I found Linda’s blog on Stumbleupon as I was browsing one day. Her tagline caught my attention, and I spent a bit of time reading her posts and laughing hysterically. Since then, She and I have become blogger BFFs, and I really appreciate the fact that she is part of my tribe 🙂 I am sure that you will enjoy hearing her insights, and then you will spend the rest of your day in fits of laughter while perusing her blog. You’re welcome.
What is your niche?
I have a humor blog. It’s about finding the funny in everyday occurrences. There’s a lot of potty humor — it definitely gets a PG-13+ rating. It’s pretty low brow humor, and I have great, very involved commenters. We have a lot of fun there. It’s a very silly, goofy blog. I respond to every comment and it’s a fun two-way conversation.
What blogging conferences or workshops have you attended? Did you find them helpful?
I went to a Wordcamp. I know I am supposed to say nice things about it, but I did not meet any other personal bloggers. Everyone there ran a business blog, for themselves or for someone else and it was geared toward that. The person who gave a talk on the topic I was most interested in did not know anything about using a self-hosted site and could only talk about WordPress.com (which meant they knew nothing about widgets, getting subscribers vs. getting followers or monetizing your blog!). I think I would get a lot out of BlogU in Maryland. Those attendees seem to be my peeps.
What hosting do you use? Would you recommend it?
I have been blogging less than a year, and have only experienced exactly what I have now. I am on HostGator and WordPress.org. I researched that part pretty hard before deciding, so I have no regrets so far. I am really glad I chose .org and not .com for WordPress. HostGator works quietly in the background and I never think about my host. That’s good, right?
How do you keep organized? Do you use an editorial calendar?
Do you utilize any pop-ups or plug-ins on your site?
I have a whole post about pop-ups. I hate them with a passion. I endure them on friends’ blogs, but if I visit a new blog I find them intrusive and annoying. I judge you on your pop-ups. I can honestly say that not once have they made me do whatever they are asking me to do. I especially hate the ones that ask you to subscribe every time you go there, even if you are a subscriber. Come on now! My blog post about pop-ups was about those super passive-aggressive ones. Although I promised my readers I would never have them, I am almost thinking about putting one of my joke ones up for a while. As far as plugins, until about a month ago I would have told you I loved Jetpack. All of a sudden, Jetpack stopped sending out notifications for new posts and they can’t seem to get it fixed for me. That’s death to a blog. I am feeling the impact from it and I’m not loving them right now. I do love my Top Commenters plugin. It’s a way to give another slice of love to people who comment a lot. I encourage people to click on the Top Commenters’ blogs, so it’s a win/win. I have to give props to Akismet also. I have never had even ONE spam comment make it through. Not one. That’s pretty impressive.
What do you wish you would have known when you first started blogging? Did you get any really good advice from someone when you first started blogging?
*Singing* ♫ I blog alone. Yeeeeah, with nobody else… ♫
I do not know any bloggers personally in real life, so I was/am totally winging it. I got no advice at all. I’m almost glad I didn’t know the learning curve was so steep, because I may have opted out had I known that. I also didn’t know that I was going to have to set up a Facebook page, a Twitter page, Stumbleupon… That is where I draw the line. I don’t do any other social media, even though I hear Pinterest is a must. As you know, I’m holding out, Dara. Anyone that has ever asked me a question about blogging has gotten an answer with me telling everything I know. Some bloggers actually act surprised when they ask me how I do XXX, or where I got XXX. I always freely share. I’m not in competition with anyone, and will gladly share any knowledge that I have acquired the hard way. Just ask. Don’t go it alone like I did if I can help. I also didn’t really think about the community you build. It’s how I met you, and you and I WILL meet in real life.
Are there any bloggers that you follow for tips and advice?
Does your blog pay for itself? If yes, how long did it take you to get to that point? If no, how do you support your blogging habit?
Because of the nature of my blog, it’s hard for me to promote products. I had Adsense for a spell and didn’t like the ads it put on there — “Meet Chinese women online”, etc. I felt like a sell-out, and I discontinued them. I am an Amazon Affiliate and that is much more organic for me. So far, I have only used it in one post, but I did sell a LOT of Whirley Pops! I think it was successful because people could feel my genuine love for the product. I will only use it when the product is integral to the post. Basically, I suck it up and eat my expenses. I almost felt guilty about making money on that one post so I created a Trivia post to give one away right after that. My mind is always working though to figure out a way to create income using a trademarked phrase and logo I own. I hate when people call me creative. If I was so damn creative, I’d create a way to make money from this.
Linda, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. I love that you are so willing to help other bloggers on their road. I am sure people will be hitting you up for advice soon!
Check back next week for another #bloggerstarshine interview!