Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Happy Place ...

... that's what this blog is to me.  It's a place where I come to focus on whatever is happening around here, share a project or two, and spend time with other people whose company I enjoy ... some of whom have become almost like family.

I read something earlier this morning that got me thinking.  It was someone's list of things that we all supposedly must do if we want to grow our blogs.  The list included items that mandated that we must comment on other blogs to generate traffic on your own blog, must form alliances and mention and link to other blogs in exchange for reciprocal mentions and links, must promote our posts mercilessly on ALL of the various social media outlets, etc.  Seriously?  It sounds so calculating.



I guess I'm just a bit too naive about stuff like this ... I read blogs that I enjoy and I leave comments when I have something to say or when I want to offer encouragement or praise.



To be honest, I admit that I fell into the link trap early on.  I participated in various 'link parties', with the hope that more people would see what I was writing.  The only traffic I saw that those links generated was toward the hosting site, not mine.  I do see traffic on my old blog posts, mainly from Google searches and from Pinterest pins.  The posts of mine that get the most hits like this are ones that I wrote to put out something that I thought was important ... there's not a week that goes by without at least one hit from a search about how to make a dog throw up, how to install subway tile around an outside corner, or how to wax chalk-painted furniture.  (That wax tutorial is my most popular post.  It still gets hundreds of hits a week, even though it is more than two years old.)



I know that there are blogs out there that have grown to the point where they have become the blogger's livelihood.  Many of these are ones that I used to read, but I now avoid them ... too hard to determine whether a post is intended to be genuine and helpful or if it is fueled by a sponsor (which makes it into paid advertising, in my book).  How many times can we read about the virtues and wonder of 'whatever' product that coincidentally happens to be featured on dozens of blogs at the same time?  There are blogs that I follow and enjoy that are very clearly meant to be an extension of someone's business ... with the blog serving to highlight the business's barn or antique sale, or market booth, or latest and greatest product.  I'm okay with this.  There's a difference between clearly marketing one's own business and what seems like a plot to produce content with keywords, back links, and the like, to drive traffic for pay-by-clicks to the animated advertising on one's header or sidebar.



I am a fairly transparent person ... what you see is pretty much what you get with me, and I try to be the same way here on the blog.  You never have to wonder where you stand with me.  If I like you, you know it.  If I'm upset with you, you're the first person I will tell.  I occasionally produce posts to promote things that I am selling, but this is clearly stated.  I try to include aspects of the project that can help others if they are working on something similar.  If I feature a product, you can be assured that it's one that I use and that I like and that I think will be helpful to someone ... I'm not doing it because the product was provided for me, because it wasn't.  (Have turned down all offers of this so far, and I will continue to do so.)



Let me conclude by saying that I am grateful for everyone who visits here and spends time reading what I write.  We are all given the same 24 hours per day, and I am humbled that you choose to spend some of yours here with me.  I am especially grateful for those of you who go beyond reading, by offering comments and participating in email exchanges that have served to ignite true friendships.  Even if you read and click away without speaking up, which I do while blog surfing most of the time myself, please know that I am glad to have you here.  I want to keep this as a positive place, one where I share life and projects and pets and whatever is on my mind ... I guess today's post is one of those that fits into that last category.



This blog is my happy place ... it's where my friends are.

(Images in this post were modified using the Waterlogue app on my iPad.  Thank you, Janet, for introducing me to this and to Karen for encouraging me to keep at it and to have fun.)

26 comments:

  1. Your photos are beautiful and your cat looks just like our grand-kitty, Rae-Rae. Deb

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  2. I hear you about blogging and what they think it should be. But honestly, I like blogs that are not ad driven and down to earth. I like your blog. I may not get here as often cause life gets in the way. Keep being yourself. You are great.

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  3. There should be a "Like" button on blogs, as there is on Youtube. Just to let you know.

    On the other hand, if you were to stop blogging, I'd have to come for a visit with TWO suitcases and an antique trunk for you to rejuvenate while I drooled on the roses.

    OTFLMAO

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  4. You're so right Connie, people tend to chase after money every way they can. My blog began as a diary and my hope was that I would inspire other women to do more than we were brought up to believe we could do. Then I got caught up in the "yes you can make money too!" blog frenzy. Now I'm back to the beginning again, and I don't care if I make a dime or not on what I post. I don't want my blog to control my life...

    Your Waterlogued photos are beautiful. I had a hard time finding photos that worked well with the app. Or maybe I just didn't spend enough time trying to figure out the best way to use it. You could give me a lesson or two!!

    Have a great day xoxox

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  5. I so totally agree with you Connie. My blog is an extension of me. I write about whatever i happen to be crafting or trips i've taken or whatever is on my mind for the day... I think your blog is a nice eclectic mix and thats what i like about it.
    Psst... and you don't get mad when i happen to disagree with you. :) I try to stay away from blogs where i feel i have to walk on eggshells to get along... Big Hugs! deb

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  6. Started following your blogs when you had a retail rose nursery...and have been reading you ever since. You are the real deal...and I enjoy that.

