All Change

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Over the past 12 months I have noticed a really interesting shift in people’s online habits, particularly in relation to blogs. I’d like to share my observations with you now. If you enjoy this blog please read on as my observations have led to a few interesting changes which you will need to know about.

Fewer comments on blogs

This blog doesn’t seem to be getting as many comments as it used to. This is an observation; it’s certainly not a moan! I know that people are reading it as my stats continue to grow. But instead of commenting on posts, people tend to interact with me more on social media. For example, when I write a post, it is automatically shared on Twitter and Facebook. People seem to like to comment there instead. Other bloggers have shared similar experiences to mine. The interaction level is still the same, if not better, but people are connecting with bloggers in a different way. Also, I have noticed this change in my own behaviour. I am yet to find an RSS feed reader that makes commenting on other people’s blogs really simple. So I tend to tweet someone if they post something I like on their blogs.

Content confusion

When you start a blog (this one started back in August 2010 although I was blogging a long time before that) you have a rough idea of what your content might be. But that grows and changes as you find your blogging voice. This might affect the frequency of your posts. It certainly has with iMake. For example, in November 2010 I posted 2 podcast episodes, one tutorial and a post about jewellery I was making for my Etsy shop (4 posts in total). In November 2013 there were 20 blog posts! I have no more hours in my day right now than I did back in 2010, so I should perhaps be asking myself “am I guilty of posting quantity over quality, sometimes?” I am not sure when I decided that I’d like to try and blog 3 times a week…

I post lots of different types of content. There are regular feature posts (for example monthly iPhoneography, Etsy Treasury Lists etc), videos (some mine, some other people’s), podcasts, “what I am making” and “what I’ve made” posts, tutorials, sharing posts (sharing other people’s skills, products or services), guest posts, giveaways, reviews, techie posts, Guernsey posts, occasional rants…  It’s a long list. Sometimes I wonder if I spread myself too thinly. This is perhaps something that multi-crafter readers will relate to. I occasionally look at my craft room and my bookshelf and think life would be easier if I was 100% a knitter and did not do anything else! That’s not something I am willing to change you’ll be pleased to hear. I love dabbling in all sorts of creative exploits, it makes me happy.

But back to the content. I do have an overwhelming urge to simplify what I do here on the blog. I’d like my blogging “persona” to have a clearer “vision” and it has to fit with my other social media “personas” without too much repetition. Apologies for the excessive use of speech marks there!

So I suppose it would be a good idea to think about the type of content I like to produce here on the blog. I love to write, but it takes SO much time to write lengthy posts without typos ;-) (Rarely do I succeed in this!) The same can be said for tutorials and videos – I love making them but they take forever. So I’ve not done a lot of these recently. I LOVE producing the podcast – that takes less time. However, due to all of the aforementioned “content” I have not been podcasting as much recently. Really, the bread and butter stuff of my blog is what I am making/reading/doing in the lovely island of Guernsey. If I can pepper this with occasional wordy posts and tutorials, as well as podcasting more regularly, I would be happy. I think that’s what I’d like to do.

Short, visual posts

I have to confess, now I am friends with Instagram again, I absolutely love visual, micro-blogging. I have heard a number of bloggers comment that they’d happily give up their blogs if it wasn’t such a big part of their business and move over to Instagram permanently. Whilst I don’t want to give up my blog, I sort of get it. We are creative people – taking photos is creative. A picture can say more than words. It all makes sense. As I said, I am not planning to give up my blog, but it does make me think that short, visual posts that are easily re-blog-able are definitely going to form part of my content moving forward.

A desire for cross-platform simplicity

This is a biggie. Here’s how I write a medium-length blog post:

  1. Think of an idea.
  2. Photograph it.
  3. Get the photos out of my photostream and dump them into Photoshop.
  4. Edit the photos, resize them, then save them to a folder on my desktop (all my blog photos go in there as a back-up).
  5. Get online (via my desktop Mac) and go to Worpdress.
  6. Log in – select new post.
  7. Write the post.
  8. Proofread it.
  9. Add photos.
  10. Add tags
  11. Add a category or 2.
  12. Add a feature photo.
  13. Preview it to check it all looks ok.
  14. Schedule the post.
  15. Check back once it’s gone live that it looks ok.
  16. Respond to all comments.

