Looking Forward

Welcome Back and Happy New Year! I hope you are safe, healthy, and happy. It certainly has been a rough ride and I'm not going to lie, I had little to no 'Holiday Spirit' this year. It's 2021 and we may have 'stalled', but I still have hope for a brighter future, so let's move on.....
It's that time of year when many bloggers create special posts on their blogs.  Many choose a 'word' to inspire them in the new year and others look back at the previous year and share their favorite or most popular posts. 
Not me!
Nope! 
I've decided to go in a different direction.
The past couple of years I've done a special post for the beginning of the new year too.  There was Keepin' It Real in 2019 where I shared my 'not so perfect' house and projects to be done.  Last year was Hello 2020 telling who I am, what my 'style' is, and sharing my projects and passions.  Feel free to read them.  They're not very long, but since I'm looking forward, let's look at what I have in store for you in 2021!  

First, my projects:  wood, fabric, paper, power tools, sandpaper, glue (LOTS of glue), and more! I love to restore, rejuvenate, recycle/upcycle any and all things. Often, I am the 'Queen of the Lost Causes' since I pick the most broken, pathetic finds and give them lots of love.  Seeing them come back to life makes me happy, so stay tuned for more to come!

Second, there will be blog hops.  I host the 'Do It Over' Designers, a group of extremely talented bloggers who also like to DIY and recycle/upcycle.  We hop on the 4th Saturday of every other month.  Look for that post this month on the 23rd.  Believe me, you will love the ideas that are shared.  
I also belong to the 10 on the 10th Blog Hop where a group of bloggers present creative ideas for under $10.  We hop on the 10th of every month with lots of creativity that won't break the bank. 

Third, there will still be a link party.  I have been co-hosting Party In Your PJ's for over 2 years now and am constantly humbled and awed at all of the talent out there. Everything from recipes, crafts, tablescapes, decor, DIY, and more show up each week. 
Now, I'm sure you've heard the same things I've been hearing about link parties....

They're on their way out.....

No one wants to host anymore.....

No one wants to link-up anymore.....
  
I'm here to tell you, in my experience, that simply is not true. Our weekly party ends with anywhere from 90 to 120 link-ups.  That sounds like bloggers still want to link-up to me.  As far as hosting is concerned, I can list about 40 link parties that are still running regularly.  So, what's all the noise about?  SEO and blog traffic.  
Many bloggers blog for money.  It's their full-time job and traffic and SEO are essential.  I get it. Do what works for you and if something isn't working, don't do it.  
As for me, blogging is my hobby.  I love to share my ideas and projects and I'm thrilled when you love them too.  Honestly, I don't worry about blog traffic but I do appreciate that you follow me and leave sweet comments...hint, hint!
As a side note, it's been through link parties that I've 'met' some of my blogger friends.

Fourth, and finally, I have given myself a challenge for this year.  I'm not calling it a resolution because I never keep those - ever!  My challenge is to visit and comment on more blogs. Granted, I visit a lot of blogs that link-up to our weekly party, but that's as the host of the party.  I want to visit as 'me'.  Why?  Because that's how relationships are built.  Over the years I've forged some wonderful friendships with fellow bloggers.  I haven't met them in-person, although that is a goal of mine, but we often chat via email, messaging, etc.  They are amazing people whom I never would have met if it weren't for my blog and I would love to 'meet' and get to know more of you!

So tell me what you think....

Are you interested in my dirty, decrepit finds?

Do you enjoy the blog hops?

How about that link party every Tuesday evening?  Will you joined us?

Do you visit and comment on other blogs?

Have you made friends via blogging?

And one more thing, videos.  How do you feel about them?  I've been encouraged to give them a try, but, I'm just not sure.....Do you like watching them in a blog post? On YouTube?

Please share your thoughts with me in the comments or an email.   My blog is about sharing content with all of you and I am truly interested in your opinions, observations and perceptions.  

I hope you'll join me in a new year of Looking Forward!

Comments

  1. I have met many wonderful people via blogging, you are one of them! I'm honored to be part of the Do-it-over Designers hop and I love linking up to the Party in Your PJs hop! I am focusing on more video this year, I did my first one for the year with the DIY TP tube gnomes. My blog started as a hobby and my goal is to one day make a living from it!! But, I value the friendships more than the SEO and traffic. And yes!! I'm interested in your dirty, decrepit finds!!

    Tania

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    1. I feel the same way, Tania, and I'm looking forward to our hop next weekend. Here's to friendship and dirty, decrepit finds!

