I had a lovely evening with Kim from trueUp.net last night.  She was here for the Quilt Market (national fabric trade show) and spoke at the Textile Center about blogging and the fabric world.  After the talk I went to dinner with Kim, Faye, Jen, Caroline and Shaerie, a bunch of cool and crafty ladies.  (I hope everyone got a lot of sleep last night, because they were all back at Quilt Market today for another exhausting day!)

Kim had some interesting things to say about blogging.  It is nice to hear someone else speak and confirm things that you have been thinking.  Some of her tips:

  • Share your process – People love to see “behind the scenes”I love doing these kinds of posts that’s why I do my Wednesday works in progress.
  • Share research – If you have done a bunch of reading up about a new sewing machine, share.  I don’t do this often on my blog, but I know I always google to see if anyone else has reviewed a thing (especially a new expensive thing)
  • Make tutorials – Yep.  Tutorials are hot. I know from looking at Google analytics that those how to pages get the most hits on my blog.
  • Talk about your favorite local shops - Yes!  I know how excited I was to find the Stitch London blog with a list of fabric shops in London.  Going there in June and I want a souvenir!  I should do a guide to Minneapolis.
  • Answer comments – I love getting questions and answering those in another blog post, too.
  • End with call to action – This one is my favorite.  Ask a question at the end of your post to encourage discussion.  My friend Donna does this often and it has made me want to comment on her posts. Why didn’t I think of that?

Kim also talked about having a topic for each day on her blog and how that gives her a fall back for what to talk about.  I started doing Works in Progress Wednesdays here recently and it is great!  Sometimes that’s the only thing I post in a week, but it means I always have something to talk about.  Kim also talked about selling advertising space on your blog and ways to be part of the blog community and build audience.

Most interesting for me was listening to the questions that the audience was asking Kim.  I am perpetually a teacher and I think I got some great ideas for future “Tech Tuesdays” sessions I can teach.  (I already do a series on etsy, digital fabric printing, blogging, and so on.)  It is easy to assume that everyone knows about Flickr or Google Reader, but this crowd was really interested and would have liked to hear more.

Kim gave away a bunch of door prizes.  I got this cute little fat quarter pack of organic cotton from Clothworks.  Since Andy scored a door prize too, I am going to donate mine to the Volunteer Appreciation Party door prizes at the Textile Center next week.

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