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Old 06-11-2014, 08:01 AM   #1
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Default How to grow your blog....help!

I've had my blog for awhile now, and it's just kind of sat there and been a place for me to showcase some pretty things I've made. I'm getting more into card making and paper crafting now and I recently applied for a design team position. Unfortunately, I was turned down and the main reason seems to be that my blog following is not large enough at this time. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to grow a blog. I'd love any suggestions!!!!!
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:02 AM   #2
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Your blog is adorable!

What's your ultimate goal with your paper crafting, and with your blogging?

One way to draw people to your space is to interact in community with them on sites that aren't your own. Offer experience and advice if you have it. Be real and ask questions about things that make you curious. Play challenges and share in the gallery and leave encouraging comments on others' entries. Be kind, and be genuine. Take advantage of this time where you're creating without obligation to really find yourself and your style. Get good at being your own unique and ordinary self.
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the great advice (and the compliment!!). I have been interacting, but maybe not enough, lol! My ultimate goal (dream goal) is to participate on a DT. It was such a bummer to be so close and have the blog reach be the factor that took me out of the running.....
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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I'm sorry about that! It's like needing job experience for your first job. Don't give up! All of us who are designing now have gotten rejected at some point along the way, whether for a team or publication.

This is a great place for finding advice and ideas, friends, and followers. So - welcome! We're glad you're here! I hope others will pipe in with thoughts as well. And I meant what I said about enjoying your time of being able to explore your creativity without the pressure of deadlines and quotas!
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:23 PM   #5
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I love your blog too. I would post on here to drive some traffic your way and yes.... pinterest. Do you do videos at all? I know that youtube pushes traffic. I would also post on FB in regards to your blog. You could do a partner of sorts and create a FB page that is associated with your blog and will post your blogs on FB. I would even email some heavy duty bloggers out there to how they got their blogs to have larger audiences. I suspect most have a youtube channel which really can drive a blog.

This is something that I was thinking of doing myself.... I have a blog that I haven't worked it at all. I want to get on a Design Team in the next year or two, but I will need the traffic to get on one.

Good Luck Kim
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Old 06-12-2014, 04:50 AM   #6
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Thanks, Denverkat, for the suggestions! I've only done the one YouTube video. I'm not sure how to film from above, and the editing part scares the heck out of me, lol!!
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:12 AM   #7
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Make it easy for people to follow you on SM by having icons easy to spot. Exposure on facebook is tricky now that they changed how they do things, you basically have to pay to play. Joining card groups is good thou. I've had alot of luck with Pinterest, its the #1 traffic driver to my blog. Blog parties are great for meeting new bloggers and getting your work out there but I find my card posts aren't as popular as my DIY or food posts. It does take time.
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Old 06-12-2014, 08:29 PM   #8
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Hi Kim (great name),

I think it just takes time. Sounds like you're doing the right things. And your blog is great. I'm a baby blogger myself with only 22 days under my belt. But it has been fun to see traffic grow. I really have no idea what a "good" amount of traffic is per day/month though. Hang in there!

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Old 06-16-2014, 09:38 AM   #9
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Kim - I love the icons (FB, Pinterest, etc) at the end of each of your posts. How did you do that, if you don't mind me asking??
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimpletekreativity View Post
Kim - I love the icons (FB, Pinterest, etc) at the end of each of your posts. How did you do that, if you don't mind me asking??
Hi Kim. Its a sharing widget that you can put on your blog if you have Typepad.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:04 PM   #11
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Kim-- I lied. I thought about it and didnt think my first answer was right. I do use Typepad's share widget, but the one you see below my posts I got free from Share This. Here's the link..

ShareThis' Social Media Buttons Optimize Brand and Publisher Content
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:22 AM   #12
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Hi Kim,
Here are a few tips that have worked for me:
1. If you have a personal FB page or a fan page you can use networked blogs to syndicate your blog there.
2. Ask current blog readers to like, share and pin your projects to pinterest, your photography is already great so it would be a boost.
3. Also ask readers to subscribe in a non pushy way.

