The Welcome Wagon {Home Love Stories}

 WELCOME

I’m so happy you are here! I’m thrilled to welcome you to Home Love Stories and offer you a few pointers on how to get started! Once you know a few tips, you’ll be off and running!  
 
NOTE: If you just want to look at pictures, you can scroll through the “stories” online or on your cell phone at homelovestories.com! Just click to open if you want to read their story.
Subscribe to neighbors you want to keep in touch with and follow their updates by hovering over their user name, hit subscribe. To see recent updates from your neighbors go to the My Account menu above and pull down to click My Favorites (what’s new with those neighbors you are keeping up with.)

If you are ready to add your own story:


 Click ADD A STORY (found at the top of this site).


 Below you’ll find some helpful tips!

 

How to - home love stories

  • TO ADD PHOTOS (or video!): Note, be sure you only use your own photos! :) For your first photo, click in the photo box and it will automatically pull up a menu. Click the double arrows to add your own horizontal picture (which will be your featured image in the story stream, or change it to what you want featured). Then to add additional images in your post, click your cursor anywhere in the post and hit return. A “+” sign will appear. Click the + sign to bring up the menu which allows you to add additional photos!

  • TO ADD A CATEGORY TO YOUR STORY: You don’t have to use a category, it will automatically go into a general category. But if you want to choose one from the list, hover over the first image in your post and a small “tag” image will appear.  Click on it and it will offer you a pull down menu of category options for your post content.

  • TO WRITE: You can write as much as you want or as little. Your work will be automatically saved in the post. Double clicking on words (or white space) will bring up more menu options like bolder fonts, to use BOLD or italics, or to hyperlink.
  • TO PUBLISH: Did you put a title on your story? Does it have an image?Now you can publish it! Look at the top of your draft and you’ll see the PUBLISH option!
  • FROM YOUR PHONE: At homelovestories.com you’ll find several lines at the top of your screen. Tap it and a pull out menu will appear! It’s easy to post and edit and your post automatically saves your updates. To add a Home Love Stories button to your iPhone to make it easy to return and share or follow stories,, follow the instructions in the image below!

1. Build your home page profile! Basically, you’ll set down your roots and start your home stories by simply creating a profile. Tell us who you are, take a selfie so we can see who we are getting to know) and even share where you are from in a short line or two. You can tell us about your house in your posts, so just make this about YOU!

 


2. Next, start sharing stories!
Each story is like a mini-blog post, but when you publish it, you aren’t out there alone in blogland. You’ll be here, in our community, where we can find you. We’ve made it as easy as possible to share little bits of your life at home, corners you love, pretty everyday things, or take us on the whole tour now and then. Ask design questions and help a sister out. Share as many stories as you like! Update us every day. Every week. Whatever and whenever you are inspired. Maybe make your first story an introduction to your home!

Remember to only use your OWN house photos.


3. Get ready to party!
And once you get the hang of sharing stories and reading others (we’ve made it as simple as possible, but as with every new thing, there will be a learning curve), let’s have fun! We’ll be throwing all kinds of block parties, inviting you to take us on drive bys of the exterior of your home or favorite neighborhoods, we will be hosting community open houses seasonally and asking you to share room tours and before and after projects. Follow The Inspired Room blog for party announcements and follow The Inspired Room and Home Love Stories Instagram feeds (theinspiredroom and homelovestories) for fun events and stories you can participate in. Or, throw your own events. You’ll find more details on that in point six, below. :)


4. Categorize your home stories!
 Besides seeing your stories in the stream of posts on the main pages, you’ll find a category list in a pull down menu (HOVER OVER YOUR FIRST PHOTO and see the little TAG BUTTON to find the pull down options, see the image example above!) so you can designate each story in one of many pre-determined categories to make enjoying stories even easier as we grow.

NOTE: Add your first post in the “Introductions {Housewarming}” category (hover over your first photo and you’ll see the TAG BUTTON option!) so we will know you’re the new kid on the block! From then on, we can find the rest of your posts from your profile so no need to keep using that category.


5. Organize your content!
 To group content from others or make your own more searchable in a specific home-related topic, it’s as easy as giving your post a hashtag or two. Let’s say you do a post on your kitchen and you want others to find it easily when they are searching for kitchens. Here’s what a hashtag could look like in your post: #kitchen. That’s it. Right at the end of your post, type the pound sign followed by some content-specific words. Feel free to give any of your stories an appropriate hashtag so we can search and find you (especially if it is a more specific topic than our preselected categories!).


6. Throw a block party!
What’s a block party you ask? Let’s say you want to throw a fun seasonal or themed party for people to decorate their homes and share them, use a hashtag as your invite! Just give your post a unique-to-your-party hashtag. Like, #christmas-party-smiths15. Then invite your friends, family or your blog community or Facebook friends to share photos of their Christmas homes by letting them know the hashtag for your party. Then when your friends or anyone in the Home Love Stories community wants to crash the party and it’s as easy as clicking on the #christmas-party-smiths15 hashtag you’ll see on the party posts. HLS will automatically group together all those related stories on a page so you can easily join in and find others at the party by searching the hashtag or clicking on it wherever you see it on Home Love Stories.

Follow @homelovestories on Instagram or look at the bottom of Home Love Stories to follow our stream for updates on block parties and events!


7. Be a good neighbor.  
Make new friends. Keep the old. Share a cup of sugar. Here’s how…

Be a great neighbor and go introduce yourself to others! Leave encouraging comments to build friends in the community. You also have the option of subscribing to your neighbors’ stories so you won’t miss their updates! It’s like creating your own smaller neighborhood within the community! Hover your cursor over their name to pull up the subscribe option. Then to easily read the updates from your neighbors, go to the “My Account” tab at the top and pull down to Favorites. Then your neighbors will be grouped together on your home page!

Need help with a design dilemma? Help a sister out! Use the “Design Questions {Help a Sister Out}”’ category so friendly neighbors can help you with ideas for your home decor questions. Guys are welcome here too, by the way, so please know we just use that sister saying tongue-in-cheek.

“Heart” stories you like and you will be able to find them again later. Simply hit the heart symbol near the social media icons in the left margin of the story.

NOTE: If you have another blog, it’s ok to link to it in your home love stories and invite others to visit there, too. Consider this your vacation home. But remember this is a community in itself and it is free for everyone to use, but it is not a bulletin board to just advertise other things. So, no solicitation or annoying door to door sales people or we’ll have to evict you from the neighborhood :). Thank you. If you have further concerns, consult our Homeowner’s Association page where we will post the rules and regulations and legal jargon.

Does this all make sense? If not, don’t worry. We’ll learn together. Let me know if you have  trouble so we can work out the bugs. Email me at info@homelovestories.com

So, go get your profile set up, take a test drive around the block, get familiar with the neighborhood. Soon it will be easy!

This is going to be fun, so get started, invite your friends to join and create your own little neighborhood community! Follow new and old friends and family too! My hope is for this to be the friendliest and most welcoming home blog community on the internet because frankly, if anyone has a bad attitude, they just might be evicted.  :) Nobody’s got time for that.

 

Please won’t you be my neighbor? 

xoxo,

Melissa
The Inspired Room