One year. I’ve been blogging for one whole year. And ya know what?
I’m not a huge fan.
But let me back up a little bit….
This is what “blogland” calls a “bloggerversary”. Ugh, both of those words make me cringe. Hearts and Sharts started as photo album on my personal Facebook page called “Hey, I made this!” I was making stuff, redoing furniture and gifting it or selling it and just wanted to share projects that I was proud of and inspire others to get creative. After a while, I made it into it’s own Facebook page, then followed that with a StorEnvy shop.
I was making things that I loved and also dabbling in some wedding stuff. I designed some wedding water bottle labels for a Grand Cayman wedding…
…and designed a craft beer inspired wedding logo for some pint glasses to be used and given to guests, along with a few other small projects.
We were living in Texas at the time and there was a new trade days thing starting up nearby in Wylie and they were offering 10×10 spaces FOR FREE. This was the perfect time for me to face my fears and put my stuff out there. I did it and it was awesome. If you’ve been following along for the past year, you might recognize a few of these things.
I really couldn’t believe the response. The booth was near empty by the end of the three-day show. Someone even asked me where my store was located. “Uhhh, you’re in it, lady.”
I did the trade days thing again the next month (this is where I read the book that changed my life) and then we got the news that we would be moving to Georgia for Hubs’ job. I deleted everything off of the online shop and closed it. We packed up and booked it to Georgia and I wondered what I was going to do with myself. Since I had quit working after mom died, Hub’s had gotten used to it and really enjoyed all the housewifin’ I was doing. Not gonna complain about that one, but I still needed to DO something with myself. So, I started a blog. It took me two weeks of reading all the things on the internet, but, I did it. I just wanted to help people do some crafty things and inspire them to do it themselves. It looked a little like this:
If you’re a blog reader, you may not believe this but when I started the blog I hadn’t heard of Vintage Revivals, A Beautiful Mess or Young House Love. I didn’t read blogs, I only looked at Pinterest. I continued reading everything I could to get the Sharts out there. I saw a Facebook group for the Atlanta Home/DIY Bloggers, led by Erin at DIY on the Cheap and requested to join. Then I met Amy from ModPodgeRocks who told me that I need to monetize my blog. I went home and installed Google Adsense and Analytics. The FB group led to a few projects for Dwell with Dignity where I met Rhoda from Southern Hospitality. I told her I had just made one whole dollar on my blog through Google Adsense. Now that I know who she is, she must have been laughing her head off after she left! She asked me if I had ever been to a blog conference. Huh? That exists?! I bought my tickets for Haven and schooled myself as much as I could leading up to the conference and did a little blog redesign.
By the time Haven rolled around I was at 25k page views per month. Not at all big numbers for other bloggers, but after blogging for only six months, my new friends Charlotte from Ciburbanity and Jessica from Gourley Girl & Guy assured me that I was doing well, so I pushed on. I was even able to get my Vintage Crate Footstool into a magazine called Creating Vintage Charm.
I got a couple features on Apartment Therapy and after Haven, I was up to 40k page views per month, which was totally shocking to me after 7 months in.
Then, I started to get burned out. I was spending so much time behind a computer that it made me sick. Here I am, trying to inspire others to “get out there!” and flip furniture and be a maker and I was sitting at my computer. So, I slowed way down on the blogging. This is my first post since December 1st. I’ve been thinking about this post for almost two months and really, I have so many things to say about blogging that it gives me tired-head. I recently saw on a thread on Facebook that there are bloggers who spend over 80 hours per week blogging or doing blog related stuff. That’s insane. I mean, if you love it, I’m sure it’s fun, but… I don’t. I want to be doing stuff. I want you to be doing stuff. I want to be sanding, and upholstering, and creating. I want to seek out new sources for art and design and re-spark my creative side and reinterpret new design trends in my own way.
I just wanna make sh!t.
So, I know it sounds like I’m done with the blog, but really, I just want to refocus. I’m just so tired of seeing what is going on in “blogland”. I’m aware that this may be offensive to some bloggers and that is not my intent.
My subscription list has grown so much over the past couple of months that I felt the need to let you know what’s up in shart-land and why I haven’t been posting much (or at all)…. I do have several projects that I could share with you. I have at least thirty sitting on my desktop as we speak. Why don’t I post them? Because, as they say, content is king and I just don’t think that it’s worth the little boost in traffic to post something that’s been done or isn’t original or just plain isn’t worthy. I could easily do an entire post on this plastic skull I picked up at the thrift store….
…and how I painted it gold…
…then I could plaster this image with text about “how to paint a plastic skull”…
…and then go on and on about it, but really, I don’t want that kind of junk in my inbox so I assume that you don’t either. I mean, it’s Rustoleum Gold Metallic Spray. That simple.
You’re looking at me sideways, I see you. Yes, I’ve done some of these posts before. I was on the blog train where they hand out tidbits like “If you want to blog for a living, treat it like it’s your job” and “you must have a posting schedule and post consistently.” I tried both of things. Blogging on a schedule may work for some, but it doesn’t work for me. In a world where “content is king”, if you happen to be in a creative slump but you’re following a schedule and need to post something that day, you end up doing dumb sh!t just to keep with the schedule. That dumb sh!t stays on your blog and is a direct reflection on you. Yeah, you get page views which translates to ad revenue, and if that’s your jam, do it. I’ve discovered that it’s not mine.
Bloggers do this thing where they get together and pin each others pins. They share a pin they want repinned and then in return they will pin something you want repinned. Yeah, of course I want my pins repinned, but not if it means that I have to pin a tutorial on how to turn an over sized mitten into a cat sweater. I’m not into that. And yeah, I was on the pin-for-pin train, too. I’ve done all of these things that I’m telling you that I don’t like. But I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to use Pinterest like a normal person and pin things that inspire me and things that I like instead of filling my boards with things I’m not interested in only to get others to pin my pins for blog traffic.
So, listen, the name of the shart game in 2015 is quality over quantity. While I do want to continue to get my projects out there, I’m dropping out of the blog-traffic rat race. When I post, it will be because I think you can gain something from it; a little knowledge, a little inspiration, maybe a giggle or two. The posts will be fewer, but I hope it will pay off for both of us, less junk in your inbox and more time for me to get creative and stop staring at this dang screen.
My father in law used to have a great quote hanging up in his office; “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve been getting.”
I’m proud of what I did in 2014 but I’m ready for a change, and if you are too, I wish you all the best. Let’s get familiar with being uncomfortable and shake things up.