It’s been an incredible year. I’ve married my sweetheart, Zion, and we’re settling into our life together. But while things are of course going well, and we are very comfortable and happy, there’s always that little nagging voice in the back of my mind.
~You suck at running a blog~
Well, voice in my head, that may be true. But I’ve come to realize that what I am good at, might actually make for a better blog than I’d originally envisioned. So I took some time, read several books, and did a lot of
procrastinating soul searching, and I think I have some fresh ideas for a new direction in this blog that will benefit both myself as a writer, and yourselves as my dear readers.
First off, about my dear readers, I really want to say thank you. Even after months of inactivity and sparse updates, I can’t explain how validating it feels to come back and see active viewers and comments. Obviously I’m going to keep crocheting and writing even if I’m only doing it for myself, but seeing the active interest and engagement of this site has been truly inspiring, even if it only comes in small doses or the occasional supportive comment. So with that heartfelt stuff out of the way, I’m going to run through my goals for the new direction of the blog, and what you might be able to expect from it in the coming weeks.
Drop the Act
I have a Twitter. I have an Instagram, a Facebook page, and for a brief time even a Tumblr. Shortly after I write this post, I intend on abandoning them completely.
I want to clarify that I think these are some incredible tools, and that network media and social media have opened thousands of opportunities for those (especially crafters and bloggers) who are engaging, fun, and good at navigating SEO. But for me, the pressure to post to all these sites was really wearing me out. I didn’t know where my target audience was, or what sites they preferred, so I was just using them all. And I used them poorly. I go weeks or months without updating, I’m not on trend, and to be honest I just don’t enjoy using them all that much.
I also realized that posting short blurbs about my projects to sites that I personally didn’t even like using in my free time was causing me to lose my unique voice, in favor of emulating the voices of those most prominent on the aforementioned sites. This was the final, unforgivable straw. I always struggled with toning down the ‘super over enthusiastic crafty girly blogger’ voice when I posted articles, but it was particularly disingenuous on sites where I had to add hashtags, short character counts, and picture descriptions. Again, this is a very popular and effective voice to write in, but it isn’t my voice. And if all I can do is emulate the popular kids, then I’m not working to my own strengths, and I’m not creating the most valuable content I can.
I will continue using the outlets that I do enjoy, however. I will always post my patterns on both Ravelry and Etsy. My Pinterest is still a great hub of activity for seeing my current interests, and I have nearly a dozen boards devoted to crochet alone, plus a few other fiber arts and interests of varying importance. I’m going to keep my Instagram, but it may not be updated as often. And I will occasionally pop up on Reddit, in various fiber subreddits that I actually enjoying visiting on a near daily basis. These are the platforms I genuinely enjoy, and I feel that limiting myself to them will encourage me to post more often, and with more genuine enjoyment and quality. What this means is that the best way to be updated on this blog, is really going to be to subscribe to the Email list, or to bookmark it on your browser, if you want consistent updates.
Less Filler, more Fuzz
Does this version of ‘less sizzle, more steak’ make sense? Ah well. Fiber puns. In short, I’m going to really crack down on the quality and depth of my posts. I’ve found these types of blog posts to not only be more fun and rewarding to write, but they’re the types I genuinely find myself reading when it comes to other blogs as well. I want to write the types of posts that someone would see if they had a specific, difficult question, and needed guidance on answering it. I feel that if I’m doing my job right, readers will come to me when they have complex issues that aren’t going to be solved through simple queries on Pinterest or Google.
Honestly, there are more than enough info-tainment bloggers who do a fantastic job of creating pattern collections, listicles, and fun blurbs about their art. Since I don’t particularly enjoy the thought of having to generate lots and lots of content in short amounts of time, I’m going to swing the opposite direction, and take all the time I need to create high quality, thought-provoking articles. I want to focus heavily on my own patterns, and every time I work through a complicated issue, I want to share my findings with the online crochet community. While I still might indulge in the occasional post about other crafts or life updates, I want to focus my energy on the more meaningful or informational types of posts.
The feedback I’ve received on my patterns has been enough to actually bring a tear to my eye. Right now, some of my free patterns on Ravelry have over a thousand unique download. This is beyond what I imagined possible when I first started delving into the practice of creating my own patterns. So what can you expect in the future?
More patterns! Since I plan to move away from the clickbait, hyper engaged, socially active sort of blog, I’m not going to rely on the page views to support it. What this means is that I hope I never have to put ads on the pages. I want this blog to support itself and the hours involved in updating it, but I want that support to be a genuine reflection of the quality and care I put into it. So I’m going to increase my number of paid patterns, and I’m going to write articles that give crocheters the confidence to tackle said patterns. I will also put up free patterns as well as a donation button! If you enjoy my free patterns and you feel like you want to contribute to the blog and my patterns, you will have the option to donate to me via Paypal. I plan on focusing heavily in the coming weeks on unique and stylish sweater patterns, which will be available on both Etsy and Ravelry. And of course, free patterns will continue to be free, and I still plan to create more of them.
I also hope that my Etsy will pick up again soon, as I develop yarn kits suited to my specific patterns. Hand dyed yarn is still a passion of mine, and if you like what I do, I encourage you to check out my Etsy store to see what unique skeins and pattern kits are available. If they become popular enough, I may even begin a monthly or bimonthly type of box set. These are all things I’m toying with for the moment, so definitely subscribe to stay updated if that kind of thing interests you.
Thanks for sticking around
I cannot wait to take things in this new direction. I have several article ideas already in the works, and I’m just a few days or so from releasing a new sweater pattern using Mandala yarn.
If you’ve been following me for a while, or if you’re new to the blog entirely, I want to say thanks again for your time, and I hope you are as excited for what’s to come as I am!
Happy hooking! – Maggy Hericz