Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Interview: Crystal of Money Saving Mom

Today's BlogCoach blogger interview is with Crystal of the fabulously successful blogs Money Saving Mom and Biblical Womanhood.

You recently moved your blog from Blogspot to Typepad. What should readers know about that process?

Moving from one blogging platform to another--especially if you've become extremely familiar to a blogging platform after a few years of use--is not going to be a piece of cake. I found that Blogger is much more user-friendly, so the learning curve is greater with Typepad. However, the features Typepad offers were worth the time it took to figure out how to navigate the new blogging platform.
What are a few of your favorite blogging tools? What service do you use for stats, for example?
By far, my favorite tool--if you can call it a "tool"--is the scheduling feature on Typepad. I rarely ever write posts and click "publish"; I usually blog in "batches". About once per week, I sit down and write up four to five "meatier" posts and schedule them to be published each day of the following week. Then, I spend about an hour each weekday morning putting together and scheduling deal posts to be published throughout the day.

I'm a wife and mom first and foremost, so scheduling posts ahead of time and blogging in batches allows me to automate my blog to an extent so my blogging time is streamlined. I'd highly recommend everyone consider scheduling posts at least some of the time, if you are not already doing so.

For stats, I use Google Analytics and Sitemeter. I like the continuously-updated stats that Sitemeter provides, but Google Analytics does a much more accurate and in-depth job of showing a variety of stats over the long haul so I find both to be beneficial.
MSM gets a lot of traffic--more than 20,000 unique visitors per day. Is blogging for a small readership different from blogging for a large one?
Blogging for a larger readership definitely has its perks as well as its drawbacks. I love the opportunity I've had to meet and interact with so many different people and I've learned a great deal through blogging. Having a larger audience means you also receive much more scrutiny, criticism, and email.

I have grown pretty thick skin so personal attacks don't bother me like they once did. However, no longer being able to answer the majority of my email has been hard for me to adjust to. I've finally had to realize there are only so many hours in a day and most of those hours need to be devoted to more important things than sitting in front of my computer screen.
What do you know about blogging now that you wish you had known as a novice blogger?
Hmm, I think the biggest lesson I've had to learn--silly as it might seem--is that I am not a slave to blogging. Three years ago when I first started blogging, I remember feeling like I needed to blog each and every day or all my readers would go away. Over time, I've come to learn that taking a break for a day or two or three or re-running old posts on occasion can be a good thing and a nice time for a blogger to recharge and refresh.
Blogging about bargains and deals is hugely popular right now. Dozens of new blogs have sprung up within the frugal blogging niche. Have you had any issues with plagiarism? How have you dealt with them?
Yes, plagiarism is fairly common--especially since there are so many new bloggers out there who are just getting their feet wet and don't know that copying or almost-copying something and posting it as their own is not right. When I discover this is happening, I usually just send a polite email requesting that the post(s) is removed or re-written. I try to always give the blogger the benefit of the doubt and include a simple explanation as to what constitutes plagiarism since, in most cases, the blogger does not even know that what they posted was infringing on someone else's copyright.
Read more BlogCoach interviews with your favorite bloggers.