September 6, 2022

WOODEN LEAVES AND TENTH BLOGIVERSARY

Yesterday was milestone time for paperseedlings.com. I started this blog on September 5, 2012. My tenth blogiversary! This is blog post #1137! 

For several years now, I have been very faithful about blogging twice a week, writing my posts on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Without fail. All the blogging experts advise bloggers to be consistent with their posts, in that, if my readers expect a post from me on those two days, there'd better be one. 

Another thing that I am very proud of is the fact that I have never deviated from my reason for starting Paper Seedlings, and for calling it by that name. All through these ten years, I have continued to share with my readers little paper seedlings of inspiration that I hoped would grow into full-sized wonderful and satisfying paper creations. Another reason for starting my blog was that I also hoped to grow my business through my blog, asking readers that, if I inspired them in any way, to maybe order from me as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator once in awhile. That has never happened.

I have been ruminating on blogging for some time now. 

My daughter, a wonderful artist, tells me constantly that blogging is so out of style. That NO ONE blogs anymore. She is somewhat wrong about that, in that I subscribe and link up to many wonderful blogs. 

It does seem that bloggers who host Linky Parties on their blogs are becoming fewer and fewer. Those Link-Ups seem to be where most of my traffic, what little there is, comes from. So, I am indebted to those bloggers who continue to hold these events, mostly on a weekly basis. 

Let's look back a bit. 

My very first post, on September 5, 2012, had 243 views. Not bad for a beginner. Just a few weeks later, on September 27, an autumn post went pretty big on Pinterest and boasts 19,104 views! While that enormous number was a wonderful fluke -- I thought -- the rest of that year did well with many of my posts reaching in the lower 1000s. May 3, 2013 saw an even better surprise: 19,283 views! 

Just before my second blogiversary, on August 20, 2013, my White Wedding post -- WHOA! -- had 36,741 views. Another Pinterest surprise! On my first blogiversary, September 4, 2013, I had a so-so blog post, and even that one garnered 998 views. That second year of blogging was OK, nothing so astounding, but holding in the thousands much of the time.

For my third blogiversary, I posted a card that gained 941 views. Hmmm. That year hummed along sort of boringly, but still maintaining high 100s and into the thousands at times.

A delighrful surprise greeted me with the February 3, 2016, post, Love You Quilt. 18,015 people checked it out! The rest of the year was very similar to the previous one.The next few years found views more in the high hundreds than in the thousands. This continued until the Pandemic hit, when viewership fell into the mid-hundreds for the most part. Huh. 

All of a sudden, long about mid-April 2022, I have been consistently at under 100 views per post. I am actually excited if a post exceeds 100 views. I do not know what happened. I don't think my work is lacking. 

Anyone have any clues? Has something like this happened to you, if you are a blogger -- and had been doing really well before?

I don't know if people are just not interested in cardmaking anymore. Or just stamping in general. Once a month, I do a post on the drawings I'd done from Terry Runyan's #dailycreating group. While, in the beginning, they seemed to have been well-received, but not lately. 

I have been racking my brain, trying to come up with something that would instill more interest in my blog. So far, however, nothing. 

Anyway.

Today, I share with you a bit of autumn decor that I created. Last week, I discovered at the Dollar Tree some wooden leaves on a white beaded ring. One side of the leaf had an initial. ??? Don't ask me why. So, I put two of these leaves in my cart to make them more "me".



By adding some fallish colored Designer Series Paper to the initial side of the leaves, I made cool little doorknob hangers.


I traced the leaves onto my chosen DSP, fussy cut them, and adhered them with liquid glue. Even though the leaves were dressed up in pretty DSP, they still seemed a little plain to me. So I fixed that with a little sponging on the edges.



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It seems like forever that I have been enamored with quotes of all sorts. In the beginning stages of paperseedlings.com, I used quotes quite frequently. I am going to bring them back, hopefully in each blog post. But, that, of course, will depend on time elements. To accompany each quote, I will also include one of my photos that seems to complement the quote.

Don't let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.
- Anais Nin -


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Please, if you have anything to add about blogging, some advice for me, or just anything at all, I would love to hear from you!

I wish you love and joy.

Blogiversary
Smiles.











