Blogging

Blog Like No One is Reading.

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Because they’re probably Not. I know that might sound harsh and sting a little bit. But, with how humans these days are finding and consuming content via social media. I’m here to rip the band-aid off quicker for you and share the best Blogging advice I ever received that will get you through the dry spell of readership and bring you back to the core of why you began blogging in the first place. Hopefully For the love of creating and sharing content that lights you up.

If not this post isn’t probably for you. If you Blog to make money or dream of becoming a influencer via your Blog. Move right along. But, if your curious how people have done that organically and authentically over the years. Not months or days. Your welcome to keep reading. But, before I go into those magical details of my favorite advice and my personal blogging compass over the years. Let’s first talk about Blogging currently in 2019. 

No Click Away

Over the 12 years I’ve been blogging, I’ve definitely seen a ebb and flow of readership/social media platforms come and go. And how we as humans digest our on-line content then and now.

Currently it’s pretty non-existent with the Entering of Instagram being owned by the folks at Facebook.

Where Blogging now has been replaced by lengthy captions with pretty or not so pretty pictures and hashtags delivering you to Content that is quick and digestible for our now trained short attention spans.

Then insta stories came on the scene to further entertain and steal the blogging show. Making it a IG zone of no Click away and keeping us exclusively on Instagram. So, that hashtag #linkinprofile you might use is a fruitless endeavor unless you have something of Real Value to share. And 90% of Blogs don’t these days because of this...

Mirror Image Websites/Collect.

I still read blogs surprisingly and notice each time I’m on Bloglovin. Most of it’s the same😰. Polished websites (Fast Fact: Blogs are Websites now) with a insta pop-up ‘subscribe to my e-mail list for exclusive content’. Reminding me back in the day when bloggers thought it was a “great” idea to feature their favorite playlist on the sidebar and you couldn’t click fast enough to turn that shit off😂. 

Everyone is trying so hard to be perfect and collect your information. It’s become a sea of Mirror image Websites, even a few I’ve been reading forever have prescribed to this copy cat formula. It’s such a bummer. But, another phenomen has further damaged readership...

Sell the Blog and the Kids.

Sponsorship has killed the Blogging Star. This statement might bite me in the ass someday🤭 or now. And that’s OK:) Everyone is selling you something. Seriously. Advertisers have infiltrated the creative medium of storytelling. Enticing Bloggers to make a living on hocking their wares, goods and services. It’s actually pretty insanely genius. Now that traditional advertising methods are old and tired. But, it’s not only the ad women/men. But, Bloggers themselves. 

Recently on Instagram a Ad Kept popping up-in my feed of a Woman who promises how she can easily teach you to make money Blogging! Wow! 

Curiousity got me to click over and what I found was a different kind of informative. So, if you begin a blog and feature your family on amazing vacations. You can have a successful career as a blogger too. But, you have to buy her self-paced course! Cool. Easy right? 

Sure if you want to pay her bills. Or just maybe instead you could save that $99 and put it towards your own family trip. Then post your own kids having a bad ass time at Disney World. Even Better in my book enjoy that trip without posting anything and staying present in the moment♥️. 

I know it would be awesome to make a living blogging. I’ve personally dreamed that little-big dream myself. I totally get it and they're are   some amazing examples of it, like some my favorite longtime blog reads: Cup of Jo and A Beautiful Mess. These amazing women have worked hard, continue to create content with passion and if it was all stripped away I think they would continue to blog if no one was reading as well. 

Now that brings me to the Best Blogging Advice I ever Recieved: 

Blog like No One is Reading. 

Her name was Agnes and I don’t remember her blog any longer. But, I do remember her post  content that didn’t match the title, but the title stayed with me. Becoming a Blogging Manifesto of some sort that evolved into the idea of doing my best while no one is watching or reading.

It has served me well over the years even when my readership was epic or non-existent. It has also given me the permission to just show up and love simply the process of creating without any outside expectation.  

The best part of this advice is how it has stayed with me. Reminding me of why I Blog and keeping me centered to that.

My love for words and crafting the story. Taking photos. Planing posts like this. Sharing to real or imagined audiences😊.

It’s so magical to me. It’s my little legacy of joy. While helping me uncover, work through and document my day to day. Keeping me present, yet dreaming and expanding. Growing, Learning and Sharing even if no one is reading.  

So, Blogging is much more than a click through, a sponsorship or collecting a e-mail. It’s creativity and if you yourself begin to approach it that way and stop chasing readership, Slow down, create with passion. Find what Feels Good. Your Blogging endeavor will be transformed. I promise. 

Just Blog like No One is Reading. 

Love, C.  

Ooh La La! Welcome!

Image: maddy nye for DesignLoveFest/Dress Your Tech 201

Image: maddy nye for DesignLoveFest/Dress Your Tech 201

Hey! Hey! Hello! Welcome to the New StoryboardC.! I am so glad you came by to check it out! Can you tell I am excited?!? So, many exclamation points right? This Blog Redesign has been in the planning/daydreaming stage for nearly 3 years now and while over the summer celebrating 10 years of blogging (wow time flies). I decided to get off the sidelines and make it finally happen. I definitely had  some Mega Motivation pushing me... a little Open Heart Surgery action (Please know I am not taking it lightly, I am just having a hard time still grasping the enormity of it all) and binge listening to THE AWESOME WITH ALISON podcast (SOOO worth a listen if you get a chance or YOU seriously need to Make a Chance!) on my public transit commutes to work. Now I am DONE and sharing the fruits of my design labor with you. This will be a wordy post, but maybe  just maybe it might help you with your own new Blog Design adventures.  If you have any questions or even need a little help let me know in the comment section below or my Contact Page. I would love to hear from you either way:)

Now let's get this redesign party started! First things first...

