Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Interview: Shannon of Rocks In My Dryer

Today I'm thrilled to present BlogCoach's interview with Shannon of the blog, Rocks in My Dryer. Shannon is proof that blogging can take you wherever you want to go-- she recently went to Africa with fifteen other bloggers as part of children's charity Compassion International. Shannon is also a contributing editor for BlogHer's Mommy and Family channel and writes for Parenting magazine's website. You might also recognize Shannon as the host of the ├╝ber-popular meme Works-for-Me-Wednesday (more on memes).

Works-For-Me-Wednesday has gotten so popular at around 300 participants a week! Why do you think so many bloggers like to participate?

Because we all have good ideas—those shortcuts we’ve found to make life a little easier. I think people enjoy having a venue to share those with others!
How has being the host of such a popular meme added to your experience as a blogger?
It’s helped create a strong sense of community, which is the best part of blogging. And the amount of follow-up and e-mail it requires has been a good way to help me develop discipline as a blogger—if I don’t stay on top of it, it tends to snowball on me!
Three blogs that you read every day?
Well, I read way more than three (!), but the first ones that come to mind are Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, Blogging Basics 101 and Conversion Diary.
One piece of advice for new bloggers?
I hate to sound like a Nike commercial, but just do it. Writing is a discipline, just like anything else, and you get better with practice. Don’t start a blog with the intention of having tons of traffic right away—it doesn’t usually work out that way for most bloggers. Start it because you want to develop your writing “muscles”, and just discipline yourself to stay at it. As you keep at it, and your writing gets better and better, the traffic has a way of finding you.
You mention that you're a grammar snob with an English degree--me, too! What's the most annoying grammar mistake you see bloggers make?
Probably the mis-use of the words “you’re” vs. “your” and “its” vs. “it’s”. I think it’s one of the most common mistakes, and one of the easiest to avoid, once you get in the habit of doing it correctly. (Of course, just watch—now that I’ve said that I’ll make the same mistake at my blog this week!)
With four kids I don't know how you have time for blogging! What's a typical day like for you?
Well, it helps that it’s the source of a little income now—it makes it easier to justify the time it takes! And I know I’m really fortunate in that regard. It’s still definitely a hobby, but it’s a job, too. I set specific hours for myself to work, answer e-mails, etc. As much as possible, I try to get my work done while the kids are in school, or after they go to bed.
You're coming up on Rocks in My Dryer's three-year blogiversary. Congratulations! What's on the horizon for you?
You know, I’m honestly really content with things the way they are now. I love doing writing at Rocks In My Dryer, and I don’t have any plans to stop anytime soon. This past year I’ve begun writing for two other sites (BlogHer and Parenting), and I’ve really enjoyed that. But mostly? I’ll just be doing more of the same!

Read more BlogCoach interviews.