Monday, March 12, 2018

Instagram - a learning curve

I joined Instagram ages ago but have to be honest I never quite got to grips with it for ages. My daughter would have to step me through how to post things and then by the time I decided to have another go I'd have forgotten what I was doing and she would have to step me through it all over again.

I never got it and couldn't figure out why so many people were enamoured with it and some podcasters (ok Stephanie at Modern Sewciety mostly) would rave about it. I just didn't get it.

When I opened the Etsy shop for Handmade With Love I figured I should get serious about it as it seems that it was one way that I could promote the shop and hopefully drive some activity and sales. Another crash course by Fangirl, in how to work it and I was away. I changed the name to reflect the fact that it was connected with Handmade With Love and started to try to post stuff on there about the shop. I had to learn a lot about hashtags (they used to really annoy me to be honest) and I am still learning. My account probably needs a lot of polishing but I guess like me, its a work in progress. 

Trying to attract more followers has been interesting. I joined an Australian loop - where you post a certain post and then are encouraged to follow other people that like it etc... that has worked to an extent although to be honest I have ended up following and having followers that aren't really my demographic... lots of mummy instagramers - especially ones who are promoting their child and trying to get "brand reps" etc. So I am rather ambivalent about it. Yes I have attracted more followers (up to 680)but it hasn't had a corresponding increase in people liking or commenting on my posts or visiting my Etsy shop. And some how it feels a bit icky to me... mothers pimping out their kids for free stuff. I'm thinking of culling who I follow... but then I do like to see my numbers growing. If they are prolific posters that end up clogging my feed with posts I am not interested in I may well give them the flick. Sigh. Its hard to know

Something that I have been joining in and really enjoying since the beginning of March has been a hashtag called March Meet the Maker (#marchmeetthemaker). Set up by Joanne Hawker its a month long challenge where each day the makers on Instagram have a topic to engage in on their Instagram account.

I'm finding it really interesting learning about lots of other makers out there on Instagram. Boy there are a lot of them. Its also challenging to come up with the photos and content for my own posts. It was extra challenging to start with as I was away from home so couldn't take more photos - had to rely on the photos I had with me - what fun!

I also am taking part in #igquiltfest run by Amy Ellis. Again there is a month long list of prompts for posts.

 I am not really enjoying this one as much although it is also interesting. Its all quilts so not so much variety and maybe at the moment I am not so into quilting.

Anyway - so are you on Instagram? My handle is handmadewithloveorh if you want to find me and follow me. I'm there a bit more often than I am here these days.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Blogging from A to Z challenge 2018 I'm in

Last year, after the Blogging from A to Z challenge I barely blogged for months - or for the rest of the year to be honest. Its taken till this month for me to get back into the swing of posting even a little. After 3 years of the challenge plus lots of other blogging I just petered out. Life got busy. I travelled. I got very involved in Handmade With Love and sewing for Comic Con and Supanova. I didn't seem to have much of a following and frankly figured who would miss me.

I still wrote blogs in my head at times but never got them onto the computer. Sometimes I made it to the computer but didn't get the photos taken ... or edited... or uploaded. It just got too hard.

I have gradually got back to it this month of February... 3 posts in a week. I was on fire (Lol) I looked at my stats - the visits that I had over the week and I was astounded by the number I had. I mean I am by no means setting the world on fire or creating new records but well yes I was... for me anyway. People were reading my blog (at least visiting it) and that has been encouraging. Not commenting though. No one is commenting (hint hint)

And I thought... maybe I could blog regularly again. I was definitely NOT going to enter the A to Z challenge again. I blamed it for my walking away from my blogging. Then I looked back at my A to Z posts from last year and saw I had 250 plus visits. As I say - maybe not earth shattering for many bloggers - small fry to many but for me that was fantastic. So yeah - maybe I would enter again and if nothing else it might get me back blogging again.

So - today of all days, when we are going to be hosting an engagement party for a friend, when we have so many things to get done, when we are going away for several days tomorrow... I have decided that I would enter the challenge and what is more have started to draft some of my entries. Not what I need to be doing and with that I will sign off. With no pictures to pretty this blog up. So I am going to leave it at that. Post this as is and dive into my busy day but I will be back. 

See you all again soon