Today I am able to tell you that I have written 350 blog posts! To be fair, this one (when finished) will be the 351st. However, last week’s post was part of the ‘Watch the Stars’ mystery quilt for 2022 series , so that one needed to be published at the beginning of the month – as all the remaining ten posts will. (You can read the introduction to the project here.)
I’m not sure that I imagined, when I started out in September 2014, that there would be so many! At the beginning, I knew it was important to have a website and I spent many weeks that autumn learning how to make one. Everything was new and I often had to try a particular process over and over again until I understood how to make something happen on a ‘page’ of the website. I was reluctant to hand over to a website expert, mainly because mine was a start-up on a shoe-string but also because I wanted to understand how the website worked, so that I could make alterations myself. I used this image to mark how new I felt about the whole notion of starting a small business. (You can read the post that goes with the photo here.)
Over time, the look of the website has changed and new sections have been added. One of these is the TUTORIALS section here, which puts a number of different resources at your disposal. Some of these started as blog-posts, but have been gathered together to make them easy to find. This week-end, I was having a conversation with a friend about using specialist fabric adhesive spray to layer up a large quilt. We were discussing a method I use to do this, which appears – with helpful photos – right here.
I have one person in particular to thank for helping me to become consistent with my blogging and that is Michelle of Michelle Rose Marketing (website link below). I did her excellent in-person course on marketing along with Carol Loyd, whose small business Sensory Treasures (link below) is also still going strong all these years later. Michelle taught us both all the basics of marketing and extolled the twin virtues of (a) consistency and (b) ‘done not perfect’. Thanks, Michelle.
Another helper and encourager along the way has been Nicola Jayne Little of Mint Business Club (link below). She (as a former teacher herself) taught me to plan for my business, just as I did when I was planning a year’s worth of ‘content’ for my students! She now helps and encourages many other solopreneurs across the North-East of England.
That brings me to another Nicola, creator of The Makers Yearbook, which helps me do just that. What an excellent tool it is. She also offers all kinds of training and development for creative businesses via her Makers Business Toolkit enterprise (link below).
One of the big decisions I have made as a blogger is not to do any affiliate marketing. After a very brief flirtation with trying this in association with a large online retailer, I decided ‘no more’. I can fully understand why other bloggers do this, as it helps them to receive recompense for the work required to do a blog. It takes a long time to research, write, fact-check, find images and proof-read 500-600 words of content every single week. It takes a certain amount of grit to get up at 6.30am to get a post written because you have been away for the weekend at a wonderful wedding and have a three-hundred-mile drive home to do that day!
However, making recommendations for personal gain just didn’t sit well with me. I want to do a ‘shout out’ to people who have helped me over my seven-year journey. On this Valentine’s Day, I’m ‘showing some love’ to the people mentioned above, who have been part of my story. On the blog, I also tell you about products that I have found helpful, write about things that I think will interest you (art, crafts, textiles), write tutorials and say what I am making currently. I tell you too about the things I have for sale: quilt patterns, fabric designs, classes and quilts for sale. If you are new to this blog, do take a look through some of the 350 posts by using the search box to find something of interest.
Thank you for reading my blog!
Michelle Rose’s website is: https://michellerosemarketing.com/
Carol Loyd’s website is: https://sensorytreasures.co.uk/
Makers Business Toolkit: https://makersbusinesstoolkit.com/