So, now that I have built The Seed website and am just about to launch it, I thought I would do the four questions about how it went. Here goes:
What went well?
Virtually everything! Or, virtually everything eventually… I have a website that is basically what I said I would produce and it seems to have just clicked into place because of all of the planning and preparation that I did. I am forgetting about the six months that I struggled to get the website up and running though. One aspect of slow and small solutions is that you do get there eventually, meaning that ‘problems’ appear smaller at a distance… I have basically done everything according to plan – the layout, the fonts, the illustrations, what’s in the sidebars etc. I’ve built everything that I said I would.
One of the things that has gone particularly well about this project has been skill swapping. I swapped half a days basic wordpress tuition with my friend Vicky for an illustration of an apple. I asked my website designer friend Irene if she wanted to swap scything lessons with a few website pointers, and she said no, she wanted to swap my writing skills… She reminded me that they were a swap-worthy thing! When we did our skill swap day, neither of us could quite believe that we had done enough to justify what we were getting because what we had done for the other one seemed so easy compared to what they were doing for us, which seemed so impossible hard… And so I learned a lesson here that can be summed up in the principle ‘use and value diversity.’ Partnering with people who have different but complimentary skills to you can SAVE YOUR LIFE. I am doing it at work with Mike, and now Irene and I are doing it too.
I’ve changed a few things along the way. At first I wanted to present myself as more of an expert than I am, but then I realised that it’s in the journey that you gather your audience (also, I wasn’t an expert in everything I wanted to write about…) I wanted almost a magazine format like ABM, but I have realised that my strength lies in funny personal anecdotes, so I need it to be more personal than that (but not too personal).
Which leads me to…
What was challenging?
By far the most challenging things is that I have worked really hard to bring my photography together and I have done really really well in most areas, but my blog doesn’t really have a cohesive photographic style – and part of that is because I am taking pictures of so many different things. I am trying to do still lives, landscapes, portraits, everything – and that’s hard! I struggled to find my writing style, but I think that I am there now. I will find my voice and I will find my photographic style. I know that it’s just a matter of doing it, that you can’t expect something like this to appear fully formed from nothing, but it’s still frustrating to me… But I know that I should value frustration, that it points the way.
Another present challenge is editing pictures. I have in no way got the right software on my computer… It’s really annoying. I need to get Cameron, or someone at work to put Creative Suite and Lightroom on my desktop. Then I will be completely sorted.
Realising that I should probably only consider myself able to post one post a month was another challenge. I want to do more than that, but I will probably not be able to…
What’s my vision?
My vision is still the same as it was in my design – to turn the blog into a platform for selling my stuff – ecourses, books, writing etc. It’s a way of being financially independent when I have sproglets… I plan to use twitter, instagram and pinterest to promote it, as well as doing guest posts of various types on other people’s blogs… A clothing remake on A New Dress A Day and my house on A Beautiful Mess (and Country Living Magazine)
Launch the damn thing!