Today's my 5th blogging anniversary. It's also the day I have to ask myself - am I a jewelry artisan who blogs or a blogger who happens to make jewelry? After 2159 posts, the answer is clearly the latter! Yes, I am a blogging addict.

Make a Wish Ring by Bettina Nissen Via
The blog just crossed the 6 million views mark after 5 years. That would not be possible without you, the readers and the wonderful designers who have inspired us. I thank you all! 

I am also grateful to the readers who sent in tips, questions, finds of their own to share.  Some also took the time to let me know how much they appreciated the effort that goes into this blog. It is not easy to find the time but I do because I enjoy sharing.  There is nothing worse than seeing  fellow crafters struggle through the same learning curve so why not provide them with shortcuts? Writing this blog is also another rewarding creative outlet for me. Finding time to make jewelry is another matter!

I do try to cover as many aspects of jewelry making as possible including the creativity angle. Some readers are not at all sure why I sometimes feature such outlandish designs. You know, the kind  few people will actually wear.  These artisans do show us that creativity has no limits. If we set limits based on our own comfort zones, how are we going to reach beyond? Just as the catwalk fashions are really not for ordinary folks, others are inspired by the leading designers each year. They then go on to create different outfits which have a broader appeal.

The other reason why I choose such a wide range of outstanding artisans is to urge us all to explore new materials and new techniques. That way we can hopefully create truly unique pieces and stand out above a very crowded field.

I also want to point out to new readers that ads and affiliate programs do ensure my blog continues to grow and remain free (see my Disclosures and Privacy policies) Having said that, all opinions expressed in my posts are solely mine.

With such a vast repository of ideas and tutorials, searching is key.  So if you are new, check out my How to Search page for different ways to search.  Also do not forget my Jewelry Making Tips hub which gathers  only tutorial posts and my Jewelry Business Tips for those of you who sell.  Earrings are my most favorite pieces to design so be sure to check out my Earring Design Ideas to jump start your creativity.

A determined and amazing reader, Barbara, used the archive section in the right side bar to read my entire blog right from the beginning! If you did that, you will see that my blog took quite a while to develop to what it is today. Blogging requires a long term approach so take heart if you have only recently started. It takes time to find your own unique "blog voice".

Others like Linda of Mixed Kreations frequently flit about and dip into past posts here and there. She graciously leaves a wonderful trail of comments for me to discover. I encourage lurkers to leave comments because that's the only way I can discover who you are and perhaps you might be the next feature designer!

Links are the currency of the internet.  I always link to designer sites and sources.  This is proper blogging etiquette so I am very grateful when readers point out broken links for me to tend to.  If you have been featured, also consider using these Featured On buttons.

Some readers have contacted me about linking to my blog.  Of course you may do so if you see something you wish to share with your readers!  But please do remember to credit me back as the source with a link.

Here is a tip - if you do use material from my blog, use your own words.  Google frowns on duplicate content - pages with a lot of the same words will be downgraded in their eyes so for the sake of your blog or site promotion, don't do it!

Want to be featured?  Check out my Get Featured page which goes over the different ways.

Chat box is gone.  I just got tired of having to turf out the trolls. You can easily contact me using the email form on my Contact page if you wish. Or hail me in your favorite social media site.

I am on the main social media sites like Facebook,Twitter and newly on Google+ where you can catch all the posts as well as additional tidbits that do not or cannot fit into my blog. I've been using Google + not just for blog posts but I do also re-post some of the older ones there too.

If you are wondering if it is worth being on Google+,  it's not that popular yet.  Facebook readers are by far my largest social media audience. This is borne out by the experiment Kevin Rose (Digg founder) did where he tracked where the clicks to a particular article came from (see image below).  So if your time is short, stick to Facebook for maximum engagement.

Image source
Also new is my belated entry into the hugely addictive Pinterest - a free beautiful visual bookmarking site.  Many of you are already aware of this beta site, much loved by crafters, foodies, fashionistas, stylists and designers. Pinterest is a good way to organize your web favorites in whatever categories you choose.

I now have the Pin It button to each post. Thank you to those who have already pinned several of my posts using your browser bookmarklets!  Click on the following image and see what my interests are besides jewelry making!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Some time in the near future, visitors might notice my spring cleaning attempts as my blog is long overdue for a design overhaul.

I started this practice some years ago where I saved the interesting and sometimes strange search terms from my blog stats over the previous year. These are words or phrases which searchers used to arrive on my blog. Some still talk to Google! And some really expect a lot out of a mere search engine.

So here is a look back at the 2011 crop :

Help please?
what is the point of beading (somebody needs anti-depressants?)
how to avoid high priced jewelry (how about not buying them?)
how to do case study on paper jewelry (sorry, no known cheat sheets for this one!)
can you retrieve lost jewelry from toilet (I have 3 posts on this common problem)
can anyone tell me what book i can buy to make swarovski jewelry
why do my bakelite beads have things floating in them
how many peacock feathers do I need to make a hair fascinator
where can i get swarovski crystals stuck on my lips? (yep, wrote about hot lips too!)
legality of using movie pictures to make jewelry
looking for guest for my girls Earrings blog
Unusual things people want or wish to see
sperm pendant
dead animal keychains
moose poop choker manitoba (one zoo I know makes reindeer deer pop jewelry)
tooth set jewelry
gemstone bras
beaded bra competition
kawaii beaded bra
rare seahorse squashed
ogle beaded top
Holy Humor for St. Pat's Day
horror jewelery blog
elderly woman dentist
fascinators male

Interesting Ideas
how to make beaded family tree pendant
how to make a bracelet with florist wire
how to do Turk's Head knots on netting
what kind of jewelry can I make with aluminum sheet
how to make origami fascinator

hearrings chain mail
how to make girl out of scraps of fabric, buttons and chain

Clever Google
beading pearl blog
my name is realy (sic) pearl
бусы из ракушек  (Beads made of shells in Russian)

Duh, Google? 
 functions of a modern day photocopier
3d image of Waxes atomic structure
water soluble fashion
foot fetish halifax
pink martini Hong Kong dry clean only t-shirt

how chemistry is related to making jewels
are our fingernails made of ivory (nope, but one artisan I featured makes toe and fingernail clippings jewelry)
lie detector charm + pendant ( not available yet but somebody did make a lie detector bracelet)

I hope you will join me for another year of fascinating jewelry posts! HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Before You Go :
Subscribers : To comment, click on the post title to return to the blog. At the bottom of the post, click on "Comments". If you do not have a Google account, website or online store, use Name/URL - and leave the URL blank.

Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Wire JewelryTips  -Jewelry Business Tips