Always Learning: Day 1 of my eCourse

You never know everything about everything and especially in my industry where I'm using computer technology mixed with graphics, internet networking, and social interaction. It's changing everyday and I have to do my part to keep up.

When I moved my blog over from WordPress, I didn't feel the added stress it took to handle all the self-hosting, but that doesn't mean that my job is easy, there's still lots of work to do. And, technology isn't the the only thing changing, I am too.

Must have a Purpose for Everything.

All the blogs I did before had different purposes from this one. And for me, doing something without a reason makes no sense. I needed very much to have an outlet to showcase my handcrafted items for sale, but I didn't want to stop there. I also desired a way to share my thoughts and express my creative side.

I signed up for a 5-day email course on working with dream brands. It's a study for bloggers like myself that want to work with advertisers to help promote their products and get paid for it. It's one of the ways I'd like to make money with this blog. The homework assignment for Day 1 was to write down a list of brand names I want to work with, here's mine:
  • Knit Picks, a yarn company but also they offer knitting patterns and video tutorials.
  • Miss A, an online fashion/beauty site that sells all their products for $1!, it's more like a specialized dollar tree store. I've shopped there several times for jewelry, beauty, and accessories and I really like their products.
  • Lion Brand Company. I'm dreaming really big here, but I just love their yarns and their yearly fashion show when they come out with new patterns.

Also, I've been doing a lot of reading on effective blogging and looking at designs, color schemes, themes and templates, as well as researching and listening to podcasts on how to get the right messages across to my visitors. All of this is part of my ongoing training.

It took about 10 years before I found my web design style. 

I know how much I love neutral and pastels colors and I try to integrate those in as often as I can, but I must admit...I was going back through some of my published posts and I didn't like the photo choices nor the colors I chose. It didn't scream, "Kim McDougal's design." Branding is really important when you're trying to start a business of any kind whether it be a brick and mortal company or a blog.

I realized what the problem was. I had moved away from the colors I really like, the design and layout didn't appeal to me, and one of the things I need is to do is put my name on my project and be happy with the final product. And, that applies to the ads I choose to use. If I'm not happy with it, then I'm basically promoting something that isn't me.

The second part of my homework assignment of the eCourse was to write down the types of products I would like to promote on my blog so this is my list:
  • Beauty products. Now I'm not a beauty guru, but I would like to try out new creams, lotions, and other products like new fingernail polishes, lipslicks, and eyeliners.
  • Yarn. Of course yarn, but not any kind. I am moving towards wool blends and alpacas in my knitting and I would love to try out super merino and lace yarns.
  • Crochet hooks. There are lots of different kinds of hooks with various textures that I would like to use.
  • Fashion. I love clothes like maxi dresses/skirts, tops, sweaters, coats, and accessories like purses/bags, and of course hats!
  • Food. I started out as a food blogger so of course this is still true to my heart. I used to work with a brand called, Foodbuzz, years ago and I was able to sample food products and write honest reviews on them.
  • Art supplies. I would love to try out the new Cricut machine and also the photo booth for product shooting for example. Since I like paper crafting and cardmaking, promoting papers, cutting machines, and other gadgets would be so cool.
I'll be sharing Day 2 - 5 of what I'm learning, so stay tuned. Also, you may see some layout/design changes and tweaks here and there on the blog, so don't be put off when you come back. It's part of the growing process!