We have asked our blogger community to answer a few blogging questions about themselves, with the aim of getting to know them and their blogs a little better. These will be published as a series of blog posts, which we hope will make interesting reading. Carry on reading if you’d like to find out more about the bloggers who are active on Bloggers Required. You can view other blogger Q&As here, and you can complete your own here.
Please tell us a bit about your blog?
Witches’ Brew was founded in 2009 by four women with distinct and unique interests who wanted to tell their stories with a funny spin that just wasn’t happening in the blogosphere. We blog about entertainment, pop culture, music, fashion and everything women care about.
Q1. How and why did you get into blogging?
I have a degree in broadcast journalism, so writing for information has always been a passion of mine. But, writing for fun and entertainment was something that I wanted to do but needed an outlet to do it. What I didn’t know back in 2009 was that I had mutual friends who were also looking for a similar outlet. We began talking about the blog in late 2008 and “birthed” Witches’ Brew on Valentine’s Day in 2009. Our goal is always to add our unique voices to topics in ways that you won’t find on traditional lifestyle or entertainment blogs. We’ll never just post pics of an event. We’ll give you analysis and funny captions, too! Nearly 5 years later, we’ve won four Black Weblog Awards and are starting to become recognized by people that I respect in the blogosphere. I’m always shocked when people say “oh, I know Witches’ Brew” or “I love you ladies.” I hope I never get used to that.
Q2. Where do you get your writing inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration comes from current events. Lately, I’ve expanded to doing more product reviews. I’ve always been a beauty and hair product junkie. Blogging just feeds that desire.
Q3. If you could offer some words of encouragement to a newbie or frustrated blogger, what would they be?
Just write! Even if it doesn’t make sense at the time, just start jotting down your thoughts and go from there. Your audience will find you but he key is having something there for them to find. Even after almost 5 years of blogging, I still get frustrated when I write something that I consider nothing short of a masterpiece and no one comments. I’ve learned that that sometimes I’m just blogging to get my voice out there and get the ideas out of my head. And then, sometimes, my words matter to the reader and they acknowledge that, which always feels great.
Q4. What has changed most about blogging culture/the blogging industry since you started?
Initially, we blogged and that was it. Our Facebook and Twitter presence grew shortly after. I’d say the biggest change is having to find ways to integrate all these other forms of social media into our business model. Blogging has become less of a hobby for me and more of a business that I want to get deeper into because of that. Also, when we started blogging, that’s where our focus was. I’ve since learned through attending seminars, workshops and conferences (like Blogalicious) that blogging is merely a foundation or a launching pad. The key to making your blog work is to step from behind the computer and start hosting events and looking for other ways to monetize what you offer.
Q5. What daily tools and platforms do you use in your blogging routine, for research, promotion, sharing and other?
I use Feedly to keep an eye out on stories. I do check StatCounter to see how many people are visiting our site. I’m a big fan of HootSuite. It’s just so helpful in keeping everything organized and with three other managers of the site, it helps me see what the other ladies are posting to Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis.
Q6. Do you understand your blog analytics, and how important do you think they are? Please share some best practice.
I’ll admit, I have a lot to learn about analytics. I read them often and I have to use them in my day job, so that’s helping me better understand them in my “blog life.” I will say that it’s been helpful to use the trick of seeing what the audience is searching on your site and then occasionally providing them with that content to keep your numbers and engagement up. Facebook’s Insights have been helpful in showing us what resonates with our audience which has grown tremendously. Our Facebook audience alone has grown almost 30% over the last six months.
Q7. Where do you hope blogging will take you in the future?
My goal is to blend blogging and branding. I currently do some social media consulting, but I would love to become a real tastemaker who is able to bring bloggers and web savvy folks together with brands and public relations people to bring real content and product directly to the audience. I love bringing people who have skill A but need to meet folks with skill B together. I guess you could say that I want to become a “Dot Connector.” That’s what I hope my blogging and social media efforts are doing.
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