Wow. I’d never really thought about my blog workflow before. I’d actually really like to be able to do all of this from my iPhone or iPad. Blogging got really complicated all of a sudden. I am convinced simple things tend to be more enjoyable.

So what about the iMake blog?

Fear not! I am not going anywhere. Being a blogger is very much part of me. But it’s time to start working a bit smarter and carving out a new and exciting identity for iMake. So I am playing around with some new platforms. I am loving the sophistication of SquareSpace, but I am not mad on the cost. Tumblr is actually working out to be lots of fun. It really fits with my short, visual post plan and also I can blog from any one of my devices (win!) Tumblr’s demographic seems quite young, but I figured that my readers here on WordPress are really affected by the platform I use (unless they are actually following me through WordPress or subscribed to receive email updates from WordPress). If you subscribe to my newsletter then you’ll still be receiving a digest of the month’s posts. If you subscribe to my RSS feed then nothing should change (fingers crossed). I am not 100% decided on my chosen home for iMake 2.0 – please let me know your thoughts.

What about the old blog posts?

I plan to migrate the podcast posts over to my new space. I might re-purpose some of the old content and post it again with a fresh take. I will certainly re-post any videos I have made. With regard to recipes and tutorials, I am actually thinking about making them into a free e-book.

And the podcast?

The good news is that I should be able to find more time to podcast – hurrah!

And the magazine?

I think the magazine might end up containing some more of my lengthy writing – that seems to make sense. I still love to write. Incidentally, that does not mean my new blog will just be photos – there will be plenty of words. But posts will not be as long as this one… (word count is now 1245!)

Timeline! Timeline?

I am hoping to make a decision on all of this and implement changes by the end of April. Between now and then I have a little marathon to run, but other than that, I should have some time. With all of this in mind, posts will be a bit sparse over April. The SnowflakeCAL will continue as normal.

OK then!

I am really excited about this fresh start. I hope you are too. Stay tuned.

 

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20 responses to “All Change

  1. I am so pleased that you will continue with your podcast as that is where I first discovered your wonderful talents, plus I think I’ve been listening since day one :)

    I agree that as more bloggers reach out to various social media, it’s often easier to converse there than on their blogs. Like you I still really haven’t found a good replacement for Google Reader. I’ve tried Bloglovin’ and Feedly and although they fill the gap, I’m still not really “into” them. What is needed is a good program that will work effortlessly on desktop, tablet and smartphone. Trying to leave a comment using a tablet or smartphone is still frustrating, especially if the blogger has word verification. Auto correct has its uses but is a hindrance in this case.

    I’m all for simplification so I’ll be very interested to see what you come up with and where you will be re-housing your blog. Either way I will always keep abreast of your lovely crafty projects simply because, like you, I’m on various social media sites. If I don’t catch you on one, I will on another :)

    Like

    • Thanks Ruby! I did think of you when I was coming up with plans to start afresh :-)

      You are right – I use Feedly and it’s great for reading blogs but it is the commenting that is hard.

      It’s looking like Tumblr, which really surprises me, but the App is SO good for writing posts. Have a sneaky peak at imakeguernsey.tumblr.com :-) I am just uploading all of my old podcasts now. I will repoint imake.gg when I am ready.

      Lovely to hear from you and I hope things are well in your world x

      Like

  2. Lol! I had a really longer response here, but I kept finding myself on tangents! Suffice to say, I’m exciting to see what you come up with. As someone who migrated from Tumblr to WordPress and is infinitely happier for it, I appreciate the importance of the right platform.

    Best of luck!

    Like

    • Hee hee – to be honest I really fancy a fresh start Sarah and I have a much clearer vision of what I want now. Watch this space. I still like WordPress but a change is as good as a rest :-) Worst case scenario it is easy to migrate back! Thanks for your comment.