As for creating content you want people to be afraid they are going to miss something if the do not check out your blog so:
1. Post frequently, everyday, 3x a week, 1 time a week, set a reasonable schedule but I would not post less than once a week if you want to increase your views. I post daily and have done so for a couple years maybe missing a day or two a month and my blog just hit 3 million views 2 wees ago. Frequency.
2. Give them content of value, tutorials bring more traffic than a finished project. companies want you to be able to show you how to use a product. Give people a reason to go to your blog.
3. promote, post your work in galleries, contribute to message boards and share in other crafting media sites. Have your blog in your signature so people can access it.

If you want you blog to get you on a DT you have to treat it like a job I hope it helped. You can check out my blog, the link is below.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:49 AM   #13
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Great advice, Lindsay!
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:16 AM   #14
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Not a blogger and I dont visit them often quite honestly b/c of time constraints. I think yours looks pretty cute!

What will get me "off the couch" to look at blogs?

1) Participate in a "hop" would be a main one. Challenges would be a tie with that. Especially at mfg sites...If I want to see how a product is going to look..like a stamp, a die, an emboss folder...the more examples I see of it the better. Now I am not saying run out and buy all the product....but if they have color themes, subject themes...and you have their product already..it's a thought. Also...look at Gen suppliers too..like Simon Says, Joann's, etc for opportunities to post. That would give you more leeway on products to use...which may be circling back to a hop.
2) Get pieces published so readers come looking for you. I know-that is probably like the chicken and the egg again but it could happen! Then you get to use those thingies on the side-badges? (see-I really dont blog lol) to show you did it.
3) I totally agree...if I love a card I will come looking to see if there are directions to make it. But please be really clear on the directions...just listing the supplies is frustrating for newbies like me. (which I saw you did so that's cool)
4) Be shameless. Ask all you friends/family to look at it-even if they are not crafty people-aren't they interested in what you are doing? You can tell them you are trying to build traffic and need their support. Time for payback on all the stuff you supported them with!

People "herd"...seriously. They go where they think others want to go...so once you get started it will keep going...I learned this from doing flea markets. Everytime no one is at my table, I step out from the back and come around to be in front it of like I am looking...and someone will come over pretty quickly. lol

I have noticed some bloggers give away candy pretty regularly. If you have supplies you are not using...consider doing this. People love freebies! I think it needs to be new though. Maybe something you never used and realize you never will. 10 pcs of DP or pre cut it into postcards and make sets...etc. The timing on this....I saw a lot of it during hops...it might not be the day of the hop...but in a few days or a week later...so people come back and leave a post.

Seeing your name often around...I had NO idea who Jennifer McGuire was...but I kept seeing pics of her work around..and then people might mention her in a thread...after I heard the name enough times I finally went to look her up. It starts subconsciously...people see it over time and something clicks in the brain and you go, "Wait a minute-I know this name".

And I think they are right when they say YouTube because I go there often to get tutorials. I learn best when I see someone do a thing live.

Good luck!

Last edited by wavejumper; 06-18-2014 at 05:19 AM..
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:21 AM   #15
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Here's my advice, not that I'm an "expert" or anything, LOL:
1.) SCS is a great help in getting your blog out there. Enter your work in the challenges.
Comment on work you like, & visit those people's blogs & comment there too. Many will come to your blog to pay back your kindness.
2.) Subscribe to different companies (you'll also be the first to know when there's a sale) & participate in their blog hops & leave comments, also different Paper Crafting Blogs, example: Moxie Fab.
3.) Participate in an on-line card class & comment on other's work.
4.) Look to comment on other's work more than them commenting on your work!
5.) Find a company YOU LOVE & go crazy with the challenges!!!! When doing those challenges, comment on other's work! Not just the DT members, but the other participants!
6.) Have fun!
(If I think of anything else, I'll add to this!)
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:49 AM   #16
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I love your blog it is so colorful and cheery! Your cards are awesome. I was going to become a follower and I could not fine where to sign up other than "follow by email" there is another way to just be a follower but I could not find it on your blog. Also another way to get followers is to do some kind of promotion or giveaway, it is not my way of choice but it will get you followers.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanadonnaC View Post
I love your blog it is so colorful and cheery! Your cards are awesome. I was going to become a follower and I could not fine where to sign up other than "follow by email" there is another way to just be a follower but I could not find it on your blog. Also another way to get followers is to do some kind of promotion or giveaway, it is not my way of choice but it will get you followers.
Thanks so much for the compliment! I have worked very hard on the blog so it makes me so happy to hear you like it