27 comments:

  1. Oh, Linda, I feel your pain! I've actually been blogging for 13 years this fall. I can't believe it. My readership and views has gone up and down like yours. I want to say just keep doing what you love but I do know there are some ways you might be able to increase your blog readership. Blogs will never go out of style. It's the only place where you own your "list" of followers. Social media followers will come and go (at the whims of algorithms), yet I do recommend that you use social media to attract more blog followers. I've given up on Facebook (for many reasons) but Instagram might still be a viable option for you. You can attract blog followers through your Instagram account, as well as through a Pinterest account. You can also attach a shop to your instagram that can hook up your followers with your Stampin Up merch. Maybe that would help?
    On another note, I will be featuring your post at our Vintage Charm Party next Wednesday morning, so be sure to stop by! I too saw these leaves at Dollar Tree and really wanted to buy 4 of them, spelling out the word "FALL", but of course those letters were already gone! I LOVE what you did with them:) xo Kathleen/ Our Hopeful Home

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    1. My pleasure! As for instagram, I wasn't very specific, sorry:) If you go to my IG account home page @our_hopeful_home and click on linktr.ee link in the header it will take you to a bunch of other links I customized -- my blog, my Etsy shop, my FB page, my Pinterest and Twitter. It's free to use. (I see that Stampinupofficial IG account also uses it. Do you ever tag them in your card IG posts?) You could customize some buttons to go to your blog and perhaps an online store? You can also use something called linkin.bio or smart.bio as well. Also BTW when I clicked on the Contact Me button at the top of your blog I got a 404 notice, thought you'd want to know. Have a great weekend!

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    2. Another wonderful, helpful comment from you! I checked out your IG account and poked around your site quite a lot. I am going to look into linktr.ee for sure. I am so technically unsavvy, it might be over my head. But I am definitely going to give it a try. After spending some time chatting with my daughter today, she had some good ideas for me too -- as far as utilizing Instagram more/better than I have been. Lots and lots to think about. Yes, I was aware that a couple of my buttons under my header didn't work. I had paid someone to redo my blog a few years ago, and I know she would charge me to fix them. I figured no one would press them anyway. Wrong I am! Thank you so so much for all the time you have spent on my insignificant issues -- and for all the wonderful advice! My heart is full. Hugs to you!

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  2. I adore these. The color along the edges helped them pop. Thanks for posting at Funtastic Friday.

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  3. Happy Blogiversary! Blogging really is a funny old game isn't it? I started just a short while behind you in August 2013, it's been an interesting journey. I've heard lots of people say blogging is dead and it's all about the TikToc and Insta etc but those things seem to come and go and a website (which is what your blog is really, a website full of craft ideas) seems more stable to me. My traffic goes up and down like yours, but I don't check each post individually as I get visits to posts from years ago still, especially the seasonal content so I think of them all as ongoing, does that make sense?
    I do use all the social medias to share my posts and they are very up and down, there seems no rhyme or reason for it, I've given up trying to "beat the algorithm" !! I have even ventured to Tik Toc and done a few videos but it's not very "me" and I struggle with how long it takes to put something together.
    I feel a bit old fashioned still hosting Handmade Monday and joining in blogger challenges, but honestly, I like them. I like how I feel connected to other creative people like you Linda. I feel sure if we just persist in what we still enjoy then others may well come back and be glad we are still here at some point!
    It's worth reading a little about SEO, making sure you are using all of the keyword opportunities that your blogging platform offers, Adding titles and descriptions to photos can help if you don't already do that. If your fb account is business you can use the Meta business suite to schedule fb and IG which is a great time saver, I'm not sure if you do that already. As you are so artistic I feel like IG is made for you, you could do well with your art work there, maybe even filming those "as you go along" videos (reels on IG) You can film on your phone, you just need a tripod so it's not an expensive investment. It is a sharp learning curve though, which I am definitely still only a fraction of the way up!!
    Good luck with it all, I love seeing your beautiful cards and ideas so I hope to still be visiting Paper Seedlings in another 10 years! xxx

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    1. Oh Julie! You, like Kathleen, have so many good ideas for me to try! I have read your comment a few times, and each time I do, I am struck by something else. So much to digest! It seems like I've been so out of touch with the possibilities -- I had better get to doing some research! Socil media is changing constantly. It is so difficult to keep up! Offering up anything that moves makes me really nervous. My hands are very arthritic and so bent out of shape, that it keeps me from doing anything like that. Even a WIP makes me very self-conscious because I make so many mistakes on the road to creating something. Julie, thank you so much for all that you've said -- and for continuing to host Handmade Monday! Yay! Sending you grateful hugs for all you are!

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  4. I am also a collector of quotes. Happy anniversary!

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    1. Thanks, Michele! There are so so many good ones out there!

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  5. Congrats on your Blogaversary! These are beautiful! You are very talented!

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  6. Happy Bloggiversary - I struggle with traffic on both of my blogs.

    I host a party on each of them and I have to admit, I get frustrated when I see big zeros on the visits at the end of the party. This tells me most people drop and run. But I won't give up.

    I've found some facebook groups that work together to build each other's traffic and I've seen some great improvement. But my numbers are less than half what they were last year. I make a little money, but I do it mostly because I enjoy it.

    I'm not a stamper but love your designs. I absolutely love getting handmade cards - they are truly gifts in themselves and your work is amazing. I appreciate you sharing at every Share teh Wealth party and taking time to visit others. Us bloggers need to stick together and help each other! Have a fabulous week.

