5 Questions for 8 Bloggers…

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!  I spent my Saturday at IKEA for their BYOF event teaching 2 organizing workshops.  I met some awesome people and had a great time in the process!  I decided to take Raymond to brunch yesterday at 300 East.  Best.Brunch.Ever!  Followed by a nap, impromptu trip to Starbucks, and the best Goodwill adventure I have had in months!  UGG boots anyone? 😉

I’m refreshed and ready to kick off a busy week!  And ssssooo excited about today’s blog post.  I mean EX-CITED!  Since this post is long (forewarned), I will come back tomorrow with a background story about why and how this post came together.  🙂 So without further ado …

5 Questions Header

The Bloggers: 

The Questions:

How do you keep coming up

Kseniya (In the Queen City):

Topics come easily to me but it’s the writing that proves to be difficult sometimes.  But that’s a good thing because it’s the subconscious selection of what I’m interested in versus what I’m passionate about.  Sometimes I’ll write a whole post and never post it because it doesn’t feel right.

Jennifer (A Fashionable Affair):

I think life inspires blog posts – from emails I receive for fashion inspiration, to the great friendships in my life as well as the many adventures I get to experience.

Michelle (PinQue Blog): 

Developing content for my blog is pretty organic and revolves around what I am wearing, personal style or trends I see in the marketplace. I try to keep things fashion-focused but I do enjoy occasionally changing things up and blogging about other topics I love like fitness and home decor.

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life):

I try to write about whatever is on my mind, so that it comes across as genuine. However, sometimes topics will pop into my mind over the course of the day. I keep a running topic list on my phone and peruse it when I’m at a loss of ideas. My best resource for topic ideas comes from talking with my friends and other moms, recalling questions I received as a health coach and my own struggles I face.

Cheryl (Dwell by Cheryl):

Honestly, I wish I could outline some intricate process that I use to source new topics for the blog.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one.  It’s completely random. That just seems to work for me. I like for my blogs to be timely so I’m inspired by everything from design trends to pop culture.  I am careful to only blog when I have something to say. That was great advice that I read while researching blogs before I launched my own, and I try to follow it without exception.

Jen (Peanut Butter Runner):

As my blog has evolved I have worked to move away from blogging about “a day in the life” and focus my content more on yoga, food and fitness. I still thread my daily life into my posts, but I have started to incorporate themed days like Yoga Mondays and Fitness Fridays. I typically post weekend recaps on Sundays and try to post a recipe once a week or so too. My readers are a huge help with content development and frequently ask questions and make topic requests. All that said, some of my most popular posts are the ones that weren’t planned. Usually they’re the byproduct of thoughts that come to me when I’m running or someting that I see or hear that inspires me.

Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl): 

LOL. My house comes up with them for me. At this time I’m busy building back a kitchen after a small leak and asbestos flooring lead to a complete gut of our kitchen and laundry room. It seems that I’m at no shortage for things to blog about as long as there are home repairs. 😉 Regarding the more creative posts, I have a weakness for ugly furniture and home decor and like to give things new life by upcycling them.

Sherry (Young House Love):

We just write about our life, so with every new room or project that we move around taking on, we love to snap photos and share the goods along the way!

What is the best thing

Kseniya (In The Queen City):

Outside of all the wonderful people that I have met and the amazing community of Charlotte bloggers, sanity is the best thing to come out of blogging.  It’s an expressive outlet that, for the hour or so that I’m working on a post, provides me with an escape from my own reality.

Jennifer (A Fashionable Affair):

Blogging took me out of my comfort zone and when it did, I was blessed with incredible friendships with like minded people.

Michelle (PinQue Blog):

I don’t know if there is one specific thing, but I would have to say what I value most are the friendships I have developed in the blogging community. Honestly, my circle of friends would be much smaller if it weren’t for blogging and I feel incredibly lucky to have connected with such a talented group of women.

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life):

The community! I feel like I have friends everywhere. It may sound cheesy, but I’ve met up with bloggers and readers while traveling and even have made friends locally through people reaching out to me. I also love that it gives me an outlet to connect with other like-minded women. Being a stay at home mom can be isolating and blogging has given me a way to stay connected. I don’t mind the freelance opportunities and other perks or the products I’ve gotten to sample, either. 😉

Cheryl (Dwell by Cheryl):

The people that I’ve met and inspired.  I never would’ve believed that I’d have so many people who would actually read, let alone implement so many of the ideas I feature.  It’s very humbling to know that people listen, value what I have to say and look to me as an expert.  I also was unaware that there is an underground blogger network.  I’ve met some of the best people, including Jennifer, who totally get the challenges, triumphs, and nuances of blogging.  It’s great to have people to bounce ideas off, ask questions and to connect on a personal level.

