Monday, January 4, 2010

I’d Love Your Input!

The beginning of a new year is the traditional time for taking steps to making improvements in one’s life.  In that light, I have been thinking about what I can do improve and grow my blog.

Donna at Funky Junk Interiors did a post recently with a similar premise, and asked for input from her readers.  There is some really good insight over there, particularly in the the comments.  It’s worth a look-see.  Once you’ve there, I guarantee you’ll go back for her mad skillz!

I’m going to do something along those lines as well, and ask for your thoughts on my blog in particular (is that too selfish?).  I’m going through a bit of a blog identity crisis right now.

Am I a decorating blog?  I do some of that, but I’m no Nester, and I’m not very original.  Even when I think I am, I find out that somebody has already done it!


Am I a crafting blog?  I’ll answer that:  no, I’m not.  Again, I do some of that, and  My Thrifty Gifty series was pretty popular, statistics-wise.  But as before, originality is not my forte.  I’m better at being able to recreate something I’ve already seen.


My main thrust seems to have evolved into thrift store blog.  It was unintentional; it was fun to show some of the stuff I found, but I really didn’t mean for it to be all about that.  I’m not going to stop going to thrift stores, but I’d like to try to focus more on what I can do with the things I find, and how thrift stores can be one way to stretch your dollar.


I do add some family stuff  into the mix, and according to the comments on Funky Junk, some people don’t care for that.  It’s too off-topic for them.  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.  Myself, I like a bit of the personal touch when I’m reading a blog.


So, here are some questions for you, to help me make this blog a place you like to visit:
  1. What do you come here to see?
  2. What do you like most about my blog?
  3. Dislike? (don’t worry about hurting my feelings!)
  4. What would you like to see more of?
  5. Less of?
  6. Keeping in mind the general feeling of my blog, what kind of linky parties would you like me to host, in which you might participate?
  7. Any other constructive criticism?
I would so appreciate any input you may want to give!  After all, if it didn’t matter what you thought, then I might as well make this a private blog.
To all my readers, thank you...thanks for coming here in the first place, thanks for your comments, and thanks for coming back!


::cottage instincts:: said...

I keep coming back Holly, because you talk about stuff I'm into...exactly what you listed: decor and crafts (even if they're not completely original), thrift store goodies, your link party, and the personal touch. I love occasional posts about family. It helps round out who you are across a sometimes very impersonal screen. :)

I think you've found a great mix of elements. I also really like your header and the by-line. I think it perfectly encapsulates what you're doing here.

One thing I've noticed I'm drawn to on blogs is pictures of folks houses....would love to see some sidebar pictures of your home. It's also a way for newcomers to quickly identify or not with your style.

I do understand the 'make your blog better', and I struggle with wanting to make mine look like all the 'big guys', but in the long run I think uniqueness is best....staying true to who you are and what you like to talk about.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your blog. In fact it's your blog in particular that is encouraging me to shop from thrift stores in the future. Suffice it to say I like your posts on this line. I also like to see what you make. You think you're not original but take your snuggie - your version is definitely original - and surpasses the brand name design. Regarding posts on family etc - I skip over these on blogs. I look to blogs for inspiration to make things, organize my life or shop more economically and greener. A few more things, I like concise, upbeat and photo rich posts. I can't read about another person's problems because it justs brings me down. I also don't read blogs in which the writer is constantly ranting about something or putting their family and jobs down. Blog reading, at least in my opinion, should be an enjoyable and fun experience.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I love your blog! I especially enjoy when you show what you have done with your thrift store finds. I like that there are a few things going on in your blog - thrifting, crafting, decorating, and the family. Truthfully, if I find a blog that mainly talks about their family (and I don't have a relationship with that particular blogger) I tend to stop reading or click it off. Sometimes I feel that blog wasn't meant for me bc I don't know "Billy" and his first day eating peas isn't that interesting to me. When I do have a relationship with a blogger, I do enjoy hearing about their family. I agree - it's more personal. I think you have a really healthy balance with talking about your family on your blog. Just enough to let us know they are important to you. And it sure was darling to see them in their Snugg-Eeez. I think you've got a great mix on your blog. Really good post lenghts - informative and inspiring. I enjoy it fully!

rebecca @ older and wisor said...

