Stacey is a successful DIY blogger who publishes about her projects on Not Just a Housewife.
Can you first introduce yourself, where you come from, and what is your background?
I am stay at home mom with four little boys from Utah. I have always had an eye for design and I have always loved creating things. As a kid I use to save up my money for supplies for my latest project and I would sneak into my dad’s shed and use his tools. I went to school to be a physical therapist for children with disabilities because I had a niece who was born with special needs and I loved taking her to therapy and seeing how sweet the therapists were with her. While it was a nice idea, I hated the classes. If I could back I would have majored in something design related.
What are some of the topics you write about on your blog?
I talk mainly about my DIY and home decor projects. I am working on fixing up my 1938 cottage style home so I have plenty of material for that topic! But I am a mom also so I talk about activities I do with my kids, my life, gardening, and anything else I feel like that day.
How did you get started blogging? What made you want to start a blog?
I have always done projects. And I have always had people telling me I needed to share what I was doing. I would occasionally teach a small group or speak at a church function. But these opportunities were few and far between. Plus they took me out of the home and for me, the goal was to be with my kids. When I discovered blogs in 2010 I was thrilled to have found a platform in which I could share my ideas and stay in the home with my children.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Most of the time when I am doing a project in my home it is a product of problem solving. My home is small and old which means it also has some fun quirks that can be design challenges. I also get a lot of inspiration from my childhood and nature. I try to stay away from pinterest when needing new ideas. I want it to happen naturally and not have it be a copy of another person’s work. But I have found ideas in magazines on occasion.
Do you have a specific piece you have written, which you are really proud of? Can you tell us how this came together, and the story behind it?
The personal, honest posts that are sometimes the hardest to write are the ones that I get the most response from. I think that readers want you to be a real person they can relate to and not some mysterious person behind the magazine worthy shots of your always clean home. My blogging story, The dark side of blogging, and You are not “just” anything are some that not only generated a lot of comments but a ton of emails.
I once wrote a quick blog post about the Wireless Switch on a Dell computer, which became my biggest traffic driver on my blog. I called this accidental blogging success. Do you have content which you didn’t spent a lot of time on writing, but turned out to be some of your most popular posts?
I one day decided to make a mason jar wall planter. It was just for fun. It was not something on my forever long ‘to do’ list. I came up with the idea, shopped for supplies and made it all in one day. It was less than $20 and took me less than an hour to make. It went viral and has been in 2 magazines, on hundreds of websites including HGTV, and has been pinned more than any other post of mine. It is such a simple project that I was not expecting that kind of response. It was crazy. Apparently I need to do more cheap and easy projects that I think up on the fly!
Did you also have posts you spent a lot of time on, which in the end are not driving a lot of content?
Sometimes a big project will not have the big response I expect at first but over time as the project is shared on other sites and pinned it ends up getting the attention I wanted. But in the beginning it is disappointing to have worked on a room for months and not have it go crazy like you think it should I have learned to have patience.
Are there any people, or other bloggers, you see as examples or to whom you aspire to?
I read a lot of different kinds of blogs and the ones that I am drawn to the most are those who are real. The ones that when I am on their blog I feel good. Whether that means they make me laugh, I learned something new or that I just get a good feeling when I read their content. I want to walk away from a site feeling uplifted and like I got something of value from it. That is how I hope people feel when they come to my site.
Have you been featured on large blogs, media or in TV programs? If so, how did they find you?
Yes, I have been on all our local lifestyle shows several times each. And I have been in magazines like better Homes and Gardens. The TV shows contacted me after finding my site. I am lucky that the shows here in Utah are so blogger friendly. I contacted Better Homes and Gardens. I honestly did not expect to hear back from them but was thrilled when they contacted me to schedule a shoot!
Can you tell us your experience and how this has made you more successful?
I do not get paid for these features but I think they do so much for me personally as well as for my blog. I am not the type of person who would naturally want to be on TV. I did it because I promised myself when I started my blog that I would open myself to new experiences even if it meant getting out of my comfort zone. I learned a lot about myself and my confidence grew. I also have been contacted by large companies and brands because of my media coverage. So even though I was not paid for the TV gigs, I have found ways to benefit from them.
What would you do differently this time?
In regards to media? Nothing. Even the mistakes I made were valuable to me. Actually, that would apply to just about everything