Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Year of Blogging

One year ago I started blogging.  I can't believe that I've been doing this for a full year!   I really don't know what I'm doing and most days I think: what should I post next!!  I've read that some bloggers have 10 posts waiting at a time - that's not me.  I started this whole blogging thing because since moving away from Toronto about 5 years ago, I found it hard to find freelance staging and stylist work; it just wasn't the same attitude, environment or sensibility as Toronto.  But it seems that I am always consulting and helping people with their design choices.  Sometimes it's at the paint store or the fabric store or the mall...wherever it is, people always seem to walk up to me and ask me what I would do.  I can't tell you how many people I've helped in the paint store.  So I thought, why not just show people some things I've done and choices I've made and see if that helps them in their own lives.  I was also transitioning from a traditional century home to a previously-owned new build, so I thought I could share this transformation.  My goal has always been to show people great style wherever I see it, so that they can be inspired in their own lives.

You've all heard about stepping out and doing something that's not in your comfort zone. Well, blogging has been that for me - believe me.  I'm an artistic person and have no computer or social media skills.  I'm not even a writer.  Let me just give you some perspective here - I'm not on Facebook and have never been on Facebook, I just got an iPhone and I had no idea really what a blog was until about 3 years ago.  This may sound strange to some people but I really felt like God was telling me to step out in faith, put my talents out there and to trust Him.  So I did...about a year later.  

This year I have learned how to use Blogger (well kind of), Goggle (sort of), Pinterest, Pic Monkey, Polyvore (still learning) , Etsy (sort of), Instagram and Spoonflower (fabric available soon)  to name a few.  That's right... me - the one who is completely afraid of technology and wants to be a hermit and recluse!    I've also become a better photographer in this process, and hope to get a camera soon.  (I don't think I could learn another technical thing right now so I'm waiting to purchase one).  I've learned all of this just this past year.  So let me encourage you to put your talents out there - whatever they are.  If I can learn all of these things that completely scare me, then so can you.  
Just do it!

Unfortunately, I've also learned that this blogging and social media thing is a bit of a game.  It's not just about your talent, your content or your abilities but really more about who you know and how many followers you have.  It's full of link parties, follow Fridays and Like to Know It.  I believe it's become very disingenuous in the process of getting followers and comments.  That's why you will see countless link parties urging you to follow and contests saying if you follow, like and comment you could win something.  Maybe this is just part of the sticker generation.  These people grew up with getting stickers for everything they did and now that transfers to likes and followers.  I didn't grow up getting stickers so I can't relate.  I don't really understand why if you have 5k, 10k or 40k followers you need more, maybe they get paid more by advertisers.   I totally understand if you like a product and want to share (I do that) or if you believe in a product and are getting paid to tell people, but I don't understand when every other post is selling something for profit.  I've stopped following some of the bigger blogs I used to follow because every other post was an ad.  To me that shows that they are more concerned about making money than being genuine.  I've also learned that a person with a large following is never going to comment or like a photo on a smaller blog, Pinterest or IG account unless they have something to gain. They will ask questions to encourage comments and urge you to follow them, but they won't reciprocate.  I've learned that it's kind of like the playground at school.  You know, the popular kids and the unpopular kids.

Here's what I love about blogging and social media.  Anyone can put their photos or ideas out there and get recognized.  Years ago (I know I'm aging myself) we used to have to wait for the magazine to come once a month to get our fix of great design.  And great design was dictated by the social media at the time - magazines.  Now guess who's being featured in all the magazines - that's right - bloggers.    I love this. It's like the power is in the hands of the people.  I think there are some very talented people out there, and definitely much better at blogging and social media than I am.  I'm just very grateful and thankful for the opportunity.

This is probably the longest post I'll ever write but I thought I should share.  Thank you to those who read this blog and support me on this journey.  I hope this encourages you to step out and try something new in your own life.  Remember, we all have talents and we all need to use those talents, even if it means doing things we're 
terrified of doing!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Janet - so proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone and blogging for a year now! Way to go! Your innate design and fashion sense is impeccable, and I love that you've done so much on a shoestring inspiring! I've followed you for most of this whole journey, and want to commend you for what you've accomplished! And you have a great eye for photography too - which will just continue to improve, so when you decide to invest in a camera, you'll continue to grow by leaps and bounds. Love what you've done with your house and garden! Blessings to you and your whole family as they support you in this artistic endeavour!