First off, I love your blog.

Second, I think it must be the new year that's making everybody reflect. I think what you really need to be asking is what do YOU want to get out of blogging? That's what matters. Of course you can always give people what they "want", but then it becomes like a part time job or a service project.

I started blogging to show what was going on in our life since we have no family within an 18 hour radius...and sometimes that's a kid story, sometimes it's crafts, sometimes it's a Craigslist find. It's not about "gaining readers," it's documenting life, because 10 years from now that's what will matter to me.

Christina said...

I too love your blog. I love the variety you have, crafting, decorating, thrift shopping and yes family too. All those things represent me too and I enjoy reading others blogs with all the same interests.

Anna said...

I enjoy your blog for the thrifty shopping, decorating and the family topics. My favorite blogs are those I can relate too - people that share stories about their kids and are honest about saving money and real life things...

Christina said...

I just love your blog overall. Can't thing of any criticisms at all. Love seeing your thrifty finds, what you do with them and the encouragement that thrift shopping is a good thing and what a money saver it is and can look good (you know what I mean---I've know plenty of people in my life that would make me *not* want to shop at thrift stores). I don't mind hearing about your family at all and I enjoy the crafts that you make even if I would never get around to making it myself. They inspire me. I do want to make a sweater pillow at some point, but haven't been thrift shopping lately to find a good sweater.

I also love the thrift store linky you do and hope to participate more often.

Variety is the spice of life.

cottagewish said...

I like your blog as you keep it talk about stuff I like, stuff I like to do, stuff I want to learn about. :)

Keep you the thrifting. I love to see how items can be altered and given a new life.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE, Love, love your blog!!!! You are keeping it real! I love all of the thrifty finds and your decorating style! My husband and I just purchased our first house so we don't have a lot of money to decorate with but I love getting ideas from you and other blogs where you don't have to spend a lot of money. I have nothing negative to say at all. I keep coming back to read your blog! :)

Angie @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

I started here with the thrifty gift series and I loved it! You did a great job and it was VERY creative! Maybe you are a "thrifty" blog! :) Decorating, gifts, thrift store finds?? Can't they all be combined into one?? What if you pick one day a week -- say Saturday -- to do a personal post on your family?? If people do not like -- they know to skip Saturdays! :)

rebecca d. said...

I just found your blog through The Nester's tour of homes. I put you in my "visit daily" file because not only do I like your ideas (what I liked ay first...original or not.) but your blog is a fun read. Please don't change much, I like your ideas and decorating tips, but I also like feeling that I am getting to know you too.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Love ya, Holly! I never understand people who say they click over a person's "family posts." I enjoy reading about how other families live, play, celebrate etc.

That said, I DO get bored when a person's blog is solely devoted to documenting the day to day activities of their children. I HOPE I don't do that too often...I try to stick with humorous stuff. :S I'm all paranoid. :s

I love it when you do posts on thrifty stuff: whether it's your finds at a thrift store, a craft, or ways you have decorated your home. But like I said before, I also enjoy reading about your sweet family.

Now I feel like I ought to ask my readers (all 5 of them) ;) some similar questions. But I'm scared of the response!!! :s

You have a wonderful blog!

Tricia said...

Hi Holly.

I feel like I'm beating a dead horse here, because everyone else said it too, but I Love your blog!I come back for lots of reasons, but I COULD NOT POSSIBLY agree more with Rebecca @ older and wisor. The question is what YOU want your blog to be.

I have been thinking a lot about this regarding my blog as well. I have definitely leveled-out as far as gaining followers, etc. and at first it started to bug me. I schemed in my head about what projects I could do and post about to kick that follower tally into gear again.