Jen (Peanut Butter Runner):

Definitely the connections that I have formed with like-minded women (and some men!) across the country and around the world. All of the time and energy I put into blogging is so worthwhile when I receive e-mails from readers sharing their own journeys. The community and support system that blogging creates is a really unique and powerful thing.

Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl): 

Honestly, the best thing to come out of my blog are the people that I’m helping empower to complete their own DIY project. I get emails from readers who were afraid to pick up a drill and hang curtain rods themselves until they were empowered by one of my tutorials. Recently a widow emailed me that she lives in a fixer upper house and after her husband died she wasn’t sure how she could afford a handyman to repair everything. She just fixed all her leaky toilets last week and emailed me to let me know! I’m so proud of her and everyone who has moved out of their comfort zone to try their hands at their own DIY project.

Sherry (Young House Love): We have been amazed by the community that it creates. We honestly feel like we have a whole bunch of close friends in fellow bloggers and readers alike. On those days when the last thing we want to do is paint something or write a post, they encourage us and keep us smiling! It’s amazing what a little family it feels like. And of course five years ago when we started blogging we never thought we’d end up writing a book! So the fact that our book, Young House Love, is now in bookstores around the world is completely mind-blowing!

What blogs or bloggers

Kseniya (In The Queen City):

It’s hard to pick just one or two!  I have a list of 200+ blogs that I read on a rotation and they all inspire me in different ways. If I must name one… A Cup of Jo was the first blog I read “on the regular” that opened me up to today’s world of blogging.  The only blogging world I knew before discovering Joanna was LiveJournal, where my first blog is hosted (dating back to 2001!!).

Jennifer (A Fashionable Affair): 

I think I am most influenced by other local bloggers, because we are all in the same place and there is always something we can learn from each other.

Michelle (PinQue Blog): 

I used to read a lot of blogs, but with Pinterest I have found myself narrowing my reading list lately. I try to check in often on all my local friends’ sites and also really enjoy Atlantic-Pacific, Jess Lively, and The Everygirl for advice and inspiration.

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life):

Oh wow, this is a tough one. I am inspired by so many incredible blogs out there…

For fitness inspiration I love Jen from Peanut Butter Runner.

For health inspiration I love 100 Days of Real Food.

For a dose of fun with fitness and a cute dog (a vizsla, like Koda!), Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers.

Cheryl (Dwell by Cheryl): 

Funny enough, Emily A. Clark’s blog was the first blog I ever followed. I’m not sure how I found it, but after a few posts, I was hooked.  I love her fresh and very real approach to life and blogging. I totally feel like I know her, and we’ve never even met. I also love Tobi Fairley’s inspirational way. She inspires me to keep going and to dream BIG.  That lady is seriously Wonder Woman.

Jen (Peanut Butter Runner):

There are so many. I actually got my start in blogging as a straight out food/recipe blogger so most of the bloggers who really influenced me are food bloggers. I love Annie from Annie’s Eats. I have watched her blog grow and explode over the past few years. I’m amazed by her ability to cook, bake and write as well as she does while working full-time as a doctor and being a mom to two children. Joy the Baker is another favorite of mine. I love reading her blog not only for her amazing recipes but for her truly authentic voice. She inspires me to push myself with my writing and to find my true voice. I literally feel like I’m having a conversation with Joy when I read her blog and I always think how I would love to be her friend. It’s a pretty cool thing.

Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl): 

I vacillate between reading blogs and not reading them. A lot of it depends on my time and desire to “catch up” on blog posts. There are so many great blogs out there and I feel like I can never keep up with them all. But, the three that I always take a moment to stop and read are: DIY Diva, Centsational Girl, and Sawdust Girl. Kit (the DIY Diva) has me in stitches with her antics as a single homeowner of an old farmhouse. And Kate (Centsational Girl) always wows me with her sense of elegant style on a budget. Finally, I love seeing what my BBFF (Blogging BFF) Sandra from The Sawdust Girl is up to. Sandra is the queen of making and building cabinets and built-ins, I aspire to build like she does one day.

