So guys, I finished my Open University degree! I’m not sure how much I mentioned it on here, in real life it feels like all I’ve been talking about for at least the last 2 months, but anyway I handed my dissertation in a week ago! Which means I’m FREEEE! It’s such a relief, because it’s been stressful! While I found the actual course content interesting, I hated having to study every day (I only have a small window after Milo went to bed and before my brain officially died, it wasn’t like I could do a big chunk in one go). I will definitely not be studying again any time soon!
I’m not sure how I’ll be spending that extra evening time I’ve got now. I know my posts on here have been pretty image heavy since I went back to the studying, and my original plan was to get back into writing more meaty posts. I’ve got plenty of ideas! But actually I’m not totally sure I will end up doing that, it might be quite nice to be away from the laptop a bit more. More sewing and knitting are definitely on the cards and I really should start exercising a bit more! I feel like I got into a little groove where I post regularly without spending forever on blogging and I don’t feel like the posts are ‘filler’ (though they definitely could do with more proofreading) so I could carry on in this way. We’ll see I guess!
So that caveat out of the way, I thought I’d ask you guys for some feedback, if I do end up wanting to make some changes. Here’s a few questions if you fancy helping me out:
What page layout do you prefer?
I recently had to ditch my old blog theme (the original thesis 1) because it wasn’t compatible with wordpress 4 and the new theme (thesis 2) works quite differently design wise so it might be an opportunity to do a bit of a redesign if I want.
You might remember I used to have my front page set up to only display one post in full and then lots of small images and intros with ‘read more’ (they’re called teasers) below that. I like this sort of layout because it means you don’t have to scroll down lots and it looks tidier. However, since switching to the new theme, which doesn’t offer that option as standard, my stats have gone up slightly, but consistently. I’m not sure if this is because the new theme has better search engine integration, or because people actually prefer the more basic blog set up? Or maybe it was just a fluke!
What kind of posting frequency works for you? And what length of posts?
I currently do Mon-Wed-Fri-Sun, which works pretty well for me in terms of having time to write the posts. Although sometimes I’ve got so much stuff still to blog about I feel it’s getting a bit ridiculous how old the stuff I post about is. Like right now I still have some photos from Copenhagen left to edit and that was in blumming June!
I usually have posts scheduled at least a week in advance, and it does occasionally make me feel weirdly disconnected because I’m not responding to what’s happening right now. Like I sometimes don’t get round to blogging outfits until weeks later when the weather has changed and they look really odd, that sort of thing.
There’s also occasionally a bit of a trade off between post length and frequency. There’s lots of posts (like this one for example) that could easily have been split into two. I think as a reader I’d prefer longer and less frequent posts to wee bitesize bits, but then I know this is the age of twitter and short attention spans, and reading things while waiting in the supermarket queue, so who knows!
What kind of posts do you most enjoy?
At the moment I guess I’m doing outfits/showing off finished craft products/project 52/what we did at the weekend type posts. There’s also a couple of series I’ve let slip, Milo’s monthly chair pictures where I talked about how he’s doing, and shopping updates (which I personally thought were pretty boring to write towards the end). Is there something else you’d like me to cover?
I’ve just read Kerry’s excellent post about the commercialisation of sewing blogs, and I was quite shocked by how many commenters were saying that they really don’t like sewing bloggers to talk about non-sewing related stuff like what they did at the weekend. This really surprised me!
I like to get a sense of who bloggers are, so I always like to see people cover a variety of topics. And it’s pretty bloody hard to properly pick a niche and stick to it! Who has time to sew or knit enough to sustain a regular posting schedule (plus, what are the ethics of churning out handmade clothes? It that really that much better than buying lots? This is maybe a topic for another post though!)
I guess I was just slightly taken aback by these comments (and to be fair, there weren’t that many, they just jumped out at me) because I only just recently gave my friend Amy of Craft and Thrift some blogging advice which essentially amounted to ‘stop worrying about defining yourself and filling a niche and just post what you fancy posting about and then if you’ve done that for a while, usually some themes will naturally emerge’. And now I’ve feel like maybe that’s a minority opinion!
I’d love some thoughts on all of this!
unrelated illustrations clickable for source