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Interview with:

Anna [movetheneedle] 

What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I sell handcrafted paper crafts online - http://www.movetheneedlecreations. I'm also an artist in other areas in my life. I'm in college right now and I'm studying Studio Art. I love working with different mediums - photography, painting, drawing, mixed media, etc.
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
My blog address is: http://mythreadofthought.blogspot.com I talk about my craft shop I run online, Move the Needle. I write about the process of creating crafts, things related to Etsy and sometimes other things about my life. I also keep a couple personal blogs: http://crazystargrl.tumblr.com http://crazystargrl.livejournal.com
What was it that made you create your blog? On what date did you start it?
I created a blog because a lot of other people on Etsy recommended doing it and I thought it'd be a nice way to promote my shop. I started my blog in July 2008.
What blogging system have you adopted and why?
I use Blogger. I use other blog systems like LiveJournal and Tumblr for personal blogs, but I like Blogger for this one because it's simple to use.
How many visits a day do you get? What type of comments do you receive?
I have almost 200 followers. I get a couple comments for each blog post usually. They usually respond to something I've written or give me feedback/compliment me on one of my products.
How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?
Having a blog allows me to express myself. I think it allows me to organize my thoughts and share what is going on in my life (or what is new in my shop on Etsy). It's a good way to connect to people.
Have you created relationships with other bloggers or readers of your blog?
I have followers and people that regularly check my blog so I guess I'd consider that relationships with readers. I also read a variety of other blogs and feel like I connect with other bloggers.
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
I try to post a couple times a week. If I'm busy on my Etsy shop, it's not hard to also blog because I want to write about what I'm working on. Sometimes I get busy in my life though and it's hard to post regularly sometimes.
Does blogging bring in income for you? Can one make a living from posting?
I don't get money specifically from my blog, but it's about my craft shop which I do make money on. I don't know how helpful it is for bringing me sales, but I did start it to promote my shop even though I do it mostly for fun. I think I could also make money on my blog if I put advertisements on it (maybe from other crafters). I think you can make a living from posting if you're blog is popular enough and you have interesting content that people want to read.
How do you promote your blog?
Since it's Etsy related, I promote my blog on Etsy.com every time I make a post. This helps bring in a lot of new viewers. I also list it on my shop page and try to post on other sites where I network.
How would you define your readers? Have you got a faithful audience?
Since my blog is about crafts, I'd describe my readers as crafters or people that like to buy crafts. Everyone's really supportive and my readers are kind and thoughtful. I have over 100 followers, but I'm not sure how many actually read my blog a lot. I think there's some faithful readers. I usually have a couple people that comment frequently and a few comments from random people.
Are there any blogs you follow daily or regularly?
I read a variety of other craft blogs (you can see a full list of who I follow on my blog page). I also read various Tumblr, LiveJournal blogs/communities and other random blogs. A couple links: http://peacelovebellavita.blogspot.com/ http://theteadrinkingenglishrose.blogspot.com/ http://willowing.livejournal.com http://etsyveg.blogspot.com
Have you ever received gifts for blogging about your opinion of products or services? What do you think of bloggers who do that?
No. I think as long as people are honest, it's an okay system, but a lot of times people are encouraged to give dishonest opinions about the product to help promote something (like on some YouTube blogs I've seen.) My blog is mostly about my own products though so I don't think I'd get that type of offer.
How do you see your blog evolving in the future?
I hope to continue blogging, both personally and in my shop blog. I plan to continue blogging as long as I run my shop on Etsy. It helps me think of new ideas and get feedback for my shop.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to begin a blog?
I'd say just go ahead and start one. I was hesitant to start a blog at first, but I'm glad I did. It's a good way to connect to people with similar interests and I think it's a lot of fun.

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United States

[movetheneedle] Anna
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