Blogging

For the Love of Blogging/12+.

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After 12+ years of Blogging, I’m still totally crazy in Love!!! Yes, I’m no influencer by any stretch of the imagination nor do I take myself too seriously. But, I do have goals and I’m excited to share today what still keeps me going after all these years in a blog world that has/is completely changing. While Digging Deeply with some bonus fun included 😜 into the 5 Big Blog Love Lessons I’ve learned since first hitting that publish button back in 2007. Now Let’s get cracking…

1.Nobody puts Baby in the Corner.

First things first, Do ya’ll remember the beginning of final scene in Dirty Dancing when Jennifer Grey’s Character is sitting with her family and Patrick Swayze saunters over to grab her and says that cinematic Iconic statement, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” and then they do the final dance to Time of My Life? Pure magic right?

That’s kind of how I felt when I first pushed publish back in July of 2007. Yes, it wasn’t anything special by any stretch of the imagination, just some dear diary kind of words and not even a photo 😜. But like Baby, I was trying something different and exciting. Out of my norm, putting myself out there in ways creatively I never knew I could. I still feel that way now unfortunately without that epic Swayze air lift, which is probably not a bad thing 😂.

2.if the shoe Doesn’t Fit.

When I first began blogging, I was also trying so many different things. I still miss that initial discovery period, even down to the basics part. Like learning how to post a picture on my old blogging platform typepad 😂. The whole thing was so new to me and exciting to experiment with all the options. So full of awesome learning curves…

And Failures. Many pretty elementary ones I cringe at now like my overuse of Vignette filters on all my photos and obsessively rounding corners 😂.

But, those little laughable quirks pale in comparison to how I painfully tried to shove my blogging foot into other peoples size/style. Many times I wasn’t even aware of it. Just trying to find what worked for me, but nonetheless it’s been hard to look back on until I realized it was a big part of my learning process to discovering my own unique fit (voice).

Now looking back I see those so-called failures as blogging blessings 🙌. I seriously wouldn’t be the writer, photographer and content creator that I am today/and tomorrow without trying new things on for size.

3.Community over Competition.

#communityovercompetition Is one of my all-time fave hashtags on Instagram. The Community part is actually one of the main reasons I started blogging- to connect with others on-line to share my then passion of scrapbooking. Looking back it was such a awesome engagement time before Instagram and hashtags came on the scene.

But, with that community aspect. I also experienced my first taste of competition since Junior/High school. It was pretty eye opening to say the least. To see grown ass adults hustling to get followers and creating content to set them apart from the rest. Most of the time it was pretty harmless popularity contest, but their was the ugly side as well. Mean girls, scrapbook style 😂. Snarky comments, building others up to see them fall. Some Weird shit and I knew as I do now, I wanted no part of it.

Now I consciously embrace the Community over Competition hashtag way of online life. Yes, their are times on social media I still feel that competition/comparison game rear it’s ugly little head. But, I try to step back and remind myself that sharing/engaging is caring not defining. My main goal is to create, not to be the most popular blogger on the block ♥️.

4.Design-ly Inspired.

Going old School. This is actually one of my numero uno reasons for blogging and I didn’t even know it when I first started. Like I mentioned above Community and Scrapbooking is why I started. But, as I kept on creating, I reopened a long, but clearly not forgotten can of Childhood design loving whoop ass.

Growing up I was design odd, I suppose I still am 😀. When most of my peers were into 1980’s pop culture and style (yes, I did like that stuff too). But, My imagination lived somewhere else as well. A eclectic mix of anything mid-century with a heaping dash of Francophile. Old movies, books, magazines and even music.

My Dad and Mom knew and a few my friends were privy to my history loving quirks. But, overall it was my secret world of Nerd-dom.Spemding endless hours pouring over my Mom’s old design books, memorizing cover to cover vintage magazines and spinning my own little tales on paper. I’d even cut and pasted my own articles. Ha pre-blogging blogger was in the making 😂.

Then my teenage years happened and this creative craft of mine fell into oblivion until Scrapbooking and Blogging appeared in my life. Now I can’t stop nor won’t 👍.

Its crazy reflecting back at how Blogging reawakened and still continues to keep my imagination and creativity so alive and thriving.

5. “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you’er than You.” -Dr. Seuss

You gotta be you. This quote from Dr.Seuss really has come to define my blog story over the years. Cultivating and learning to find my unique voice in a huge blogging world. Embracing that one in million perspective that only I can bring to the table.

It’s definitely not been easy over the years. Their has been so times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel. When I felt irrelevant or stuck in a rut. But, I kept going…

For the love of blogging. To keep sharing, collecting and discovering that You that I am.

I so look forward to the next 12+ years of blogging and the goals I have going forward. Yes, I will make mistakes or not find the perfect words. But, that’s why I love this blogging ‘thing’ so much. The creative growth and documentation is priceless.

And thank you for being a part of it too.

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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