Wednesday, February 5, 2014

HEART TO HEART

created in MDS
I need to "talk" to you from the bottom of my heart. 

When I began my blog, Paper Seedlings, in September of 2012, I had such lofty, grandiose hopes and expectations. It took me several months to do what I thought I needed to "do it right" and finally write my first post.

As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator in demonstrator-saturated Central Wisconsin, I had thought that by sharing what I love through a blog would give me a much longer reach, virtually an unlimited reach, to instill creative ideas in others of a like mind. And hopefully gain new customers and paper crafting friends through my efforts.

Because I have bad arthritis in my hands and a terrible case of nervousness/klutziness, I decided immediately that I would not be able to touch my audience in a desirable fashion by offering videos as so many demonstrators do on their blogs. I had thought instead that by offering very concise tutorials a few times each month would appeal to my readers. I have had a few appreciative comments about my tutorials -- thank you! I had also several times asked that if you are ever inspired by anything I offered on Paper Seedlings and want to purchase items to maybe do a project that I presented, to please denote me as your Stampin' Up! Demonstrator when placing your order. It has never happened.

On a few occasions, I've attempted to offer contests and challenges with only very limited success. Most of the participants are wonderful people I already know.

My little quote ideas that I included from the start have garnered no interest whatsoever. I had thought there were lots of people like me who love and collect quotes, and that this would maybe be appealing. Nope.

You seem to love my little granddaughter, Stella, almost as much as I do by the comments I receive when I post scrapbook layouts of her I created in MDS. But, obviously I've never inspired anyone enough to want to jump on the MDS bandwagon.

THEN, a few posts ago, I thought maybe I'd hit upon a potential winner! When I presented my sanded embossed tissue box in a card, you seemed delighted. Yayyy! So, I decided I would move into projects that use nontraditional/unconventional materials in conjunction with my beloved Stampin' Up! products. You know, kind of "green" crafting? Recycle. Reuse.

So, along those lines, I created my mystery backgrounds, inviting readers to guess the technique and materials used in the eight backgrounds. I received a few responses. And people, in the comments I received, seemed interested and excited.

I could hardly wait to create a card from one of the backgrounds and present it, along with details on how they were made. Even though the post was published early Sunday morning, so far I have received merely one comment. And that is from a dear dear friend who lives about 40 miles from me and comes to my Stamp-In workshops.

I had promised myself that I would not whine, so I am going to pull on my big girl pants, and get on with it.

I have been feeling very, very discouraged at the lack of success I've experienced in attempting to plant little creative paper seedlings in my blog readers' minds. The other day I made a decision. If I still feel the same at the end of this month, I will discontinue my blog.

Which brings me to the big favor I'd like to ask of you. If you've been touched or inspired in some positive way by what I've been offering in Paper Seedlings over the past almost year and a half, please let me know. If you have any suggestions for ways that I could improve what I offer or any other ideas for me, please share them also.

In other words, make me want to keep on keeping on. I really do want to continue planting Paper Seedlings.

Paper
Smiles.


10 comments:

  1. Hi! I just found your blog today on Free Pretty Things for You. I have been blogging since 2008 and I have gone through times of success and times of thinking I must be writing for myself only. Last year I got into a slump and just didn't have the desire to post for a few months. I know what you mean when you say you post something that you think will generate lots of comments and you get nothing. It's disheartening. I have just decided to revamp my own blog and will be rolling out a new design and layout shortly. I just wanted to write to say that you aren't alone. The blogging world is so big that you might think you're swimming by yourself. Hang in there and good luck to you. I am going to subscribe to keep up with your decision. P.S. I love SU products myself!

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  2. I, too, just found your blog today on Thursday Favorite Things.

    We have all had that 'moment' when we wonder if our blog makes a difference.

    Mostly, I think, you have to decide what you really want from your blog. Personally, I just blog and photoblog for myself--the wonderful followers I have are from joining hops and commenting on other blogs and looking for other opportunities on other blogs. I also have decided that 'views' are more important than comments (although, I adore comments!) in terms of my blog 'getting out there' because people don't comment as much as we'd like.

    I have noticed that those blogs with a lot of followers are associated with 'the sits girls' (It started as a blog called 'the secrets in the sauce' and has absolutely exploded into a women's blogging social network). Google 'the sits girls' and you can find them. I found some blogs I liked there when I first started.

    I think some research on your specialty online might help you find a larger audience. You have to find those with similar interest and then get your name and blog out there so others know you exist. Join groups. Join Facebook groups. I just googled 'facebook stampin' up' and got 2m results!

    If you really want to keep blogging then do a little each day to get your blog noticed and don't get discouraged! You found two new commenters today!

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  3. This series is done by a friend of mine and it might help you http://www.tamerabeardsley.com/2014/02/write-blog-you-want-to-read-part-one.html
    Hope to see you keep joining us on the Thursday Blog Hop! I think Tamera's series for bloggers is going to be a good one!

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  4. Oh Linda, please hang in there. We all go through bad times as you know. Just remember we're survivors and we'll get through this. I'd miss your blog so much. I always love the art you make.

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  5. I'm so sorry that you're feeling like that. I love stopping by and seeing your designs, even if I don't leave a comment. Honestly I've found that people just don't comment as much as they used to (if at all) because of Pinterest and everything else going on. It doesn't mean at all that they aren't inspired by what you are doing. You can read some really amazing blogs and they'll still only have one or two comments. If you do continue blogging (and I hope you do), I hope that it's because you love what you're doing and sharing your ideas with people, even if people aren't always as responsive as you hope. Good luck Linda.

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  6. hugs, hugs hugs..lots of hugs. I want you to keep on keeping on my friend. I love seeing your creations. Thank you for helping to make the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop so much fun. Big Hugs ♥

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  7. Hi, I just found you and love your pretty Heart to Heart for the posting. I also struggle at times. My blog is only done for tablescapes and I do this one to two times a month. I enjoyed reading about your blog and will try to keep up with you for you are a good writer. My illness the last few months has caused me much pain but with the help of my husband I am going on with my blog to keep up my spirits. Sometimes just reaching one person is important and I'm new. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

    Pam

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  8. Please don't' give up ever! My mom only yesterday has learned to use the internet to help her find inspiration for her card making and your blog is the first one I am sending her to. Your bright cards and enjoyable posts make our blog better for you being there! Thank you for linking @ Doggone Dirty Craftin!

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  9. This is so pretty! Thanks for sharing at the weekly party @DearCreatives have a happy Valentines Day! Hope to see you again soon. Theresa

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  10. Oh Linda, (Big Hugs)I went back to read your full post and had to come back on to comment. It's true that often times people aren't taking the time to comment, but that doesn't mean that your work here isn't appreciated. Especially by those that come by and see your lovely paper-crafts. Blogging is hard work and I know how frustrating things can get sometimes. Blog because you love sharing what you do. Cut back if you need to but, don't quit. Thanks for being a valued contributor to DearCreatives
    I hope your crafting away and enjoying your day! All my best, Theresa

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