      Like

      • Yep! I loved Tumblr until I had time to do more writing. I actually migrated just before both my kids entered full-time school. I agree though, sometimes you just need a fresh start. :)

        Like

  3. Hi Martine
    I don’t have a clue what you are on about (or at least about 95% of it) but still look forward to reading your blogs!!!! Have you ever thought about doing a practical ‘how to get the best out of social media’ evening class or WEA course? I would do it.

    Like

    • Hi Christine – yes actually I have :-) Unfortunately a bit of a conflict of interest with my full-time employer – if I do evening classes working for anyone (other than myself) it should probably be for them. More blogging coming soon!! Perhaps there’s an ebook in it though…

      Like

  4. Hi Martine!
    Whatever you decide I will follow. Perhaps you know already but you can post to a WordPress blog from your iPhone. You probably don’t have a lot of formatting options though.

    Good luck with your race! I managed to donate all the way from Canada. 😄

    Kerry

    Like

    • Hi Kerry THANK YOU so much for donating :-) You are right – the WordPress options on iPhone are not great. Tumblr is perfectly set up for that. I will transfer my URL over regardless so you will not need to do anything. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

  5. I totally get what you are saying… I still like blogging on WordPress, don’t like Tumblr, but love Instagram and don’t care for FB! I use Instagram instead of Twitter.

    For my farm business I have considered SquareSpace also, but like you, do not care for the price. Thinking of learning Drupal. Maybe. Someday! Who knows! It does feel like there are so many venues in social media that we all have to make some choices. I am very pleased that Uluru will be doing more podcasting as that is also what I look forward to the most :*)

    Like

    • Thanks Nina! I think it’s crucial to go with what works for you at the time within the constraints and needs you have – for me, mobile blogging is important. I think I am moving away from the idea that my content will be on my blog forever – it’s more about NOW and being in the moment. That’s why I am thinking about putting my more evergreen content (eg tutorials and recipes) into an ebook. Drupal appeals to me too but right now I am keeping things simple :-) Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  6. I think the bottom line is that iMake is your ‘brand’ so you must look after it however and wherever you feel is most suitable. I use WordPress (chosen – if I recall correctly – because it came out top of the Google results!) and am very happy with it, but I only use it for my own enjoyment of writing. I use Instagram for the same reason with photos. You write/podcast etc for other people as much as for yourself so that’s different. Having now signed up to Tumblr – in anticipation! – I hadn’t realised that the blogging sites vary so much, and can see the logic of why you are thinking of moving. I’d also never really thought about ‘commenting’ and realise that I usually do that on the blog itself rather than via social media – unusually for me! Needless to say I will continue to follow you wherever you decide to go – keep up the good work :)

    Like

    • Thanks Julie! I am still a WordPress fan – it’s a great tool. But I do rather like to have the freedom to mess with the basic code of my blog without paying for it (you have to upgrade and pay annually with WordPress). I think it is good just to keep moving and actually my readers probably won’t notice a huge different in the look of the site. It might be a little less linear. More Pinteresty :-) Thanks for commenting!

      Like

  7. You’re right, everything changes and we don’t always notice at first. We are all looking for something new, different and quicker ways of doing things. Do what makes you happy and it will make other people happy too :)

    Like

  8. Simplify is always good. And adapting to the changing blogisphere is not a bad thing either. But what is most important is that you make your decisions from your heart. Offer your readers your passion. Waaaaaaay too many bloggers are writing content to produce numbers. If you are looking for numbers – social media is the best bet. If you want to sincerely share who you are and what you love – blog.

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    • Hi Pam – you are right I think a lot of people are numbers focused. I want to focus on content and things that make me happy. That, and connecting with other lovely craft folks like you :-)

      Martine

      Like

  9. Great reflexions here Martine! I totally agree with you about the lack of a good platform that could be run on any type of device and with any type of Internet browser AND one on which we could comment AND have notifications when the blogger replies to our comments. WordPress does it but only for WordPress blogs. This is so frustrating!!
    as for your content, as a multi-crafter it is bound to be diverse, so you shouldn’t really be bothered by it!

    Like

  10. Pingback: IMPORTANT PLEASE READ – IMAKE HAS MOVED | iMake·

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