July 29, 2019

18 Reasons Why Blogging Is Important

Having just celebrated my 5th-year blogiversary, it seemed only fitting to write on the top 18 reasons why blogging is important.  Write often, read many, and support all of the historical sewing and costume bloggers out there!  

Where have all the bloggers gone?  Sharing the trials and triumphs from the sewing room, and blogging in general, seems to have fallen out of popularity, especially among a once prolific, historical sewing community.  Whether it has been a lack of time with increasingly busy lives, decreased interest, or migration to the more active, social media platforms (like Facebook and Instagram), the lack of updates has left a void.  More and more costume blogs have gone silent over the past, several years, and this alarming trend shows no signs of stopping, much to the disappointment of dedicated readers everywhere.

Even I struggle to maintain an online presence, as months and months can go by without any updates.  (I've been more consistent on our Facebook Page, I promise!)  So in this post, I hope to not only remind myself, but to provide encouragement to fellow bloggers and to those just getting into the hobby that why we write is just as important as what we write!

18 Reasons Why Blogging Is Important

1 - To Be Inspired

Feeling unmotivated or having a bad day?  Blogs inspire, from entertaining stories to pretty, pretty pictures of the latest, greatest creation, an update from your favorite online author may just be the ticket to lightening the mood and sending you back into the sewing room!  Discovering and following content creators can strengthen existing passions, or even spark new interests that you never knew were within you.

In fact, I credit the years of following costume-related blogs - from the Couture Courtesan, to American DuchessBeauty from Ashes, the Fashionable PastFestive Attyre, among dozens of others (see my list of favorites and blog links on the sidebar) - for finding and developing my passion for historical fashion.  Laugh, but it was the highlight of my high school days to come home and to see which bloggers posted, eagerly awaiting the reveal of new projects and dreaming of the day that I'd be able to create my own.  Who knew all these years later that I'd be celebrating five years on a blog of my own, and pursuing a career in clothing reproduction and living history?!

2 - To Inspire Others 

Much like the first reason of being inspired, blogging allows you to inspire others.  By sharing your interest and talents online, you may just ignite the same passion or hobby in another, like the costume bloggers did for me.  So share those sewing tips and tricks, favorite museum or movie costumes, photos from past events, and new research - you never know who's reading and being inspired by what you're posting!

Cheyney of Not Your Momma's History is an icon -
strong, stylish and second-to-none when it comes to advocating
for a more accurate and inclusive future in living history! 

3 - To Educate

Embrace the D.Y.I. (or Do It Yourself) culture!  In the age of "how-to" guides, one can learn just about anything online.  If you're a blogger, you're also an educator!  Whether you explicitly set out to write a step-by-step tutorial, or are just sharing a pictures from a recent project, your post has the potential to teach someone something new.

As a mostly self-taught seamstress, reading costume blogs was instrumental to my learning process.  In following the trials and errors of difficult sewing projects, viewing interiors and in-progress shots, I often felt as though I was sewing along with the bloggers as they wrote.  So, please, post your sewing successes (and the fails!), and let us amateurs learn along with you!

4 - To Meet Like-Minded People 

Ever wonder if you're the only one who does this, or likes that?  Blogging offers the perfect way to meet and instantly connect with entire online communities of hobbyists from all around the globe.  Never fear, there are definitely people who love and actively DO just that, and all it takes is posting a picture or a few words to unlock a world of excitement and encouragement. 

5 - To Form Lasting Friendships

At the top of the benefits to be gained from blogging is the unique ability to form lasting friendships both online and in-person with fellow bloggers, readers, and hobby enthusiasts.  Through online interactions, be it in comments, direct messages and other exchanges, discussing shared interests, sewing frustrations, or even the public events you attend, may lead to more than just a passing "like" on a picture or post.

In fact, having met many of the costume bloggers and instagramers that I follow in-person (cue ALL the awkward fangirling on my part), I'd like to think that I've formed quite a bond with some of them!  A few of us, despite living states apart, even make somewhat regular plans for sewing get-togethers, or at least look forward to catching up at conferences and living history events.

6 - To Strengthen Existing Relationships

After connecting with all of these like-minded people, use blogging to keep up with everyone's current sewing projects!  While it's truly wonderful to meet new people, blogging can also help strengthen existing relationships.  Had a great time at an event with your best friends or family?  Blog about it - share the silly pictures and the funny stories - and months or years later, you may all look back on that post and relive the fond memories and laughs.

7 - To Make Memories

A blog is the ultimate scrapbook, travel journal, project tracker, event planner, "to make" and "to do" list all rolled into one, chronological and digital record.  You'll never forget (even if you wanted to) those early, somewhat embarrassing sewing projects, but the visual timeline from way back in the dark ages of your costuming past to the present offers a priceless, fully documented journey to follow - oh the memories, people, places! 

