Today we have a special guest. Barbara of Blogging without a Blog will be joining us to talk about her blogging experience. I have never seen someone so capable of generating a discussion and building a community of fellow bloggers out there. She always has insightful questions to ask and I do believe she has helped me make my blogging better because if it. So without further adieu, here is Barbara…
Barbara, you are one of my favorite bloggers out there. I am sure all your “regulars” would be sad if suddenly your site no longer existed. We are all glad you got started in this whole blogging gig, but please tell us what inspired you to start blogging?
It’s not so much “what” as it is whom. When I started blogging I wanted to share all I’ve learned over the years, and that which I continue to learn. What I found was, when I started getting comments and meeting other bloggers, it was the visitors to my blogs that inspired me to go on. Something amazing happens when community begins to build on a blog.
Who is your current audience and why should they visit your site?
The audience I have are new, not so new, transitioning bloggers and some who don’t have a blog (yet). For any blogger who wants to hear what other bloggers are saying or who want to be challenged to think about that which we encounter when blogging, would feel comfortable in the BWAB community.
You have created a great community around your blog. Can you give us some advice on creating a similar community around our blogs?
First, I am very grateful for all who leave comments on my blog. Secondly, I carefully read each comment and strive to answer each and every one (although I may miss some that land on older posts). Third, I try to reciprocate and visit the blogs of those authors who visit mine. I see it as common courtesy and most times will also subscribe to their blogs so I can follow their progress. It’s not just about watching my community grow, but it about helping other grow theirs, too.
What do you think is the biggest benefit of blogging for society as a whole?
Blogs are filled with a vast amount of knowledge. What I love the best about blogs is that which is written (in blogs) is often not something we can find in a text book. By visiting blogs on a variety of subjects, we can expand our knowledge base and learn from the mistakes of others, as well.
What are your top 5 tips for new bloggers?
1) Make time to become active in blogosphere and comment on other blogs, especially smaller ones. This will aid in getting your blog found and building a community of like minded people.
2) Be courteous to other bloggers. I see our blogs as our “home in blogosphere”. Respecting the blogs of others is imperative. Even though we may disagree with an author’s point of view, we should never attack the author.
3) Blog responsibly. If you’re stating facts, do your research and make sure what you post is accurate. Also, choose your words carefully.
4) Be patient. Blog success does not happen overnight. Most big name bloggers didn’t begin to get recognition until they had blogged for nearly two years.
5) Don’t get hung up on the numbers. Compare your visitor statistics from month to month, not day to day. Checking your stats too often can stunt your creativity.
Who are your favorite bloggers that you read often and why?
Jeremy, I read too many to list. I like to read blogs on all subjects even if it’s a topic that does not affect me. I use blogs as a tool to become better educated on all topics.
How much time do you spend blogging every day?
That varies. If I’m busy on my paying job, I may only spend 2-3 hours a day blogging. However, if I’m caught up with my work, I can spend up to 8 hours a day on blogging activities. On weekends I only spend a minimal amount of time on my blogs.
You have some great ideas such as your “A.S.K Darren Rowse” posts and your New Blog of the Week. How did you come up with such amazing ideas for your blog?
The New Blog Of The Week series started in January of 2008 when I realized it was time for me to begin to pay it forward. I knew what a difficult time I had getting my blog “found” and I wanted to create a way of showcasing new bloggers so they would be “found” quicker than I did, and not get discouraged. My hunt began and the rest, you might say, is history.
The A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series started after I interviewed Lorelle. As I read her answers I realized how much knowledge she shared. That became a light bulb moment, thus A.S.K was born. When I interviewed Liz Strauss, Darren Rowse, and Andy Baily, I included them in the series. As I pursue interviews with other experts, their words of advice will be added.
It is obvious you have a lot of traffic coming to your blog. How did you do it?
Since I don’t use SEO (search engine optimization) very often, I find most of my traffic comes from referrals and from me visiting other blogs. For me that has worked well and my blog has grown at a pace that has been easy for me to adjust to. Had I used more SEO, I could have experienced faster growth, however I’m a big proponent of quality over quantity.
Do you have any blogging mentors?
What do you credit your initial success to?
Belief in myself that I could be a decent blogger. Add to that, patience, determination, perseverance and a love of sharing and helping others.
What do you think will help you to succeed even more in the future?
As I learn more about what goes on behind the scenes of blogging I’ll be able to spend less time tweaking my blog, and more time writing, visiting others and building my online reputation/presence.
What is one personal growth tip you can give our readers?
Be true to yourself. It’s easy to compare ourselves to others in blogosphere, but remember, you are a unique individual. There will never be another “you”. Blog accordingly.
Thank you Barbara for a wonderful interview. To read more and to join the BWAB community please head on over to Barbara’s website, Blogging without a Blog. See you over there!