Tag archive for "Blogger"

Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with Meghan Bassett of Buried Truths

No Comments 29 May 2012

Happy Tuesday, guys! This post is a little belated thanks to the three day weekend and the fact that I’m in the tight grip of moving/post-being-sick hell, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. In fact, I’m so thrilled to share this interview with you guys. Meghan Bassett is one of my best friends, who puts up with all of my nonsense in real life, and has turned into an absolutely brilliant blogger. Of all of the newbie bloggers I meet and work with (of which there are many) she has one of the most intense natural talents I’ve ever seen. Even Chase, my boyfriend, is frequently found on her personal blog searching through her recipes. She has a gift.

After the astounding success of her personal blog, Time for Renewal, Meghan decided to launch a very sophisticated sister site based on her graduate work and the important trafficking related issues called Buried Truths. This site came out, if I do say so myself, incredibly. It’s one of my favorite sites I’ve ever been a part of (I was here for questions as she built it) and I’m so excited to present it to you guys. So now, without further ado, here is Meghan!

1. Your first blog, A Time for Renewal, has really turned into quite the culinary adventure. Explain to me the premise of your personal blog and how it has evolved into what it is now.

Time for Renewal has been an unbelievable journey since I started it in January 2012. When I started the blog, I was going through a bit of a hard time. I was deep in the throws of a quarter-century crisis (similar to a mid-life crisis but without the wrinkles). I was feeling lost and despite having earned my masters degree last year, I felt like I lost my direction. Typical post-college issues I suppose. One particularly lazy Sunday I came across one of your posts on MsMorphosis that described how starting a blog changed your life. It really struck a chord with me and I decided to accept the challenge and start writing.

The whole idea of Time for Renewal is to take time to focus on myself. I know that sounds a little selfish, but when you find yourself in your mid-20s and you feel like you are already losing touch with yourself, it’s time to slow down and figure out where you got off track.

As I continued to blog, I rediscovered my two major loves in life – writing and food. As time goes by, food has certainly begun to take a front seat. The food portion of Time for Renewal started with the goal of trying one new recipe a week since I am not a great cook and my husband was starting to get sick of being the only one making dinner every night. Now the goal is trying two new recipes a week and I am really starting to challenge myself with the recipes I try (Maple Bacon Ice Cream or cooking my very first steak being the most recent accomplishments). I even find myself trying random recipes for the hell of it; Friday night I had the overwhelming desire to bake something so I whipped up a batch of meringues. Just so you know, I have NEVER been that girl before. Though it has only been a few months since I began the blog, it has already changed my life in ways I never thought possible. I can’t wait to see where the road leads me from here!

2. So in this experience of starting your first blog, what has been the most exciting part? What’s been the most challenging?

That’s a tough one! Particularly because there have been so many exciting aspects to starting my first blog. When I first started the blog, I had absolutely no expectations. I was a newbie to the blogging world and I had no idea the depth of social media involved with the online community. Time for Renewal started as a journey with no destination. All I knew when I started was that I wanted to reconnect with myself and this was the best way I could think to start. As I began to write and develop the site, it became, for lack of better words, a part of me. There is this amazing sense of liberation that comes with putting yourself and all your deep, personal thoughts out into the blogosphere. Exciting doesn’t even begin to encompass how it feels to start my first blog. It literally is learning a whole new set of skills and becoming a part of a community.

To be honest, the personal blog has not presented any extreme challenges. I fell into this blog and ever since it has felt completely natural. I suppose if I had to narrow it down, the most challenging part of Time for Renewal has been picking two recipes to feature each week. I am a bit of a recipe hoarder so it is always a challenge to narrow down my thousands of recipes to only a couple a week. I have a feeling I won’t be able to limit it to two recipes a week for much longer, especially since Pinterest is severely aiding my recipe addiction.

3. Then this brings us to Buried Truths, your latest creation. What’s Buried Truths about? Why did you decide to make it a separate site from Time for Renewal?

