SocialSpark Influencer of the Month
1. Why Simply Kierste?
I started blogging about three years ago under another name–Brown Paper Packages–and I loved it. A couple of months ago, due to a trademark issue, I needed to make a change, and do it soon. It was SO hard! I really wanted something that my readers would still identify with, and that described who I am. Kierste is my name–one I didn’t really appreciate until I got older, but now I love it’s uniqueness. The “simply” part comes from my personal mantra, that it’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.
2. What originally attracted you to the IZEA/SocialSpark community and how did you ﬁnd out about it?
I was directed to SocialSpark by a fellow blogger and friend, and was initially drawn to it because of the flexibility and control it provides to bloggers.
3. What inspires you to blog?
Blogging is a culmination of so many things that I love, and am passionate about. My five children, our family, and our home together inspire many of my projects–recipes, organization, decorating, holidays, and more. Creating and making things beautiful has always been innate to me, and blogging is the perfect way to combine all of these things, and share that passion with others. I am able to “meet” so many different people, and I love the connection that blogging gives me to those that I would never have connected with otherwise.
4. What piece of advice would you give someone just starting out their very first blog?
*Do your research! Once you’ve made certain decisions (i.e. blogger vs. wordpress, your blog name, etc.), they are either really difficult to change, or you’re not able to at all.
*Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers! Find your own niche, write about what you love, and then be content with your own style and who you are. Your readers will love you for who you are, not for who you’re trying to be.
*Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I know in the crafting blog community, we talk to each other a lot, and give each a lot of support. I get a lot of questions from first time bloggers, and I’m always happy to help–I’ve been there! Contact some of your favorite bloggers, and ask!
5. Do you ever get stumped for what to write? How do you overcome this?
Actually, I’m really lucky, and this has never happened to me! I keep a running list on a spreadsheet for this very purpose—all the ideas of things I want to make or talk about, and that list is very long. For me it’s more the question of when I’m going to be able to get it all done!
6. If you were President for a day what would be your ﬁrst order of business?
Start organizing. That said, I feel very strongly about all children receiving an equal and quality education–not matter where they live or what their family’s income level is. I would direct my attention there first, especially if I only had a day!
7. What do you love about IZEA/SocialSpark?
As I mentioned earlier, IZEA/SocialSpark provides a lot of flexibility and control for bloggers. I love that I’m able to receive leads, and then accept them (or not) based on my schedule, how it fits with my overall blog theme, if it’s something I think my readers will love, and if it’s something I would love! They are easy to work with, and I’ve had such good experiences every time I’ve done a post.
8. We all know maintaining a quality blog can be quite time consuming. How do you balance keeping up your blog and making time for everything else in your life?
This is one of the things I love best about blogging! Yes, it can be quite time consuming, but it’s also completely up to me when I post. I decided in the beginning what my priorities were, and how much I wanted to do. I’ve pretty much stuck to that, and it’s the only thing that has made it possible. If I’m having a crazy day, if kids are sick, or they have something important going on, I can take the time that I need away, because my family comes first. I love having the luxury of working for myself, out of my own home. I have five kids (almost six—five of them will be 6 and under!), and after they go to bed is my most productive time. I love that I can stay up and work late if I need to, and since I enjoy it so much, it’s really my downtime for the day. If I’m making something during the day, my kids love to be beside me, creating their own project! It’s been fun to see their creativity come out, and being proud of what they’ve accomplished. My husband is also extremely supportive, and since he’s an incredible woodworker, we work a lot together on projects, which we really enjoy. Together we’ve made almost every piece of furniture in our home!
9. How do you actively stay engaged with your audience?
I write to them, for them, and address them as if I know them–because I feel like I do! I recently announced on my blog that I was expecting our sixth baby, and the outpouring of feedback was incredible. One girl wrote in a comment that she felt as though we were family, and I feel the same. I answer comments, questions, e-mails, and I really try to connect with them. They are inviting me into their home, and I want to let them know how much I appreciate it!
10. Complete this thought: If I could, I would..
add another 6 hours to the day!
Congratulations, Kierste! Read her blog Simply Kierste.