If you’re here for the first time, then welcome! If you are a regular around here then you may be wondering what the heck the bloglight is all about… allow me to explain. Hometalk is a website where you can share home-related projects, ask home-related (and gardening) questions, and find a ton of inspiration. Hometalk is also very supportive of DIY/decor/home bloggers, and each week they choose a different blogger to feature. And this week it’s me!
Miriam (the Director of Community over at Hometalk) sent over a few questions for me to answer, so here we go!
How did you first get into blogging?
I started my blog in February of 2011 on a whim. Actually it started way before that with me Google-ing project ideas to update our new house. Google started leading me to home decor and renovation blogs…. I remember stumbling across Young House Love, The Lettered Cottage, and Thrifty Decor Chick all in one day. I don’t think I got off the computer at all that day, and when Adam got home I excitedly told him about my discovery. Before that I had no idea that people wrote blogs about house stuff, I had really just thought that blogs were for moms to write about their day-to-day lives and teenagers to share their teenage angst/poetry/selfies with the internet. So kept reading and discovering more blogs for…. months. Then one particularity uneventful day, sitting around my quiet house (with my then 11 month old Elijah) I thought to myself “the projects I do are as good as some of these online people…I should start a blog.” So I googled “how to start a blog”, found blogger, and signed up for a free account.
How did you decide on the name of your blog?
As you can see, I didn’t put a lot of thought into starting a blog, and I put even less thought into the name. It didn’t matter what it was called because no one was going to read it. It was something that was just going to be for me. I wasn’t even planning one telling my husband (or anyone) about it (and I didn’t for three months) because I didn’t know if it would ever make it past one post. The whole thing just wasn’t a big deal at all. I called it Domestic Imperfection because I wanted to be able to write about whatever I felt like, but most of it would revolve around domestic stuff, like my kid (or kids, I was pregnant when I started my blog but didn’t know it yet), projects, cooking (haha), cleaning, life….whatever. I also didn’t want to give people the idea that I had any authority to give advice or was particularly good at what I spent my days doing. So…Domestic Imperfection. If I had to do it again I’m not sure I would choose the same name, but I have no brilliant idea for a better one. I would like it if the name said more of what my blog was about…like if it had a more “house-y” title. Although I do like then when people stumble upon my blog they immediately know that it’s not one full of perfect pictures, error-free projects, and a blogger that has it all together. Life is messy, so is my blog. I like it like that.
Is blogging something you do on the side, or is it a full-time job for you?
This is a hard one to answer… both? My boys are 3 and 18 months, and being a stay at home mom is my first priority. My boys are buys….so busy. And they are needy. They are old enough to be destructive and fight all the time, but not old enough to be self-sufficient in any way. Raising them and running a household is my full-time job and first priority. However, my blog is nearly as needy as they are and it could easily be (and kinda is) a full-time job. Since I’m feeling rambly (and Adam is absorbed into some TV show about Vikings) I’ll synopsis my days for you :) I wake up before the kids (around 645) to get some work done on the computer. Then when they get up it’s kids, food, cleaning, projects, errands, playing, sneaky computer time, chores, and more cleaning till Adam gets home a little after five. Then its dinner, baths, cleaning, and family time till the kids bedtime at eight. After that I get back on the computer and answer emails, comments, social media, photo editing, and post writing till Adam gets lonely….then we watch a show together and head to bed around 1030. Then we do it all again the next day! I love both my jobs, they are such a blessing. I get to be a “keeper of my home” and raise my boys, and I get to provide my family with a real source of income doing something I love and would do for free. Pretty awesome, even is it is exhausting.
What was the first project you ever posted?
Oh geez, I’m going to have to go look that one up. According to project gallery the first thing I posted was our laundry room before and after. We did this way before I started a blog so there aren’t any progress pictures or tutorials. I do remember that the first project I did knowing it would go on the blog was my dining room DIY bay window rod and curtains. That post actually has gotten really popular on pinterest lately (random!) so I went back to re-read it… and noticed that the pictures were HORRID. So embarrassing, really…I don’t know why anyone would have pinned one of those in the first place. I went back and re-edited the pictures the best I could and now realize I have a boatload more posts with embarrassingly bad pictures. Oh well, live and learn.
What do your friends and family think about your blog? Do they read all of your updates?
