First of all, this is, after almost nine years of blogging on Paper Seedlings, my 1,000th post.
With that milestone, I wanted to make this post something a little different and more special, maybe more thought provoking. Of course, I am going to feature a card and talk about that because that is the purpose of Paper Seedlings. But, I also wanted to discuss (hopefully you will join in to make it a discussion!) something that has been heavy on my mind for quite some time now.
This card is another one that, through the use of Stampin' Up!'s lovely Designer Series Paper, a creator is able to make a stunning card with minimal effort.
I stamped in Memento Tuxedo Black ink one of the flowers from the Four Seasons Floral stamp set. I used Light Misty Moonlight and Light Just Jade Stampin' Blends to color it in. I then fussy cut the flower.
Cutting a label using one of the dies from the Ornate Dies set, I created a nice panel on which to adhere the flower.
Unfortunately, the DSP I'd chosen to use for the card was very very busy, and the flower panel blended in too much. So I mounted the white label onto a piece of Misty Moonlight cardstock and fussy cut a small border all around it. That was just enough to delineate my focal point from the busy flowers surrounding it.
For the sentiment, I cut a cheery "hello" from the Misty Moonlight cardstock, surrounded by white and added it to the bottom of the DSP. This panel was mounted to a Misty Moonlight card base.
There! My card is done. And I am happy with it.
When I started Paper Seedlings back in 2012, blogs were all the rage, with some bloggers having been blogging much longer than that even. My original intent, from which I have never deviated in all these years, was to share my love of papercrafting and Stampin' Up! products with my readers. I also had high hopes of gaining new customers.While that hasn't happened, with the exception of two readers who subscribed to Paper Pumpkin for awhile, I still persevered.
Looking back to my humble beginnings, on September 5, 2012, that weird little first post had 213 views. Nowadays I need to be happy with 213 views.
Looking back to a post from September 27, 2012, Autumn Splendor Emboss Resist, that post had a whopping 17.618 views!! Yes, almost 18,000 views. And it was shared and shared. Several of my posts over the years have achieved views that numbered in the thousands. That happened quite often.
On May 3, 2013, I did achieve more than 18,000 views. 18,221 to be exact! Thrilling! But wait! On August 20, 2013, my White Wedding post was checked out by 31,953 readers! From about this time into 2017, I felt my blog was being seen by lots of people. And I was happy.
Starting in 2017, my blog readership seems to have gone into something of a decline with post views running in the 400-600 range, with a few forays into the 1000+ range, on a regular basis. That trend continued until later in 2019 when viewership dropped into the 200-400 range regularly.
Then something happened long about the beginning of the Pandemic. Huh. Until the present time, when I am lucky to see a post exceed 100 views, view numbers have been disappointing..
What is this all about? I know my work hasn't declined. In fact, I know I am steadily improving and bringing my readers lots of good creative paper ideas.
My daughter and her husband tell me that blogs are not where it's at anymore. It seems everyone is enamored with Instagram Stories, podcasts, newsletters (isn't that basically what a blog is??). I know blogs are folding all over blogland. But why?
Another thing that has fallen off, and the food I need to keep my blog somewhat alive, is Link Parties. I know to host and run a Link Party for any length of time is expensive and very time consuming. But, there are those who persist with this service. In fact, I link up to one party that is nearing 600 weeks of her Link Party!
On occasion, I run across someone's list of Link Parties they "attend", and I am so excited to check them out, thinking I can maybe find new ones to keep me going. However, disappointingly, lots of these bloggers do not keep their list of Link Parties up-to-date, with lots of them showing the last Link Party happening several years ago!
If you are interested in linking up in this manner, be sure to click on the "I Link Up To . . . " button on the top of my blog. I am faithful about keeping my listing super up-to-date. If it's listed, it is an active Link Party.
And now, Blogger is removing their Feedburner widget, which allows potential readers to sign up for email updates of their favorite blogs. Nice.
One more thing: So many bloggers are very successful with their videos on sites such as YouTube. I have very bad arthritis in my hands and they are sort of cripply looking. Ew! I am so self-conscious about it. I know viewers would just focus on the awful hands. I also am not comfortable demonstrating this way. So that is not a possibility for me.
After hearing all this yummering (a word from my childhood, meaning complaining and/or venting), I would really like to hear from you. Whether a blogger yourself and trying to contend with my same problems, a reader who has maybe become bored or has moved on to other interests, someone who is just interested in the dilemmas modern day bloggers face on a day to day basis, I know you all have something to say. And we would all love to hear it.
I feel I have so much to contribute to anyone who is following a papercrafting journey. As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, we are encouraged to share what we love. And that's my favorite thing to do. Staying creative is, as I say in my blog intro, my life blood. It's all that keeps me alive. Seriously. But no one is happy to feel they are communicating in a near void.
As I am going through my Link Parties each day, I try to check out sites that are also linking up, leaving comments when I am moved to do so. Likewise, when I receive a comment on my blog, I am religious with giving a response. So, I try to be a genuinely interested blogger.
There are days when I feel under-viewed (?) and that it just doesn't make any sense to keep up the effort of blogging twice a week. My husband and daughter just keep telling me that it's worth it even if I just do it for myself and because I love it. Is that really enough?
I'm truly curious to find out if any other bloggers are experiencing qualms such as I described. If so, are you able to just move on and continue as you've always been? Have you found any solutions to these dilemmas of modern day blogging? Or is this form of communication truly on its way out? And, if you believe it is, what is a good alternative?
I often do feel tempted to give up on Stampin' Up! and my creative pastimes. But then I ask myself, what else would I have that means anything to me? I NEED this creative outlet!