Why did you start blogging?I started blogging on a whim one day when my husband took all four of our kids to work cattle with him. I had no plan, no sense that it would last longer than a week. I just sat down, set up a free blog, and posted a couple of photos and stories.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to a new blogger?Blog! Blog often. Blog daily if you can. It’s difficult to get comfortable with blogging if you write one or two blog posts a week. When I started blogging, I fell in love instantly and blogged daily for a few months—even on the weekends. It made me a better writer, and made blogging easier and easier.
What are the three words that describe you best?Happy, Messy, and Weird.What is your favorite website?Impossible for me to choose!What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not blogging?My favorite thing to do when I have a little free time is just plop down on the couch and watch Real Housewives or old episodes or 24 or, as is the case right now, the NBA Playoffs. TV time in the evenings is what my husband and I do together. It sounds spectacularly boring, but it’s my favorite time of day. It’s when I recharge.What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself from blogging?I’ve learned that if I’m passionate about something, I’m much more creative, motivated, and efficient. I have loved blogging from the start, and since I blog about things I love—my family, the country, our dogs, the food I cook—I never get tired of it. That’s one of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone starting a new project of any kind: Make sure your passion shines through. It will show.How do you balance life and blogging?It’s a continual balance. When I started blogging, my kids were all little. Now I have two teenagers, and one is about to be a senior in high school. When they were younger, I was able to be more rigid and predictable with my blogging schedule. These days, I’ve loosened up a bit because life demands flexibility. While I still blog regularly, I’m not afraid to skip a couple of days here and there if the kids and I are busy. You have to have a little give.How has blogging changed you or your life?Blogging has certainly opened doors for me. I wouldn’t have cookbooks or a TV show if I hadn’t started blogging. It’s all the blog’s fault! 🙂What do you think makes a successful blog? A great blog? Are they one in the same?I think a successful blog is one that compels readers to return. One that becomes part of people’s daily reading schedules. That’s why I’ve always recommended that new bloggers commit to blogging regularly—daily, if possible. You won’t become a part of someone’s daily routine if you just blog a couple of times a week. When I first started blogging, I had lived in the country for ten years and must have had a lot to say, because I was prolific in my posting. Months later, after my readership had grown organically, people who visited my site started telling me that reading my site had become part of their day, like their morning cup of coffee. I realized that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t blogged as regularly as I had.If you were to stop blogging today, what would you do with the rest of your life?Exercise more and learn to embroider.How do you balance telling your story, without telling the story of others in your life?For me, it’s always been easy to strike that balance. I do blog about the people I love, but I don’t share their personal stories because they aren’t mine to share. I stick to our interactions together, fun anecdotes, and things about them that I appreciate and love.Blogging has changed a lot, just since I started 5 years ago, what do you miss about blogging in the early days? What do you love that has changed?I love that the blogging community has grown and is so strong today, so I like where blogging is now. If I had to say something I miss from my early days of blogging, it would be that my waist was much smaller. 🙂How do you consistently come up with relevant and shareable content?Again, I think if you remain passionate about your subject matter—in my case, family, home, food, etc.—you’ll never run out of things to share. And if your passion comes through, people will be drawn to read it. Also, I do try to change up my content so that it isn’t the same every day; I never want someone to come to my website and be bored!If you could have a dinner party for 6 people, living or dead, who would you invite?Al Pacino in 1972, Vivien Leigh in 1939, Russell Crowe, Meryl Streep, Mother Teresa, and my grandmother.What’s the one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?I can put both my ankles behind my head.What’s the one post that you are most proud of?
This sounds like an easy answer, but I would say whatever post I’ve written that day. Because my household is so busy and I’ve got different irons in the fire, if I am able to sit down and see a post through to the end, I feel like I’ve accomplished something.