Sherry (Young House Love):

We love other more personal DIY blogs like Making It Lovely and Bower Power (with just one or two people blogging, so it’s more like a DIY diary) but we also love reading the larger blogs like Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge because even though many contributors write for those sites, they’re packed with photos and info!

What are you fave and least fave

Kseniya (In The Queen City): 

I love how blogging has allowed me to explore not only Charlotte and new subject matters but also myself.  There’s nothing that I dislike about blogging.

Jennifer (A Fashionable Affair):

I think the pressure I put on myself to make each post perfect and the desire to want to blog EVERYDAY. However, when you work in front of a computer in your full-time (day job) sometimes the last thing I want to do is be back on the computer. But what I love is that it is an expression and a piece of myself to share.

Michelle (PinQue Blog): 

I love that blogging gives me a creative outlet and an escape that my full-time job in government doesn’t provide, as well as somewhere I can express my passions. That said, the time commitment paired with my Type A personality can be a little taxing to balance with everyday life. But I am very grateful for all of the opportunities blogging has opened up for me and the ability to be part of such an amazing community of women.

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life):

My favorite thing, by far, is having an outlet to talk about whatever is on my mind. My least favorite thing is receiving negative feedback. I know it comes with putting yourself out there and I’ve learned to accept constructive criticism. In fact, I’ve discovered some of my more annoying habits through feedback and am grateful that people pointed them out so I could work on them. However, I’ve also received comments and emails that are just rude and hurtful. Those are tough to push aside sometimes.

Cheryl (Dwell by Cheryl):

I love when people I know approach me and tell me things that they’ve purchased, changes they’ve made or projects they’ve started because they read about it on my blog.  That is the coolest.  I do however wish that there was more interaction between me and the readers.  I have droves of people tell me that they read the blog, but I only have a handful that ever connect and leave a comment on the blog.  I LOVE comments.

Jen (Peanut Butter Runner): 

LOVE: connecting with readers, friendships with other bloggers, improving my photography, documenting my career journey, writing every day, developing workouts and yoga videos, supporting companies and products I love

NOT SO MUCH: figuring out the line between just right and too much in regards to how much to share, invasive personal questions, judging, finding a balance with product reviews and giveaways, working on backend design and organizational stuff

Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl): 

My favorite thing about blogging is sharing. I really love being able to share with my readers how to create, design, fix and complete their own DIY project. It is really my sole reason for blogging. On the flip side —this is going to sound weird—but my least favorite thing about blogging is blogging. The amount of time I spend on the computer is more than I would like. It takes many hours to edit photos and write each tutorial for the blog. I would much rather build and create, but I haven’t figured out how to share the tutorials without using the computer as the broadcaster to my readers.

Sherry (Young House Love): 

I think it’s hard to work from home and turn off blogging (we never aspired to work on nights, weekends, and even on vacation but we find that since the internet is 24/7, that’s exactly what we end up doing). But the other side to that coin is that we love what we do! We started blogging about our home improvement adventures purely as a hobby, and the fact that it has grown into a full time job that supports our family… well, you can’t ask for more than that!

How do you keep up

Kseniya (In The Queen City): 

You find time and energy to do what you love, regardless how little of either one you have.

Jennifer (A Fashionable Affair): 

I am still trying to find the perfect balance it becomes overwhelming to try and do it all. I applaud the bloggers who do it flawlessly.

Michelle (PinQue Blog): 

Would you believe I actually don’t get a load of emails?! Within the last year I have also buckled down on my gmail and organized everything with labels and folders to help keep track, and I stow away those recurring sales emails until I need them (unroll.me is great for that!). Out of sight, out of mind! I also try to respond to every comment on the blog within a week. I would estimate I spend 25-30 hours a week on PinQue Blog, along with my blogging for other companies like heels.com and scoopcharlotte.com, so it can get difficult to juggle with my 40+ hour a week job. But somehow I manage to get it all done with little sleep and lots of coffee because I love doing it!

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life):

I really don’t know- ha! My husband jokes that I am half machine because I’m on the computer or phone so much. What can I say? I love it! However, I’ve tried to be more mindful of putting the phone away when I’m spending time with my family. They come first. To do this, I wake up early so I can have 2 hours at the computer before my daughter gets up. I get the majority of my “work” done during this time. Occasionally I’ll use Hailey’s nap time to tie up some loose ends.

