4 Tips For Writing Great Craft Content

Saturday, October 10, 2015

I'm no expert in this field, but I do love to learn!

I first discovered that "content" is very important back in 2009 trying to improve my blog's standing in the Search Engine's of the Internet. Yes, what you write is what will get you attention of the intricate web of fingers inside the The Internet's various search engines. 
SEO always looking for great fresh content and I joined up with Google Analytics. I'm still learning alot from my sons who help me to understand how and why its needed to succeed with attracting and keeping followers or visitors to your blog. You do need a google account.

I found this video very helpful on understanding more about Google Analytics.

Now, onto exploring how to write your best content. 

#1- Get Organized

I have a husband who has used gantt charts for years in his work. When I first asked him questions on how to get myself more organized he suggested this link.

The work I've been doing since 2009 must be starting to pay off in attention because my blog pops up with a variety of search words. That means my content is broad enough to be visible to search engines and defined enough to always be on the first page of a google search. Its important that you use similar key words every once in a while, not all the time, its redundant to your readers and can lead to less traffic.

I have been working on my writing and trying to improve. Its not rocket science, I've just put one foot in front of the other and stayed focused on moving forward with my blog. And look where my standings are on Google in terms of this search "best content for quilt bloggers"?

Your own thinking plays a huge role in what you decide to blog about or publish about. Thinking big is better because it allows you to expand your mind to help you learn the possibilities.

#2 Stay Focused

I have been working hard to maintain my pace, allow for life's little interruptions and stay on task when I am writing and quilting. Writing in the quilting or crafting market is a huge market to stand out in. You've got to find your people, that means the people who love your work will talk about your work often. Its even better if other bloggers link up to your work.

Really think about your blog post titles. Even if it takes some time, if you don't have time to think about the title, then what great content are you really writing? Now, sometimes I'm lazy and just want to do it quickly and I do see that whenever I post with a "lazy" title, that post gets little attention or viewers. So this tells me that post titles are critical.

Here's an example of a lazy post title:
"What I'm up to today"

Here's an example of a great post title:
"4 Tips For Writing Great Craft Content"

#3 Networking is not just talking to friends

Just yesterday I was texting with an online quilter who blogs over at http://carolynscanvas.blogspot.ca/ and she was saying she had just been talking about my blog to a friend of her's over tea. She lives in Indiana and is 75 years old and she was talking about Good Earth Quilting. We are several thousand miles apart and yet, my work is discussed over tea in Indiana!

Her Etsy shop is full of interesting things and she has made a bunch of sales. If you want to know how many sales any Etsy shop has made, simply look to the left under Shop Info and you'll be able to see the sales of anyone's shop. 

Carolyn is a one woman dinamo, her Craftsy site lists numerous patterns she is busy publishing online and sells them as online downloads. When I asked her about her experience, she is willing to share and happy to help. When I asked her why she had more than one shop, she explained it just made sense to get your stuff out to as many areas online as possible.

I'm making the point that age has nothing to do with success. I'm talking about success as a home based female who wants to turn her crafting into something more. Success is not about beating others to the goal line, its about being who you are and having a dream.Caroline Heinrichs (C) 2015

Please read about Janska.  How one 62 year old woman who had a dream to make accessible clothing and she made it even though, she had no skills in sewing, just the drive to make it happen. While you are reading this article on Janska in the Huffington Post, pay attention to the writing of the content. Be aware of the possibilities.

These words of wisdom pay a heavy role in my life, I read this little quilt almost everyday. I have the courage to change the things I can change and so do you. The key to online publishing not letting your fear of failure control you. If you keep saying someone else will succeed more than yourself, then it will happen. 

#4 Don't Let Go Of Your Dreams

Everyone has something really great to say, so get organized, be committed to your dream, stay focused and don't let go of your dreams. I feel like a late bloomer, really I do, I'm almost 60 years old and I'm more focused, more attentive to my dreams.

Lots of friends, family and even nieghbours will discourage you. Other people who don't live in your life will make judgements of you and your dreams. Its been my experience that when you feel good about yourself and you let your little light shine, some of the closest people to you, will doubt you and say so.

This will deflate your dreams quicker than lightening! 

Its up to you and only you to make a change in your life. I can't let others decide my future. I can't let the muffled talk behind my back of others take the drive out of my plan. I have to drive that plan around them and smile while I'm doing it. Sometimes, when you stand out, you can get some tomatoes thrown your way and here is why it happens.

