Friday, June 5, 2015

Bigs and Littles Blogging Network: Q&A from Ember Grey + a Giveaway

About a month ago I joined a network called Bigs & Littles Blogging Network hosted by Chelsee and Christine.


I was paired up with Emily over at Ember Grey and so far it's been great. Emily has tons of amazing knowledge about blogging that she's shared with me. Today, we thought that we'd share with you! She'll be posting my answers to her questions over at her blog today, so stop by and check those out!

1. What made you start blogging and what do you enjoy about blogging the most?

I have always loved to write and have always loved to share my written thoughts with others, as well as get to know other people who communicate in the written form :) I actually started blogging privately (for family and friends) 7 years ago but didn't venture over to the public blogging world until about a hear and a half ago. I had just left my corporate job to focus on writing full time and knew that a public space was my next step. 

The friendships made through blogging have been the sweetest surprise in the whole experience! I never knew you could get to know and care for a group of people who share your craft, most of whom you've never met. It's a crazy notion but it's true. While my friendships with other bloggers definitely helps keep me coming back to my space to write and connect, I also just have a passion for writing and encouraging others, and that's what I enjoy the most about blogging. 

2. You host two link-ups (Twelve Months of Bliss & Grateful Heart Mondays). How did you start those collaborations and what are your tips to hosting things like that?

I knew early on that I wanted to host a linkup of some kind. I wanted one day a week where the writing topic would already be established for me (taking the pressure off of having to come up with something new each day), and I wanted to start building community within the blogging world.

Twelve Months of Bliss is a newer linkup and involves a monthly challenge that lasts one year. I created and hosted this 12 month challenge back in 2010 with a small group of people and while I did not offer a linkup at that time, the participation was so great that I knew I'd bring it back one of these days. 

Grateful Heart Monday actually began with just myself participating! Each Monday, I began to list out things I was grateful for and then shared it on my blog. Before I knew it I had a few people who wanted to post the same kind of post each Monday and I thought a linkup would be a great way for all of those posts to be in one spot. Truth be told, when the Grateful Heart Monday linkup first began, there were only 2 people linking up for a good month (myself being one of those people). Linkups with actual topic prompts or themes can take awhile to gain attention and build but the dedication is worth it, especially as you watch it grow!

There are many linkups that are rule-free, where anyone can linkup any post they want and don't have to mention anything about having linked up. While those can still be fun to join, it was important to me that Grateful Heart Monday stayed true to what it was - the entire point to the linkup is to start your week out on a positive note (aka: a specific topic: writing about the things you're grateful for), and to encourage others to do the same (aka: noting the Grateful Heart linkup by linking back to the post so that others know where to go to join in too, as well as read other Grateful Heart posts.)

Either way is fine, a rule-free or one with rules, but I think it IS important to spell out those rules clearly if you have them. Mine are always included at the end of each Grateful Heart post.

3. I'm always curious about blog email newsletters. Do you offer an email newsletter for your blog or just a subscription option? If you do have a newsletter, what is the appeal versus using a reader like Feedly, Bloglovin' or a Feedburner?

I have an option where people can sign up to receive my posts via email but no, I don't have a newsletter. For me a newsletter would be not only more work on top of what I'm already working on, but it's typically duplicate of what I've already shared on my blog. I think I'm only signed up to receive newsletters from two people and both of them own shops and don't necessarily blog every day. If I'm already following you on Bloglovin' (a platform I really love, by the way), I'm not going to also read duplicate information on your newsletter - there just isn't enough time in the day!

4. Like most bloggers, we post where we're from and write about our area. Do you have any guidelines you follow about your online privacy? 

I'm open about the fact that I live in Nashville because I love my city and love to write about my favorite hangouts and caf├ęs, but I would never address my exact location or even disclose the area of Nashville I'm in. I have also made sure to delete the location pins from all of my Instagram pictures (instructions found here). If I worked in corporate, I wouldn't ever disclose the name of the company. I think talking about certain things going on in our lives, or past experiences or more about ourselves when it comes to how we feel about something is fine but I think you have to be really careful about disclosing actual detailed info about yourself. (Maybe I've just seen too many episodes of Catfish, I don't know.) 

5. Do you ever mention blogging on your work resume? And if so, how do you write it down or bring it up?

I think it really depends on the industry you're in and your current role. For me, I never mentioned blogging anywhere on my resume or to anyone I worked with; it was important to me to keep my blogging and creative life separate from my professional life. I do think if you're in a writing-related or marketing-related industry - more of a creative industry - including all that you do in and for your blog could be a good thing. I think you can ask yourself, "do my true strengths in blogging actually correlate with my job or the job I want?" It's also important to ask yourself, "do I want the people I work with every day to have access to my blog?" Because if you're going to talk about it, you'd better be prepared to share the web address with others (or know that some of them will go looking for it.) 

Thanks Emily! These are totally great answers that will absolutely help me! Hope these can help you too!

Sidenote: I'm moving this weekend! Yay for shorter commutes, higher rents, and a pool right outside my door. Downside is that I have no idea how busy I'll be, so I apologize in advance if I'm not on top of my blog like I usually am. Hopefully the move will go smoothly!

What better way to kick off the warmer months with a PayPal cash giveaway! I've teamed up with some wonderful bloggers to offer you the chance to win $115. Just enter in the rafflecopter below!

Brittany ~ The Lady Lawyer // Casey ~ Land of Marvels 
Amanda ~ Rhyme and Ribbons // Kerri ~ Cheshire Kat // Anna ~ Anna in Wonderland
Alanna ~ Alanna and Company // Logan ~ Logan Can // Helene ~ Helene in Between

Say hello to this month's sponsor:

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