Cheryl (Dwell by Cheryl):

Because I’m fairly new at this, the emails and comments are completely manageable.  I do the best I can with the blog posts.  When I started out just over a year ago, I committed to blogging 3-5 times per week.  Unbelievably in the 58 weeks that I’ve been blogging, I’ve yet to have a week that didn’t include at least three posts.  I’ve found that establishing a frequency and being consistent is best. There are weeks when getting three out is a challenge, but somehow I manage and that keeps my readers happy.

Jen (Peanut Butter Runner): 

I have no schedule as to when I blog…it’s whenever I have time. Sometimes that’s at 9 in the morning, sometimes it’s 10 at night. I wish that I could get more regular with it but my schedule is so crazy and all over the place that I can’t…but that works for me! I try to sit down and respond to all the comments/questions from the previous post before writing a new one. And e-mail…still figuring that one out. I do best when I carve out a solid hour every week to answer all the week’s e-mails.

Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl): 

I don’t. LOL. I am not very good at keeping up with those things. I have a very full email box and find it hard to keep up with all the replies. I even have a disclaimer on my contact page explaining that I can’t reply to every comment or email. BUT, if a reader has a question, I will definitely make time to answer it. Otherwise, I do my best with the time I have when I’m not being a work-at-home Mom to two boys, Resident Handy Girl and Wife.

Sherry (Young House Love): 

We just don’t sleep! Haha! That’s actually not much of a joke though. We find ourselves doing almost all of our DIY and a lot of our post-writing late at night when our two year old daughter is asleep. That’s really the only time we have for bigger projects like painting a room or building something. Keeping up with comments and emails is usually something we tackle during the day while we watch her play nearby or during her naptime – whenever we can steal moments to get things done!

Bonus Question

Kseniya (In The Queen City):

Another tough one to answer…!  Any place that serves delicious ethnic food.  My favorite ethnic restaurant is Vietnam Grille (they no longer hand me a menu, they know what I’m eating based on the weather that day). Other favorites include Pho Real (when VG is too long of a drive), Thai House in University, the Korean restaurant inside Super G Supermarket, and Kabob Grill on East Blvd… and now I’m starving thinking about all that delicious food. 😉

Jennifer (A Fashionable Affair): 

Do I have to pick just one? Charlotte has a lot of great local gems. Go local everyone!

Michelle (PinQue Blog): 

My house? Only joking, but my husband and I are total homebodies! Quite honestly, the sidewalks of Charlotte (especially the Dilworth area) and the greenways are my favorite spots, where I can run and pound out the stresses of daily life!

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of LIfe):

Hmm… my go to for what? For groceries I love Healthy Home Market. For breakfast- Toast or Zada Janes. My go to for Hailey entertainment- Discovery Place Kids. For dinner and a drink? I’m really not sure because I’m a toddler mom and don’t get out very often, but anywhere with fresh ingredients, wine (for me) and craft beer (for my husband).

Cheryl (Dwell by Cheryl):

Goodwill of course!

Jen (Peanut Butter Runner):

I’m the general manager at Metro Fitness Club and Metro CrossFit so 90% of the time you’ll find me in the gym. When I’m not there I’m sweating it out at Y2 Yoga. I also love to eat and definitely do my share to keep Reid’s in business. Their made to order salads are amazing!

Brittany (Pretty Handy Girl):

We live in Raleigh, NC so visiting Charlotte is always a treat. Last time we were in the area, I had a Mother-Son weekend with my 7 year old. We spent the day at Carowinds (his favorite Charlotte area location) and I bribed him into letting me drag him to IKEA (my favorite Charlotte area location) because we don’t have one near us.

Sherry (Young House Love):

We love MaryJo’s fabric store! And The Sleepy Poet. Both are awesome spots to score a deal. And you know we love a deal!

10 thoughts on “5 Questions for 8 Bloggers…

  1. I truly enjoyed reading this post, love how each one of these bloggers had different answers for the same questions but they all have found their own way of making their blog amazing and successful! can’t wait for you to publish how this post came together!

  2. Pingback: 5 Questions for 1 Blogger… | Pure & Simple Organizing

  3. Pingback: The End of a Long Day | Peanut Butter Runner

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