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    1. Thanks for the "happy blogiversary"!

      Sad that we bloggers have to suffer with our numbers. The world -- in every way -- just keeps changing, and I guess that applies to blogs too. You mentioned some Facebook groups that you work with to help with traffic. Could you share some of them with me?

      I love -- need -- to be creative. I consider it my life blood. I keep being told, "just do it for yourself". Easy to say. I do need feedback from people once in awhile so I don't feel like I'm just in a void.

      Yes, you're absolutely right in that we bloggers need to stick together. Thank you for doing your part! I need to become more aware of how I come off to other bloggers -- am working on that.

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  7. Happy Blogiversary! I for one am glad you are still creating posts and sharing each week. Your project for the wooden leaves was a great idea. I haven't seen these items at Dollar Tree but I will be looking for them. Your post will also be a feature this week on the #HomeMattersParty.
    Sorry about your frustration and questions about continuing to blog. My 10th anniversary will be next April and like you and so many others I just can't keep up with the constant changes and chasing the numbers. Your previous numbers are awesome - I am a bit envious of those - and you have created work that you can be proud of. Whatever decisions you decide to make or decide to do differently, I cheer you on for those. I don't think blogging is dead, just transitioning a bit, so I have decided to do the things I love about blogging and not stress over trying to do all the things. You will find your happy place again, whether in or out of blogging.

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    1. Donna, first of all, thank you for the Happy Blogiversary!

      The rest of your comment means so much to me. It does help a lot to discover that I'm not alone in my blogging frustrations. I am no good with changes, nor am I tech savvy, so things like buttons that don't work are WAAAY beyond my comprehension or ability to fix. I am struggling with staying an active Stampin' Up! Demonstrator -- another thing that has changed so much in the 17 years I've been a demo.. My people who support me in maintaining my required minimums are dwindling rapidly. So, I don't know if I will be able to stay active after this next quarter. If I do have to drop out of Stampin' Up!, lots of things on my blog will HAVE to be changed. So, in the meantime, I guess I'm not going to worry about nonworking buttons.

      Like you, I have decided to continue blogging as long as I am able or have anything to offer. We will see what the future brings. But, for now I will remain a fixture on the internet and at my beloved link parties. Thanks for continuing to let me play along with yours each week!

      Thank you so much for taking so much time to comment. I can't tell you (and the others!) how overwhelmed this outpouring of love and advice has affected me and my feelings about continuing to blog. Hugs to you!

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  8. Happy Blogiversary! I've only been blogging for almost 2.5 years, so I didn't get in when the getting was good like you did with hundreds, then thousands in the first days. That's amazing to me! It seems like Pinterest has changed its algorithm and it's quite hard to get noticed on there now. I attended a meeting recently that gave me some info on how to get it to notice you. Pinterest now wants you to pin often, even pinning to the same URL, but perhaps with a different picture. Maybe one with your supplies only, which will encourage people to visit your post to see the outcome, and then one with your finished project and title. Social media is quite hard to figure out, and is so picky. It is worth trying to figure out like Kathleen mentioned. I'm not sure if Hometalk would work for you, but it's definitely worth trying. If you get into their blogger program and share 3 category 2 posts, they will feature you in their daily email which will bring you thousands of views on that day. I'm not sure about homemade cards because I don't make them, and I don't know anyone who personally does. However, if you ever make other crafts and home decor projects, those do well on Pinterest. Even taking photos of your seasonal or other home decor along with "how to's" does well. You can also get into affiliate programs like Amazon and link the items that you use in those projects or home decor and if anyone buys them, you'll get a 10% commission. Amazon usually approves everyone who applies to the program, as long as someone buys something through your link in the first 6 months. As far as your dead links (the 404 errors), if Blogger is hard for you to work with on your own, Wordpress is extremely easy to use. I highly recommend looking hard into SEO. That's the second place (after Pinterest) that my traffic comes from. Like Julie said, adding the keyword that you want to be recognized for on Google and other SEOs should be throughout your post as well as in headers and the in the ALT text on your images. SEOs also look for links to your own posts as well as to other sites in each post. I use Yoast SEO to help me optimize each post for SEO. I recently upgraded to the paid version, but I used the free version for over 2 years. Another great blogger application to use is Add to Any to create links for readers to be able to share your post on social media easily. I hope things start looking up for you! I'm trying to grow my traffic as well so that I can create a second income for my family. It's certainly hard to get noticed these days! Thanks for sharing with us on CraftyCreators!

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    1. Wow! Niki, you seem to be a lot more tech savvy than I am when it comes to understanding SEO, Pinterest, Amazon, etc., none of which I comprehend whatsoever. I even took a Social Media class through our local tech school, but within that semester, everything was constantly in flux, so I pretty much gave up on it.

