So pleased to be bringing back the Featured Bloggers on Blog Chicks. Love chatting to the wide variety of women bloggers we have on the list and finding out a little more about their blog and blogging history.
First up we have Kim from Frog Ponds Rock. Thank you Kim for taking the time share your wisdom with us.
When did you start your blog?
I started Frog Ponds Rock in October 2007 using blogger and moved to a self hosted dot com in May 2008.
Why did you start blogging?
My daughter Veronica (SleeplessNights) talked me into it. I was quite isolated and lonely in my rural community. My politics are a tad different from 80% of my neighbours. Veronica convinced me that people would be interested in what I had to say and to my surprise Von was right and here I am today talking to you Leigh
Describe your blog in 20 words or less?
An eclectic combination of photography, opinions, art and occasionally zombies
What are your 5 must have tools for blogging?
A platform that suits you. I use wordpress because it allows me to publish larger images than blogger. Other than that all you really need are:
Enthusiasm, Time, Discipline. Oh and a computer helps.
What is your favourite part of being a blogger?
The support I get from my readers who have become my friends. I bare my soul on my blog and my readers offer me spiritual bandaids. They listen to me, send me chocolate and comfort me. My internetz hold my hand when I am feeling wobbly and they occasionally make me wet myself with laughter as well.
What would be the biggest thing you’ve learnt since starting your blog?
That sometimes a throwaway line in a blog post can have painful consequences in real life. What I had written was fairly innocuous but one or two grumpy comments from very loyal readers venting their anger started off a pretty horrible chain of events. So I am always very conscious now of the power of not just my words but the words of my commenters as well.
If you could start again, what would you do differently?
I would have put that bloody friend connect widget up in 2008 instead of 2011 and I would have a zillion followers now instead of just one or two. I am such a Nigel.
What has been your blog’s biggest achievement?
Being nominated for Best Australian in “The Bloggies” in 2010 and coming home in second place behind the delightful, Not Drowning, Mothering. That nomination changed my life. My husband hated me being “on that bloody computer again” so I blogged in semi-secret. I rarely spoke about my blog because “The Spouse’s” eyes would glaze over with boredom, or he would get angry that I was sitting down at the computer wasting time, instead of busily vacuuming the walls and polishing the roof tiles like a good wifey, not that we even have a tiled roof *sigh* With “The Bloggies” nomination “The Spouse’s” attitude changed overnight and he was enormously proud of me. I can say things like, “I just have to finish this blog post” and “The Spouse” will wander off and do something until I have finished writing. It is good.
What do you find is the best way to help promote your blog?
I don’t actually promote my blog at all apart from a quick link on facebook and a tweet or two, when I have first published a post. Once I have written the words and they are out of my head I tend to forget about them and I wander off and so something else.
What advice would you have for new chick bloggers?
Firstly I would like to say if any new blogger has any questions or needs any advice I am always willing to help. This is a genuine offer. Find me on twitter and ask me, or leave a comment on my blog and if I can help I will, or I will know someone who can.
Try not to lose sight of why you started blogging in the first place. Try not get caught up in the hype and the noise of competitive blogging (unless of course that is what you want.) Never be afraid of who you are. Trust your own voice. Anyone else’s voice will never sound the same as yours. Do what you love and the money will always follow. Don’t EVER be afraid to ask questions.
Do you (or do you plan to) make any income from your blog?
As a working ceramic artist I accept commissions and I am in the process of adding a purchase option to my ceramic gallery. People interested in my ceramics can contact me and I will make them one off art pieces.
I will accept advertising on my blog if it fits with my personal ethos and so far the advertisers that have contacted me don’t quite fit the bill. I would love to swan about the place testing photographic equipment, making films with test cameras and looking important. But I am not motivated by money so I know that I would lose interest very quickly or get distracted by something shiny.
What future goals do you have for your blog?
I just take things day by day and I don’t have any future goals for my blog at all. Saying that reminds me that I do need to update my ceramic gallery but I am incredibly absent minded and I will probably forget about it. I have a habit of selling or giving away my work before I get a chance to photograph it.
What is your all time favourite post that you would love people to read?
Anything in my Best Of section will do but I particularly like this post.
What is your most popular post (in comments, or traffic received)?
The post that gets the most traffic is a post written in February 2010 about Dominos pizza ,when they tried to pass off “Not quite gluten free” pizzas as “gluten free” pizzas. “Is Dominos Gluten Free?” is my highest trafficked search term.
This is very closely followed by “How to make a dead Albatross Bowl” from November 2009
Who are your 5 favourite chick bloggers and why?
Only five, this is an impossible task. *sigh*
Veronica from Sleepless Nights, not just because she is my daughter but because she is a beautiful honest writer.
Tiff from My Three Ring Circus. Tiff makes me cry with the beauty of the poetry in her soul.
Kelley from Magneto Bold Too, anyone that has a Christmas tree in their toilet and publishes a how to be a ninja post has my vote.
Karen from Misc Mum. Karen was the leading light in the Aussie blogosphere when I first started and along with the Aussie bloggers mentioned above I am proud to call her my friend.
Jenny Lawson is The Bloggess, This woman is all class all of the time. I admire Jenny enormously but I would also warn people not to read Jenny whilst drinking cups of tea.