Platforms Baby. And I am not talking about Shoes here. My first goal was changing Blogging Platforms. I have been with Typepad since the dawn of blogging time. Back in the day (2007) it was where Everyone, who was Anyone in the blogging Scrapbooking niche was (yes, I scrapbooked and still do:).  I liked Typepad and I even paid for it, but never was in love with it. So, over the years, I tried every blogging format known to crafty woman or man.  Blogger, WordPress, Virb, Tumblr and even Squarespace back in 2013.  But, I always went back to Typepad... I was comfortable there and I learned to work around it's limitations. But, eventually I found it outdated for my needs and seeing how the blogging world was evolving into beautiful seamless sites of near perfection. I wanted that for myself, but without spending my time deciphering Custom CSS or spending oodles of money to hire someone to design my ideal on-line blog home. Plus, I knew I was more than capable of doing the design work myself. But, I still craved a easy transfer of sites and after doing a whole heck of research this past year. I decided I needed to be on Squarespace again.  I still hymned and hawed. But, Last November I made a small move towards this change by investing in my own domain name through Squarespace, something that has been on my blogging bucket list forever. When I first began blogging I had know idea about the power of Branding yourself and picked the most obvious, yet not ideal choice: my name. Whoa, it was a long one with my added ex-husbands last name! Obviously at the time I had know idea how much this hobby would grow for me and would lead me creatively. ACTION SIDE NOTE: to any new bloggers out there reading this... Take time to choose your name and really wear it on with your blogging goals before committing. Now, I am officially www.storyboardc.com and feel so good about it. 

So,Why Squarespace? I just love how inclusive it is, One Stop Shop for your domain name and no bothersome outside hosting.  I also love how design friendly it is and  Squarespace's use of content blocks for customizing your individual pages and even in blog posts is so easy.  It might sound confusing to you if you are not familiar, but once you dig into Squarespace you will know what I am talking about and their support forum is fantastic. I also stumbled last year upon amazing on-line resource Elle & Co. (Seriously, Lauren the creator  gets my Numero Uno shout out for her 'Sharing is Caring' attitude and Don't worry I will link to her useful Squarespace info below). 

Honestly I could do a whole post on the merits of Squarespace and probably will in the near future. But, for now I want to focus on what went into the new features here on StoryboardC. 

What ABOUT the FAQ's Ma'am?  My old Typepad blog did have these link options in the Navigation Bar, but I was never crazy about the limited amount of Fonts and the outdated style available. For years my contact and about links resided in my sidebar, but I always wanted a more cleaner and user-friendly format. Here at Squarespace the ease of adding pages and content is crazy awesome.  Don't get me wrong you need to have some design willingness and time. But, once you pick a Blog friendly template out of their oodles of choices (My personal favorite is Hayden,    which I use because I really fell in love with the idea/challenge of customizing it differently to Elle&Co.'s version). Customizing is truly at your fingertips and the Squarespace Help Support/forum is wonderful. My only advice is to have patience and focus. Make a list of Pages you want and take your time before getting started. 

My About Page was one of their easy drop box template options. All I needed was a new photo and introduction. I did take my time with writing my introduction. Informal and real. One of the many things I have learned over the years of Blogging is being yourself. I know that is said a lot in the blogging world... but truth it is! Do you:) ACTION SIDE NOTE: I do suggest checking out some of your favorite blogs for inspiration and Pinterest has tons of ideas as well. But, again remember to take your time and be yourself. 

My FAQ page was fun to write up. I brainstormed all the questions I have gotten over the years about blogging and other subjects that have interested my readers.  Then I took the time really answering them and making sure they contained valuable/ usable information.  ACTION SIDE NOTE: Even if your readership is small. I still like to include a FAQ page. It is another way that current and future readers get to know you. If you don't know what to write about or new to blogging, I suggest doing a brainstorm of what you think others might want to know about you you or services you have to offer if you are a business. 

I Got Mail and Favicon's are Cool. These were two things that have been on my blogging bucket list forever and I am thrilled that I finally made them happen. The mail was so easy to sign up for and Squarespace had a direct link to G-Suite (Pro version of Gmail, where you can use your domain name). So, now I have my own email: cynthia@storyboardc.com and it is directly linked to my new contact page. How cool and legit am I:) I also did this for future growth, if I want to add contributors to my blog someday, they too will have their own email:) 

So, now what the heck is a Favicon? Don't feel bad if you don't know either and if you do know, Go on with your bad self! I always saw on people's polished blogs that little personalized logo on a open tab. I really wanted one myself and never knew what they were called until Elle & Co. came into my on-line life. I was bound and determined to have one. Even designed it myself. What fun I had playing with styles for this tiny little Icon. So, make sure to read this on a regular computer sometime to check out my Favicon:)  Little details do feel good. 

What's next on the design Agenda? I have been plugging away at a lot of new blog content and have about 10 posts ready for you! I am also trying to figure out how to move my old blog archives over here from Typepad. I truly hope it will not be a manual transition. *Update: I contacted Squarespace and unfortunately at this time Manual import of Posts is only available. Total Bummer, but archives are slowly in the works.  

My last order of business in this Welcome post is telling you that I had originally allotted a month for this transfer of blogging power:) And it only took three days. So, if you are on the fence yourself. It is totally doable. Please know I am here for you. If I don't have the answers, I will try to find them.

Thank you again for being my blog friend and reading me over the past ten years! I am so excited for what is to come here at StoryboardC. going forward and am glad you are along for the ride!

Love, C. 

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