I’m in the Bloglight!

So, what the heck is the bloglight? Good question! It’s a fun thing that happens on the hometalk blogtalk (say that 5x fast!) facebook page. It’s fun! Hometalk is a site for everyone blogger and non blogger alike to share DIY projects, questions about DIY, and get loads of decorating inspiration! You can like, share, and comment on posts, and follow people.  You can quickly search for things like kitchen ideas or even how to build a desk. Clearly, I like Hometalk… I’ve done 29 posts on hometalk since I signed up back in August of 2012.

 

Hometalk Jamie Dorobek

Miriam, the awesome director of community at Hometalk, sent over a few questions for me to answer while I’m in the Bloglight!

1. How did you first get into blogging?

I discovered blog world while reading family blogs, and came across one with links to craft blogs. I was hooked. Seriously, I started C.RA.F.T. the day after I saw my first craft blog, Ucreate. I’m a maniac like that. I was doing projects anyway,  why not share ‘em! At the time, I didin’t realize how much extra work that meant. I just figured I’d slap up some pics of what I’m already doing. I think if I would have known how much work it really is, I might have never started. High five (and thank goodness) to being naive!  I started this sucker in February 2010. 3 years ago this month. Ho. ly. Cow.

2. How did you decide on the name of your blog?

Naming things is fun for me. Thus my love for super cheesy valentines, ha! I wanted the blog to be about crafts, why not just call it C.R.A.F.T.! I starting thinking about words to go with C.R.A.F.T. and bam, Crafting Really Awesome Free Things popped into my head. It was Crafting Really Awesome Free Things for about 6 months, but I didn’t want to limit myself to only crafts, I like to create lots of goodies. Trips, recipes, parties, clothes, furniture… I like that Creating Really Awesome Free Things is less restricting.

Jamie Dorobek CRAFT

3. Is blogging something you do on the side, or is it a full-time job for you? What did/do you do for a living?

That’s a tricky question. For the first 2 years of C.R.A.F.T.’s life, I was a full time high school special education teacher. Then we moved to Florida, and I got a part time job as a social media marketer, and did the blog part time. A year later (December 2012) we moved back to Texas, and I’m still blogging, picked up a side job doing social media, and am looking for another part time social media/ blogger relations type position in Austin. Know of any? ; ) Time wise= full time. Money wise= part time.

Jamie Dorobek CRAFT

4. What was the first project you ever posted?

This is an embarrassing question. Well, not the actual project, but just looking back at old posts. I took pics on my camera phone (usually only one picture per post) and used a bazillion smileys (I’ve since deleted a few, ha!). The first post, was this canvas wall art. That same canvas has since been changed at 3 times (see more of the canvas drama). I like to think I’ve gotten a ton better at explaining myself (verbally and visually) in the past 2 years. Tackling the dslr camera and the big mean M (manual) setting is what I’m working on now. One day, I’ll get really brave and open up photoshop. Eeek.

5. Which project has brought you the most traffic to-date?

I wish I could say it was one of my projects, but the my most viewed post on C.R.A.F.T. is a round up of DIY adult Halloween costumes. The second most viewed post on C.R.A.F.T. is kind of one of my projects. It’s actually Andy’s genius. It’s how to fix a broken/ cracked iPhone screen. Just for fun, here are the top 10 posts on C.R.A.F.T. in 2011 and here are the top 10 posts on C.R.A.F.T. in 2012.

6. What do your friends and family think about your blog? Do they read all of your updates? 

Blog? What’s a blog? That’s what a lot of my friends say! It’s really hard explaining to people why I spend so much time on my computer and why I take pictures of everything, ha! My mom kind of reads C.R.A.F.T. and one of my little brothers really likes when I do Creating Really Awesome Free Trips posts. So, he’ll read those. I think some of my friends read every now and then or get updates on C.R.A.F.T. facebook. I don’t want you to read C.R.A.F.T. if you don’t want to. If you’re not into DIY, this blog is probably pretty boring for you, and I understand. We can still be friends even if you don’t read C.R.A.F.T.!

