Have you ever thought of blogging as a competition? Kiersten of Oh My Veggies believes the blogosphere is very competitive. The sense of competition involved is not against other writers as rivals but against yourself.
As soon as you start working on original content, you challenge yourself to become a better writer. In this sense, Kiersten, with always fresh and original posts, is a great example of “competitive blogger” and her food site is unique. Read the following interview to find out more.
How did you choose this name?
Before Oh My Veggies, my blog was called The Type A Housewife. It was a joke, but no one understood that. And the name had nothing to do with vegetarian cooking — it was confusing.
Other bloggers told me that changing the name of my blog was the worst thing I could do, but I did it anyway and my blog has only grown since. I brainstormed and came up with several different names and asked around to see what people thought of them.
I’d definitely recommend this to anyone starting a blog — get feedback on your blog name before you commit to anything!
Which qualities make you a good blogger?
I think being determined and focused are two qualities necessary for all bloggers, no matter what genre you’re writing in. When I want to accomplish something, I let nothing stand in my way. I’ve been this way with everything I do, but it’s especially served me well in the competitive world of blogging.
What are best and most challenging aspects of your lifestyle?
I love being my own boss. The flexibility of working from home has completely spoiled me too — if I’m sick, I take the day off. If I want to go on vacation, I schedule posts ahead of time and it’s fine.
And beyond that, I just love what I do. When I worked as a librarian, I used to spend the entire weekend dreading Monday morning; now I can’t wait to dive in and start working.
The biggest downside to blogging for a living is that it can be difficult to find that all-important work / life balance. This is something I’m working on — I’d like to get to the point where I can turn off the computer at 5pm and be done for the day.
What is the story you recall most fondly and why?
My first press trip! I was terrified. I had no idea what to expect, but it ended up being a fantastic time. And I think that was one of the points where I realized just how influential bloggers can be and how many opportunities are out there for us.
What is your advice to people who want to grow a readership?
People email me for advice all the time and I never know where to begin. The first thing I’d say is to trust your gut. Most of the missteps I’ve made were because I went against my instincts; you’ll find that as a blogger, you’ll get a lot of well-meaning advice from your fellow bloggers, but ultimately you need to decide what’s right for you.
The second bit of advice that I always give to other bloggers is to never publish something on your blog that you wouldn’t read yourself. You need to be willing to look at your blog with a critical eye. Would you subscribe to it? Would you like it on Facebook? With millions of other blogs out there, you need to offer your readers something unique and compelling that will make them want to come back again and again.