Buried Truths is a site dedicated to all issues related to trafficking. When I say all trafficking-related issues, I am talking about sex trafficking, labor trafficking, body parts trafficking, drug trafficking, and weapons trafficking. In my experience, there is a huge lack of knowledge in this area. Many people don’t realize that these issues are closer than they think, often occurring in their own backyards. In my opinion, it is important for the public to be well-informed. Without educating people on these topics, change can never occur.

Making Buried Truths separate from Time for Renewal was an easy decision for me. Time for Renewal is very personal and very much focused on me and my life. Buried Truths, on the other hand, is focused on an area which I am extremely passionate about advocating change for. The site to me is more of a professional blog where I can utilize my educational background, raise awareness, and hopefully help instigate change.

4. What can we look forward to seeing as Buried Truths grows and evolves? What are your plans for the site?

My ultimate goal for Buried Truths is for the site to become a main resource for trafficking news. In my experience, there are not many sites which fit this mold. I would love to become known as an expert in the field, providing up to date news, interviews with other experts in each area of trafficking, and ways for everyone to get involved to bring about change.

My plans for the site are fairly simple – getting people involved and raising awareness. I sincerely believe the more people know, the more possibility there is for change to occur in the world. I have always been dedicated to international trafficking issues and by sharing everything I can about the world of trafficking, I feel like I am putting my undergraduate and graduate degrees to good use. :) On a more serious note, I feel that I am finally giving something back to the non-profit community, even if it is simply raising awareness.

5. What have been your largest obstacles in building Buried Truths? What advice would you give to someone building a website for the first time?

There were several obstacles when it came to building Buried Truths… As someone who is extremely inexperienced in HTML and building sites, technical errors were one of my biggest nightmares. I remember one night I was fixing a very minor issue and in my attempts to fix the issue, I managed to make my site disappear. I was left in a panic for the rest of the evening until it got fixed. Thankfully I was lucky enough to have a mentor (ehem, I believe you know the lovely Jen?) who could help me through the crisis. Seriously, without you I am pretty sure my head would have imploded. Jen interjects: awwwww :) well, to be fair, we had Chase’s help! It all takes a village, especially in web-world.

The biggest obstacle for me was fear. When I started working on the site I was so excited and as I got closer to launching the site, the excitement grew but fear grew with it. I found myself wondering “what if no one cares?” and “what if I do all this work and no one sees the site?” Then I started to fear the critics out there who might not like my perspective on trafficking topics. Overcoming my fear was the biggest accomplishment in this whole process. I could have thrown my hands up and simply stopped at any point. No one really knew about the site and no one would hold me accountable. The only person who would know I gave up would be me. I realized I would have to live with that choice and that was unacceptable. I told my fears to take a hike, kept my chin up (despite the technical errors which followed), and stayed true to one of my favorite quotes from Nikki Giovanni – “A lot of people refuse to do things because they don’t want to go naked, don’t want to go without a guarantee. But that’s what’s got to happen. You go naked until you die.” So I went naked. It wasn’t the easy choice, but I will never regret it.

For someone building a website for the first time, the best advice I can give is when things get tough, take a deep breath and step back for a moment. There are times where things will get a little overwhelming. You might want to give up and you might feel like the work is not worth it. These are the moments when you need to take a deep breath, take a step back, and just give it a minute. It is so easy to feel like building your own site is a daunting task. Yet if you have a vision and you are dedicated, it will all come together. And if you have a mentor in the blogging world, TAKE ADVANTAGE of that connection. I can’t emphasize that enough. It makes all the difference in the world. If you don’t have a mentor, make connections and find a consultant to help if you are feeling lost.

6.You wrote a fantastic blog post on Time for Renewal (which I republished here) about the fear of starting a new blog. If someone is reading this and is nervous about the whole process, what advice would you give to them?

Thank you so much! That post was a real look into my heart and soul; I have to say it was probably one of the hardest posts to publish since it was so personal.

