1. How long have you been blogging?
Only about a year. The online youngsters don't call me Old Noob for nothing!
2. What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?
I loved reading good blogs even before I had my own. I have a collection I read regularly, but it wasn't until I went to the Women Writing the West Conference that a writing pal and I offered to post conference doings on their new blog so all the members could vicariously enjoy the gathering. We did and it was so easy and fun! Next, I actually started a yahoo discussion group, and just for holiday kicks, set up a 360 degree blog in that community called Queen of Christmas. Before I knew it, I had started several blogger blogs for various reasons, and suddenly I found myself reading professional blogger newsletters to get all the hot tips on improving my own sites. There's still so much to learn. I don’t know if I’d call them mentors exactly, but Chris Garrett and Yaro Starak certainly provide some excellent information to their readers.
3. Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?
I don't close the door on blogging to make money, though I hate the look of most click-the-link advertising. Visual clutter is tough on an artist’s eyes. Without question, blogs are marketing tools, whether to promote a book, a stained glass commission, the latest yarn shipment a store has received, the loveliest fused glass bowls, whatever. Everyone likes being up on the latest, and this is a simple way to impart information. There's a reason that newspapers have blogs and were first to jump on the blog bandwagon. Added content. Easy peasy added content that doesn't require high-tech knowledge. Family albums, store bulletins, town hall news - anyone could benefit from the use of a blog. Did I mention blog book tours? This one is linked to a squidoo lens for added impact.
4. What 3 things do you struggle with online?
I don't feel like I know enough yet to really have the online presence I'd like. I want a website with a shopping cart for my own products, but don't feel like I'm quite competent enough to handle that on my own. Blogs have been a nice stepping-stone in that direction.
I don't understand a lot of aspects like cloaking urls, html code, and other nitty-gritty regarding search engine optimization, but I am developing the courage and even interest in pursuing it further thanks to blogging. It's a bit like living in a foreign country. When you immerse yourself, you eventually learn the language and the practices.
Like anyone who is fascinated with the potential of the medium, I spend too much time on the internet exploring its vast horizons. It takes a bit of discipline fitting it into a normal busy life. Paradoxically, it also takes a bit of discipline to continue regular posting once the novelty has worn off a bit.
5. What 3 things do you love about being online?
First, reading the news without having to sit down with a real newspaper. Nothing gets dumped or goes up in smoke.
Second, having vast repositories of research information available at the touch of a button, including library card catalogs.
Third, connecting to communities of like-minded people via the written word. I'm out in the sticks and for the most part, feel pretty much like an alien from another galaxy. The internet connects me to kindred spirits.
I'm interested in reading what others have to say, so I'm tagging these good bloggers for their input:
Be sure to go read what they have to say, and bookmark their blogs which are always packed with interesting interviews, essays, tips, insights, and even recipes. Did I mention humor and good photographs? What about gorgeous standard poodles? And a very special treat for kitties and their people.