In the Bloglight at Hometalk

I’m very humbled and honored that Miriam, the Director of Community Development for Hometalk, invited me to be in the Bloglight this week.  I had to dig a little deep and get a little personal!

In the Bloglight

Aren’t familiar with Hometalk?  It’s a great community for sharing your projects and for solving home and garden related problems.  No need to have a blog – it’s free and it’s open to everyone.  How many professionals or interior designers do you know who will give you advice or answer your questions for free?  Plus – you can search on most any subject and you’ll get lots of decorating and gardening inspiration too.

Miriam sent a few questions for me to answer about Worthing Court and to help you get to know the girl behind the blog.

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Me along with two of my granddaughters

How did you first get into blogging?

Interior design is in my blood and I love to diy.  I started college with the intention of getting my degree in Interior Design, but life intervened and I wound up working full-time in the corporate world for 30+ years.  When I finally left that life, I discovered the fabulous world of blogs and knew that nothing would ever be the same!  I wanted to know more about these marvelous people who are so talented and open and giving.  I just couldn’t seem to get enough and finally decided that I wanted to be a part of it all. That’s when Worthing Court was born – a little over two years ago.

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 My in-progress guest room

 How did you decide on a name for your blog?

I wanted something that sounded elegant yet inviting.  Worthing Court just popped into my head one day and the more I thought about it, the more I liked it.

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Is blogging something you do on the side or is it a full-time job for you?

Blogging started purely as a hobby for me, as a way for me to connect with others who share the same passion for interior decor, diy’ing and decorating on a budget that I do.

I’ve been incredibly blessed to meet some amazing people, to make what I know will be life-long friends and to have some incredible opportunities.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I could travel to just about anywhere in the country and feel confident that there is someone nearby that I could visit with or call upon if I was in need.

It is hands-down one of the best things that I’ve ever done.  No matter what income I may make, I’m having way to much fun to think of it as a job.

Haven

 At Haven Conference 2013, Photo courtesy of Marty’s Musings

What do your friends and family think about your blog?  

My husband and my daughter are my biggest cheerleaders.  I would so love it if my mom were still around because she would have just loved it.  I’m sure she would have called me every day to discuss and gush over my latest post.

I have several friends who cheer me on and support me too.  And then there’s my brother who has no clue what that blogging thing is.  ☺

Blogging has led to many “interesting” conversations between my husband and I.  Like the time that our mantel (which is right beside his chair) had been decorated for a holiday for over two weeks and he never noticed it until I blogged about it!  Or the times when he finds out what might just popup next on his honey-do list because I’ve talked about it on the blog.

Lake Michigan in June

Pookie and me at Lake Michigan

How has keeping a blog changed you?

Oh wow – that’s a good question!  I would have to say that the biggest change has been that I’ve become less isolated.  When you work full-time, most of your friends tend to be the people that you work with.  Well, it’s easy for those friendships to fade when you no longer work together every day – interests change and so on.  After I left the corporate world, I quickly realized how lonely I was – not a good feeling.  Blogging has just been one of many ways that God answered my prayers to alleviate my loneliness and bring more women friends into my life.

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 Hat contest at the Downtown to Downton Hometalk Bloggers Meetup, Photo courtesy of Atta Girl Says 

 I know that I’ve completed more projects in my home that I ever would have without blogging.  I learned early that blogging keeps you accountable.  You can’t just think about projects – you have to actually do them.

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 My redecorated master bedroom

It has expanded my mental horizons in ways that I never would have dreamed of – SEO, HTML and on and on and on.

And I’ve rediscovered my love of helping others.  Helping others with their own homes.  Helping new bloggers get started.  And helping both new and experienced bloggers by being a part of the team that put together the Southern Bloggers Conference.  Boy, did I ever learn a lot from that and what a blast it was!

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Do you stick to a strict posting schedule?

Yes and no.  My preference is to post 5 days/week.  Sometimes life gets in the way though and it just doesn’t happen that way.  I’ve been running a very popular series on my blog every Friday called House Snooping, which features a tour of a different blogger’s home every week.  I also participate in a weekly bloghop with three other bloggers called Home{work} Wednesday.  The bloghop requires a post on Tuesday morning and then another one that night.  The other days of the week are when I usually will post a project or recipe of my own.

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What advice would you give to other bloggers that you wish you had known before you started blogging?

Be prepared for it to take up a LOT of your time.  Thinking about the blog all the time, deciding on, preparing for and doing the projects, photographing the projects, editing the photos and writing the actual blog post.  And it doesn’t end there – promoting on Facebook, Pinterest, Google +, Twitter, etc can gobble up an enormous amount of your time.

Make sure your family is on board with what you are doing.  You may be the one doing the actual blogging, but they will definitely be impacted by it.

Be prepared to have your mind stretched in ways you never thought of – unless you’re already a tech guru and understand HTML, SEO and all that other stuff. ☺

Good content is king.  Don’t post just for the sake of posting.  Go for quality of posts vs quantity of posts.

In our blogging niche, good photographs rank right up there with good content.  (I literally cringe when I look at some of my older posts.)  You don’t have to purchase an expensive camera to take great photos.  As a general rule, don’t use the flash on your camera.  Edit your photos to look their best. There are lots of free photo editing websites.  I personally love Picasa and PicMonkey.  Make sure that you use the largest photos that your blog template will accommodate.  Of course you’ll want to make sure that they aren’t blurry because you enlarged them.