Over the Christmas break, I spent some time and took a long hard look at my motivation. When I started blogging, honestly there were three blogs that influenced my decision. They were The Lettered Cottage, NieNie Dialogues, and The Macs. All very different. All equally inspiring. My blog is largely a family blog. Does that turn some people off? I'm sure it does. Do I sometimes wish that I had more creativity flowing, more "blog-worthy" material? Absolutely. I do a lot of projects around the house, all the time. Do I think that everyone wants to see me rearrange my furniture 500 times to put it back in roughly the same place? Probably not. ;) So I blog because I want to. I blog about what inspires me, and what I WANT to write about. If I don't feel it, the post sucks! I know it does. I've had those too. I've posted plenty of times out of a feeling of obligation or necessity.

I'm done with all of that. Quite honestly, blogging is an extension of my life. It's not MY LIFE. My life is much messier, chaotic, and rewarding.

Do what makes you happy. If it's thrifty stuff, fantastic! Crafty, fabulous! Family,awesome! If however, the goal is more followers, (and that's absolutely ok too) then go with the popular vote and cut the unwanted stuff. Just remember that if a person can't support you for who YOU ARE, and for what drives you, inspires you, brings you joy, then you probably don't want those people reading your blog anyway.

Big hugs, girlie! Keep it up. I will be coming back faithfully.

Terry D said...

I think that you have a great balance of topics. If you only blogged about one thing, we'd all be bored in a hurry.

Ruth said...

I am new to your blog and don't really have my thoughts together. I think that you should blog about what you truly enjoy and appreciate. It is all about you here. Make it yours. Your blog does not have to be like others.

Just my two cents.


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I have so enjoyed reading your blog. I love the wonderfully creative ideas that you come up with and share. I love the thrifting and even the personal input. That is where we get to know one another. I have a quilting blog, but started a separate thrifting blog so I could keep my blog focus. I agree with the other gals, it should be what you want it to be. You should enjoy writing about what interests you.


Gayle (GardenofDaisies) said...

I am fairly new to blogging, but here is my opinion, for what it is worth. If people only want instructions, they can go get a book at the library or buy a craft pattern at a store. One of the beauties of blogging is that it allows us to see the human side. We can connect with and get to know the person who is inspiring us with fantastic ideas. Including posts about family or pets lets us know you as a real person. You become more than just words on a page.

Gina Cannary said...

Just keep on "keepin' on", woman.

Kim said...

I don't get over to your blog a whole lot, but I enjoy it. It's funny, because I could have written almost the same things...

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your blog!

Country Dreaming said...

Personally these blogs are ours to do as we please. I like what you do because it's real like a lot have said.
I check my favs to see what they have been up to and comment or not.
What ever you are comfortable with is what you should do. If your readers don't care for a post they don't have to read it.
Kids are great and so are spouses etc. Some people's blogs are "family blogs" that's why they
started it--don't read it if it doesn't interest you.
Hope this isn't too harsh but....


Carrie said...

I really like the mix of crafts, decor and thrifting. Who cares if it's not original...I like seeing how people put their own spin on things. The family posts are fun too. Honestly, I can't think of a thing I would change about this site.

And thank you for not having music! That annoys me to no end.

What do you want to do more or less of?

Crafty Rose said...

what a good idea.

i like it when bloggers are accepting input, because that shows a certain interactivity and human connection that is vital, i believe.

i like your blog 'as is' but I'm new here, so my opinions are not that useful as some of your regulars, i'd say.

Paige said...

Hi Holly! I absolutely love your blog! I think I am drawn to your blog versus others because you talk about all the things that interest me: crafting, thrifting, decorating, and family. I think you have a great mix of all of it. I get inspired by you often. And I like the bits about your family, it makes you more real to me.

Raise Them Up said...

I always enjoy my visits here because in small ways, I feel like you've shared yourself, you interests, your heart, and your family. And I can relate.

For me, blogging is about sharing ideas and encouragement with each other. And you are doing a great job! Keep it up. :)

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. love the decor, craft and thrifting mix. Just enough of each. it is more realistic than decor blogs that seem to be way over the top, with all those over the top decor ideas. Yours are more on target for most people. Don't miss the family stuff because my kids are grown and I like this time of life when women concentrate upon ourselves, let the next generation take care of themselves! I should sign it old and cranky nester.