Okay so, apparently I can't get my point across well enough.
I was blasted in the forums recently by 2 people I don't care to name, because they took what I said all wrong. They judged me on my intentions, when all I wanted to say was "It would be nice, it's what I'd do, but that's me. And it's not necessary!" But then again, this is why I hate having heated discussions in places like forums, because sometimes what you write can be taken completely the wrong way. Hopefully it doesn't happen again with this blog!
I'm really hating the forums right now lol. And I really need to stay away from them. I just want to rant, and to clarify for all my lovelies that I've featured so far. Maybe I wasn't clear enough in the forums, and don't in any way want to offend any of you that I've featured thus far. I was really tired last night when I wrote, so perhaps I just worded it wrong?? Maybe I said something I wasn't meaning to say?? So if any of you caught the forum, I really hope you weren't offended, because that wasn't my intention. And in my somewhat defense, if it did come off the wrong way, I've been *extremely* disheartened lately! Stupid little things are feeling like big things, I had a few REALLY rough days emotionally (and to think my emotional roller coaster was caused by taking my dog to see Santa!) and have wanted to just go out and get a real job so I can stop worrying about bills, how I'm going to afford Christmas presents, and just give up all together. Close up both shops, put all my crafts away, and continue living life being unhappy working for other people. So that's the way I've been feeling this past week especially. So if I did offend anyone, I didn't mean it, I promise, and I apologize profusely! I've been extremely down in the dumps. :) But, none of that is an excuse. I take full responsibility for anyone who was offended, and will deeply apologize.
So, why do I feature? Well, I started featuring because I was curious.
What makes you all tick? What inspires you? What crafts have you learned and loved, and what are your goals? Personally, I find a lot of inspiration in all of you. When I see the drive you have to do what you do, how much you've accomplished, how far you've come, it gives me hope, it gives me drive, it gives me confidence. Basically, I love to find out the person behind the craft. So I started with a feature, and loved it. Yes, it takes me a long time to do lol. Usually about 2 hours or so, sometimes longer depending on how many interruptions I have. I take tons of pics, often of my favourite things, from your etsy shops, and link them all to their listings, and now I've started making banners for each individual feature with a pic of your product with your shop names. I link all the promotional venues, I fan and follow each one you send, and I have a great time doing it.
Doing a feature really makes me look through your shops with a fine toothed comb, seeing things I may have missed otherwise. Doing a feature gives me insight on how much work you put into your craft, makes me appreciate what you do even more. I've even learned from all of you, met a lot of you through these features, became friends with some of you, and even opened my eyes to new possibilities.
Yes, my only stipulation is that you need to be a follower of my blog. And why is that? Because then I have a set number of people to choose from, can keep track of who I've chosen, and well, I think that's a pretty fair trade, no?
Is it great when a person I feature let's everyone know and helps direct traffic to my blog? Of course it is! Is it necessary? No, it's not. If what I wanted out of featuring all of you was more blog followers, first of all, I'd only ever feature people that have 200+ blog followers, been on etsy for a long time with hundreds of sales and I'd say "Now in order to feature you, I'm going to need you to promote it on twitter, facebook and write your own blog with a link back to mine!" Do I do that? Nope.
Yes, featuring people opens up the possibilities of getting more blog followers. Their followers could possibly become your followers. But what's the point of blog followers when they don't ever bother reading your blog? Okay, okay, okay, so I've promoted my blog in hopes of getting more followers, which could lead to readers, which in turn could bring me potential sales. So sue me. Isn't that what we all do?
What I had said in the forums, was it's sometimes disheartening when the person you've featured doesn't even acknowledge it. Yes, you've all thanked me when you've sent the questions back. A few of you even tweeted or blogged or facebooked that you've been featured by me. I thought that was great! The features are there to promote you, to show your work, not promote me, or show my work. So you telling people that I featured you, is first and foremost good for you. Yes, it could lead to followers of my blog, which isn't a horrible thing! But my features are all about you.
I guess what I was trying to say was, it sometimes seems like it's not appreciated. Like some of you seem so excited to be featured, but once it's done, you don't respond. You don't make comments on your own feature, or you don't respond on facebook or twitter when I've told you your feature is done. I'm not in any way expecting anyone to throw a freakin' party here. But when I say "Hey! Your feature is ready! Check it out here and let me know what you think!" and get NO response to that what so ever? It hurts! I'll admit it! LOL. Most of you have done the "Thanks so much it looks great!" on twitter or facebook or via a comment on the blog. That's really all I want. Some sense that you've actually seen the feature, and appreciate that I've just spent hours on something just for you.
I don't expect anyone to promote their own feature, that's my job. I tweet it, facebook it, and whenever there's a "Show me what you blogged today!" post in the forums, I put it in. If someone out there that I've asked to feature *really* isn't all that excited about being featured? I won't be offended! lol. Just say, "No thanks! Your blog doesn't get much traffic anyways, so don't waste your time!" That statement would be true, really lol. Yes, I currently have over 100 followers, but how many of them read it? 2 comments on a blog post, and I'm dancing a jig! Cause then I know at least 2 people read it! I love comments and feedback! Good AND bad! So in doing a feature, I certainly in no way guarantee a gigantic response! But I love doing them.
What I said in the forums made someone comment that I have a skewed sense of promotion, and basically called my features "Spam". I was accused of only doing features for my own self promotion, and I was accused of being pissed at whoever I featured because they didn't scream it out to the world that I featured them. These two fellow etsians made me feel like complete shit, and okay, maybe it was deserved. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned it at all. Maybe I should have just kept my mouth shut, because I knew full well that the real reason behind me feeling bad about not much response, is because of how I feel about my piss poor sales. And even though I littered my post with "I'm not mad at ANY of my features" and "it just would be nice! It makes me feel appreciated for the work I've just done" and "It's not necessary whatsoever! If it was, I would put that as a stipulation of doing a feature on them!" wasn't clear enough.
So features, I am sorry. If you're pissed at me, fine, I deserve it. If you find me as horrible of a person like these 2 people did, go ahead and un-follow my blog, I completely understand. I fucked up. I should have left it alone, and not felt sorry for myself, and shouldn't have mentioned that I sometimes feel unappreciated. What I'm feeling is no one else's problems but my own.
I will continue doing features, and I hope to God that none of my features from this day on think they need to promote me or my blog. You want to thank me after the feature is done, perfect! That's all I really want. Do I expect you to promote it, no, of course not. I never have, and I never will.
Alright, let the hate mail ensue :)