Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Interview With: My Blogging Muse

Smart is the new Sexy.
Awkward is the new Cool.
Flawed is the new Beautiful.
This week's interview is with my campus newspaper adviser Melissa Blake. Not only is she a fantastic leader in the classroom, but she is also a blogging celebrity! I consider Melissa my blogging muse because she was one of the first people who encouraged me to create a blog, and since has supported me along the way: whether it be with blog post ideas, layout, or being the person to talk about writing with. Melissa is one of the sweeetest, most fascinating people I know, and we could all learn a little from her blogging style! Here, she spills her blogging secrets about her blog, So About What I Said...
Tell us a little bit about So About What I Said...
When I started my blog, I immediately knew I wanted to incorporate as much of my life into it as possible. As a writer, I'm a storyteller by nature, so I thought "Hey, the disability and love niche hasn't been explored too much yet." So I sort of latched on to that as I began thinking of a blog title. The title is, if you know me, exactly appropriate. I'm an honest person, and that's good...usually. Until I inevitably say the wrong thing and then find myself saying, "so about what I said..." As I developed the blog over the first few months, I realized I loved writing about two things: my disability and my search for love with a physical disability. And of course, I had to add my own brand of humor and sarcastic wit to the posts, too!

How did you get into blogging?
I started blogging in November 2008. Looking back, I actually wish I would have started sooner, as I soon learned blogging is essential for a writer in the age of the Internet and social media. I'd read several blogging books and then tried to put what I'd learned in to action. I'm still learning, though, and hope I never stop learning!

Do you work on building readership? If so, how?
Readership - both building and maintaining it - is a big part of blogging. Lots of times, people start a blog and expect people to just show up. But, like a book, people can't read your work unless they know it's out there. And that's sort of how I've always viewed my blog, as sort of a cross between an online magazine and a very, very open and honest diary of sorts. I'm always eager to read new blogs and have formed lots of great relationships through blogging. You really just have to go out there on the big Internet and find some blogs that you love. Those blogs will lead you to other blogs and so on. It's sort of like the domino effect. You can end up in the coolest places!

Is there an average amount of stories you post per day/ week?
I had a bit of trouble with that in the beginning. It takes some experimenting to find your "groove" as a blogger. I've found that I average about 3 posts a day. I like to mix serious, more text-dense posts with more light-hearted posts. This reflects my personality, I think. But I always try to post at least one new Letter To My Future Husband each week.

What are your favorite posts to write? What kind of posts get the most comments? The Letters To My Future Husband series was one of my first blog "regulars" and people have really responded to it. That's one of my favorites to write because it let's me be creative and romantic. I also love posting what I think of as more of the magazine-like part of my blog in MEMO TO MEN.

Where do you see So About What I Said, down the road?
I'm really enjoying telling my story in an open and brutally honest way. That is something that will never change. In the future, I hope to connect with other bloggers as well as increase my readership, and maybe even work on a book based on my blog. I love that, with blogging, there really are no limits!!

What is one tip you've learned that you would share with other bloggers?
I call them the Three Cs of blogging: consistentency, commenting and compelling. Consistent in that you develop a regular posting schedule that readers can count on. Commenting on other blogs to get your name out there and make other frends in the blogging community. And compelling in that you have unique and interesting content

How much time do you spend blogging?
I'm a freelance writer and newspaper adviser, so much of my time during the work week is devoted to blogging. I've taken to view it as another part of my job, a part I've fallen in love with!
What's the most difficult aspect of blogging for you?
As with freelance writing, blogging takes a certain amount of discipline. I'm still learning that, and it's helped to keep a running list of post ideas. It makes posting regularly that much easier!

What keeps you interested? Brings you back to blogging everyday?
Blogging is a very cathartic experience for me, so it's almost a form of therapy. I love being able to lay my feelings out there and not be afraid to have people read and respond to them. I've had my fair share of critics, but honestly, they just give me the drive to keep going. And as a writer, my blog is a great portfolio of my writing all in one place!

Do you comment on other blogs very often?
YES!! That's a hallmark of a good blogger. Part of my "blogging routine" is commenting on 10 blogs every day. That gets me out in the blogosphere and I'm able to see what people are talking about, what's going on and the chance to find lots of awesome blogs! There are so many good ones out there!

What is the most rewarding aspect of blogging?
It's extremely rewarding to read comments from people who can identify with what I write and be able to relate to it. That goes for all writers, I think.

What advice do you have for fellow bloggers?
Write about what you know and write about something you're passionate about. If you don't, you'll lose interest easily. And so will your readers.


MK said...

Wow! She sounds really cool, and the tips on blogging are awesome. I've just started becoming an active blogger, and plan to incorporate all of what she's mentioned :)

little miss sunshine said...

I love this one! Thanks for sharing it.

Melissa Blake said...

JESSI, I am SO honored to be on your blog. Thank you!! xoxo

Zoe G. said...

Heyyy :D this is so cool. I'm going to use her blogging tips.

Keda said...

I already follow About What I Said, so this interview gave real insight into the person behind the blog, something which I really enjoyed. You get to know a little about a person from what they blog about (what they find time for), but interviews like this open up the way they view things, why they start things, etc.

Thanks for the insight!

Ashton King said...

Very nice interview and great tips!

ck said...

So Melissa Blake is your campus newspaper adviser? She is so cute and -yess!- smart. If only I were a boy ..

I love your blogging tips, melissa. And thank you jessi, for interviewing her. I've been already following her blog and I'm glad for getting closer to her a lil bit more. :)

Erica said...

Very inspiring and great tips!

little miss sunshine said...

I've just started following So, About What I Said..and I love it! Thank you so much for introducing us to such a lovely lady :)

Sara said...

I'm excited and want to follow this blog as well! :)


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