1.) Wendy, first off I would like to thank you for taking the time to do this. I really appreciate it. I was wondering if you can tell my readers a bit about yourself, and how you got into blogging?
Sure! I’m pretty boring, actually – been married for almost fifteen years to my high school sweetheart, three kids, and we live in a wonderful small town in the Northwest that probably fulfills every small town cliche there is (and we still love it). I got into blogging about five years ago, mostly because I love to write and it was instant gratification for that itch.
2.) Marriage, children, and working towards a degree must all make it very difficult to concentrate on blogging. How do you find the time and energy to focus?
Focus? Energy? Time? You’re joking, right? Actually, it seems to work out pretty well with the help of something called 5 AM and lots of coffee. Plus, I dropped the school this year, but I plan on finishing before 2008 (knock on wood) since I only have 20 credits left. I also tend to work extremely fast and produce a lot in a short amount of time; I know that’s a blessing and I’m thankful. It also helps that I’m absolutely determined not to let my work overtake my home life – which means that I work around the kids’ schedules and I try my darndest not to work on the weekends. It works out pretty well.
3.) Can you describe to me the differences you have to deal with in say your activities on a site like LifeHacker, which is well known in the blogosphere, and starting out on a brand new blog like you have for b5media?
The biggest difference is probably finding your audience, finding your niche. With Lifehacker, there’s a built-in demographic that you’re writing for – you’re already out there, so to speak, so half your job is done for you. At b5, the complete opposite is true and that’s my biggest obstacle; however, the perk is I get to talk about David Hasselhoff. A lot.
4.) Participating in the web for as long as you have, I am sure you have opinions on where this whole blogging/social media thing is heading. Do you think anyone is doing it well enough to really effect the grip that mainstream media has on the world? And do you think you will still be able to blog for money in five years?
Honestly, I see traditional media going the way of the dinosaur unless they get their heads out of the sand and check out this new thing called the webernets. For example, I don’t know anyone in my age group that depends exclusively on the TV or newspapers for news; they go straight to the Web because A)it’s instant and B)they control access. For instance, election night? I wanted to hear about our school bond passing or not passing, and I didn’t even bother to watch the tube, I just Googled it. Another example: Britney and Kevin (come on, you know you’re interested). Within one hour I knew the whole scoop, but next week, an entire week later, after the fact, the gossip rags will have some info that I’ll have to pay for to get to. No, thank you.
And as for anyone doing it well enough…I can’t point to any one organization and say that THIS Is the savior of social media; I think the whole conglomeration of those who would classify themselves in the social media category are doing pretty well. It’s now a matter of getting the word out past the geek firewall to the regular folks – that’s when all this stuff is really going to take off. Most people who get on the Web are just now discovering that they can watch Family Guy on YouTube or Google themselves; but when they get their heads around Digg, or Yahoo Answers, or Netscape, or Wikipedia….they’ll be amazed.
Blogging for money in five years..I don’t see why not. Unless you know something I don’t….do you? DO YOU? Seriously, lots of people make their living on the Web and I see that actually growing instead of diminishing…it’s just too enticing a prospect to go away.
5.)If someone was looking to get to where you have with your blogging, what tips or advice would you give them?
Number One: don’t expect overnight success. So many people get into blogging or tweaking something on the Web and don’t take into account that there’s no magic formula to making this work. It’s just as much hard work as any other job, except you do get to wear your pj’s all day (if you want to). I would also say that you need to find your niche, find what works for you, instead of trying to piggyback on someone else’s success. Lastly, have some fun with it.
Some great advice there. Having fun with blogging should be pretty high on the priority list. Thanks again to Wendy for taking the time out of her day to answer some questions between writing on b5media, and dealing with her kids and cats.