8 - To Become a Better Writer

Practice makes perfect.  The daily (or more like monthly if you're me) practice of blogging offers an excellent opportunity to hone your writing skills, and, unlike in school, there are no impending deadlines or grades attached! 

9 - To Become a Better Thinker

Award-winning historian and author, David McCullough says that "writing is thinking.  To write well is to think clearly.  That's why it's so hard."  Reading, writing, and thinking are integral tasks, each one improving the other.  In the careful planning and organizing of thoughts and ideas, keeping a blog provides clarity, making us better critical thinkers, observers and problem solvers.

10 - To Exercise Creativity

From photo editing, to picking out the font, text and color schemes, not to mention composing the wording of each post and picture caption, blogging is an art, and each post a masterpiece.  Call it a blog or a visual portfolio, the more you write and share, the quicker the project ideas seem to appear...Eureka!

11 - To Decrease Stress

Just write, or rather type it out!  Treat a blog as an electronic journal or diary, releasing all of those pent up thoughts and jumbled ideas from the mind, and recording them safely online.  Big costuming event coming up, or a misbehaving sewing project driving you nuts?  Get that "to sew" list organized, while bonding with others also in the throws of crazy, last minute sewing.  Talk out those cutting, fitting or other costume construction road blocks, someone usually responds with just the right solution!

Don't fight it out, when you can write it out!

12 - To Increase Productivity

Write it down, make it happen.  Sticking to a blog posting schedule requires lots of self-discipline...set goals, share progress, and your audience will keep you motivated and accountable.

13 - To Boost Self-Confidence

Blogging builds self-confidence, character and resiliency.  It takes gumption to want to be a blogger, as both your words and your image become fully and freely accessible online.

Personally, it's not always easy knowing that readers' reactions are out of my hands, especially as no one wishes to appear foolish or unattractive in their pictures.  However, that's what makes positive interactions all the more meaningful.  There's an undeniable excitement that comes with a notification of a new follower, "like" to picture, or comment on a post - a little "thumbs up" and encouragement goes a long way!  

14 - To Make Yourself More Marketable

Your blog is your brand.  From navigating social media algorithms, to following the latest marketing techniques, keeping a consistent publishing schedule, writing interesting and engaging content, and interacting with diverse, online audiences, being a blogger allows you to practice and then master relevant, marketable, and ultimately employable skills.

15 - It's Easy!

You don't need to be a technological expert, computer programmer, or possess magical powers to begin a blog.  Try one of the dozens of user-friendly publishing services like Blogger or Wordpress (I've used both), or social media platforms like Facebook pages, Instagram, and Tumblr.

16 - It's Free!

Need I say more?  Blogging is free!  Sure, some will pay for upgraded or professional services, and others even generate revenue from running advertisements and creating small businesses - but a basic and simple, yet functional and endlessly customizable platform requires only your time and intellectual investment.

17 - Your Space, Your Rules

On your blog, there are no limits, no glass ceilings, no rules for what you can or cannot do.  From recipes to fashion, home decor and more, here in your corner of cyberspace, you can write about anything you choose.  Find your voice, be yourself, and share what makes you happy!

Sticking their ox tongue cookies out!

18 - Ultimate Satisfaction

From the feeling of fulfillment after hitting "publish" on your latest post, to receiving encouragement and support for your interests from a community of followers, blogging offers the ultimate satisfaction.  Seeking happiness?  Start your blog today!

Are you a blogger or been wanting to begin one for a while?  Why is blogging important to you?  Which reason from the 18 above resonated with you, and what might we have missed?  Let us know in the comments below! 

July 27, 2019

High Five for 5 Years of Blogging!

Here's to a very Happy 5th Blogiversary!
Blog-iversary (noun) - the anniversary of one's first blog post

It's July 27th, which means FIVE whole years ago, I wrote my first blog post here at the Young Sewphisticate!  Since then, I've seen this little blog grow by leaps and bounds, and over the years, I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for my sewing, living history, and now weaving adventures.   

Taking a look at some of the most recent statistics:
  • Here on the main blog, we've reached over 130,750 page views, welcomed 55 fabulous followers via the blogger subscription service, and written 196 posts and counting!
  • Over on the Facebook Page, we've been "liked" 380 times with 389 dedicated followers
  • And on Instagram, while only posting 48 times so far, 1190 followers - I just can't believe it, thank you!  

Numbers aside, it brings me such joy to share my interests in historical clothing and textiles, and their reproduction.  The journey may be full of ups and downs, construction challenges and technical triumphs, and all the changes, good and bad, that five years can bring.  But through it all, there is one thing for certain: your constant and continued encouragement, by liking, commenting, sharing, and subscribing, has been greatly appreciated and keeps me blogging!  

Now all that's left to say is:

It's been an incredible five years on the blog, and I look forward to all that's to come in the next five and beyond - as always, thank you for reading! ❤

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