  • Social connections play a large role in our lives. Friends and family don't want things to change and they like you just as you are. So unknowingly, for your own good they will try to soothe your exuberance by saying "Oh, its OK, you don't have to become a millionnaire do you?" We hear this little voice inside our head, even though you try to ignore it saying the doubtful words of your failure and suddenly you've failed. Failing is the easy route to take. 
  • Succeeding takes balls, focus and you need some blinders from the distractions of your life. My husband often says I drive like a man. When asked why he thinks this, he said "You drive with confidence, often most women drive like they are asking for space on the road. You drive like you know your vehicle" I thought about that and decided I needed to be more confident in my conviction to my dream to write not only one e-book, but many e-books.
Thanks for reading this latest installement. I'm enjoying the feedback and if you are a first time reader of my blog, start following me to learn even more.

This is what I'm working on right now.

And today is Saturday and I'm linking up with favorite blogger Zenia over at A Quilted Passion

A Quilted Passion

Happy Quilting everyone!

Portable Craft Station Tutorial

Saturday, October 10, 2015

This little craft station is the one I had until I lost it somewhere over the summer. I made the first one many years ago before I started blogging. I find it to be perfect for using as a craft station on my lap. I can quickly put it aside when I need to move and it keeps everything in place.

Portable Craft Station

Supplies beyond the cardboard and batting:
(4)  4 1/2 x 16 in.strips of alternate fabric for flaps on sides
(2)  2 x 16 in. strips complementing the craft station background fabric
(2) 16 x 10 3/8 in fabric for craft station background
(2) 2 by 7 in. small pin cushion fabric
(2) 16 x 1 in. rug binding
(2) 4 x 11 3/4 in batting for flaps
spray adhesive and tape

-Start by cutting out the cardboard and batting for the craft station base.

-Then using tape, secure all the sides together, I wanted the bounce in the cardboard, but if you like, you could use spray adhesive between the cardboard layers.

-Then spray down each side of the base and glue down the batting to fit, trim the batting slightly all around the edges.

-Then cut the background fabric, the two top edge strips, flap fabric and the two flap batting pieces. set aside.

-Then sew the top edge fabric strip to the base background pieces, press, then sew the rug binding each side of base. Press all these seams well, the whole cardboard slides in tight,which is what you want, but be sure to have pressed seams well to one side.

-Sew the two flap pieces together for each side flap, then press and add the batting into these two pieces and machine quilt.

- Lay one base background face up and position the quilted flaps on top.

- Lay the second base background fabric on top of this base with good sides facing each other.

-Then pin layers good sides together and sew a slim 1/4 in. edge seam along only the three sides not including the rug binding top edge which is left open.

-Turn the base inside out and press well.

- Then sew the two pin cushion strips together and sew leaving a small stuffing opening slit along one side. Stuff and hand sew the closure edge. 

- Then pin the top rug binding edge together with heavy duty thread in same color as your project. Start sewing on one side, holding the hand sewn edge of the pin cushion with the top edge seam you are hand sewing, include the pin cushion as you go along the top edge to finish the project. Lastly, slip the two cardboard pieces into the flaps or not, its up to you.

This is one tutorial I've wanting to share for quite some time. It makes a wonderful gift to a friend who also does hand stitching and the flaps serve me well for keeping my scissors, thread and even a snack tucked inside.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Publishing Online Series- Content Writing

Friday, October 9, 2015

Hello folks and welcome to my latest installment of my experience with online publishing.

Content is very important. Its the 'stuff' makes a viewer become a buyer of your stuff. 

Here's why:

  • Content on our blogs can be successfully written in Word, crafted "fine tune like" as if you are blogging for millions of viewers, much like A Beautiful Mess. Emma and Elsie the creators of A Beautiful Mess didn't start out with millions of viewers. They were in love with their ideas and knew beyond a doubt they had something special. Many up's and down's shrouded the two in the beginning. I've been following them since the beginning. I've read the heart ache and the goals these two set all while finding love and loosing love. It was a very personal expression of their journey. For me reading all those years ago, I was studying their start and their struggle. I wanted to learn. I was one lucky reader who really worked with their early years of encouragement tasks about blogging. I first found their site by clicking on a Pinterest photo of braid treatments for long hair. Their site now is just absolutely one not to miss. Its a total inspiration. Oh and by the way, these two have got content down pat! So there is alot to be learned.
  • Blogging is really the beginning for many of us who turn into guru's of content and make gazillions of dollars doing it. Hopefully, this is enough for to make you take a second look at the whole idea of online publishing. I'm not an expert, but I'm learning fast. Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks?

Now, if you are overwhelmed by this opportunity just reading about it, then maybe going into publishing beyond your blog is not for you.  I mean in the nicest way. Its taken me hours of thinking, planning and doing everything. But I like to have control of my work and go at my own pace so this is a sure winner for me. 

