How to write a great Monthly Stitch post

Hey there, Monthly Stitchers!  Guess what? Did you know, we now have 42 active collective members of The Monthly Stitch? And over 90 of you on our Facebook group, chatting away and sharing ideas, inspirations, and questions? Pretty exciting, right?!?

We also have over 700 followers who get emails every time a new post is published, and a whole bunch more following with things like Bloglovin. That’s a heck of a lot of people, reading a heck of a lot of posts by all you talented and creative folk! Which is all rather fabulous, really. 🙂

With so many of you reading, and so many of you contributing, and so many of you planning on taking part in the March challenge, this seems like a good time to do a post on writing posts. We get quite a few questions on how to do things, like insert images, etc, so here’s the low-down on what to put where, what people want to read about in your posts, and basically, how to make things super!

Firstly, we’ve got two platforms happening now for The Monthly Stitch – there’s the blog (that you’re reading at the moment), and the Facebook group. Why do we have two platforms, you may ask? Well, The Monthly Stitch was started for two reasons – for the fun of regular community-based sewing challenges, and also to create an online community where we can hang out, have conversations, ask questions, and share ideas. WordPress (and other blogging platforms) are best for sharing things. Facebook groups are best for having conversations. Since we want to do both, we decided to use both in combination, to create the right spaces for both types of activity. Unsure what to put where? Here’s the guidelines:

  • Facebook group for questions, progress, chatting, sharing new purchases, introducing yourself, etc
  • Blog for showing off finished challenge creations

With so many people contributing, there are often several posts going up on the blog in one day. Which can be a lot of reading to keep up with for the people who are following but not (yet?) part of the Monthly Stitch contributors community. By keeping the blog posts to just finished garments, it means our readers don’t get overwhelmed by the number of things to read. And then we can have community chats on Facebook, where it’s a lot easier to have conversations, share ideas, etc, a lot closer to ‘real time’. Two different forums, one community!

So, you’ve made a garment for a Monthly Stitch challenge, and you’re all ready to write a blog post on it. Yay! We’re all looking forward to seeing it!! 🙂 Trying to decide what to include in your blog posts? Here’s the sort of stuff we’re really interested in:

  • What pattern did you use? Why did you choose it, what appealed about it?
  • What fabric did you use? Why did you choose it?
  • How did you find the pattern to use – was it good? Was it hard? Would you recommend it? Would you change anything next time?
  • Did you include any fun/interesting/new-to-you details? E.g. did you use a pretty lace or bias to do a hem? Use french seams? Have a novelty print as your pocket lining? Show us – we want to see! These sorts of details are what makes sewing so much fun – the inclusion of things we can’t get in RTW, that make garments truly ‘you’.
  • What do you think of your finished garment? Do you like it? Not sure? How are you gonna style it? Tell us – we’re here to lurk your homemade closet! 😉
  • Do include a link to your blog – that way, if we want to know more about your creation, or see what else you’ve been doing, we can go on over there. But at the same time, please make sure you include a decent number of details on your Monthly Stitch blog. A lot of people read blogs using mobile devices, such as smart phones, and won’t bother clicking through to your blog if you haven’t already captured their interest by telling them a bit about what you’ve made.

Want your blog post to stand out on the Monthly Stitch home page? Include a pretty and interesting feature image! The feature image is the one that shows up in the rectangle on the home page, and links through to your blog post. We’ve been seeing a few posts go up lately without feature images, which makes us sad as they show up as little grey boxes on the home page. 😦 Unsure how to add a feature image to your post? There are a great tutorial over here. Wondering why your feature image always looks a bit squished? Chances are you haven’t altered it to the right size – feature images should be 440 pixels wide and 300 pixels high. If you crop them to that size, they’ll fit perfectly in those boxes on the home page without distorting.

Plain grey boxes as feature images on the home page make us sad

Speaking about images – with so many contributors, we need to be a bit careful to make sure we don’t run out of space for pictures on the blog. But, we want to see heaps of photos of your creations! How can we do both? Easy – instead of uploading images to your blog posts, instead insert them using URLs. This means that the images will stay stored elsewhere (such as on your own blog, or on Flickr), but will still be visible on your Monthly Stitch post. Unsure how? Read all about inserting images using URLs here. You should be uploading only one image for a post – your feature image. All the rest should be inserted with URLs so we don’t run out of space. 🙂

Well, that’s all well and good, but what if you’re about to write your first post and not sure how? There’s a tutorial over here, just for you!

Yep, we’ve got a nice tutorial for how to write a blog post – click on through to see!

And if you’re looking for somewhere to fix up, resize, or otherwise manipulate your images, we’re quite fond of PicMonkey – it’s free, easy, and fun to use.

PicMonkey – we like it! 🙂

Hopefully these tips and suggestions will be useful for you! Anything else you’d like us to give you some tips on? Any other suggestions for people on how to write a good blog post, or what you’re interested in reading about? Let us know in the comments! 🙂

24 thoughts on “How to write a great Monthly Stitch post

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    • Hi Annette. Yes indeed! In fact, Mel and I have started thinking how to redesign it to create a tutorials/guidelines/templates section. We have plans to write more tutorials in the future to answer questions people have, so if you have any ideas for other things you’d like us to write about, please let us know! 🙂

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  14. Good suggestions, thanks! I like the idea of only posting finished garments that relate to the specific monthy theme and leaving other discussions to facebook page. And, yes, the grey boxes sure do make Kitty and I sad. 😦 LOL.

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