Monday, April 5, 2010

April's Featured Interview: April!

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!

36 bloggy friends commented:

Rebecca @ Piggy Bank Dating said...

I should leave a comment after reading this post! :-) Thanks for the link and the comment on my blog!

Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue said...

I think this interview was very insightful and gave me a lot to think about as I try to promote my blog.

Kelli @ RTSM said...

Great tips! I'm thinking I may need a new more streamlined blog look soon:)

Dana @ The Coupon Challenge said...

Thanks for the link! This is such a helpful interview. I can't wait to read more tips next month!

Gay Vaughan said...

Thanks for leaving a comment and the link! Great advice here.
~Gay~
itsahodgepodgelife.blogspot.com

the thrifty ba said...

thanks-this is the perfect post for me! im trying to get people to notcice my blog (thethriftyba.blogspot.com)!
and thanks for stopping by my blog earlier!

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

This is some great food for thought! I really appreciate you stopping by my blog earlier today. I can't wait to see your upcoming tips!

Sugar Bananas said...

Thanks for posting this great interview. Lots of great tips. Nice to 'meet' you :)

Elaine said...

Thanks for stopping by Honey Pie Accessories! I'm following you back and looking forward to more tips and tricks!

Kristi Flanagan said...

Thanks for the tips - you rock!

Kristi
Punkin Seed Productions

janimal said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and sending me this link. Interesting interview.

Karen said...

thanks for commenting on my blog! that's a pretty cool interview....very informative! i think i'm going to follow you, and check out her site some more. :)

i'm all about giveaways, but i don't have any kids (or any on the way), so i'll let the mommies participate in that one!

Brittany Ciara said...

Love April! She is so funny and helpful! This is such a great thing you do.. :) I would love to be featured!

Nonna Beach said...

As one who has watched April's blog grow, I am happy for her and all her success. She is so talented !!! Great interview !
I am not really interested in a huge following on my blogs. It's a hobby for me that I enjoy and it is easier to get to know your blog friends if you don't have a large following. I do my blogs to keep track of what I'm doing, feeling and thinking about and to connect with some very nice people out there in the blog universe. I like my own little corners of the net to hang out in with no pressure to constantly post or do a giveaway.

For those who have huge followings, I totally stand in awe !!!

L ~DIY Diva~ said...

thanks for posting this interview over at my craft blog! hopefully using the tips will pay off....umm yeah LITERALLY!

Denise said...

Following you over from Trendy Treehouse’s Marketing Monday. I am loving and following your blog 

kim @ kimmykats said...

Thanks for stopping by kimmykats! I appreciate the info. It has been fun learning about blogland and trying out new ideas!

Sarah said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog and letting me know about this interview. Lots of great tips and things to think about. Thanks again, Sarah

becca said...

that was some great advice! thanks for sharing.

Lanie Ree said...

Ha, the commenting thing definitely works! I followed a link you left in a comment on a friend's site. Awesome.

michelle@somedaycrafts said...

Thanks for letting me know about the interview! I read it!

Le Chateau des fleurs said...

Hey beautiful!! Very good interview....I can relate to what she says :)
Thanks for your visit and leting me know this! You have yourself a great blog!
Gros bisous
Frenchy

Sylvia (at) Lily's Pad and Petals said...

Great interview and thanks for stopping by my blog and for your nice comments.

marissa said...

what a wonderful feature. Thanks for visiting my blog and letting me know you had such a neat article up

Jessica Guthrie said...

Thanks for stopping by and letting me know! I was already a follower but I made sure I subscribed by email so I don't miss a post. Plus I am gonna swing over to Aprils now! Have a wonderful week!

Carmie, the Single Nester said...

Great interview and helpful hints. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Pat Harris said...

Thank you for leaving a comment and the link at junkblossoms.

Christin@Pregnant with power tools said...

Good tips! I'm just starting to realize how important comments really are - to give and respond to!

- Christin

Lisa @ Another Day Today said...

Hi Sarah, thanks for your visit and follow! I'm following you as well.

Great interview with great blogging tips :)

Polly said...

Great ideas! Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

Carrie @ Dittle Dattle said...

Thanks! This was very useful.

Gabrielle @ i.craft said...

Fantastic post and interview... it is tough to get the notice you want if blogging is meant to create income, but time and consistency usually pays off. :)

Thanks for the follow, I'm following you now!

Joy said...

Thank you for the reminders to stick with the simple design and be ourselves. When I stop having fun doing my blog is when I know I've gone in the wrong direction! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving me this super helpful link to yours!

Heather said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, commenting and telling me about this interview, I enjoyed it!
Off to snoop around your blog some more! ;)
Heather @ www.savingmoneylivinglife.com

justkiddingaroundatlanta said...

Thanks for the great tips!! As a new blogger, I appreciate the advice! :o)

Musings From A French Cottage said...

These are some really great tips. Thanks for sharing!

God Bless,
Kathleen

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