Tammy Powley turned her passion into a business. No, it wasn't blogs. It was beads and jewelry. Then Tammy realized that blogs could be a great marketing tool to promote herself and her beads. She launched one blog and which led to another which led to another. Tammy had a new passion and a new business venture .. she was now a pro blogger.
My story starts kind of simply: I began with a bead blog – yes, beads. I originally started blogging because I thought it would be a good way to promote my writing and crafting career. Almost immediately, I was hooked, but I really had no clue where this rabbit hole would lead me.
My introduction to web writing started back in 1998 when I became About.com’s Jewelry Making Guide. While that site does have a blog integrated into its home page, I feel like my first real baby steps into blogging came when I joined About Weblogs in April of 2005 (which eventually merged with b5media.com).
This is where I started writing The Jewelry and Beading Blog. While the topic was similar to my About.com site, it allowed me more freedom to write about my own experiences (me, me, me and my beads), and that was my main purpose at the time when it came to blogging – using it as a medium to promote myself.
Later that same year, I found Creative Weblogging (CW) in need of a writer for The Jewelry Weblog. Again, the topic was similar, but this blog is more geared toward the jewelry consumer rather than people who make jewelry, so it was a chance to work in a related area that didn’t really step on the toes of my other blog or web site.
In fact, one neat thing about it is that I get to help promote jewelry designers, and after spending many years selling my own jewelry through art shows and galleries, I know how tough it is out there. It’s wonderful to be able to help other jewelry designers.
While working with CW, I started another blog with them on wine (though I recently turned that over to another blogger due to lack of time), and I ended up receiving some great opportunities to work on the management side of network weblogging. Though I still write The Jewelry Weblog for CW, additionally I now work as its Recruiter and Executive Editor, helping with QA, training, and other behind the scenes sorts of tasks.
Since I teach college-level writing part-time, for me I see a real connection between helping others to blog and working as a traditional teacher. In fact, I’ve managed to combine the two to a certain extent. I teach blog seminars at my local college’s Lifelong Learning Institute, and it has been a blast turning the uninitiated onto blogging. Plus, it’s great not to have to grade any papers! Along with bringing blogging to the classroom, I’ve also dabbled academically with blogging, including it in a chapter of my dissertation and writing a few journal articles on the topic.
Running seminars, recruiting, training, these are all new experiences I’ve had because of blogging, opportunities I would have never imagined when I started my first little blog about me and my beads.