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  2. I enjoy our friendship and look forward to meeting in person soon....as for videos, some are too chatty and too long and i usually slide to the end to see the finished product! I have no interest in creating any! I enjoy the blog hops and join on occasion - for visiting, I choose the pics that catch my eye! Leaving comments where I have to type my name, email, blog addy is so time consuming so I don't often leave comments when that is requested. ADS, ADS, ADS - excessive ads on blogs are such a turn off to me and I will exit if they pop up or distract me. It makes me wonder if these people even look at each blog post themselves to see how annoying they are. Looking forward to our link-ups!

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    1. I'm looking forward to meeting soon, too, Patti - this pandemic has to end sometime! Thanks for mentioning ads. I hear that a lot from other people too.

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  3. Ann, I’m a hobby blogger, too, and post when I can. I appreciate fun, personal blogs; the “pros” seem a bit pretentious these days. Thanks for always sharing your ideas, projects, and you! I don’t link up often but will try to start again this year. I have a nice group of blogging friends all over the world who are so lovely and encouraging! I agree with Patti that the ads on blogs are such a turn off. It’s so pleasant visiting sites that are free of these annoying distractions. Wishing you a very happy and healthy 2021 and looking forward to linking up now and then. Zenda

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Zenda. I'm so glad to hear you enjoy my blog and look forward to visiting you more in the future. Ads seem to be a bigger topic than I thought - maybe I should have made that one of my questions! Happy New Year to you and your family, let's look forward to a brighter future!

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  4. Hi Ann

    I don't watch the videos. I enjoy connecting with bloggers through reading the post. That's how we form friendships.

    I still love Link parties and hey you discover new blogs.

    Looking forward to the hops and what you have in store for us this year.

    Cindy

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    1. I do watch videos, but often skip through them, like Patti said. I'm trying to decide if it's something to add or not. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Cindy. I, too enjoy the connections and friendships!

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  5. Hey Ann! I agree with everything you said about link parties, blogging and the like. And I've met some wonderful people through blogging. I do love watching videos if they're strictly tutorials from start to finish. I don't like them when the host is too busy checking to see whose on and making personal comments or go off topic. Too much time is waisted with small talk! On the topic of ads, I'm probably guilty of having too many ads pop up although I can't see them. I do use Google Adsense through Blogger and although we can place ads where we want them - unfortunately, I don't believe we have control over the frequency. I've been doing mostly craft tutorials as a hobby for over eight years now and use the small amount I receive from ads to buy craft supplies since I'm on a fixed retirement income. As a former marketing manager, I think ads are a necessary evil we all have to endure. They're everywhere!

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    1. I must agree with you about the videos, Gail. If there's a lot of 'bird-walking' I lose interest. I guess content is King! Your insight on ads is spot-on, although I've never noticed them as a distraction on your blog. I will take notice the next time I visit. As a fellow retired blogger, I can relate to gaining some extra cash for supplies. Sometimes I think working a bit for some extra money might be a good idea, then I realize I wouldn't have time to 'do all the things'! Scratch that idea! lol I may have to look into ads on the blog as long as they're not a big distraction....something to consider.
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Here's to blogger friends and having fun in the future!

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  6. I enjoy link parties but often get disenchanted when I get few to no visitors from the link party on my blog, many times even the host of the link party. Is there link etiquette? Should the host at least visit each blogger linking up? That sounds like a lot of visiting when you mentioned above that you can get 90 to 120 links! I keep linking and visiting others, you find some blogs that you might not find otherwise. Great post, Happy Monday.

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    1. That's a tough one, Pamela. Some link parties ask that you visit a blog for each link you add. We just ask that people visit others, but there's no way to enforce it. As one of the hosts, I try to visit as many blogs that link up as possible. It does take time, but I think it's worth it and everyone loves to get comments! I don't visit all of them simply because there isn't enough time, but I do my best. I also know that some hosts do not visit and comment although, you are correct - it's a great way to find new blogs and 'meet' new people.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a great week!

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  7. I LOVE blog hops! I currently host one on Thursday and another that meets on the second Monday of Every month. I must link up to a good 1/2 dozen of them a day.

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    1. So do I, Joanne. Blog hops and link parties are a wonderful way to find new ideas and meet people. I hope you'll join me on mine!

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  8. I enjoy link parties, and hope they don't die out. It's a great way to find new blogs to follow. Thanks for linking up with Hello Monday! Tanya - The Other Side of the Road

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    1. I agree, Tanya - and I'm always happy to link up!

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  9. Thank you for this post, I will check the link parties as I am currently only following one. I also read your last years' posts and I love your dining area! Now I'm off to read some more :).

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    1. I'm so glad to hear you'll be joining us some more, Teodora. I look forward to seeing you there and getting to know you better!