Regarding subscribing, I was unsure how people would most prefer to get content. I heard alot of folks follow blogs through Bloglovin so I added that icon. if you click the Bloglovin icon it will take you to their site. If you click on the Facebook "Like" button which is under the email sign up, you can get content updates from my blog sent to your facebook feed.

If there is another way you think people would want to sign up besides the three I have, I am alllll ears! Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:36 AM   #18
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Not a blogger myself but I follow ALOT of them. These are my two cents:

There are so many card/paper crafting blogs so you want to single yourself out. Ask "what do I do that's unique from others"? "what can I bring that's different"? Honestly, after a while they begin looking the same. By being different, you ensure that traffic will stay visiting because of your "secret sauce".

Video tutorials really drew me in at first, because I was learning. Then tips like how to "stretch your stamps" or how to organize. Everyone could use more tips on how to organize.

Finally, product companies want to see that you promote their items. At the bottom of many successful blog posts, products links are listed. Not only does that make it easier for me (I dont have to hunt for the specific item that you used) but its a promotion for both the distributor (website where the item is purchased) and the manufacturer of the product. Everyone wins!

Oops...one more thing. There are a few blogs that exactly address this kind of business expansion. SmartCreativeWomen.com and 4020Vision.com are two that seem to have good advice.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:49 PM   #19
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Kim: Here is a success story you can definitely learn from (even though you are not marketing and can't offer a free stamp, this sings): Offer A Free Stamp, Get 600 New Facebook Fans | Constant Contact Blogs
Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLady View Post
Here's my advice, not that I'm an "expert" or anything, LOL:
1.) SCS is a great help in getting your blog out there. Enter your work in the challenges.
Comment on work you like, & visit those people's blogs & comment there too. Many will come to your blog to pay back your kindness.
2.) Subscribe to different companies (you'll also be the first to know when there's a sale) & participate in their blog hops & leave comments, also different Paper Crafting Blogs, example: Moxie Fab.
3.) Participate in an on-line card class & comment on other's work.
4.) Look to comment on other's work more than them commenting on your work!
5.) Find a company YOU LOVE & go crazy with the challenges!!!! When doing those challenges, comment on other's work! Not just the DT members, but the other participants!
6.) Have fun!
(If I think of anything else, I'll add to this!)
Adding to this:
7.) In the meantime, hone your skills! Discover your "style!" etc.!
8.) Yes, come up with something that is all your own! (Maybe, a 3-D template that no one else has!)
9.) Give it time!
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:11 PM   #21
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I didn't read all the other posts but I'd play as many challenges as you can. That's the best way to be seen by as many people as possible. And comment on lots of blogs. Share the love. Don't only follow the big names, follow company blogs, smaller names and challenge only/challenge-on-a-personal-blog type blogs too. And when applying for a design team, look at their DT. Do you fit what they are looking for in a designer? Would you fit in with their team? You might add something they don't currently have or if they tend to look for one type of blogger only (my top one that comes to mind is Maja Designs), do you match their other members. You don't necessarily have to use their product but it sure helps, but do you fit their style? If you want to work for Taylored Expressions, you'd better like cute! HTH
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:53 AM   #22
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This is all excellent advice....I appreciate it greatly! I added some new things to the blog based on suggestions you've all made. I now have a "contact me" for email, I added Pinterest/FB/Twitter buttons, etc. I'm not sure whether nanadonnaC was referring to my blog or to Kimzkardz's blog with the difficulty in subscribing. I am able to see where to subscribe on mine, but it doesn't look that appealing. I'm not sure how to change that, lol! In any case, I'm so glad I've joined SCS....everyone has been awesome so far!
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:52 AM   #23
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Kim-
Boy it's a good thing I keep the weekly newsletter till the next one comes out..I can't search a thread to save my life here yet...

