Lori Popkewitz Alper is the founder and editor of Groovy Green Livin, a site that inspires readers to live a healthier, greener and more sustainable lifestyle. She uses the word “platform” to describe her site like many bloggers who in their sites see new possibilities to grow a business.
Several elements make her site interesting and useful, such as an original content that reflects her interests. The “platform” supports her passions. Business comes as a consequence of that.
Lori, how and why did you start?
My passion for natural, non-toxic living began over 12 years ago after seeing first hand how living an organic, non- toxic lifestyle can directly affect your health and well being. I began sharing information with my family and close friends – they would ask questions and I would find answers.
My commitment and dedication towards living a greener lifestyle was strengthened when two of my children were diagnosed with life threatening food allergies at a very young age.
When my youngest child began kindergarten I decided to spend the school year learning everything I could about blogging and what it meant to have an online presence. I started off knowing nothing.
I began to focus on how to create a site and how I could make a living through blogging. After dedicating the year to figuring this thing out I took a leap of faith and decided to trade in my day job as an attorney and dive head first into creating a site.
Thankfully my family was very supportive of this big lifestyle change. The plan was to focus on sharing information and creating a community of like-minded folks concerned with living any shade of green. And so my site, Groovy Green Livin, was born.
How much time do you spend working?
I spend anywhere from 20-25 hours a week working. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m blogging on my site during those hours. I am running a business and my site is the platform. I am very active in social media and devote a chunk of my day to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.
I spend time working with advertisers, brands and PR agencies trying to find products that my readership would enjoy learning about. I also write for multiple external sites and have social media clients. My days vary and I love that about my job.
What is the lesson you’d like to share with our readers?
Set boundaries and stick to them. For example, if you have 2 hours to write a post devote those two hours to writing and be careful not to get sucked into social media. I’m going to have to reread this one myself. I’m still not very good at setting boundaries and sticking to them! Work in progress.
What is your best advice on building an audience?
When I first began blogging a well-respected blogger gave me some good advice which has stuck with me: “write from your heart”. When I’m writing I always think about what I like to read or what catches my attention and try to apply that to the piece that I’m working on.
Also, form community. Visit other websites, comment, compliment and be sincere. Add your powerful and important voice to the discussion.
What is your biggest success and biggest mistake as a blogger?
My biggest success by far is the incredible connections I’ve made through blogging. From brands to bloggers, there is such an amazing group of men and women out there filled with humor, intelligence and passion. Also, it’s sometimes being in the right place at the right time. One highlight is my recent appearance on ABC World News to discuss Bisphenol A (BPA).
The list of mistakes is long. As I tell my kids, it’s how we learn. The biggest mistake I have made is letting blogging take away from family time. Sometimes when I am kissing my kids goodnight I’m also thinking about that long list of “to-dos” waiting for me. I let it get in the way of time with my kids and that’s not OK in my book. Everything else can wait. My kids are growing and I want to be there.