A long, long time ago I can still remember…
… when there were loads of interesting needlework blogs online!
In the earlier years of Needle ‘n Thread, keeping up with a long list of active needlework blogs was practically a part-time job in itself! So, as Needle ‘n Thread required more attention over the years, I had to trim down the time I spent exploring the wider online world of needlework blogs.
In the interim, lots and lots of needlework blogs disappeared.
I’m sure that some have sprung up to take their places, but the online world has a changed quite a bit in the last eight-to-eighteen years.
Changes in Online Content, Location, & Reach
Now, online audiences are reached more through social media outlets and hosted video content (usually peppered with really obnoxious advertising!) than through dedicated “online real estate” that offers in-depth, audience-tailored content with a lot more tooth to it. Audiences today have become used to the quick visual fix. Reading is practically passé.
And now, with the fine-tuning of AI (and content creation achieved by artificial intelligence), it seems that unique, personal, tailored content is likely going to continue declining in most spheres.
On the one hand, this can be a cause for disappointment or discouragement.
But on the other hand, it is a great opportunity for those who really love and care about certain subjects – in our case, we’ll say needlework, since that’s what brings us all together on Needle ‘n Thread – to provide better content and to tailor it even more specifically to their audience’s wants and needs.
This is a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while, because, after all, it’s what I do.
Needle ‘n Thread is primarily a blog about embroidery. That’s how it started and that’s what holds it together – the blog. There is a lot of embroidery content on the blog, too. If you ever have a specific question about needlework, there’s a good chance you’ll find an answer to it by using the search feature on the website.
Needle ‘n Thread Real Estate
I’m happy (and a little proud) to say that Needle ‘n Thread differs from most online real estate today in lots of ways.
Over the years, I’ve tried to be very, very careful about maintaining an objective needlework-only website.
I’ve striven to ensure that my content was always relevant to my audience and that it’s not packed with over-used keywords, repetition, and irrelevant rambling – practices which are common in the blogging world because they boost search engine results. (Ever wonder why recipe blogs use the name of the recipe over and over and over again throughout the first few paragraphs of their posts, and then ramble on and on with irrelevancies, completely unrelated to the recipe at hand or cooking in general, to fill up space? It’s because they are catering to the search engines, feeding them as much as they can to get ranked higher on search engine results.)
And probably most notable of all if you’ve visited Needle ‘n Thread and explored the website for any amount of time – I’ve avoided filling the website with network advertising. This, in fact, was one of my first goals with Patreon – to allow me to avoid using network ads so that our community here would have a much better online experience while visiting the website. I wanted Needle ‘n Thread visitors to enjoy exploring needlework topics, to find what they need without the frustration of sifting the real content from advertised content, and to be able to rest their eyes and brains while delving into embroidery – away from the incessant hammering of aggravating, ubiquitous advertising.
This final point comes at a cost. Besides providing an income stream, online network advertising does something else for content creators. You see, search engines love websites that host network ads, especially if the ad networks belong to the same company that owns the search engines. Google, for example, loves websites that host Google ads. And so websites that host Google ads are more likely to rank higher in search results via Google than websites that don’t host their ads – usually regardless of the quality of content.
That’s just the way the game works.
But I gave up chasing that game quite a while ago. I discovered I couldn’t blog freely about embroidery, in my own voice, the way I wanted to, if I was constantly concerned about whether or not search engines liked me.
I decided that content would be my focus because that’s what would matter over time – solid content. I decided to build a website that would be enjoyable and informative for visitors. I decided that building good, helpful content would be the best investment for my online real estate.
And it has been. Needle ‘n Thread has enjoyed organic growth over the years, thanks to each one of you! Because so many of you have shared Needle ‘n Thread with your stitching friends, we have grown into quite a nice community here! Thank you profoundly for that!
(And please – feel free to continue sharing!)
But Back to the Blogs…
But to get back to the subject of blogs – there are still many good needlework blogs out there that have been operating for a while and that have great content if you’re interested in embroidery and other needlework.
Recently, prompted by a comment from a Needle ‘n Thread reader, I went through and cleaned up my Big List of Embroidery & Needlework Blogs to Explore so that it lists needlework-related blogs that are still active. The list is much, much shorter now, alas, but that’s probably a good sign that the content on it is good quality. There’s a lot to be said for longevity!
I’m sure there are more blogs to include in that list now, so if you happen to have any good recommendations for some favorite needlework-related blogs that you follow, drop me a line. I’ll be happy to take a look at them!
And while you’re thinking about content, here’s a question for you: is there any embroidery topic that you’d like to see covered on Needle ‘n Thread? Any question you have? Difficulty that you’re trying to overcome in your stitchery? Any technique you’d like more information on? If you’ve got any suggestions, I’m all ears! Drop me a line!