If anyone is considering starting a blog and are having reservations, the best way to figure out whether blogging is for you is to just start writing. From experience, that’s the best advice I can give. As soon as you start writing, you will know whether this is something you want to do. For me, it was an instantaneous connection. I didn’t have a site thought out and I didn’t have a goal in mind, but after publishing my first couple posts I was hooked. After that, the passion for blogging was all that mattered. As long as you have the passion, you will find your direction and your site will morph into exactly what you want. So start writing! If you love it, then keep going despite any fears that may be lingering in the back of your head. Life is too short to not do something based on fear. Like I said before, just go naked. If it doesn’t work out, it’ll always be an amazing story to tell.

 

Want More?

Visit Meghan Online:

time for renewal

buried truths trafficking

twitter

time for renewal facebook

 

 

Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with Social Media Expert and Serial Entrepreneur Christine McDannell

No Comments 06 May 2012

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During the course of the thirty day video challenge, which I recently completed, I met some amazing people who spend a lot of their time growing their businesses online. Of these amazing people, one really amazing person really stood out to me – Christine McDannell.

Christine is a female entrepreneur and social media expert who owns the San Diego social media consulting firm Social Starfish, and from her habits (running and goal setting in the shower) to her powerful business presence, I knew she was a perfect match for the Blogging Fearlessly interview series.

Here, we talk about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, how to be productive, and using social media to grow your local or global business online. Enjoy!

 

Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with Online Business Expert David Krug

No Comments 30 April 2012

David Paul Krug is both a friend, a peer, and an inspiration. He has helped me immensely in my own online journey, and I’m so honored that he’s offered to share his story with you guys. If you’re interested in building an online business, I encourage you to begin following his latest creation – Freedom Business. If you’re looking for SEO help, his Search Garden agency might be able to help. And, if you’re just looking to follow another amazing blogger, you can find him at davidpaulkrug.com.

1. How did you get into the business of making money online? Can you tell me a little bit about that journey and where you’re focusing your energy now?

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Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with “Life After College” Author Jenny Blake

No Comments 23 April 2012

If there’s one person that understands the Blogging Fearlessly movement, it’s Jenny Blake. Here on Blogging Fearlessly, we want you to think for yourself about your life – where you invest your precious time, energy, and skills – and how you can creatively construct a job that you can be proud of for a life that you can be proud of. Jenny wrote the book Life After College, and has been featured on Forbes.com, US News & World Report, and CNN.com. She currently spends her time blogging, coaching, speaking, and being a yogi (she’s a girl after my own heart!).

Now, I’m so proud to present to you the beautiful Jenny Blake. If she doesn’t inspire you to get online and find your passions, then I just have no words for you.

1. How would you describe your career?

I’m excited to describe myself now as a solopreneur — a woman of many interests! My career is based around my blog, LifeAfterCollege.org, and incorporates coaching, speaking, online courses and now even teaching yoga. Continue Reading

How to Blog

The Basics of Creating a Subscriber Base

4 Comments 19 April 2012

It’s really important in the early stages of your blog to set up the infrastructure for a subscriber base. Why? Because that way you give it time to grow. Here’s the how/when/why details, in a tidy 7 minute package.

 

Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with “Becoming a Better Woman” Creator Amy Harman

2 Comments 16 April 2012

I am so excited to present today’s interview with Amy Harman of Becoming a Better Woman.

Amy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has experience treating individuals, couples, and families for issues ranging from teenage substance abuse, depression, anxiety, abuse and trauma, to (the all-too familiar topic of) eating disorders. As a psychology-grad (and enthusiast) who also blogs about female self-improvement and self-understanding, I have an enormous amount of respect for Amy’s work.

Becoming a Better Woman has inspired a lot of posts on MsMorphosis, and I am constantly inspired by her insightful, loving, informative approach to dealing with issues that impact modern women. From her Stories of Strength series, to her powerful posts on the objectification and sexualization of women in society and the media, to dealing with relationship and body issues, Becoming a Better Woman is a phenomenal resource and refuge for anyone that has ever struggled with their body, their relationships, and the pressures of life today.