  • Content that sucks will not help your success.
  • Content that is written like you are an engineer writing technical memo's and brief's is just not on if you are writing in the crafting genre. So really know who you are  before you go forward. It will pay off in the end.
  • Content needs to be organized in a way that makes sense for the majority of readers.
  • Content can be purchased here
  • An interesting article entitled "Writing Craft Books" by journalist Diane Gilleland of my recent blog hop on EPP Projects, remember the cute little Mug Rugs I made.

I think you are all up on understanding where this car is driving with really being sure about your decision to write a book. But I'll be sharing more on this interesting subject in the coming days. I think you'll really enjoy reading about the murky world of book author advances and the realities of those, tax wise.

In the meantime, enjoy the buck who has been keeping our dog on guard over the night. Here I got a long shot of him as he's really deciding is it safe for him to enter our closest nieghbour's garden who happens to be in town. 

Funny, how it is that they know when no one is around, except me. Have a great day quilters and do take time for yourself. 

Did you enjoy reading this installment? Leave me a comment, I love your feedback.

Happy Quilting!

Rooster Day

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

When I started Mr. Rooster he was supposed to be a fast made Fall Fair themed decor art for my booth at the 2011 Bulkley Valley Fall Fair.

It was a really fun event and one that I'd sure like to do again. I was busy trying my interest at selling organic 100% cotton. And it does contain some awesome photo's of the whole booth for your interest by going to the post published back in 2011.

This summer Rooster I See You gained more attention and I decided that I didn't like it that this poor rooster had no neck and background.

I began fusing feathers of all free form simply hand drawn feather shapes onto various similarly colored prints.

This is where I've got so far today.

I think he looks alot better and I'm dreaming up a Fall Fair themed background maybe. I'm not sure so if you have ideas, please share them in a comment.

Happy Quilting everyone.

Publishing Online Series- Meet Amanda Hocking

Monday, October 5, 2015

If you are blogging, you are already a publisher, you can decide to click on "Reply or Delete" to any comment, you can purchase your own template, you can even sell things from your blog or you can end your entire blog. Simple!

Its all up to you. Publishing your own e-book is just like that, you make all the decisions. You take the risk of putting yourself and your work out there and so I'm not scared of e-publishing.

Let's take a look at some of the most enterprising quilters out there, for instance Debbie Mumm started out working in a sewing shop in WA.

This image is one of her free desktop images you can download.

Debbie Mumm started her own licensing and publishing company that built her extremely popular brand. For more on how she did it, you can find the official statement of her story at this web address. Its a good read!

Publishing online with an e-book or e-magazine is not new thinking. Its been growing in popularity for several years now and with the sheer cost of printing its driven e-book publishing into main stream. With the special consideration of tablets and Kindle. Look out!

According to KimanziConstable.com who wrote the article for Entrepreneur.com

10 Truths About Self-Publishing for Entrepreneurs With a Book Idea

 writes "It’s estimated that Amazon has earned $5.25 billion from eBooks so far this year, according to George Parker in The New Yorker. For entrepreneurs, this is an opportunity to add income to your business." 

Your time, effort and expertise that you bring to the publishing table can't ignored. And your time, effort and expertise is worth something and you know it. You'd like to be acknowledged for it, right?

For many of us, who have quilted for ions, we think we are 'just' quilters, but really we're artists, designers and manufacturers. And strnage but true, this lends itself to not really believing we are worth it. 

I'm not thinking I'm the best of the best and I deserve to become super successful. But I do know this, my work is unique, its something new in the world of crazy quilting and that is saying alot.

I began thinking about self publishing back in 2005 but didn't really know what that would look like, so I delayed. In 2010 I began researching e-book publishing in earnest and decided that it just wasn't the right time.

Fiction writers apparantly are very happy about the growth and opportunity for e-book publishing. Romance to sci-fi authors have out of print books that are just books they wrote and now sit on a shelf at home. Every author knows that all books can become a bread winner again by e-publishing. Maybe their books were well read in the 1980's for instance and they can brush the dust off an oldie but a goodie and start earning money again from a e-publishing opportunity again.

This garage sale is where out of print and obsolete books end up. 

 I'm going to leave you with this interesting article I found online about one frustrated author who was tired of rejection letters and simply wanted to go to a Muppets exhibition.

Meet Amanda Hocking   But first, leave me a comment and let me know you are enjoying the walk along the e-book publishing path? Is there a burning question you've got?

Special thanks to www.theguardian.com and www.debbiemumm.com

Thank you for reading this long post!
Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs