We’ve had sort of an impromptu additional week off from the blog. I was a little jealous watching all my blogger friends getting stuck into the year and making it through the tricky first week with so much energy. But it just wasn’t there for me. So instead of struggling through, I wrote about it and asked you for your thoughts instead. And while a whole 100 of you were filling me in on your dreams and frustrations I was getting just as many of those little nagging jobs done. Clearing them off my checklist in an effort to focus and start my year slightly late, but hopefully still with a little party popper bang.
I have to admit, while I was trying to have the most productive all week, I did get very sidetracked reading your responses to the questions a number of times throughout the week. It’s so wonderful to hear your stories, aspirations and difficulties and I read each and every last answer, enjoying your imagination and getting a great insight into your problems. And guys, I have to say – do you ask good questions?!
So I’m not going to chat too much here because there are a lot of answers below and even then these are not all of the questions! I decided that many of them needed longer responses and could justify it’s own blog post, so if you don’t see yours below it’s because there is so much more to come! Let’s get started with the results.
I’d really love to know what the 4% other was!? Why didn’t I ask that question!
Lots more tutorials! That’s what I was expecting/hoping for but there’s also a lot of you who want to see more home decor, behind the scenes and Q&A’s with other creative entrepreneurs. You’re definitely giving me food for thought here! Studio tours anyone!?
I had such a great time reading about your personal and business goals for 2016. I really feel like this gave me a chance to get to know you all a little bit better. So much of my time online I spend talking with other bloggers (which of course is awesome) but it’s nice to sometimes get out of the blogging mindset sometimes and talk/read about other things going on in people’s lives. So many interesting stories and targets. Thank you for sharing them with me!
Now for probably my favourite part. Your questions for me!
+ I find it helpful as a blogger when other bloggers share their income reports. Would you consider doing that? Why or why not?
I’ve often thought about doing this. One of the main reasons I never have is basically because I am not organised enough to! I do have a book keeping system but I still cannot tell you exactly how much I am making from different sources. But I was considering doing a full first year report as I’m coming up to the big day! I think it would be so useful to see for myself and might perhaps show others how they can do it too. But then again I’m British and we are so squeamish when it comes to money talk…. I do feel a little like it would be… emmmmmm…. a bit uncomfortable. Drop me a note in the comments if this is something you’d like to see and I might just get over it.
+ Could you describe the We Make-packages a little more in detail? For instance after they are sent to subscribers. They seem interesting, but I don’t know what are things I would receive if I subscribed. (Also to estimate the amount of the packages)
Sure thing! We do announce the overall theme of the box but we like to give you guys a little bit of suspense and mystery to what is actually going to be in the box. This is all a huge learning process and also a work in progress so perhaps we’ll change this in the future. What I would say is that the boxes will always have the materials in it you will need to complete the theme/skill so for example, in next months kit you will receive everything you need to create natural and indigo dyes, Shibori techniques and batik pattern making.
As some of our products are made exclusively for We Make Collective it’s difficult to put a retail price on each kit. We are planning to sell all of the products from the kits separately later on this year. This should hopefully give us an idea of the actual retail value.
+ What is your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing about blogging is the freedom. Of course there are day to day jobs that have to get done but in general I can choose which projects to work on and when to work on them. Creatively that’s the dream. I get to try a lot of new things out, but I do sometimes wish I could spend more time on a certain skill – learning everything there is to know about it and really creating something unique!
+ What is your job? When do you create? Where?
So for the past year I have been a full time blogger. I was previously blogging part time around my full time job as a community manager. I’ll be writing more about that transition really soon! I have been working from home but now I’m in the process of moving into my new studio (which is taking SO much longer than I had anticipated!) and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
+ How are you today?
When I first read this question I had just pulled a muscle in my shoulder so I was actually in quite a bit of pain, but as I write this I’m feeling much better! Thank you!
+ Have you taken any formal training to learn a skill?
I graduated with a BA degree in textile design, specialising in embroidery. But besides that everything I do here on the blog has been very informally learnt!
+ What are your favourite projects?
Oh my gosh! I don’t know how to answer this question. I have many favourites that I love for very different reasons. I use these candles all the time and it’s one DIY that I keep making over and over again. These semi precious soap stones took me days to create and photograph and it’s one of the tutorials I am most proud of, but on the flip side I love how easy and useful this magazine holder is. I also wake up every morning to my sideboard makeover which makes me happy every day! I could go on but I think you get the idea.
+ What would be your top piece of advice to someone for the start of 2016?
Write down the first thing you need to do to make your dreams come true and do it… like, right now! (or maybe at the end of this post, but do it then for sure!)
+ When you first started as a creative blogger who did you look up to and why?
I first started blogging after my sister sent me a link to A Beautiful Mess. At that time it was just Elsie running the whole show (and I believe working with a group of friends on Red Velvet) and I found it very inspirational that this was something someone like me could do. The idea was so new to me and even though it took many years of terrible blog posts and even worse photography I knew straight away that I wanted to be a part of it.
+ How do you organise the content of the blog? How much earlier do you plan for it?
This can change from month to month! Sometimes I can have something ready to go weeks before and other times it’s just minutes. My goal for the year is to have everything completed 2 weeks ahead of time. I’ll most likely write a post on this once I’ve figured it out!
+ How you started the idea of having a DIY blog?
I wrote all about this in this post right here!
+ After putting time/energy/money into a project and it fails, what do you do with the project? Do you keep it, throw it away, use it as an example/reminder?
Most of the time if a project fails I will throw it away and start again, but make a note of why it failed and make sure I create my instructions to avoid that problem. I do share my prettier failures on Instagram from time to time and they always get a great response. I do think we should be less fearful of making these mistakes though so I do try to show that I am only human and make them all the time!
+ Where do you see yourself and the blog in 5-10 years?
I have absolutely no idea! But that’s probably what excites me the most about blogging. Who know’s what we will all be doing in 10 years time? Hopefully still blogging, creating and learning!
+ Where do you think is the best place to buy craft supplies if you’re on a budget?
Probably anywhere but a crafts shop. Be open minded with your supplies. If you can’t find the exact same material, how can you use something different? Remember when we were all braiding washers into our jewellery? Look outside the “craft” supply and you could end up starting the next big trend!
+ Where do you get supplies? How to build a varied stash.
I hoard just about everything I can get my hands on. My stash is a life long collection which makes moving house a nightmare and trying to find the one thing I need near impossible. I would not recommend it. I was in fact chatting to a friend about this just this week. Perhaps setting up a stash swap between friends or local crafters would help to build a healthy supply without going overboard!
+ What is your first tip to a person who wants to start her own business? Is there a chance to become successful in a world which has already so many beautiful blogs and businesses?
YES! There is always room for something/someone new! My biggest piece of advice is do what you love and do it really well. Don’t get consumed by what others are doing and keep learning how to improve.
+ How do you decide which crafts to include in the box kits? How is the We Make Collective doing? How do you decide what projects to use?
I really want the kits to give people a chance to try something new. Something outside of their comfort zone and something they will inevitably make mistakes with and learn from. It’s why I try to find supplies you probably won’t find in other kits and why we don’t give you an instruction booklet to follow. I think this is an idea that is sparking excitement in people. The collective is getting stronger and stronger with each passing month and I have my fingers crossed we will hopefully be able to employ someone very soon to make it even more special for everyone involved
+ What is more important to you? To follow your heart or the demands of your readers?
I love this question because it’s such an interesting one to answer. Of course I want to do the things I love, but I also want to make my readers happy to. And in a way making my readers happy is what makes me love blogging. Getting an email thanking me for a blog post is so rewarding and drives me forward, but then would this ever influence me to change the blog or blog purely for numbers?
One of goals for the past few years is to feature myself a little more on the blog. I know it’s something I need to do more to connect with you guys better but I find it incredibly stressful and difficult being in front of the camera. So it doesn’t happen a lot, but when it does I am particularly proud of the result. Sometimes what is good for the readers can be good for me. It can push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to create better content.
So I think my answer to the question is that I can follow my heart and the demands of the readers at the same time!
+What was your biggest crafting failure?
How can I pick one when there have been so many?!? Seriously… I can’t do it!
+ How did you gain so many followers? And when your blog was new, was it hard to keep going when you didn’t have many followers yet? If so, how did you overcome that?
This question is probably worth 10 blog posts (and I plan to write them all!) but in a nutshell always pushing myself to improve, learning as much as I can and not giving up helped me grow the blog. You can read a little more about that is this post.
+ Have you narrowed your target audience? How do you get to know them better?
I actually don’t believe in the blogging for a niche advice you read so often at the moment. In fact I would love to expand my content to include more variety. I usually try my best to make content that is useful and/or beautiful like a William Morris dream home. Of course sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but you always find out something new if you’re looking for it.
In terms of getting to know you better this is exactly what I’m trying to do right now! But also chatting to people online, reading comments and studying my analytics. It’s fun to learn about who you are and what you like reading!
+ What’s your favorite art movement? (impressionism, surrealism, etc.)
I love abstract art. I love looking at something and trying to figure out how it makes me feel. My favourite piece of art is Picasso’s Guernica. It’s on display at the Reina Sofia in Madrid and I could have stared at it for a day (we almost did)! It’s so full of emotion and chaos you can’t help but be completely absorbed.
Quite possibly the hardest question of all I’ve left until last:
+What is your favourite cheese?
I cannot possibly answer this question! I love them all equally of course. But just on the down low, melted cheddar is probably the most heavenly food to ever exist…. so that maybe.
I don’t know about you but I feel like we’ve been talking about me forever! There were many other questions including enquiries about photography, my day-to-day, motivation, organisation, networking, marketing, strategies, budgeting, inspiration and originality, balance, side hustling, craft spaces and much more (whew!). All of these areas deserve so much more than a paragraph or two so I’ll be spending some time over the next few months answering them in as much detail as I can!
I just want to thank you all for taking the time to answer (and ask) all these questions and those wishing me luck and leaving lovely little comments! And just add to my friend Laura, I will absolutely teach you to create a shop banner (tutorial!) although I might not be able to promise such great results on the plan to marry Aidan Turner… But, sure we can give that a go too!
The winner of the big We Make Collective bundle is Clare Farren! Congratulations Clare. We will be in touch soon and for everyone else hoping to get their hands on some We Make Collective goodies head over to our Instagram profile right now for an exclusive discount on our latest kit when you subscribe! Just because we think you’re awesome!
I loved reading this post Fran! So great to see what people wanted to know and to hear more of your thoughts and plans for future posts.
Thanks Claire! It was so interesting to read through the questions and get a small insight into what readers actually enjoy from the blog. Very eye opening!
This was a really interesting read. Looking forward to your posts this year!
Thanks Abi! I’m definitely looking forward to writing more after this survey. :D
Re: shop banner – Awesome, thanks! Maybe this year I’ll actually get my arse into gear and open an etsy shop…
Re: Aidan Turner – No assistance necessary; fate will prevail. (Failing that, I got some pretty effective-sounding tips from a beautiful romance novel by a guy called Stephen King. ‘Misery’, I think it was called…)
HA! Ok, I’ll leave that one up to you then. In the mean time a little studio day is in order!
Pat Schwab says
Fran, Thanks for answering my questions. This was an interesting read. Pat S
Thanks for asking the questions Pat! :D
Love so much that you took the time to survey your followers and answer questions, amazing post! Sounds like there may be more photography posts to come, but I was wondering in the meantime do you have any suggestions for shooting indoors when you can’t be by a window (or on a rainy day?). Do you ever use artificial lighting indoors? Your photos are all stunning! Thank you :)
Thank you. I can’t believe I have never done it until now! So enlightening :D
I mostly shoot in daylight but there are times when you do need a little lighting boost. I’m not an expert but I shot this post with light and a flash. I’ll definitely add that to the list then and do my best to help you out.
Great info, thank you so so much!
What an interesting read, thank you Fran! Obviously loving your work, but fun to read the answers to those questions. :D xx
Thanks Leanne! It was so fun answering them. I might do more Q&A’s just because I enjoyed it :D
Este crecimiento exponencial del crowdfunding ha hecho que desde
el mes pasado de abril cuente con un marco regulatorio.
agencia seo says
Dentro de Sale Systems contamos con un departamento de Consultoría posicionamiento web para entregar el mejor posicionamiento de forma adaptada.
The information you have posted is very useful.
body spa says
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that uses firm pressure and slow strokes in order to reach deeper layers and fascia (the connective tissues surrounding the muscles). Deep tissue massage is used to treat chronic pains and areas like stiff neck and upper back, low back discomfort, tight leg muscles, sore shoulders, and other contracted conditions.Visit body to body spa near me
b2b spa says
Our centre has all the best equipment and highly trained staff, which makes it a complete solution to your body spa and massage needs. Visit our spa today if you’re looking for the best and most ideal spa in Bangalore.Visit spa near to me