This month we are featuring Libbie from A Life Unfolding. Libbie has been a member of Hometalk since 2012 and a DIYer all her life. She is a design fanatic, queen of the home renovation DIY project, mom, and wife.
Read her tips and tricks for keeping up with social media, her favorite trends, and how Hometalk has helped her pull it all together.
How did you get started on Hometalk?
I have always been a DIYer. In 2012, I built a kitchen pallet wall and posted it on Facebook. Someone affiliated with Hometalk reached out to me and said to check them out, so I posted it there. It was the first time I realized there are people out here who loved DIY and renos as much as I do and they get excited during the journey, so that is when I started sharing. That was years before I had a blog, but that began my journey with Hometalk.
When did you start your blog, A Life Unfolding?
It took me about 4 more years to get my blog up and running. I used Hometalk primarily as a way of showing projects or looking for ideas. I posted exclusively there and sporadically because I was working full time. It was finding a community and their encouragement that got me to start.
You said that prior to going full time with your blog that you worked full time. You also now own an AirBnb that you have recently renovated with your husband. Would you say that your career helped inspire you to stage and create in these new spaces?
I started off working for a custom framer. We produced the wall décor you would find somewhere like Kohl’s or Target and sold it there. I did product development and sales for over a decade. It had always been a dream of mine to take the blog full time, and I finally just made the jump and did it a couple of years ago. I have enjoyed every minute and never looked back.
It absolutely helped me. This drives my husband crazy, but I am fearless when it comes to projects. You cannot tell me no. I always say, “I know there is a way to figure it out. We’re just not thinking about it the right way. Let’s think about this.”
What do you think has changed from the way you create DIY projects now versus when you started?
My personal style has changed a great deal as I have gone alone. I think that being in this business your tastes change over the years. I also think my DIY has just gotten better. You learn more about tools and how to make things. We have also come further along in what we are capable of doing. We do a lot on our own now.
Do you have any favorite projects so far?
We bought a distressed property and renovated it from top to bottom. And that is my favorite project. I do not like to brag, but it is just so cute. That is my favorite project to date. But we just bought a new house to renovate, so I am sure that will be the next.
As a member of the Hometalk Blogger Traffic Program, do you have any favorite features that Hometalk offers?
I love the blogger dashboard. I think Hometalk has done it all really well. It is an all-in-one place, easy to navigate. The extra traffic from the Blogger Traffic Program has been amazingly helpful in growing my blog. I can look back in different stages and there has always been something I can tie back to Hometalk.
I was actually approached by Better Homes & Gardens a few months ago because they saw my living wall post. I had been tagging that project on Instagram and Pinterest, but they saw it on Hometalk. The editor asked me to post it - and I had been for a challenge where they were tagged every time - but she found it on Hometalk. Which is great!
With that said, would you say that Hometalk has helped benefit your blog?
Without a doubt. I love Hometalk. I give it a lot of credit. I think it is a really good place. The community has been wonderful, but you guys [Hometalk] have been pretty supportive of bloggers themselves, too. The extra traffic is great, but you introduce people to one another. It is a nice way to find other people, both as a blogger and as a person who tends to look for information out there in the world. It is a community of wonderful people with ideas that are just so creative. It is always a great resource for me.
I went to the Haven conference in July, and everyone was asking, “Are you on Hometalk?” That would be the one thing that experienced bloggers had to share with new people who did not know about Hometalk. They would encourage them to take the time to learn about it. It is quick, easy, and going to help. I have kind of watched some of these brand-new bloggers from afar as they get Hometalk going and they just love it.
Do you have any personal or Hometalk bloggers on Hometalk that you enjoy following?
KariAnne’s blog, Thistlewood Farms. I have been a fan of hers since the beginning. And Chas from Chas’ Crazy Creations – I love her and love her blog. She is way more crafty than I am. She is the queen of the craft. Those are both people I really like and who definitely participate a lot for Hometalk.
What are some of your favorite trends?
I am very happy to see color coming back into people’s homes. I like using warmer and earthier tones in my own home, and I really appreciate that I am seeing that more now. I also love seeing a little bit of metal or some sort of texture coming into people’s homes now as a way to ground the room, like all black doors or darker doors in a house.
Do you ever find yourself struggling with creator’s block? What do you do when that happens?
Yes, I do. I feel that sometimes, especially if we do really big projects, I get burnt out. When we finished a fall renovation project last fall, I was in a sort of rut as the holidays were approaching, and that is a big time for bloggers. I was just tired.
I found that stepping away was the best thing I could have done. I literally did a social media shut down and took it off my phone for a couple of weeks so I would not be tempted and what I found at the end of that period was my ideas coming back to me after taking that break.
Social media is ever changing, what is the biggest learning lesson you have had in growing your blog and social media presence?
This is my motto - When you are looking at your social media, you cannot take it personally. It ebbs and flows. It is not something personal you’re doing wrong. Sometimes it is just timing. That is just the way social media is and you just have to learn to go with it.
Is that mantra what you would advise anyone else looking to grow as a creator?
Yes. Just stick with what you do well. Be persistent because I think that is the number one thing you can do in this business. Stick around long enough to get noticed and good things will come.