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I was recently interviewed by a blogger buddy, Rosie, for her Fierce Friday series, and it was awesome and weird at the same time. It was awesome because it is super cool to be recognized by a fellow blogger as someone worthy enough to be interviewed. Sometimes while doing this blogging thing you think your words and effort are just blowing around cyberspace like a big ol’ tumbleweed, and it is pretty cool to realize that someone out there is paying attention. It is weird because being interviewed is like a thing for celebrities, and I’m just…me 🙂
I decided to follow in Rosie’s footsteps and start my own series of interviews exploring the ins and outs of blogging. Hopefully, we will all find some good tips and practices here. I love the blogging community, and the positivity and helpful spirit that I have encountered. I read somewhere that there is enough shine for all of us. So, let’s all sparkle together, STARSHINES.
I “met” Anne Marie on Twitter in a #Sitsblogging party, and I consider myself lucky to be a part of her tribe. Anne is always ready to help out and give advice, even though her life must be crazy with all the things on her plate. I am not sure how she accomplishes all that she does! She is an inspiration to those of us that think we don’t have the time 😉
What is your blogging niche? Are your blog and your podcasts related?
I consider Crunchy, Crafty, and Highly Caffeinated to be a family lifestyle blog. I offer content for parents and kids, but also people who aren’t in that phase of life right now. The blog and podcasts do offer some crossover, but not too much. The podcasts have more specific niches. Universe Box is a pop culture and entertainment news show, Legends of Gotham is a fancast for the FOX tv show Gotham, and We’re so LOST is a fancast for the ABC show Lost. These are the 3 shows we currently have in production, but we are always looking to expand.
What platform/host do you use for your blog and why?
We are on GoDaddy with WordPress websites. My husband set up the technical aspects of them so I don’t really know the why 🙂
In what ways do you monetize your blog? Your podcast?
CCHC is monetized through Google ads and Target and Amazon affiliate links. I won’t lie, it doesn’t make too much money. The podcasts are monetized through Google ads on the websites and a Patreon and Paypal donation buttons. We are hoping to expand to some specific merchandise over the next year.
Do you use an editorial calendar? How do you stay organized with the blog and all of the different podcasts?
I have tried time and again to create an editorial calendar, but I am awful at sticking to it. I prefer to be inspired as I go…which has been known to bite me in the butt! The podcasts are a different story. They have set times for recording, and since we stream live with an interactive chat room, we only reschedule when necessary. The organization part is a little rough, but the consistent recording schedules do help. When you know that something is done at the same time every week, it is planned into your day and becomes a habit. Also, I am addicted to social media on my phone.
Can you tell us a little about the process of running a podcast?
For the fancasts we watch each episode twice – once as a viewer, and once to take notes and create theories. Then we have a doc that we complete to point out what we thought was interesting, important, or could be considered a crazy theory. For Legends of Gotham we also do a lot of tweeting. On Mondays, I schedule promotional tweets before the episode and then we live tweet during. Universe Box is a whole different process! I spend a chunk of the morning looking up stories before putting together our topical (teaser) video and doing social media promotions. The sitting down to record is honestly the easiest and quickest part of the entire process. My husband has always handled the post production work, but I am hoping to learn more of that soon.
How do you promote the blog and podcasts on social media?
Ha! I guess I kind of just answered this, but I’ll elaborate. We have a pretty active community of listeners for our podcasts which lead to high interaction on social media. For CCHC I am in the process of converting my Facebook page to a group and I try to schedule out tweets using Buffer. I am taking a step back from blogging, so I thought that the group would be better to not lose connection with my audience…now I just need to get people to join it!
Where can we find you and listen to your podcasts?
You can access everything from blogs to podcasts to books (my husband is a writer too!) at universebox.com. Universe Box is the parent company of everything. Our podcasts are all available on Stitcher Radio and iTunes, as well as most podcast catcher apps.