Sarah Arrow [saraharrow]
What is your blog address? What subjects do you deal with?
I blog at www.SarkeMedia.com and www.BirdsOnTheBlog.co.uk and contribute to www.bestbloggingtipsonline.com
At SarkeMedia I write about marketing, online and offline for small businesses and about social media. I write with the supposition that your blog is the centre of your marketing plan.
www.BirdsOnTheBlog.co.uk is the biggest multi-author blog for women outside of North America. I am hugely privileged to lead an international team of female business bloggers. It's an amazing experience and I'm very lucky.
www.bestbloggingtipsonline.com is where I contribute as part of a team by top marketer Danny Brown. We share blogging tips, tricks and techniques. I post every Tuesday at 12pm Eastern time.
What was it that made you create your blog? On what date did you start it?
I started to blog in early 2007. I belonged to a site called BT Tradespace, and the instructions that came with the site were simple; update your blog 3 times a week.
I did that and I noticed this curious thing, every time I blogged for our business, the phone rang... so I looked into it some more and wow, what a powerful tool for marketing your business.
At the end of 2007 we had 10 different blog sites and our first non service related product up for sale. It's still selling to this day.
What blogging system have you adopted and why?
WordPress all the way. It's simple, it's easy to use and the functionality is awesome.
I blog every single day of the week, I have 50+ sites and I guest post. The only way you can get better at blogging is to do more of it. Type until your false nails crack and your fingers bleed. Wake up the next morning and do it again.
Seriously, writing (which is one of the main components of blogging) gets better the more you do it.
How many visits a day do you get? What type of comments do you receive?
We average 3, 000 a day on Birds on the Blog and between 1,000 and 2,000 a day at SarkeMedia.com
Comments - some are funny, some thought provoking and sometimes your commenters become your friends and your cheerleaders
How has 'having a blog' contributed to your life?
It's changed my life - I never realised writing could be so therapeutic
Have you created relationships with other bloggers or readers of your blog?
Yes, and I never expected that to happen. I was very naive when I started out and some of my strongest friendships with people like Steven Healey, Suzan St Maur, Barbara Saul, Nikki Pilkington, Lilach Bullock, Graham Hunt and others, have all come through blogging.
How often do you post? Does regular posting of your blog require a lot of effort on your part?
I write a lot so I post every day. Even when I don't write and have a "dry spell" I have articles ready to post and share with my readers.
Birds on the Blog posts 2-3 times a day every day and www.bestbloggingtipsonine.com posts 1-2 times every single day.
Part of being a blogger is to show up and do the work.
Does blogging bring in income for you? Can one make a living from posting?
Yes, blogging has saved my husband's transport business and given me a business. Birds on the Blog supports 3 young ladies in a Ugandan village, we contribute via advertising and sponsored posts.
People need to have a saleable product or service to make a reasonable living from blogging. Dire Straits make have sung about money for nothing, but trust me, that never happens. You have to work for it and blogging is working. If you don't like work then an internet business is not for you.
How do you promote your blog?
Every way possible! I promote extensively via social media, pay lip service to SEO and even have a range of mouse mats and note pads for offline promotion. I have the most amazing colourful leaflets designed for me by Les Taylor from Offsite in Chelmsford and they travel well and generate amazing word of mouth.
How would you define your readers? Have you got a faithful audience?
I love my audience, they drive me nuts :) - challenging questions that make me think, a stream of emails, tweets... messages on multiple sites... it's hard to keep up and I love the way they respond to me.
At first I thought that my audience was only the people that commented. Then I realised when I posted conversations started in lots of places, and that was my audience. They take the conversation to where they want it and I follow :)
I love that it's international, I have a loyal following of three Russian bloggers, and several Indian bloggers. I never dreamed I'd be trying to communicate in other languages with people!
Are there any blogs you follow daily or regularly?
I always check out www.howtowritebetter.net and www.bizchickblogs.com the rest I find through my Twitter stream.
Of course I always check my clients as well, so I probably read 100+ blog posts most days.
Have you ever received gifts for blogging about your opinion of products or services? What do you think of bloggers who do that?
I have received items for review and won prizes, but I have never knowingly received a gift from a company.
If a blogger discloses then I have no problem with that, I can make up my own mind how much it will or will not influence me. I don't like non disclosure, I'd like blanket disclosure at the very least.
How do you see your blog evolving in the future?
Hmmm, I'd like to develop audio more and some podcasting. Up until now I've only dabbled in it and it's something that I enjoy.
What advice would you give to someone who wishes to begin a blog?
Do it! Go and get a self hosted WordPress site set up and own it.
Write, write, write and write some more.
Come over and subscribe to a whole heap of free advice at www.sarkemedia.com/z2b and get out there. You'll never know how brilliant you'll be if you don't try