If you decide to start a blog or already have one, don’t isolate yourself.  Reach out to others by commenting on their blog and by joining in on link parties.  Once you get to know and feel a connection with a few people, invite them to form a “tribe” where you support one another.  You can start a private group on Facebook where just those who are in your tribe have access.  Within that group you will be free to brain-storm, ask questions or just vent your frustrations with other people that you trust.  I don’t know where I’d be without my tribe buddies.

But most of all, be prepared to have FUN!  We all have days that are rougher than others, but I don’t know of a single blogger who doesn’t love what they do.

Amy and I

 Atta Girl Says Amy and I portraying Edith and the Dowager at our Downtown to Downton Hometalk Bloggers Meetup, photo courtesy of Atta Girl Says

Thank you so much, Miriam, for having me in the Bloglight today!  It was a lot of fun for me to reminisce and remind myself how much I love what I do.

 

 

 

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26 Comments

  1. kirby carespodi says:

    How fun! I am so glad to have been able to meet Suzy and other wonderful bloggers at the Hometalk Meetup, and she is a wonderful person!

  2. Congratulations on being featured in the Bloglight! I love your blogging story and lots of great blogging advice too. Suzy you are just the sweetest person and I was so happy to meet you and so many other amazing people through blogging!

  3. Great post. I enjoyed getting to know more about you. I have been blogging since 2006, and it is a joy in my life.

  4. Oh Suzy, This is a fantastic post. I am soooo proud of you and your accomplishments. You are truly an inspiration.
    Enjoy, Enjoy, Ginger

  5. Loved your post, Suzy. Thank you for sharing! I’ve always admired your blog and it was great to learn more about you and what you do! I laughed at the mantel story. Too funny.
    Those hat pictures are so awesome, btw. 🙂

  6. so glad blogging has reawakened your love of helping others because you have helped me many times! love your blog and your home.

  7. It was so great to read this and find out more about you, your family and to hear your thoughts on blogging!
    I am so glad Miriam featured you in the Bloglight!!!
    Loving the pic of you and AMY…Fantastic!!

  8. Congratulations, Suzy! Wonderful photos and wonderful commentary. I enjoyed reading about your blogging journey. laurie

  9. Yeah, Suzy! I’m so glad they featured you. You are a wonderful friend and a great cohort in crime! Well deserved!

  10. Suzi, I enjoyed learning more about you and seeing your FABULOUS hat photos! (You are so cute!) I’d also like to thank you for hosting such an inspiring linkup every week – I have come across so many amazing ideas because you bring people together into community. Bravo, and congratulations!

  11. Suzi, what a lovely story! I do love how God redirects us sometimes and has such a surprise in store for us that we hadn’t even imagined. I am glad to know about your House Snooping. I will definitely be visiting you!! I enjoyed meeting you at Haven, even if it was briefly. Have a blessed day.

  12. Congrats, Suzi! I loved reading more about you and loved getting the opportunity to stay in your guestroom a few months ago. You are a wonderful hostess and friend. So glad that I got to know you in blogland. It has literally opened the world to friendships and that’s one thing that I’m still grateful for. I love this blogworld!! xoxo

  13. Suzy – I realized today that I had not seen a post from you in a while (I am a follower!), so I popped over to check on you. Much to my surprise, you have been posting all along! I have not received a post for three weeks. Has something changed – do I need to something different? I have been missing reading you blog!

  14. Hi Suzy,

    Congrats on being featured. It really is an honor with all the blogs out there. It is nice to get to know you better. I love the curtains in your bedroom, the way you have them just on the outside. Sweet idea.

  15. Suzy, congrats on your feature and I feel blessed to have met you several times in person! What you said about the online friendships is so true! This blogging world is so amazing and I’m glad I’m a part of it. I enjoyed seeing pics of your husband and two of your grandchildren, and that Downton meetup looked like so much FUN!

  16. Barbara F. says:

    I loved reading about you, Suzy, my favorite photo is you dressed up as the dowager from Downton Abbey. My very first visit to your blog was when you did a post on your laundry room, and I felt like I could just wash load after load all day in it and I wrote that in my comment. xo

  17. Your grandchildren are lovely. Congrats on being in the bloglight! What a fun opportunity. I’m off to explore your project gallery.

  18. Anne@DesignDreams says:

    You’re such a sweetie! Congrats on your feature.

    Have a great weekend xox

  19. Shirley@Housepitality Designs says:

    Congrats on your feature Suzy…so well deserved…my favorite pic?…with your adorable granddaughters!

  20. I loved learning more about you!!! I love that you see the silly side that doesn’t often show when we are blogging. Your home is lovely, your grandbabies are adorable, and I love your Downtown Abby costume! Congrats on the ‘Feature’.
    Hugs,
    Bj

  21. Suzy, I really enjoyed getting to know you a little better! Your granddaughters are adorable (I admit, I thought they were you daughters!) You are so right about the blog relationships/friendships–It’s so nice to have a wonderful group people, from all over the world–age and location are irrelevant– that are supportive, fun, generous, and caring and all just a keyboard click away! I feel so grateful to have been included in this group of loving and talented bloggers!

  22. I’m so glad that I discovered your blog — a year ago! — and that I stalked you and we became friends. I never realized that through blogging I would meet such fabulous people and that so many of them would live so close so we get to be bloggy friends and in-real life friends.

    I can’t wait to hang out again with you soon.

    I enjoyed seeing you in the Bloglight and learning more about the origins of your blog.

  23. Seriously!! I can’t believe I missed this!!! Congrats sweet girl!! I am so proud of you! I loved reading all you had to say, and can totally relate to feeling isolated without a “real” job. Soooo true!!! Wish I lived closer!! Hugs!!

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