So what’s your blog all about?
Short version: Anne the Adventurer is a blog that seeks to discover adventure in everyday life.
Long version: Everyone has their passions and stories to share in life. I want my blog to be a place that inspires and challenges people to live life with purpose, and to see that their daily life has value. Whether you’re going to the supermarket today or climbing the tallest peak in Australia tomorrow, your life has meaning. So many women (and men!) today are plagued with self-doubt and worry. As a coping mechanism, we tend to shut ourselves off from each other. I want my blog to inspire and equip people with the resources they need to share themselves openly with one another again. I think the more we truthfully share our stories and passions with others, the better our world will become.
When did you start blogging + what made you decide to go for it?
I started my own personal blog in 2004, but started Anne the Adventurer in 2010 after I graduated from college as a way to document my post-college life. I was back home in Colorado, and trying to find a job. Life was really kicking me in the pants. While I was searching for jobs, I discovered all these incredible and inspiring blogs by women who were my age and who were creating their own careers through blogging. With my writing and design experience, I figured I could do it too! Turns out, I love every minute of it. Plus, I am such a community oriented person, and blogging connects me to other writers and artists in a way that really rejuvenates me.
Walk us through your typical day. How much time per day/week do you devote to your blog?
I wake up around 8am, and eat breakfast while I scroll through my Google Reader. I mark the blog posts I want to read and comment on later that day, and then check my email. Once I’ve checked in on all my social media, I try my best (although sometimes I get completely sucked in) to step away from the computer, and read and journal for an hour or so. When I make a point of doing this, I find that I am much more connected to myself creatively and emotionally, and it makes for a happier and more fulfilling day.
After my “me” time, I get to work on the blog. I approve comments, and reply to a few of them. I spend some quality time engaging with other bloggers on Twitter and facebook, and finish reading the blog posts I saved on my reader. I try to write genuine comments on as many posts as I can everyday. To me, blogging has to say active – especially when reading other people’s content. I also try to share content I love as much as possible on Twitter. After I’m done reading, I get to work on writing and prepping posts.
I usually write a post, and save it as a draft to come back to the next day. That way, I’m not super attached to all the words and I can edit more freely and effectively. Once the post is ready, I create my images in Photoshop Elements. Images can take me anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the post. And since I am currently finishing up a big redesign, I have to spend some time reediting images from past posts.
I spend about 5 hours a day on my blog, sometimes more.
How do you manage your time + stay organized?
My iPhone is mission control. My calendar is always up to date, and I use Reminders everyday for errands and appointments. I also organize my folders in email and on my computer like a mad woman. When it comes to time management, I’ve learned a lot this year about taking time for me. I used to be a complete workaholic, and would repress all of my emotions just to be more productive. As an artist, this did not work out well for me. I’m so emotional and sensitive, and tapping into these parts of my heart are key in producing great writing. Once I started to make time for me in addition to my work, I became much happier and my blog flourished.
How do you keep your imagination flowing + get past creative funks when they do sneak in?
I read as much as possible. Blog posts, magazines, and books. I also watch a ton of movies because I find visual storytelling to be so inspiring when it comes to reflecting on daily life to find purpose. Dialogue, cinematography, set design – I guess it makes me think of my blog as my movie. My visuals, my stories, my design choices. It’s interactive like a film. Also, journaling and making a point to connect to my emotions helps me get out of creative funks. I’m usually creatively blocked when I’m avoiding something in my life.
Do you have any quick + easy post ideas for those days when you’re short on time or inspiration?
I keep a folder in my bookmarks for articles, blog posts, youtube videos, and more that I find inspiring throughout the week. I usually keep these for my weekend round-up posts on Fridays, but when I’m in a bind, I have a stockpile of interesting links to share with readers, whether that is a quick round up or a short post about something that is inspiring me that day. The best thing that helps me for days when I’m short on time or can’t write is to spend the days where I have a lot of inspiration and time to work to schedule posts ahead of time. If I know I’m going on vacation or have a busy few weeks ahead of me, I try my best to get posts lined up (along with social media links scheduled) so that I don’t have to worry.
What are a few business/blogging resources ( online or offline ) that have been beneficial for you?
Alt Summit online classes have been so helpful for me. They’re usually $15 (sometimes they’re free), and they have a wide variety of topics taught by successful bloggers. I’ve learned a lot about branding, social media, advertising and more through them. Blog Brunch has been an incredible community to get involved in, as well. I love the conversations we have, and getting to know other people’s perspectives and tips. I also did a consult with Joy Cho of Oh Joy, and she helped me in huge ways with my design and general branding. I highly recommend working with her. I also have her books (Creative, Inc and Blog Inc); they’re really great for beginners. When in doubt, I google everything.
Honestly, the most beneficial tools I have in my arsenal are the relationships I’ve formed with other bloggers. When I have a question or a comment for bloggers I admire, I email them or tweet them. I also make a point to attend local blogger meet ups. This is a great way to form collaborations, and to get to know each other better. And have fun! We have SO much fun (one time, five or six of us got together for breakfast, and the waiter loved us so much, she gave us free pancakes!). I have formed really wonderful relationships, and when I have questions or need advice, they are willing to help me as best they can.
the most beneficial tools I have in my arsenal are the relationships I’ve formed with other bloggers
Do you consider your blog a business or just a creative outlet?
I’m in a transition period right now. I definitely see my blog as a potential business, and it is on the verge of becoming that, but it has been a creative outlet first and foremost from day one. Building a blog readership, professional design, and repertoire of unique content so that a blog can be a full time job takes time. I am in it for the long haul; I want this to be my full-time job.
How has blogging influenced your life + relationships?
Blogging has taught me a lot about the importance of being vulnerable with others. I feel more comfortable being honest about who I am now. I also love the relationships I’ve formed through the blogging world. I have met some incredible people from all over the country, and am inspired by them daily.
How much of your life offline do you share on your blog? How does this effect your readers’ ability to connect with you?
I share a great deal of my offline life on my blog, and I think my readers are able to connect with me in a big way because of it. A lot of my posts are reflective, and I find that my readers appreciate being inspired and challenged in that way. When I’m going through a tough time, I try to share it (without being too much of a downer) so that people understand that my life isn’t perfect. However, I see my blog and my readership like a friendship. I’m still getting to know them, and they’re still getting to know me. Maybe I will share more in the future as we get to know each other better.
What has been the key to success for you as a blogger? Especially when you were new to the blog world.
Honestly, keeping at it. When I first started, I wanted instant success and it just doesn’t happen that way. There are a lot of “get rich quick” type ways to gain loads of followers in a few short months, but it’s not just about numbers, it’s about engagement. It’s about unique content! Finding your writing voice takes time and practice. So write, write, write!
Any further advice for fellow bloggers?
Get to know each other! Comment on each other’s posts! Ask questions! Say hello on twitter! Give shout outs on Instagram! It will not only make blogging more fun, but your reader engagement will sky rocket.
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design elements by CREATE LIKE CRAZY design studio