After seeing what a great help myspace and flickr were to my small but growing sewing business I figured starting a blog would be the next best step. I’ve always had an interest in photography, so not only would a blog be a place to promote my business, it would be somewhere I could share my photography.
For the first few years of The Dainty Squid it was purely for fun. I shared photos of what I was sewing, posted cat photos, showed off my thrift store finds, talked about my house hunt, and then how I was renovating and decorating that house. I was posting fairly regularly and getting what I felt was a lot of traffic for what it was. You know, I don’t even think my mom read my blog in the beginning!
It was never my intention to turn this little blog with silly pictures into my bread and butter. To be honest, I had no idea that I could even make money from blogging other than by directing traffic to my etsy shop. I eventually started accepting ads in my sidebar after receiving a few inquires. I wasn’t making a ton, ten bucks here, twenty bucks there. To me it was just extra money for my collections and fabric (which I guess then could have also been considered a collection. SO. MUCH. FABRIC.)
Blogging was a great excuse for me to take photos, and work on honing my photography skills. It gave me something to do besides sew. It gave me a place to share my work, my feelings, and my thoughts. It was a way for me to connect with people all over the world. I guess you could say it was true love right from the start.
It’s funny because there are actually two points in my blogging
history where I think “okay, that’s when it got serious” and to be fair
they were both turning points. The first was in May of 2012. I had had enough sewing. I burnt myself out. I didn’t
want to keep doing the same thing day in and day out. Although my life
was anything but adventurous, I craved something other than that
routine. It was then that I realized blogging was something I could do for a living. I
had been barely sewing, barely selling anything and the majority of my
income was coming from blogging. I guess I was young and a bit naive but I wasn’t stressed about the transition from sewing business to blogger. It just happened so naturally.
At the time I already had a regular blogging schedule and quite a few awesome folks who advertised their small businesses and blogs month after month. But I realized I needed to find more ways to monetize the blog if this was actually something I wanted to do. I read tons and tons of post from other bloggers I found via google but honestly felt a lot of what I was reading wasn’t relevant to the type of blog I wanted The Dainty Squid to be. I didn’t want to really change what I was posting about or try to write a certain type of post just to draw in traffic and money. It took lots of trial and error before finding what clicked and discovering how I could make this all work for me.
The second time I felt like I really really started taking blogging seriously was when I moved to Cleveland. It was my first time living alone, and being responsible for every single bill and expense. Before I moved I told people I was a blogger, and I was,
but the constant “that can’t be”, “there’s no way you make enough
money”, and “that’s not a real job” kind of tricked me into believing
that maybe I really wasn’t. Hearing that negativity from
outside sources made me doubt myself. Moving to a new city alone was scary with these thoughts of “maybe this isn’t a good enough job.”, and “do I really make enough money?” swirling around in my head. I had to buckle down and prove to myself what I was doing was a legitimate job.
Nearly a year and half of living on my own and I’m finally 100% confident saying “I’m a full time
blogger. This is my job”. I mean, there’s no two ways about it. My bills
are getting paid, and I am paying them with the money I make blogging.
That makes me a blogger and I really can’t think of anything else I’d rather do for a living.
Throughout this whole post I kept wanting to throw in something about
what I was posting at certain times throughout the blog’s history but even though things have changed
so very much since my first post, it’s still the same place. Browsing through my archives I found my collection of globes in a post from 2010, mushrooms in 2009, hints all throughout that urban exploration might be something I’d come to love, and of course, outfit posts have been a staple for a long time. The Dainty Squid will continue to evolve and grow just as it has over these last six years, just as I have as well. It is a business but it’s also my story.
I’m so thankful to be able to do something I love so much day in and day out. Thank you all so much for reading and being a part of my life!