So...I was thinking about you and had a couple ideas...and then viola! I discovered something fabulous here!

You want to be a DT member right? I was thinking how sad b/c I have gotten calls for DT via mfg newsletter emails and could not remember who....

So my first suggestion is to sign up for all the mfg newsletters-esp the little guys, b/c not only do you get DT calls, but new release notices and coupons.

Then I was thinking gee wouldn't it be great if this place had a board for those kinds of anouncements...and THEY DO!!!! On the main forum page! There is a dedicated forum for DT calls and a second for publication calls! So you could apply that way. I think that is terrific! Getting your cards published (I believe) is a good feather in the cap for DT applications? Certainly would be a blog driver!

Lastly...check with your local LSS...they may have a DT. (Who might be making sample cards in the store of newly arriving product-either stamps or a process-like new ink types) That is how I met a very dear friend...she is both a teacher and a DT for my LSS and I was constantly asking for more info about her card samples they had around the store. OR if the LSS has a website and are have a blog list for locals, they might list you.

Anyway...hope something here is of help.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #24
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Thank you!! I actually was on my LSS's DT for a awhile. They've since closed (so sad!!). I did notice the DT/pub board and will definitely keep an eye on it!!!!
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:56 AM   #25
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I have debated over a blog for a few years; wondering if it is worth the effort of so much work to put into it; so, I have also wondered if it might work with a few friends added to the blog as contributors to make it more variety; cooking, sewing, stamping etc may draw more people
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:13 AM   #26
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I have debated over a blog for a few years; wondering if it is worth the effort of so much work to put into it; so, I have also wondered if it might work with a few friends added to the blog as contributors to make it more variety; cooking, sewing, stamping etc may draw more people
There ARE blogs out there like this! Jump into all the FUN!!!! You WILL LOVE IT once your toes are wet!
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:07 AM   #27
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Another great thing for bloggers is to really consider who your audience is and what they want from you... or... if you don't have an audience yet, consider what type of demographic you want to attract and what you have to offer them. From comments in your gallery or on your blog, what are you doing that's making people react? or ask for more?

What makes your heart flutter? clean simplicity, artistic touches, great coloring, quick upcycles, vintage items, tips and tricks? What can you offer to others who share your passion? Is your passion contagious?

On Food Network's Star competition they talk about the importance of having a POV - a point of view or a core value that 1.) encompasses your heart as an artist (they're artists, right? just with food as their medium) and 2.) directs what you produce for your audience.

It does take time to develop your 'self' and your POV.

OK! Enough philosophy - time for me to play!
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:17 AM   #28
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Dina - I Love Food Network Star! What a great suggestion to define your POV.

Kim - Your site is fantastic. Your cards are adorable. You're going to get there! To speed the process I just have a couple of suggestions.
1. Try to use products that are as current as possible. When people buy new stamps, etc., they often search the web for ideas . . . segue to the next suggestion.
2. Do everything you can to help Google searches find you. I don't use Blogger (I use WordPress), but I'm betting Blogger has a way you to add terms in the backend (SEO) to help people find you both for the blog in general and for each blog post.
3. Again, to help people find you in searches, list out all the ingredients of each card. You can use a tool like InLinz to make it easier.
4. Pinterest! Pinterest! It's my number one referrer. When you pin your projects to Pinterest, be sure to describe them in ways that will help people find you in their searches. For example, when you pin your adorable owl card, describe it as "End of year teacher's thank you card with an owl image and wood embossed, glossy accents frame." . . . or something like that. Just "Cool Card" isn't going to help.

