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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mother Blogger Interview #3 - Kelly

This week's interviewee is Kelly over at Thrifty Mommy. This site, like others I subscribe too, help us all with tips and great ideas to cut down the expenses in our lives. Because kids or no kids, life's not cheap. Kelly and Karen do a great job. Now I'll hand it over to Kelly! Thank you for talking to me.

When did you first begin blogging? April 2005

What interested you in beginning your Blog? Why a Blog over other methods of 'traditional' journaling (like a private diary)?

It was a way to let my family all over the country keep tabs on my new baby. Then I started blogging for Thrifty Mommy and fell in love. I don't keep my personal blog up anymore unfortunately.

What do you think of the term 'mommy blogger'?

I think it's perfect. Most mommy bloggers just want to tell about their kids and make a little money on the side. The successful ones can actually make enough money to be able to stay at home. I love that part about blogging. Someone actually pays you to talk about what fascinates you.

Does writing a Blog give you a voice that you otherwise feel you don't have? If yes, what factors contribute to this lack of voice that you feel you have?

I love my Thrifty Mommy blog. I can help other moms out there save money and time and hopefully be able to spend more time at home with their kids. You too dads :)

What you are writing, if you let it, becomes public knowledge. Truthfully, does writing for a wider audience matter? Why/why not?

Writing for a worldwide audience has helped me not be so narrow minded. I always tell of sales in my area and then I hear about sales from other areas of the world. I try to not narrow the field by just talking about stuff in the US. I know other people around the world read my blog and that excites me.

What inspires you to keep blogging? This question may be especially pertinent for those of you who are blogging semi-professionally, or professionally.

I want to be able to stay home permanently. I need to put forth more effort to get my blogs out there but I am having such a great time that I am looking to expand my writing arena. I love my blogging network, b5media, and I write for real estate as well. I just learn something new every day.

As mothers, how do you address the issue of Internet security on your blog? What rules have you self-imposed about what you say about your family/children?

I didn't really think about it at first, and then I realized what I was doing. Now I just say DD or DH so that no names are mentioned. I have a friend online that was stalked and I feel so sorry for her. She had to change everything to keep blogging. Now she herself has to stay anonymous and I am proud of her for keeping going. I talk about my family all the time and encourage others to do so. But I don't use names. I might be paranoid, but somebody has to keep my kids safe,a and God has given that task to me and my DH. We take that charge very seriously.

If you could estimate a percentage, how much of your blog is unembellished, straight recount of what's been happening in your life? (Or, to rephrase the question, do you ever doctor your tales to seem more 'dramatic' or 'funny')? Why/why not?

It depends on who you ask. MY DH would say I embellish about 75% of my life on a general basis. I say that I am a great and colorful story teller. Nobody wants to read about a kid who cried. That's just life, but telling all about how she melted over the littlest thing and then put her head down and stuck out her bottom lip any mommy can relate to. That's cute and endearing. So I'll leave it up to you. HAHA!!

Do you think that blogging – at all – insinuates a certain social standing on behalf of the blogger herself? For example, many poorer women, who themselves may want to express themselves, may not have computer or Internet access. Do you feel that as a consequence many important stories are 'lost'?

Yes and no.
No- I have a girlfriend that blogged professionally but couldn't always afford to keep her Internet access up. So when she couldn't afford access, she would go to the public library.
Yes - If someone isn't aware of this wonderful modality of conversation, then they don't know that there is a world where moms can talk about life and make a little money on the side.
So it just depends on the situation. If they know about blogging, then there is plenty of public access to blog with and it is free.

How important has blogging become to you?

Blogging is very important to me as I am trying to get the word out about the platform and the ability to make a little money to be able to stay at home with your kids while doing it.

How important are the trappings (or decoration/design) of your blog? For example, if you have heavily modified an existing wordpress/blogger/typepad template – or done your own – how would you feel if suddenly you were reverted back to a basic one? Would it matter?

I think the more you modify your site, the more you feel comfortable with the whole process of blogging. If my site were to go back to basics, I would feel a little naked to be honest with you. It has so much on it that I would miss all the extra little additional flare. I do have to admit that most of my site is done by my blogging network and I just like adding links and sites to the side. I am not as good at the whole modifying as I should be. I am trying to learn that end of blogging as I go.

If your family is aware of your blogging and are regular readers, how do you censor any personal or 'delicate' topics they may have a problem with? Or do you? (To paraphrase – do you compromise your writer's voice?) If so, how does this make you feel?

My family doesn't really read my blog with the exception of my sister and brother-in-law. So I really don't have to worry about that. But yes, I would not reveal confident or sensitive information in public that I wouldn't talk about in public. I don't feel that is in any way a compromise. I think it is just tact and more people should have some.

How important is the social networking aspect of blogging to you?

Social networking helps drive your traffic. Exposure is so very important. But I feel that Thrifty Mommy's traffic comes more consistently from communicating with other bloggers and participating in forums than lipstick or digg. Granted, we will get traffic from those types of sites, but it is usually a hit on a particular post and then they are gone. The repeat viewers are fellow bloggers that comment. I love getting to know people that way.

Which other bloggers do you admire? For any particular reason(s)?

Where do I start? I love Darren Rowse at Problogger and Hsien-Hsien at A Hearty Life and Play Library. b5media has such wonderful bloggers. Robyn Tippins over at Sleepy Blogger got me started and all my blogging is her fault. Recently I have gotten into real estate blogging and Bloodhound realty and RSS Pieces are fabulous sites in that genre. I think any blogger that can crank out more than a couple of posts a day and keep it fresh is an inspiration to all.

In your experience, do you find bloggers or certain blogging communities to be cliquey, as they sometimes are accused of?

I think they are finicky. They will latch onto an idea and drag it to death. But I haven't really noticed any cliquey types yet. I do think however, that if you can get a good comment string going, you will find all kinds of bloggers out there that are not afraid to blast you. I would hope that these people are nicer in person. Anonymous status to any extent, I think gives people the ability to say things that they wouldn't normally say and that I don't like. I do like a good argument every once in a while and have participated in a few roundhouses but I TOTALLY disagree with being rude.

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