Quilt Blog Tips from the Experts
You started quilting. You started blogging. Now what?
Are you wondering how to turn the passion for your hobby into something more? Something bigger? Do you want to make it your life’s work? A full time business?
As a quilting blogger, you may have asked yourself, “Do I have what it takes to succeed?”
Just what does it take?
I’ve invited a few friends, peers, and mentors to pitch in on the subject.
A little Ask the Experts Interview, if you will.
Many are authors, speakers, and teachers. Some have been featured in a variety of crafting and quilting magazines. Others are talented pattern writers and fabric designers. They are all gifted experts. Each has generously offered, to share with you today, their answers to this simple question.
for an emerging quilting blogger to possess?”
|Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Modern Quilts|
There are so many blogs out there, it can be hard to differentiate yourself from the pack. Consider the focus of your blog before getting started. What is your goal in blogging? What do you want to share? It could be documenting your creative journey. It could be providing tutorials for those just starting out. It could be focusing on a particular design style or type of finished product (modern quilts, traditional quilts, children’s clothing, adult clothing, bags, home decor, etc). I’ve seen successful blogs with both broad and narrow scope, but it’s important to sit down and think about your goals before getting started.
|Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter|
Courage to share. Courage to be patient while people are first finding you. Courage to try new things. Courage to not get discouraged. Courage to work hard. Courage to have confidence with who you are. Courage to not compare yourself to others.
|Christa Watson of Christa Quilts|
I believe that being genuinely friendly is one of the keys to my blog’s success. When people leave such nice comments on my blog, I can’t help but be friendly right back! I’ve met so many wonderful friends through blogging and I love how we all support and encourage each other. Even though the quilting industry is huge, having connections with other quilters online makes me feel like I’m part of a hometown quilting bee with hundreds of my best friends!
|Sam Hunter of Hunter Design Studio|
When I sit down to write for a blog, I’m aware that the thing I want to do most for my readers is to SERVE them in some way. I look at my writing in terms of what I consider to be categories of SERVICE… Education, Encouragement/Inspiration, or Entertainment. If I can’t fit my thoughts into one of those categories, I probably need to re-assess what I’m about to write. For instance, a rant for the sake of a rant is just selfish. Illustrating an argument with a rant, and inviting healthy discussion among readers – that’s education. It’s a busy world out there, and we writers need to respect that our readers are giving us their precious attention. I know that not everything I write will be epic – it’s a worthy aim, and I’m happy when I hit the occasional one out of the park. But when I write I want it to have value beyond merely filling space just because “I haven’t written for a while and I should get something out there.” My readers deserve so much more than that.
|Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced|
Bloggers are almost always their own bosses—and there are a lot of advantages to that. But it also means nobody is giving you deadlines or holding you accountable for meeting those deadlines. As a quilt blogger, you also have to make time to sew in addition to your blogging responsibilities—otherwise you won’t have anything to blog about! So I think a quilt blogger needs to really be a self-starter and have a lot of motivation in order to make the blog a success over the long haul. You might not always feel like sitting down to blog, but for the most part you need to be enthusiastic and the love for what you do should come through in your blog posts. If you inspire people, they’ll come back for more. But if you’re not motivated, that will come across in your work, and it will make it that much more difficult for you to continue blogging long-term.
|Katherine of Sew Me Something Good|
It’s spirited and determined courage that can make you reach for your dreams and at the same time set you apart from the crowd. We all face challenges that require fearlessness and daring – that is essentially what pluck is. It is that strength of mind that will see you through – with pluck, you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again – you will succeed.
|Tessa Marie Walker of The Sewing Chick|
If there is anything that I have learned from the early days of my quilting adventure, it is that nothing has stood in the way of my creativity more than fear. Fear of messing it up, fear of wasting fabric, 8time or money, fear of what others will think and the big one…fear of failure!! My advice to anyone starting out is to be FEARLESS! Now, that doesn’t mean don’t be afraid or have those feelings, it means to recognize the feelings and move forward anyway. Ask yourself, “what’s the worst that could happen?” Probably nothing even remotely serious. You will mess it up sometimes and that is okay. You will waste fabric, but if you have been in a quilt shop lately (and I know you have), there is lots more fabric! There is no such thing as wasting time if you are doing something that you love and are learning from the process. All experiences are valuable, no matter the outcome. Any time we are creating, we are opening ourselves up to the opinions of others, especially if we are blogging about our efforts or posting on social media. I was very wary of this when I began my blog (what if someone is mean to me?), but I can honestly say that in the two years that I have been blogging, I have not had one negative comment – not one! Now, I know that doesn’t mean everyone has liked my work – that’s impossible, but it does mean that those that don’t have been nice enough not to say so. The quilting community is very kind and supportive and we all kind of cheer each other on.
|Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts|
Once you’ve outlined what your brand, style, mission and goals are for your blog, just start doing it and keep it up. Building a following takes time, planning, patience and loads of perseverance to achieve your desired presence in the community. Keep at it, and the yield could be far more than you considered when you first started out.
|Michèle-Renée Charbonneau of Quilt Matters|
The online quilting community is just that — a community. One of the best ways to meet other wonderful bloggers and become known is to participate in linky parties. And by participate, don’t just link up. I mean be a good participant — include a link to the party in your post (not on a hidden page of your blog), comment on the host’s post and visit at least some of the other participants and leave comments. Do unto others… 🙂
|Nettie Peterson of a quilt is nice|
I think you have to be true to who you are as a quilter. Quilt what you want to quilt. Show what you want to show. Love it and be proud of it. It is so easy to get caught in the blogging world, trying to keep up with the Jones’, as they say, but it’s a slippery slope–there will always be someone out there with a better idea, better fabrics, better colors. So be genuine in your quilts and be genuine in your interactions with others. Readers will see it, and you will be happier.
|Amanda Jean Nyberg of Crazy Mom Quilts|
Now it’s YOUR turn…
What are your thoughts?
What steps have you taken in order to achieve success?
What does success mean to YOU?
Keep On Quilting On!