Here is an Interview with Blogger Claudia Blanton of blog Avalon Media.
1. Can you tell us about you in a few lines?
I am a published Author, Designer, Social Media Expert and Entrepreneur. My passion is creativity, and I love assisting others in reaching their potential, while pushing to reach my own. As an avid reader and learner, I love exploring new concepts of personal growth, may that be via online or offline pursuits.
2. How did you get into blogging?
Originally I began blogging as a way to showcase some of my own writing, such as my Flash Fiction stories and poetry. It was a fun way to connect with other people. At that moment, I had no idea that blogging could be a part of a consistent business model.
3. What is the best service a blogger can give to their readers?
Two things – be consistent and be patient. Any passive income stream – and blogging falls under this – takes time and effort to build into something you can actually monetize, if that is your goal. If your goal is to grow an audience and connect, that also takes time. There is a lot of noise out there, so it will take a little while to get noticed. But if you bring quality content on a regular basis, people will come back to see what you have to say.
4. How do you manage your time for blogging?
With an editorial calendar and self-discipline. It really simple actually – if you want results you have to put in the work, and have to do it consistently. Twice a month, I try to brainstorm and outline what I am going to write about over the following days, and then I schedule what I need to do. If the post needs research, than I schedule research time, for a specific day – not a specific time during that day, as I do not micromanage my day. There are too many variables within the other ventures I have going on, so that I can not be that specific in planning my actions. My husband and I are currently assisting another entrepreneur to scale his business, and that means that I have to be able to jump on a moments notice, when need arises, so that affects my ability to plan my writing time more precisely. And I am also working on a book, am in the midst of designing a new website, and have to attend to my Print on Demand Stores, which means I need to provide new art/design content on a regular basis. So I have learned to be flexible in my approach.
5. What strategy helped you to get more traffic to your blog?
Utilizing various forms of social media. I am constantly building my social media reach, which in turn allows me to direct my followers to my work and my blog. I post relevant and up to date information for them, and in the middle of it showcase my blog and my art. I try to truly connect with people on those platforms, not just dump links to my stuff on them. That does not work, but it is a mistake many bloggers, and artists make – they only post “Look at my stuff” type of info, and wonder why no one looks at their posts. It is about building relationships, giving people value, serving their need for constant new and relevant information, and then they are willing to read your things, and purchase your art, because they already trust you, and know you. Oh, and try to connect with influencers in your field. Which is surprisingly easier to do, than most people think. Successful people love to hear constructive and positive comments. They also love when you share their stuff – do all of this before asking anything from them. I think the best formula for success is – give first value to whomever you are trying to connect with, and only then ask for attention in return. Business and blogging is about service.
6. How was your initial days of blogging?
Disorganized. I was trying to find my voice, and trying to find out what exactly I wanted to focus on. It took me a while to shape a theme – a niche – out of that mess that is in my head, lol. I am interested in so many different topics, so I had a very hard time narrowing it down, still do, because I want to do it all, and I want to do it now – which of course is not possible. So, I had to learn to keep this side of my under control. That is a work in progress.
7. What was your most challenging situation in your blogging life?
Dealing with distractions. Like I already said, I already have so many subjects that I am interested in, and then there are demands from other angles, so that I sometimes get frustrated because I want to focus on my own work, but I have to balance that with making sound financial decisions. I am working on eliminating the need to depend on having to make those choices by increasing my passive income streams – such as through blogging and through my art – but I have two kids that have to go through college, and I am quite ambitious when it comes to financial goals. One of those goals is that they will not have student loans to pay off once they are finished with school, and will not have to work during their college time, and rather focus on their studies.
8. How blogging changed your life?
I am not sure if blogging changed my life directly, but it has indirectly, as it has opened my life to possibilities that I used to only dream off. It has turned from a hobby to a part of a business plan that includes helping others to reach the same financial rewards I am seeking and reaching without becoming one of those “internet marketers”. It allowed me to expand my artistic horizon, call myself an Artist and an Author, and has made it possible to connect with people from all over the world, ranging from the US to Dubai.
9. People wants to make money online, do you think that blogging is the best way to make money? Do you have any tips for those people who want to make money online?
As to if blogging is the best way to make money online – the short answer is no. There are no best ways to make money online, it depends on your interest and ability to communicate what value you have to offer. It can be, and should be a part of your over all business model if you are interested in making money online.
The first things I would ask you, and have asked others that I have helped is – to define how much money you are seeking to make (how much you want to make and how much you must make in order to keep your current lifestyle), and what your passion is – are you an artist, an Author, Gamer, or a film enthusiast. From that point forward – and after knowing what someone strengths are – there are specific strategies on can implement. Beginning this summer, I will be available to take on more clients to help on that journey, which is highly individual.
10. What are your achievements from blogging? Do you have any tips for upcoming bloggers?
The achievement most important to me at this very moment, relating to blogging would be, that I have learned to define what I want to achieve, have discovered where my strengths are, and how I can use that to assist others. I have reached been able to assist quite a few people with defining their own dreams and goals, so that means a lot to me, more than the monetary compensation. Tips for upcoming bloggers? Find your unique voice by consistently exploring different writing styles and post formats. Find a way to communicate what makes you, you. And be off service to your readers, above all.