Monday, May 10, 2010
May's interview is here, and its with Ashley for previously known Makeitandloveit.blogspot.com NOW Makeit-loveit.com! I was so excited when she agreed to share her tips and tricks through an interview, even though she's super busy and cruched for time. To me, she's like a blogging SuperStar. Her blog is fabulous and so inspirational. Let's get started!
Please tell us about yourself perhaps describe your blog.
Hi, I'm Ashley from Make It and Love It. I am a wife to a busy grad student and a mom to 2 busy, yet smooch-able, toddlers. I run a craft blog with free step-by-step tutorials that I try to make simple enough for anyone to make. I am a wife, a mom, and a woman who likes a little style in her life.....so my projects range from baby projects, to home decor, to things I want for myself. I love figuring out how to make things myself and save a little money along the way......and as it turns out, I love sharing it with everyone out there. Creating is such a thrill, so I hope to help others experience that same thing for themselves! :)
Your Blog Has Grown Tremendously since when I first found it. I think you were somewhere around 1200 followers, which is amazing in itself. Now you have over 6000. That's astounding! Did you do anything in particular to help promote the growth you've experienced?
I'm not sure there was anything in particular to help the growth. At least not that I was intentionally doing. But I would sure love to know the real reason too.....Haha! But I do think posting regularly really helps the blog and keeps readers' interest.
Do you think having an ad on another's blog or site helps with growing a blog?
Oh, I'm sure it does. I think the more your name is out there, the higher your chances are of having more people stop by your blog. And the more popular a blog is that has your ad, the more people there will be noticing your ad on their blog.
Throughout your blogging experience, have you noticed if there is a difference in how you write your posts as to whether or not the readers enjoy it more or less?
Hmmmm.....I think keeping things real and letting my guard down really helps. I think allowing readers to see that I am a real person and make mistakes is really helpful. Okay, and therapeutic for me! It's nice to let everyone know up front that I am far from perfect.
How do you find a balance between writing personal posts about yourself/family and tutorial/informative posts?
That's tricky. I have to keep in mind what my blog is really about and what the readers are really coming by to see. But like I mentioned above, I think readers like to see that I'm a real person, so I try to throw in some personal things every now and then. And I love input from readers about things my family is going through too......so it's a definite perk to post something that I have a question about.
For bloggers looking to make a little money on their blogs, do you have any suggestions on what to do and how to go about it?
I'd say start with google ads. There's nothing to lose there. But the problem with using ads, is that if you don't have much traffic, you won't see much reward. But if you don't have much traffic, you won't have much interest from private businesses either. So try boosting your traffic first. Another thing, if you're starting a blog to make money.......you'll hate it and will most likely not earn any money. You have to love what you're blogging about so that you stick with it. Then eventually, you may start to earn a little money. When I started my blog, it was purely for my enjoyment. After a while, it grew and that's when I saw the potential to earn a little money from it. And wow, I am so grateful for the little money here or there that it brings in. We all have bills to pay (and pay for the projects), right? :)
I noticed that you do a lot of giveaways. Do you think that plays a part in your great success?
It may help. Giveaways are always fun but I have to keep it scaled back. There are enough interested people to have a giveaway every single day....and I am always so grateful for the generosity out there. But if I turn into a giveaway blog, I will lose the theme of my blog......and in turn, lose the readers who are there for my original blog content. Make sense? But having a giveaway once a week is the perfect balance for me and I love seeing what new shops are out there, and then sharing them with my readers!
When you're planning and writing your posts, do you do a whole week at once, or just one day at a time? Do you think it makes a difference?
Oh, I wish I had a whole week done at once. But I never have that much free time. I usually work during nap times and after the kids are in bed.......so I am continually working on posts, editing, and emails. And sometimes the idea comes to me just a few hours before I post a project. So I just work when I can and post whenever I want to. It works out pretty well though!
What, do you think, were some of the best moves you made to move your blog forward?
Haha.......I really wish I knew the real reasons. I am still sort of surprised that people stop by so often to see what I'm making. But honestly, I couldn't be happier. It has been such a fun outlet for me and such a fun way to meet new people. But I guess just keeping it real and blogging regularly.
Do you do a lot of interacting with other bloggers, like getting involved with blog hops, networks, link up parties and such?
I actually don't do a ton. And this is because of time. Everything takes a little extra time and sometimes I have to politely decline joining in on something because it's either that or sleep/family/emails/etc. Oh, how I wish for more hours in the day sometimes.
What is it, do you think, that keeps your readers coming back for more?
Well, I don't know everyone's exact reason, but I would say free content? I sure enjoy things that are free and I know others do too. Hmmm.....maybe also the fact that I'm showing my readers how to make things for themselves, rather than spending the money to buy them at the store. Those are my guesses.
Do you have any tips you could give growing blogs to increase their readership and growth or any advice you would give them on what to do and what not to do?
Like I mentioned earlier, enjoy what you're blogging about or it just won't last. And a funny tip.....be careful how you word things. Sometimes how something is written can be interpreted 10 different ways. I would hate to offend someone, so I try to be really careful about what I'm saying. But I KNOW I have said things all over the place that are interpreted incorrectly. And that's why I would just love to rent a big warehouse and have a big 'ol crafting party so I could talk to everyone face to face. That would help the issue! Now, to find that big warehouse....