Monday, July 14, 2008

Q & A, PART TWO

Waaay back in May I had offered some blog candy. To enter, readers could ask stamping related questions. I addressed some of the questions in THIS POST, and here are some more ...

Q. Are you attending the Stampin' Up! Convention at the end of the month in Salt Lake?

A. Unfortunately, no ... I won't be attending this year's convention ... just couldn't swing it, financially. Hopefully, I'll make it to convention next year! I will be there in spirit through many of my stamping/blogging friends, and can't WAIT to see all their blog entries with convention highlights!

Q. What you are hoping to see in the new Catalog & Idea Book coming out in August?

A. The release of a new Stampin' Up! catalog is always an exciting time! As far as stamp sets go, I'm never really sold or excited about a stamp set until I see it in action. I would love to see more "useful" sentiments appropriate for the inside of cards, especially with birthday themes. I'd also love to see more stamp sets similar to Merry & Bright and Tart & Tangy ... versatile, useful, and affordable.


I can't WAIT to see the new Designer Papers ... I'd love to see a dp package with a Black & White color scheme! I hope to see more Simply Scrappin' Kits similar to Crew Kids Girl and Winter Bright, and more embellishments like Flower Fusion. It would be so cool if Stampin' Up! came out with something similar to Nestabilities too! WHITE brads would be nice too!

Demonstrators were informed recently that all the NEW stamp sets appearing in the new catalog will be die cut. Stampin' Up! is also coming out with a new scallop punch for scallop borders, among other sneak peek products!

Q. How in the world were you able to get 200,000 visitors to your blog in less than one year?

A. That number boggles my mind too! I don't have any "formula", but here's a few things I do that I think contribute to my blog's success, and may be helpful to others thinking about starting a blog ...


1) I do ALOT of linking! If there's a tutorial out there for something I'm showing, I link it. If my card was inspired by or cased from someone, I link their original. If I'm showing a card created from a challenge, I link it. What goes around, comes around!


2) When I post my artwork on splitcoaststampers.com, I always give a brief description, and say something like "For more details, see my blog, iSTAMP"... and link to the POST (not the blog). If someone looks at your card on SCS months down the road and wants to go to your blog for more details, you don't want to make them search your blog for that card. By linking directly to the POST, you're making it more convenient for the reader.


3) Leave frequent comments for others on their blogs and on SCS. For me, comments are incredibly motivating, and a fantastic way to start a rapport with readers and other bloggers. Again, what goes around, comes around!


4) Try not to ramble on about non-stamping related things. I will occasionally throw in some family related/personal things, but don't ramble on and on about my boring day.


5) Provide a recipe for stamped projects/cards with a consistent format, and describe supplies accurately and detailed (a great way to learn the names of supplies!). When I first started my blog, I would have to pull my catalog out every time for the correct name of a stamp set or product. Now, I rarely have to open the catalog for that purpose! Listing a detailed recipe is a great way to learn SU products!


6) Provide a subscription service like Feedblitz to make it easy for readers to return.


7) Creating an extensive blog roll with links to related blogs is a great way to build a resource for readers. Most bloggers will link you in return.

8) Participating in challenges from splitcoaststampers.com and other blogs also brings in new traffic. Here are some of my favorite blogs for challenges ...

Great Swaps Girls, Poetic Artistry, i{heart}2stamp, KWernerDesignBlog, Taylored Expressions, Our Creative Corner

Q. How did you get the courage to start your blog, and how did you pick your blog name?

A. I don't know if I'd call it "courage", but was completely inspired by other bloggers ... it looked like so much fun! It was a huge learning curve, but through alot of trial and error I think I finally got it down.

The name, iSTAMP, just came to me one day while pondering the thought of starting a blog. I think there were new iPODS being purchased in our family around that time ... shows where my mind was! To me, it made sense because that's what I do ... I stamp!

One piece of advise for new bloggers ... use the name of your blog in the address for your blog ... something I wish I would have done from the start.

8 comments:

Melissa said...

Ok - scary! My answers would have been the same as yours on many many questions.....I guess great minds think alike! :o)

Many Blessings,
M.

PS - I'm crossing my fingers for that black and white designer paper!

Lori Barnett said...

good info Nancy! I wish I would have used my blog name as my blog address too! I don't even remember how or why I used my real name...probably cause I was just playing around.

Wanda. said...

I've nominated you for an award on my blog . . check it out
www.starlightstamper.com

Dawn Easton said...

Thanks for answering so many questions Nancy! Thanks for the tip on the blog name too ;) hehe

amazingpapergrace.com said...

Nancy:
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and experience!! I had so many of the same questions, so the feedback is nice!

Tom said...

Just what you listed Nancy is EXACTLY why I like to come to your blog over and over!!!! I think you have a WONDERFUL blog!!!!!!!Elizabeth Glass

LeAnne said...

Nancy, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts about stamping & blogging and success!! I find myself nodding, "yes, yes, yes" to your answers. I think I have learned from one of the best--you!
I will be using some of your ideas, in fact, at my stamp camp next week! THANKS again!
LeAnne

Jennifer Meyer said...

LOVE your fun answers Nancy! Thanks so much for mentioning the OCC!

Jennifer :)