a good source of glass tiles? Whatever is stumping you, ask for help. Last month I stood paralyzed in front of my closet the week before my sister’s wedding. I asked for help — and I got it. Thanks to the advice of my readers, I was stylishly garbed for my matron of honor duties. Even if your blog usually has a narrow focus, it’s OK to break the mold now and again.
Make sure you really listen to the people who take the time to talk to you, whether it’s in your comments section or in other forums of discussion. Try to acknowledge everyone, and answer questions if they are posed. Everyone wants to be heard when they speak, and you want people to know they can chat with you. Besides, you could end up with valuable information, or even a friend.
So there you have it. Six years of blogging condensed into six tidy tasty bullet points. I would have embroidered a few LOLs and OMGs for you if I could figure out how to get the floss into these tiny pixels. I hope these tips have helped you. And listen — you’re in a great place right now: the beginning of a trip of sorts, with all the awesome stuff in front of you. Now that I’ve yakked, it’s your turn. What’s your name? What do you make? What are you looking to learn?
Let me know if there’s anything I can answer for you - and thanks for coming by.