Interviews to help Bloggers Stand Out From the Crowd!
In order to help others out on one of the toughest parts of blogging: getting noticed, I've decided to do some interviews with pros who have experience and know how to share with others. This month's featured interview is with fabulous blog designer April from April Showers Blog Design. If you already read her blog then you know that she is super fun, energetic, and her designs are always gorgeous.
So, why did you decide to start a blog?
Just to write about my life! I didn't think it would turn into anything else! But thankfully, I've kept it a personal blog too as it migrated into a design site.
How did you decide on what your blog should be about? Was it difficult to decide on your subject, or did it just come naturally?
I just decided to be completely honest and share things that people seemed to avoid on their blogs. I don't see the point in pretending or hiding who I am. So I just let whatever weird things come to mind OUT. No matter who likes or dislikes it. Then I finally embraced my creativity and put it to good use!
What is it about your blog, do you think, that keeps your readers coming back every day?
Heck I don't know! I really wonder that myself. I like to mix it up and never just do plain ol' boring post after post. I'll do a personal post, a video blog, a giveaway, post some pictures...just keep things dynamic. Then I also offer free stuff which is probably 90% the reason why people come to my blog anyway. LOL!
Do you think it would be the same if you didn't input so much of your personality into your writing?
Heck no! Personality is everything! Even if you think you're dull, you aren't. People always seem to tell me that they can never write anything interesting because they just can't think of anything good. Most of what I post isn't planned...I don't think about it beforehand or try too hard. If I'm just sitting there at my desk and my cat starts staring at me awkwardly...I'll write about it. Never be too afraid to post weird or funny things...who cares if you get like one comment? If people hate it, move on to the next topic. It's all about YOU not THEM.
What kind of things do you do to reach readers? Advertise on other people's sites, do lots of giveaways, nothing and they just come to you? Do you have any suggestions about that for others?
I use the Chic Chick Media widget, I offer blog designs and things like that for free (for very popular sites) in exchange for sponsorship space, I ask people to take my button, I offer freebies with my button embedded in them, I USED to (when I was just starting out) comment on people's blogs like a MADWOMAN. That's what I think started it all.
When it comes to designs, do you think any color or style in particular really help a blog get noticed and stand out to readers?
People are really starting to like the clean, modern, and simple look versus a narrow cluttered and scrappy look. If it's easy to read with clean text, colors that work well together, and well-thought-out divisions of columns and widgets...then people are more inclined to stay on the page.
Did your business start out slow in the beginning and then escalate? Or did business boom from the start?
Um, honestly blog design is a pretty "happenin" business. The only time I recall it being "slow" was when I closed my waiting list! LOL! That's why I'm not afraid to promote other blog designers...there is PLENTY of business to go around. But right now I have more business than I EVER have. It's soo crazy. Especially for someone like me who would forget their head if it wasn't attached.
When you first started out, what did you do to get noticed?
Gave away free stuff. I did a lot of "bribing", ha ha!
Was there ever a time you wanted to give up? What kept you going?
Oh my heck YES. I literally work from 8am-5pm daily, workout from 5:30-6:30, then work on designs from about 6:30-midnight or later or pull an all nighter. Then catch up on sleep on the weekends. But it's never enough! I must be a horrible business person because I'm always behind! So yes...that part is tough. But getting new followers, getting emails from people who like my site, having people CARE in any way shape or form about what I do makes it completely worth it.
For bloggers who are just beginning, do you have any suggestions for them to help their blog grow?
Don't wait for people to find your blog. It won't happen with the gazillions of blogs out there today. Follow as many blogs as possible and COMMENT. Leave TONS of comments. Just starting out, that should get you plenty of notice.
Anything else you would like to share or tips you want to give?
I think I've said my fair share! Ha, ha!
Thanks again April for sharing such great tips!