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  10. Ann,
    Great post!! I too totally disagree with those who say Blog parties are on the way out...I honestly think those that say that are the ones who monetized their blogs and turned them into professions. I, like you, blog more as a personal journal of my life. I hope someday that my family will be able to look back and remember me through my blog posts.. I do understand why some bloggers have needed to monetize their blogs but some of them are just too much for me!! I do enjoy seeing your amazing transformations too!! I also hope to visit and comment more on blogs and spend less time on social media like face book which has gotten to be very toxic. Thanks for sharing and I am so glad that you are continuing with the Link party!!! Thanks too for stopping by!! Stay safe, healthy and happy!!
    hugs,
    Deb

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    1. I think link parties will stay too, Debbie. I love them and the ideas that are shared. Deciding to monetize and blog professionally are personal decisions that every blogger makes for themselves. I'm finding it interesting how this has become a hot topic when I didn't even ask it as a question! lol
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and I'm glad to hear you enjoy what you see at the Cottage!

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  11. Hi, Ann! I love the blog hops and link-up parties! I have met some amazing people through them. I met one of my best friends through one about 4 years ago. I love the encouragement, the creativity, and the connections.

    Anyway, I look forward to joining your link-up party in the future. Blessings to you!

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    1. I couldn't agree more and the 3 things you mentioned - encouragement, creativity, and connections are priceless. I'm looking forward to seeing you more at the Cottage!

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  12. I believe new friendships have been the best part of my dive into blogging, Ann - present company included, of course! I can't tell you how many friends and blogs I discovered through link parties and hops. My problem is that I'm not very good at remembering when they all start and then I miss them! However, links and hops surely connect you to a large group of likeminded people and what could be better than that?

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    1. I agree 100%, Kim. To keep track of parties, I keep a file on my computer organized by days. It's a quick reference for me that way.

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  13. I love dirty, decripit finds; I bring them home, spray 'em down with Awesome, rinse--or scrub and rinse. Blog hops have taught me to see the potential in these finds. I have made several friends via blogs and seeing as the year 2020 was so isolating, I considered this a very good thing! Now retired, I have the time to devote to my DYIs, dollhouse minis, sewing, cooking, and crafting. Beats housework! HOW did I have time to work??

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    1. You make me laugh, Kathy! I sometimes wonder how I had time for work too since retirement is so much better with more time to 'do the things'! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, I truly appreciate it.

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  14. Hello Cindy, link parties are still alive. people love to share. I find so much inspiration out there, whether, it's a recipe, a craft project, gardening, diy, etc.
    Blogging takes a lot of time, because not only are we posting, but also trying to visit. I love to blog, however I do not want to be married to my blog. Hosting also take a lot of time, which I do every Sunday at Love Your Creativity. Videos are great for tutorials. There is so much to learn out there and I appreciate people taking the time to share. Blogging is wonderful. I have met many bloggers out there who are sweet friends.

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    1. I agree, link parties are still alive and I think they will be for some time to come. Blogging does take time, but I believe it is time well-spent. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Linda.

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  15. Ann, I'm so glad, I am a part of two of your creative virtual 'get-togethers' - Pjs and Do it again Designers. I love your crafts and diys immensely. A real inspiration. I too love to visit and comment on various blogs however, these days, it does get a bit overwhelming what with Instagram decor tours, my blog link party and my yoututbe channel. I've been blogging since last 12 years but its only since last year, that I am become more disciplined and consistent in my social media accounts. Thank you very much for accepting me in Do it again designers.
    Thank you for sharing your post with us at Meraki Link Party.
    Have a wonderful week
    Naush

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    1. Social media is another big issue, thanks for bringing it up, Naush. As helpful as it is, I worry about the time it takes up. You see, I'm much happier 'doing' the projects.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Naush. I'm so glad we've become friends!

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  16. Hi Ann, well, I must say that I don't participate in many linkups, but I do like the ones I visit regularly. I also blog only for pleasure, not profit (since I removed my ads because it just wasn't worth the hassle for the amount of $ I was generating). I've started using Youtube recently because we've got a new house in a new country, and I guess that can be interesting, but my videos aren't polished by any means! Maybe I'll work on that in the future but for now I've been making the videos just to show people where I am and what I'm doing. I've also made some lovely friends through blogging, I'm sure I'll be blogging until the end of my days. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me, Cheryl. I would love to hear about your new house - please share your blog and YouTube channel with me!

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  17. Thanks Ann. Good luck with your goals and focus for this year. Moving forward is a good motto to make. I still enjoy link parties and hosting my own. So I will keep at it until no one shows up I guess. Thanks for visiting mine. #HomeMattersParty

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    1. Thanks Donna. I enjoy the link party and I don't think there's any chance of no one showing-up!
      Enjoy the rest of your week.

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