Lessons from 10 Years of Writing a Knitting Blog

Wow. 10 years, I feel super old. I thought I would commemorate by writing a little bit about the history of my knitting blog.

The Beginning

My first blog was Amigurumi Knits/Knit Me, and I based it off a blog I loved called Lazylaces. Lazylaces linked to free point and click adventure games, and I wanted to do something similar for knit toy patterns. Knit toys were not that big of a deal then, there weren’t a lot of patterns out there at all and many of them were not professionally written. Folks like Anna of Mochimochi Land, Rebecca Danger, and Susan Anderson were writing knitting blogs, but relatively unknown. Ravelry didn’t exist yet, which meant that there was no easy way to find patterns.

So, every day I would go online and try and find a new knitting pattern. Through google. That’s right, I would literally google “Knit Toy Camel” and “Knit Octopus.” Every so often I would find a stumbleupon bookpage or a link library of lots of patterns, but much of it was my own google-fu. I would usually find home-brew patterns from blogs, and then email or comment on the post asking if I could feature that item on my blog.

I only featured things with people’s consent. Sometimes there was a little drama over this, which is funny now, because people are now super interested in “going viral” and having links to their patterns or blog post shared. Back then, it was incredibly bad form. Now, buzzfeed does it all day long and makes a bunch of cash over it 😉 I would usually post with the title of the pattern, a link to the blog, and link to the pattern, and a photo from the blog’s owner with them credited. Very rarely did I have problems, but once someone totally removed her pattern because I mentioned that it looked like Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes, and she was afraid of a lawsuit!

Anyway, things were good. I filled my time making posts to different patterns all over, and knitting. But then…

Ravelry Happened.

Ravelry changed how you find knitting patterns. Now, there isn’t really a need for Knit Me, because you can go an find whatever you want on there. So, I slowed down on the link posting and started posting more of my own things. I moved all the posts about my own knitting trials and tribulations out to a separate blog, Alyoops!, which I hosted on Blogger. My own patterns are really where all the “traffic” in my knitting blog goes – my posts about knitting are ok at best, but they’ll never be so strong that people will just want to read them. I’m no Yarn Harlot, even though for a while in high school I really wanted to be.

Alyoops! was to be my bouncing off point into knit design stardom. (HA) It’s kind of funny now, but I was so sure that I would be a successful independent designer. I followed other designers, read blogs, and even ended up buying a book about it. A few of my designs totally flopped – especially the much-hated Dino the Dinosaur. Someone actually emailed me and told me she would never knit again because of my terrible pattern. One day I’m going to overhaul the pattern and post much better pictures. For now my designs are on hold, so that I can make sure that the Dino Debaucle is never repeated!

And Now…

Now, here I am, on my own domain! I actually never dreamed that I’d be able to afford my own domain on the ‘net, but now that I have a day job, it’s easy to spend $10 a year on Bluehost. Now my blogging is mostly just my knitting trials and tribulations. I don’t care much if I “go viral” or become a famous knitwear designer, I just want to have my knitting blog where I post what I’m doing, what I’m up to, and where I can keep up with my friends on the internet.

I still have patterns for sale, but they will probably never be a huge source of income. Right now, I make $5 every 6 months from pattern sales – definitely won’t be able to retire on that! I’ve never gotten a check from Google Adsense or Amazon Associates, but I don’t “work hard” at including these into my posts. At the moment I have a balance of $23 in my Adsense account and $0 for AA.

So here’s to 10 more years, with all the changes and trials and tribulations that come with that.

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