Over at my primary blog I do a weekly links post each weekend in which I post links to articles that I enjoyed throughout the week and that I think my readers will appreciate. I also use that links post as a way to say thank you to some of my readers and friends by linking out to them. Those posts have really helped me to be able to network with other bloggers and give something back to them while providing something useful for readers.
Because of the benefits of those posts, I would like to continue the trend here, but I also want to do something a bit different. As a result, I decided that instead of having a typical links post I will publish a profile of an individual reader each week. The profile will include some brief information about a particular reader and their own work online (if applicable), and a mini interview. So, this is the first one in the series.
I met Pearl through social networking a few months ago and we have been reading each other’s blogs ever since. Her blog, Interesting Observations, covers a variety of topics that include blogging, social media, as well as some posts that aren’t focused on internet-related topics.
Pearl’s post Best 101 Lists had massive success with social media, including a stay at the front page of Digg and del.icio.us. That post was a collection of almost 50 blog posts that were 101 list posts. One of her other big hits was Male – Female ratio of 50 Most-Influential Blogs, which got some of its attention as a result of a link from ProBlogger.
What are your goals for your blog?
Blogging started out as a hobby for me as I simply wanted an outlet for my ideas and feelings and wanted to know what others thought. But as time passed, I made many friends and gained some readership, I started to enjoy writing about other topics as well. Blogosphere is filled with success stories around us and sometimes its easy to start feeling that the road to riches might just be around the corner, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication and even then its not a sure shot that blogging will pay the living expenses for many. So as much as I want to, I know I cannot quit my day job. With that said, I want to say that I want to keep blogging as a part time hobby for the time being and enjoy my original purpose of making friends and building relationships. I do think about building some niche sites for some passive income but before jumping in that arena, I am taking my time to learn as much as I can.
I know you use social media quite regularly, what are you favorite social media sites, and why?
You are right, I find that social media networking aspect is the best part of blogging. I haven’t used many of the sites I’ve signed up with, but I do use Digg, Mixx, and Stumble Upon the most. I recently also used Twitter for some time (made some 200+ tweets) and I loved it. The short and sweet messages of only 140 characters, facility of Direct Messaging with your friends (also in 140 characters) forces you to learn to be concise and to the point. You learn all kinds of things there – but a lot of noise too… people say good mornings and good nights and what they are feeling or thinking – and its easy to fall in the trap. I also heard some of the happiest and saddest of news on twitter and I don’t think that kind of thing happens on any other network. Twitter is tricky in that whatever you are ‘shouting’, you have to realize that the whole world can see your message of ‘what are you doing’, so I think it is of utmost importance to pay attention to what you say on Twitter. I recently started using Propeller and am still figuring it out.
Choosing one site over the other would be difficult because they all have their own unique pluses and minuses. I love Digg because of the vast range of news it gives, funny, political as well as tech news. Stumble Upon is great and I love it because of the ease of use due to its toolbar and when you are just lazing around, SU can be the easiest to deal with. When I am at Mixx, I feel I know many of the bloggers there but for some reason, I have not gotten used to its navigation system. I obviously don’t have the patience to stay too long at Mixx because of this reason. I love del.icio.us but I’ve only used it as a bookmarking service. Recently I have started to look at its networking feature and have also added some of the people I have gotten to know (and added you too).
Your Best 101 Lists posts got a ton of traffic for Digg, del.icio.us, and others. Has that experience and exposure had any long-term effects on your blog, and what did you learn through that time?
Getting on the front page of Digg was a thrilling experience for me. I am still getting most traffic for that one post. The biggest lesson from that experience was that helping someone else never goes wasted. I had my best 101 list post submitted to Digg, Mixx, SU and Reddit by the bloggers who I had already become good friends with and who have a strong profiles on these sites. So, as long as we use these sites for networking, the best content will be passed around from one person to another.
Since then, I have not spent much of the time writing lists but obviously thats the way to go if you want your posts to be popular on the social media sites. But as easy it is to say, I feel that writing original list posts is also very time consuming and difficult. It takes a lot of planning and thinking through. My subscriber count definitely increased from that single post being exposed to so many people.
Getting on the front pages of Digg or Delicious isn’t as easy as I want to. So, to get more exposure to the blog, I regularly started participating in Blog Carnivals and Group Writing Projects. A lot of the people ignore Blog Carnivals but I consider them as an unofficial social networking media. I think they can drive good amount of traffic and also build regular readership easily.
Thank you for letting me talk on your blog Steven. I wish you the best with this site. I hope you get tons of traffic to Traffikd.
For those of you who blog on the subject of social media, Pearl is hosting a group writing project that you may want to check out.