7. Do you stick to a strict posting schedule? How do you keep track of when and how often to post?

Like I said above, I’m a maniac! Andy doesn’t call me Luna (short for lunatic) for nothing! I use good ol’ pen and paper to keep up with all things blog (I did a whole post about blog organization). I don’t have a strict schedule, but I usually post a minimum of 4 times a week. Monday is Monday Funday link party (used to Making Monday Marvelous), Tues.-Frt. is crafty stuff, typically with one sponsored post thrown in somewhere.


8. What advice could you give to other bloggers that you wish you had known before you started blogging?

Start a blog today. Now.  Don’t think about it so much! I tell everyone to start a blog, why not? It’s fun, and you can blog about anything (and eventually even make some extra bacon)! And while you’re at it buy your blog url, get a fb page, twitter, pinterest, instgram, and google + account. Oh, and then please install google analytics on your blog from day 1! Now assuming you started your blog because you truly love the subject and have the social media in place, my one piece of advice is to get out there and meet other bloggers in your niche. I wish I would have done this sooner. Go to blog conferences, look for local blogger facebook groups, join hometalk, attend meetups about blog related topics, and build real relationships! It makes blogging that much more fun.

*In other fun news, there is a Home Depot Do-It-Herself Workshop twitter chat happening tonight (February 7th) at 8p EST. Use #DIHWorkshop

Comments

  1. Congratulations I think your blog is awesome. OMG that is a lot of moving. I literally moved 5 minutes down the street after my son was born and was over it…lol…i I visited home talk ..i think it is a great resource.

  2. great to read about how it all started for you. I love Austin ( I use to live in Houston) and have several friends that live in the round rock area. Congrats on the spotlight this week. Are you doing Haven again this year?

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      Laura, I’m super sadly not going to be able to make haven this year. I’ll be at snap and blossom though! Are you still in TX?

  3. You were one of the first blogs I read! I love all your blogging tip posts. They really helped me out when I first got started. Congrats on being in the blog light. :)

  4. I love how Miriam introed you “… fun …” First word that popped into my mind. It is way cool how you can extend your site’s theme. (Oh! to be that free.) Love the site design; Love the brand identity. I do hope to have occasion to check in more frequently. (Keep up the good work you … maniac. ha!) And thank you too for referring to us BlogTalkers as, well, “people”. ;~) ~jb

  5. Girl… you know you rock! Love your style…and gosh dang it- all of my first year of posts where photos from my camera phone too! HA! Keep doing your thing over here..it is working- Love it!
    -Jen

  6. Great post! Loved reading more about how you got your start! I remember getting featured by you way back when and I was so excited!! :) It’s a thrill to be a blogger and share all these fun ideas together. I’m happy to have met you, Jamie!

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      aww thanks, beth! that makes me smile to think you were so excited to be featured on C.R.A.F.T.! I still get pretty dang excited to be featured on any blog! Hopefully, we’ll get to hang out more sometime soon!

  7. How fun to see your first post to what you’re doing today! Lots of smily faces … is that a bad thing?!
    You are a positive person (some may say lunatic!) and it shines through on your blog!
    Kelly

  8. How nice to get to know you better! I’ve been a fan of your blog for a long time ~ thinking back I must have ‘found’ you not too long after you started. Congratulations on being in the Blog Light!

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      Mary Beth, Thank you for reading for so long… even back in the day with bad pics, tons of smileys, and few words, ha!

  9. What a fun interview to get to know you better! I’m so happy to have met you virtually when beginning the Socks for Sandy project, and I can’t wait to meet you in person at SNAP in April! :) Congratulations on being in the Bloglight!

  10. I loved reading about CRAFT’s beginning. This was such a fun post! I’m bummed to hear you won’t be at Haven this year though. Boo! You probably don’t remember this, but we met for like five seconds at the very end of Haven last year and I was hoping we’d get a chance to chat again this year. Anyway, yay for being in the Bloglight!

    • Jamie Dorobek says:

      There were so many awesome people at Haven! I wish we could have chatted more and really hung out! Sadly, I’m not going to Haven this year :( Are you going to SNAP or BlissDom?

  11. Hi Jamie,
    Congrats on the feature and I enjoyed reading about how you started your blog. You do seem like such a fun person and I’m glad to have this opportunity to get to know you better through this post! I’m trying to tackle “MANUAL” too and the thought of learning Photoshop is daunting to me, too!

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