I am very excited to be kicking off this new interview series within my Building Your Blog category. I’ll be bringing you words of wisdom from fellow bloggers who have truly built their blog well. My hope is that together we can learn from these inspiring creatives, have a better understanding of what goes into building a blog, and get some actionable ideas for own web spaces.
Tania from Run to Radiance graciously agreed to start off the series and I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect! She has been blogging for several years now and through dedication, consistency, hard work, and a great deal of artistic talent, has seen her blog grow into an esteemed voice in the DIY/Lifestyle niche.
I’ve been following Tania on bloglovin’ for the past year or so now and was originally sucked in by her and her husbands awe-worthy home renovation. Recently she has been making a concerted effort to treat her blog as a business and has even partnered with Home Depot on their first DIY blogger challenge.
Enough of me, let’s here from the lovely lady herself…
What is your blog story?
I’ve always loved to write and have kept a journal since I can remember. I think my earliest entries are around age seven. As you can imagine, they are not very exciting—but the drama picks up nicely around age 13 or so.
When Scott and I got married, we both had a passion for home renovation, real estate and interior design. We moved into our current house 2 ½ years ago knowing it’d be a total gut job so it seemed natural to start to share about our projects online for friends, family and random strangers to see.
What’s on your daily/weekly blog to-do list?
As someone who works full time (I’m a copywriter IRL) with a two-hour a day commute (blah!) it’s a struggle to fit in everything during the week. So I have learned to do my projects and photograph them during the weekends when the lighting is good and then I can write the actual posts during the week.
I also keep up with social media and emails for my blog. I’m starting to get a fair amount of emails from companies wanting to create posts together which is great, but maintaining the relationship and keeping the client happy is important and time consuming.
Was there a ‘turn-pointing’ or key moment in your blog’s growth?
I blogged faithfully for two years before I saw a turning point. I had a super random post that happened to go viral on Pinterest. When people came to my blog from that pin a lot of them took a look around at other content, liked what they saw and stayed. My page views more than doubled in a single week and have risen steadily ever since.
I think the important thing to note is that without all the years of posts and working hard for good content even when it felt like no one was reading, my viral pin would have peaked traffic for a day and died down. It’s important to produce great content consistently so that when your “viral” moment comes people have something to stick around for.
Work hard now and expect to see the fruits of your work 6 months or so down the line. Remember the duel audiences you are writing for—the current reader and the future one. 🙂
When did you decide to monetize your blog?
I went to the Haven conference in Atlanta last summer. After going to a lot of business classes and getting to talk to some amazing bloggers I respect and admire, I made the decision that I was ready.
I personally didn’t want to introduce monetization until I felt like I had built up enough content to be worth it. That took me two years. I still have more work to do in that area and I’m still learning a lot, but I think I’ve worked hard to lay a good groundwork for success in the future.
What is your least favorite part of blogging?
Web design and HTML stuff. I hired out all of that. My dad taught me it’s better to focus on your strengths than try to fix your weaknesses. I believe my strengths are in writing and photography and creating projects, so I focus on that as much as I can.
How do you use social media to build your blog?
I think you have to focus on what you enjoy. I love having a conversation with people, so Facebook is fun although the new algorithms do make it tricky to connect with people. I am a HUGE instagram fan (you can find me here) because I love photography. Instagram is definitely my favorite. I also am an avid Pinterest user. Twitter and G+ are not as natural for me, so I don’t spend as much time there.
Social media used to be a big time suck for me, but now I’ve realized my time is better spent building blog content and responding to readers comments. If someone leaves me a comment, I want to make sure to visit their blog and comment there as well. I hope I can always keep that up, it’s important to me!
What design trends are you loving lately?
White walls! I know they have been in for awhile, but I am just loving them. It’s a bright, crisp color that makes me happy. I also am loving watercolor and the “less is more” trend right now—I am actively working on decluttering and getting rid of stuff I don’t need or love.
What design trends are you totally over?
Chevron. I’ve been over it for awhile. I actually had a giant chevron wall in our entry way for almost a year and got so sick of it. I also am not a huge granite countertop or stainless steel appliances fan, although we do have stainless steel in part of our kitchen for resale purposes one day. )
What are your tips for newer bloggers looking to build their blog?
Hang in there! The first year I had to force myself to blog. I had no comments, very few readers and was making $0. But I kept reminding myself I was doing it because I loved it and because I was building a base for a successful future.
When you feel like you’re ready, don’t be afraid to reach out to companies and ask for a partnership. The worst they will do is tell you no, and even the most famous bloggers out there hear that word still. Keep going!