Or how I learned to be a better blogger by examining my own reading habits.

There are so many amazing craft blogs. And I physically can’t read them all. I leave it up to Craftzine.com, Craftgossip.com, and Whipup.net to keep me up to date on most the amazing things crafting up around the web. Then, when I see a blog a particularly love, over and over again on the three above blogs, I’ll drop them into my rss feed. And I leave them there uncatagorized until I’m sure I want to keep them around. Then, they get dropped into one of the “keepers” folder. The things that keep a keeper? Consistency, pretty pictures, and something that makes me think.

Pretty quickly I realized, hey, what if other people were doing this with Craft Leftovers (as you should). Putting the blog on probation until you decided it was a good fit for your daily reading or not. Then I realized that I may or may not have subscribed to Craft Leftovers in the past year because of a few key things, a few key things I’m working hard to improve:

Consistent posting

While I really did try my best, this past year tossed me into a mass of random postings. And I know from being an avid craft blog reader, that there is a certain anticipation about knowing every friday or every monday wednesday friday, there will be something new to inspire me from a blog I enjoy. I’m still struggling a bit, but for the most part, Monday Wednesday Friday, you can expect a thoughtful post that is sure to tantalize your imagination. Like Friday’s post about making my own stamp or Monday’s post about the new issue of Craft Leftovers Monthly (Oh my gosh you are going to love this issue). Or even today’s post about making a better craft blog and a bit of self examination.

Quality posting

Oh I hate to fess up to and confront this head on, but over the past year the post quality has been “meh”. It’s not that I wasn’t trying my best, because I was, but I was so busy and my mind so packed with stress that my creative process really started to shut down. It’s hard to be inspired when I didn’t have time for the things that inspired me (reading creative blogs, keeping my house clean, talking bike rides, working in the studio just for fun, reading lots of good books). So, not just posting regularly, but really making every post count. No more filler posts.

Project posts

I love it when people post about how they make things. And I know, those are the posts you like the most too. It’s not just good for “readership stats”, which sure, I’m not going to lie. It totally is.  Going back to my origins of why I started craft leftovers in the first place, before the idea of  “readership” even came into my mind. Making my projects into a post (like the stamp last weekend or the mitten pattern coming up this Friday) really helps me to keep making (and finishing) things using just my leftovers. It’s just as good for me to show you (accountability) as it is for you to see how to make what I make.

A Dash of the Unusual

I am keeping things focused on leftovers and crafting and recycling. For me, it’s always fun to see when a blogger gets a bug in their bonnet and posts about that too (like backyard farming or painting a big mural). I’m going to keep things focused, more than I was over the last year, but not so inflexible that I can’t share with you something I’m really passionate about.

Photos really are everything

And the last point. I’ve been working really hard on this one. And I think I’m getting better. I’m not all the way there yet. Somedays are better than others. But what you see is what you get, so I want to be really proud of what you see. I’ve dedicated myself to taking better photos. And wouldn’t you say I’ve improved! I sure would.

I’ve been listening a lot to Diane about how to make my blog more awesome, she has a great series of ebooks, posts, podcasts, and webclasses on the topic. All are immensely helpful (I’m assuming the webclasses are, but have not taken one yet). If you write a craft blog, or really any blog, go check out her ebook set. Copyblogger has also been giving me a lot of food for thought. It’s always a kick in the pants when they say “10 top blog mistakes” and I’m making 5 out of 10 of them. Well no more.

Happy Crafting and Happy Blogging!