      You mentioned some really good ideas and some great advice that I will be sure to look into -- not that I will understand it, but I will try. In your brief 2 1/2 years as a blogger, it sounds like you've made great strides. I guess, because I do feel so incompetent, that's the reason I seem to be at a standstill right now.

      Part of the problem with trying to monetize my blog is that I am still a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, and all that goes against their policy. Who knows, however, how long I will continue to be able to stay an active demonstrator?

      I am having a hard time digesting all the wonderful comments this post has received. But I appreciate all the work and time so many of you have put into trying to make things easier for me. Thank you so much for your part -- and for the "Happy Blogiversary"! This all means so much to me. Thanks also for letting me play along with your link parties! Big hugs to you!

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  9. Congratulations on your 10th blogiversary!!! That's quite an accomplishment. I like how you upcycled the wooden leaves from the Dollar Store. Great project!
    Thank you for participating in Talent-Sharing Tuesdays Link-Up 33.
    Carol
    www.scribblingboomer.com

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    1. Thank you, Carol! I'm so glad you like the leaves. Thanks for letting me link up with you each week1

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  10. Happy 10th Blogiversary! The wooden leaf charms have wonderful color. I feel your frustration when it comes to tech savvy. But reading all the comments, it seems there a whole lot of helpful ideas mentioned that I should investigate to promote my blog more.
    I'm glad you have decided to continue blogging, you have a lot of inspiration to give.

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    1. Aw, thank you so much! You are right -- this post got so many wonderful pieces of advice, ideas, etc., that I am overwhelmed. Still trying to get all this goodness into my head and putting in practice. I'm so glad you may be able to benefit from it as well. That's what is so wonderful about our blogging community!

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  11. CONGRATS Linda on achieving such an amazing milestone! I really enjoyed reading your post (and your lovely project, too, which is featured at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy this week!) There are so many factors that impact our visitors, many of which are beyond our control - I would encourage you to keep doing what you love and try not to get too hung up with the numbers. Have a wonderful week, and an amazing season ahead as we fall head first into Autumn! :-)

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    1. Thank you so so much for your uplifting and encouraging words! They mean the world to me.

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  12. Happy 10 years Linda! I can relate to much of what you said and the waves as popularity/trends in doing craft blogging have come & gone. A few years ago I stopped caring about the number of views, left social media entirely and stopped feeling like I HAD to follow the strict schedule (that I'd made up for myself) of coming up with new projects and posting a certain frequency no matter what. Since I've never felt so free or treasured the comments and regular visitors as much as I do now. Yes, it's a smaller audience, but it's people who really like what I do and it feels much more real and direct that the times when things went viral or were "big" on social media. It feels like it did when I began 14yrs ago, when it was nice to make one-on-one connections. Trends come & go and there is SO much noise and distraction on social media that even the best things get seen for a second and instantly forgotten. Actually reading blogs feels more intentional, more of a relationship, and that resonates with certain people like us (of which there are still quite a few). I've also had great success with my online shop in doing newsletters. It's literally my only "advertising" and it works far better than posting on Instagram/FB/Pinterest where it's momentary eye candy until something else comes along. People who sign up are already interesting in what you offer and are looking for news and updates so it's a guaranteed captive audience. I wish you much success in the coming years and will continue to visit & enjoy what you do:)

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    1. Cheryl, I treasure all that you have shared with me (us). Your knowledge and experience with your own blog is invaluable to any blogger who may be struggling in any of numberous ways. In fact, after reading your comment, I went to check out your blog, especially this post: http://www.sewcando.com/2014/09/why-im-quitting-craft-blog-rat-race.html. It was really intriguing, having you talk about so many things that I myself had thought and mulled over. I hope others are benefiting from the wisdom you and other bloggers have been so generous to share on this thread. Thank you so much!

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  13. Happy 10th Blogiversary Linda! I started blogging in February of 2020, mostly for a way to keep busy through the pandemic. I have experienced many of the same ups and downs in my short time of blogging. I am very grateful to you for this post as the comments above have helped me as well. Honestly, the help I've received from so many bloggers is so invaluable. I am not at all tech savvy either and I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the assistance of so many in the blogging community. I think your cards are lovely and though I'm sure it doesn't feel like it at times, there is still an audience out there for you. I hope you continue to do what you love and I wish you success in all you do.

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    1. Thank you, Denise, for your sweet comment. I too appreciate how bloggers come together in support of one another. I am astonished and warmed by the outpouring of empathy and advice I've received in this matter. I checked out your blog and I love how you have it set up! It's so intriguing and -- different from anything I've ever seen! I love how you started your blog as the result of the pandemic. It's a great way to stay involved and have something important and fulfilling for you to do during that very stressful time. Thanks again for your words, and wishing you all the blogging luck in the world!

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