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  7. Here, here! Terrific post. I can't tolerate those sponsored ads. It takes my slow country internet long enough to load up without all those ads slowing it up and cookies mining my laptop. I love hearing about bloggers booths or shows or Etsy shop, but not those dang sponsored ads filling up the blog. I've had to stop reading some (previously) favorite blogs because of them.

    Love the photos, what a phenomenal look, so realistic looking.

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  8. Well said and beautifully illustrated!

    xo Kat

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  9. Connie, good for you! Lately, I've been struggling with the purpose of my blog; still haven't decided but if I can encourage someone or be of help, it's worth it.

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  10. All the pics are fabulous but the last one truly takes my heart !!!

    Amusing when someone hires me and says they are surprised I don't do all the links/key words on my blog.

    Very amused. They found me, they hired me!!

    Off to give a lecture in Chicago soon, they found me on my blog !

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  11. I think of my blog as a place to meet and exchange thoughts, ideas and what's going on in our lives. I visit so many because of the person who writes the blog. I once tried to grow my blog and found it wasn't for me. I have a few ads on my page and they help me pay for postage for my giveaways and I've done a few product reviews, but only on items I really like and use, and those are few and far between. I'm about done with Linky parties, so many write one post and link it to dozens of parties. So where is the fun and interest of that. Often the posts aren't even on topic. For now my mini blog break is feeling very good. I come to your blog because I call you friend!
    hugs, Linda

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  12. What a great post, straight from your heart.

    I love all of your photos turned paintings today.

    I hope your day is a good one. I'm going to putter around home today, inside and out.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

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  13. Like you, my blog surfing has shrunk to just a few (yep, you are in there friend!) And I pass on your blog to all my friends who ask me questions, as you explain it sooooo well! :) The heavens will be watering our roses today...life is good!

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  14. Connie,
    I agree with you. I made peace some years ago that I was blogging for the creative outlet it provided. I wanted a way to express my joy in things that make me happy...my garden and my home. Like you, I'm always honored when someone comments and I appreciate the readers that quietly visit my site.
    I've only recently found your site but it brightens my day with helpful information.
    Karen

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  15. Connie...what a great post. I too have several blogs I follow, though can skip over them most days for the reasons you pointed out. Not yours though, I read everyone of your posts and find them interesting, informative, funny and always personal...that's what I love the best. I don't often leave a comment, which is not good as I know how it feels to not have anyone comment on your posts. It is a happy place, fun to write, keep record of what you've been up to and share it with people of like interested. I like your happy place!

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  16. I have learned a lot from your writing and look forward to your posts. Love your waterlogued photos, especially of Winnie.

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  17. Well said, Connie. Bravo!!

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  18. Well said! - I do enjoy having people stop & comment and do think that if you don't visit and comment on other blogs you're not likely to get many comments on yours. However blogging should be fun and should never make a person feel stressed to be something they aren't. I always enjoy stopping by your blog to see what you are doing and may I just say I just looked at your post below on the refrigerator and wow what a transformation.

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  19. Also I LOVE all the waterlogue photos you posted too. Wish I had a phone to do that with my photos.

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  20. I hear you and I agree with you, Connie! My blog is my journal. A place where I share my heart and soul. A place where I hope to inspire others as they have inspired me. Crafting, gardening, painting...just living a blessed life - and hoping to pass those blessings along to everyone who needs it. ♥ I love the friends I've met via blogging. I love the ideas and things I've learned while visiting others. It's truly a special community full of special women....like you! :)

    xoxo laurie

    PS LOVE the photos today! Wish my phone could do that! :)

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  21. Your blog is one of the few I visit regularly. There have been others, but one in particular, I stopped visiting because on every visit I was being flashed a toilet paper ad. That got old really, really quick.

    I appreciate your writing and the time you take to share your photos and thoughts.

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  22. I am so sorry but my days are far too short for blogging at the moment with the care for my parents in their nineties, I try to keep up because I love writing about nature and my garden and love reading interesting blogs mainly about roses,gardening and pets. This post is so true, I always love reading your posts about the roses and the dogs and I admire your carpenter skills. So when I saw this post, first thing I thought was, o no she is even a gifted aquarellist but when I saw Winnie I understood this was made with a waterlogue app because I remembered the photo.

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  23. Connie, I come here because I love what you write. There are a couple of blogs like those you mention that have been deleted from my favorites list. I understand that some people need this for their livelihood but their posts tend to sound forced to me and not the "real" sound of their own voice anymore. That is when I get bored with them and they loose me as a reader.

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  24. I agree! I appreciate the authentic, rustic blogs. I can loose too much time on my computer, so I no longer blog surf, just have a few that I really enjoy and check couple times a week.

    I love the water colors... especially the brick, just wonderful!

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