This weeks featured blogger is Nicole from See U In Sydney
When did you start your blog?
Why did you start blogging?
I came back from 2 years in the UK and was trying to look at Sydney with fresh eyes – through the eyes of a tourist. I was dead broke and swore to “find the exotic in my own backyard.”
Describe your blog in 20 words or less.
What to do and see in and around Sydney.
What are your 5 must have tools for blogging?
WordPress, iPhone, social media apps, laptop, camera.
What is your favourite part of being a blogger?
Improving my writing and forcing me to explore new places in Sydney. I’ve learned a lot about the technical sides of self-hosting a blog as well.
What would be the biggest thing you have learnt since starting your blog?
The importance of backups. I was hacked in 2011 and it was infuriating having to reload and reformat content (some posts I didn’t to save time). Thank heavens I had backups. I also need to start guest blogging and submitting content to other blogs. Building online relationships with other bloggers has been key to learning a lot and growing my audience.
If you could start again, what would you do differently?
Hmmm. Good question. Not quite sure. I think it’s good to just throw yourself in there. You learn so much along the way and from people you meet. It’s important to ask lots of questions and not feel isolated if you don’t know any bloggers in your immediate world.
What has been your blog’s biggest achievement?
Hits from all over the world – USA, Ukraine and Poland are among my biggest visitor groups. I was recognised in my local butcher (that was hilarious and a big thrill) … what a celeb! They remembered my face from my video and post on the Nepean River.
What do you find is the best way to help promote your blog?
Learning and interactions via social media. People I interact with via social media can be very supportive and often include other bloggers, writers and travellers. You also find a lot of blogs and posts via social media that you may not find through key word searches.
What advice would you have for new chick bloggers?
Back up your blog, ask lots of questions, interact with bloggers via social media, and attend any free events you can to help you learn about all things online. I started a Certificate IV in Information Technology (Wed design) before I started my blog. Even if you don’t want to be a coder or web designer it is good to understand what was going on behind a blogging platform such as WordPress. You can tinker with html from time to time and know where to look for information or experts who can help you.
Do you (or do you plan to) make any income from your blog?
My blog has allowed me to build a digital presence and identity. I teach and freelance related to social media via this identity and other employers (and earn income through as a result of this identity). I’m looking into a range of other complementary options to monetise my blog including offering various sponsorship and advertising packages. An e-newsletter is on the horizon. E-books are an idea I have toyed with for a while. I’d love to do a TAFE course on tour guiding so this brand and blog also sell or advertise tours. Lots of thoughts and options!
What future goals do you have for your blog?
To increase the amount of posts I do. I’ve never got myself into a routine. I have a lot on my plate including juggling four different part time roles plus studying a 2nd year of a Masters! It’s hard to fit everything in. You definitely see an increase of traffic when you post more regularly so I must really do this. Plus you need to give your local followers a reason to return. YouTube videos will feature more in my posts in 2013.
What is your all time favourite post that you would love people to read?
My trip to author and artist May Gibbs’ Sydney home, Nutcote. Her gumnut babies hold a special place in my heart. I liked my pics. I could have put more of me into the article, however, it sells this tourist site well and holds the key information for visitors. It tracks well in terms of hits and I keep it as one of the rotating posts on my homepage.
What is your most popular post (in number of comments, or traffic received)?
My most popular posts are neck and neck – one onFeatherdale Wildlife Park and the Bridge to Bridge walk along the Nepean River. They rate highly from keyword searches. There mustn’t be many blog posts on these locations and I must have nailed the keywords. The walk along the river is one of my popular weekend things to do … and is FREE! I love free.
Who are your 5 favourite chick bloggers and why?
1. The Adventures of Miss Piggy – A Sydney food blogger who often covers many Western Sydney locations. Being a fellow Westie it’s always good to see content that is not inner city centric. Great stories and pics plus the posts make me laugh … a lot. Many ideas for places to eat out as well as recipes.
2. Chocolate Suze – Another Sydney food blogger who makes me laugh. If you have a sweet tooth you will love this blog. Amazing pics! Plenty of recipes and you really feel involved in each sugary creation as it is baked before your eyes. Suze really puts herself and her partner into her writing. Her passion for food really shines through.
3. Valerie Khoo – A Sydney writer, speaker and founder of the Australian Writer’s Centre. Valerie shares practical writing, marketing and public relations tips. She also injects a lot of herself into her writing. Look out for her various fluffy pets, who feature often.
4. Mamamia – Publishing Queen Mia Freedman has gathered some wonderful writers with different styles. The content is diverse, lots of hot topics and I love their Twitter updates. Follow Mia and News Editor, Rick Morton, on Twitter and prepare to snort laugh. I know Rick isn’t a chick, yet I think he deserves a shout out.
5. Travelettes – A fantastic blog full of inspiring travel posts of places all over the world. I often turn green with jealously and have to stop reading. One of their writers is based in Australia, in Melbourne. They take submissions, and I’ve been meaning to send them something as they have featured Sydney. I follow them on social media too.