Most my family reads my blog at least a little. Adam reads every word I write, as do my parents. My in-laws and all my siblings/BIL’s and SIL’s are sometimes readers. My grandparents even read it. I will run into people that I haven’t seen since high school and they will talk about one of the projects I did. So I think people think it’s pretty cool…I mean, no one has ever told me they DON’T like it. Then again, my friends and family are pretty darn polite, haha. I’m sure there are plenty of people think it’s kinda weird. Actually, when I meet people and they ask me what I do the conversation usually goes something like this….“So, what do you do?” “I’m a stay at home mom, and I have a blog” “oh…okay…(weird looks) …. so you write about your kids and stuff?” “No, not really, it’s a DIY/home renovation/home decor blog” “Well, isn’t that nice (change of subject).”
If I don’t feel like confusing people I just leave off the whole blog thing and say that I’m a housewife, or if I feel like (trying to) impress someone I say that I “run a home decor website”. Calling it a website is key…blog weirds people out, website sounds professional.
How has keeping a blog changed you?
Well, it’s made me busier, that’s for sure. I actually don’t think it’s changed me all that much, so I asked Adam and he said “you’re cleaner now”. He’s right, I used to be very messy and the house is tidier than other places we have lived (although it’s still never than clean). I don’t think that’s blog related though, it’s because we have small kids. They are professional mess makers and I am in constant cleaning mode….if I wasn’t our house would have to be condemned. He also said that having a blog has made me more motivated. Also true. I used to do projects more leisurely, but now I feel like I have to complete them in a somewhat timely manner.
What is your most popular project on Hometalk to-date?
I actually haven’t posted a ton of stuff on Hometalk, but a few of the ones I have posted took on a life of their own (also, many have flopped.) My penny countertop post has been the most popular with 38K shares and the stenciled tables come in second with 20K. I posted my paper bag floors a month ago and that post was the most viewed post on Hometalk in March, so they may take the number one spot at some point. My pantry post is one of the most popular posts on my blog, but it big ‘ol flopped on Hometalk with a total of three shares. So you just never know.
Do you stick to a strict posting schedule? How do you keep track of when and how often to post?
Hahaha….strict posting schedule. That’s a good one. Ummmm, no. Forget the strict part, I don’t even have a posting schedule at all. When I finish a project I blog about, and if I don’t have anything done then I don’t post. I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. Lots of bloggers post Monday-Friday and that is great…amazing even, but it’s not for me. I do really big projects though, so people can’t expect frequent posting. I love that my posting schedule is so flexible, I don’t want the blog to ever stress me out. Not that it doesn’t, but I’m trying to help myself out as much as possible by forcing everyone to have really low expectations of me.
What are your favorite kinds of posts to read/write? Ex: gardening, DIY projects, thrifting, etc)
I love room reveals and before and afters…isn’t that everyone’s favorite kind of post? I also enjoy detailed tutorials and when someone completely repurposes an item. And furniture posts, love furniture posts. Also, if you write a blog post that is about absolutely nothing but is funny and entertaining, then you will have a new reader.
What advice could you give to other bloggers that you wish you had known before you started blogging?
I feel like I could write an entire blog series about this topic. I learn stuff every day still feel clueless at times. I went into blogging completely blind and I’m actually really glad it happened that way. I had NO IDEA what blogging really involved, and if I did then I probably wouldn’t have started. Not that I shouldn’t have, but I’m just saying… if someone would have handed me a list (more like book) of all the things I was going to have to learn along the way, I would have lost any confidence I had (which wasn’t much) and kept my projects to myself. But skipping all the techy stuff I just have to say… blog because you love it. Blog because you have a passion you want to share. Try not to get caught up in numbers, stats, and schedules and for goodness sake stop comparing yourself to other bloggers. Just be yourself. If in your day-to-day life you say the word “y’all” and “holy cajoles” constantly, then write like that. If you’re sarcastic, or if your super sweet, be that. If you have a crazy sense of style that does not fit with the current trends, whatever…do your thang. Not everybody is going to love you and that is okay.
I do have a bit of quick advice, actually. Use big, clear, awesome pictures. If you have a blog full of tiny craptastic pictures then it doesn’t matter how great your writing is, people are not going to stick around (at least not in the DIY/craft/creative blog niche). Also, make a project gallery ASAP.
And that’s that! A big thank you to Hometalk for the chance to be featured!