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:18 AM   #29
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Kim-Creative Visions is looking for card makers-check out their website.
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Old 08-24-2014, 01:20 AM   #30
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I read this entire thread because I too am wondering about the same thing. Read everyones advice and really going to try applying them. I am a little hesitant using YouTube this is because of a nerve problem I have in both hands due to a birth defect ans surgery. My hands work fine just DIFFERENT. I was thinking maybe stating off small like a room tour. What do yo
you all think?

Kim,
Your blog is wonderful I love how colorful it is!!! Great job!!!
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:50 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by anganny View Post
I read this entire thread because I too am wondering about the same thing. Read everyones advice and really going to try applying them. I am a little hesitant using YouTube this is because of a nerve problem I have in both hands due to a birth defect ans surgery. My hands work fine just DIFFERENT. I was thinking maybe stating off small like a room tour. What do yo
you all think?

Kim,
Your blog is wonderful I love how colorful it is!!! Great job!!!
Start small if you feel you need to, but DON'T WORRY about people! Just DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Ignore others remarks & trod-on! Most people probably wouldn't even notice if you have a nerve problem with your hands. There will ALWAYS be people who want to steal your dreams! They are not important! Believe me, with a life time of having people try to walk all over me, & discourage me, for whatever reason, it never ends! Those type of people will TRY TO FIND SOMETHING they can pick at you with! BUT, with an attitude that those kinds of people don't really matter---because they have their own issues! You will go far in doing what you love!
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:42 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLady View Post


Start small if you feel you need to, but DON'T WORRY about people! Just DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Ignore others remarks & trod-on! Most people probably wouldn't even notice if you have a nerve problem with your hands. There will ALWAYS be people who want to steal your dreams! They are not important! Believe me, with a life time of having people try to walk all over me, & discourage me, for whatever reason, it never ends! Those type of people will TRY TO FIND SOMETHING they can pick at you with! BUT, with an attitude that those kinds of people don't really matter---because they have their own issues! You will go far in doing what you love!

Thank you much for the encouraging words. I am definitely goingbto try!!!
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Old 08-24-2014, 04:17 PM   #33
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Thank you much for the encouraging words. I am definitely goingbto try!!!
You are SO WELCOME!!!!! Just remember, no matter WHAT people say, hold your head up high & march on! Don't let others squash your dreams & be sure to let me know you have posted too! I will be there with bells on if I can to encourage you! If God gives you talent, you must use it! Many Blessings!!!! I look forward to seeing your beautiful work!
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Old 10-07-2014, 03:24 PM   #34
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Great thread! I'm trying to get my blog off the ground too!

Please visit my blog too....would love some constructive criticism!

I will keep these things in mind!!
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Old 01-25-2015, 05:19 PM   #35
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This is an amazing thread! I know it's an old one but I've just been totally encouraged.

I've been feeling blue about my site and trying to get a POV to focus on. I'm torn between digitals stamps design and card making design. PLUS money keeps getting in my way. I want money but I know I need to focus on the love of card making, designing digi stamps and having fun with people.

Anyway, thanks for all the feed back, it's priceless!
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:58 AM   #36
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Same here. I have been struggling with my blog. All this advice and, even more, the support and cheering, have really helped me today. Thank you all for taking the time to contribute to this thread!
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:45 PM   #37
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Sending Crafty ((((HUGS!))))
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Old 03-14-2015, 03:19 AM   #38
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Great thread! I'm new to blogging too and I have only one follower

I'm hoping to put some of these great ideas in place to boost things. Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:49 AM   #39
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I come to this thread to find new bloggers here and there. I like seeing when the blogger makes the posts. Some don't include the date of their post. I still read it, but I like to know how old the posts are that I'm digging back into. Gives me a line of perspective.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:48 PM   #40
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Blogging is a struggle. But if you keep at it, you will find your place. Just remember: look at it like a business and make it a habit. Make valuable contributions to the community and it's more likely that your following will grow.
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