In this interview I was so excited to pick Amy’s brain about body image, blogging, and how it all changes once you become a mother.

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How to Blog

The Fear of Starting a New Blog

2 Comments 12 April 2012

When I presented the challenge to my girlfriend, Meghan, of starting her own blogs (one personal and one professional) she jumped at the challenge. Her personal blog, Time for Renewal, is up and running, and I’m consistently shocked at what a hilarious and gifted writer she is. This is the perfect example of “how dare you to have been depriving us of this for so long!?!” 

Well, on Time for Renewal, she finally wrote a post about how nervous she is about the launch of her second (professional) site which deals with much more serious topics. When I read how beautifully she expressed how scary it is starting a new site, especially about topics that we really revere and, well, don’t want to mess up, I begged her to let me re-publish the post here on Blogging Fearlessly. She agreed, so, here it is. Continue Reading

Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with Life Coach and Founder of “Alive: With Passion” Vlad Dolezal

1 Comment 09 April 2012

For today’s interview we’re going international, folks. Vlad Dolezal is a really fascinating life coach (and life explorer) who experiments with all types of self-growth (his eating, sleep schedule, etc), in order to find ways to enhance his life and wellbeing to live with passion. Vlad and I Skyped from his new home in the south of France (i.e. my dream destination) to talk about growing, building a blog, becoming a coach, and finding peace in the unknown. Off the record we also talked about his polyamorous lifestyle, which he agreed to write a guest post for me about on my blog, MsMorphosis, if you’re interested in reading that, just click here.

 

Jen: To start, you are living all around the world. So, how are you able to do that? Why are you doing that?

Vlad: I live around the world because I have a job that’s location independent since I work online. I work as a life coach, which involves phone calls with people or Skype calls, and I also write a blog, so I can do this from anywhere in the world that I want. Currently I’m in the south of France which has been my dream for quite awhile now.

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Interviews with Big Bloggers

Interview with Psychology & Body Image Writer, PsychCentral’s Margarita Tartakovsky

6 Comments 19 March 2012

Today’s interview is with with Margarita Tartakovsky, an associate editor of PsychCentral, as well as the creator, author, and curator of PsychCentral’s body image blog “Weightless.” Weightless is a blog right after my own heart, covering concepts ranging from weight, to dieting, disordered eating, the culture of thinness, eating disorders, and emotional eating. From topics like “5 Things Not To Say to Someone With an Eating Disorder” to weekly Body Image Boosters, anyone that has struggled with food or their body will undoubtedly find comfort and wisdom in Margarita’s writing.

There were a few reasons I wanted to talk to Margarita here on Blogging Fearlessly. First of all, I’ve been following her for a long time and absolutely love her content. She produces a TON of it, so as a writer I’m fascinated by her productivity and how prolific she is. More than anything, though, Margarita has taken my two main interests in life (psychology and writing) and turned them into a real, adult career – one, I might add, that allows her to be creative, dictate her own schedule, and work from home. Continue Reading

How to Blog

Why Free Hosting is Dangerous

No Comments 23 February 2012

At the end of the day, here is the argument I always return to about using a hosted site like Blogger (or even a WordPress hosted site where you don’t own your own hosting):

The problem with not owning your stuff (i.e. using free hosting) is that you don’t own your own stuff.

That sounded dumb, right? Like using the word in its definition? Well, I said what I meant and I meant what I said. See, here’s the thing.

If you decide to borrow space from Blogger that you don’t pay for, not only do they technically “own” your site, but they can decide to shut you down if they want to. They also control the name of the game, so can put ads on the top of your site, or ignore your plea for help when something goes wrong. Continue Reading

Testimonials

Jen, MsMorphosis herself, writes with a wisdom that belies her age (astoundingly only 25) and speaks from a place that seems like you’re listening to your big sister, or a dear friend that you’ve never met. For me, the connection was instant, and the material has always been almost so personally intertwined and touching that I feel like the singer-story-teller in the song, ‘Killing Me Softly.’ — Sheanna Caban

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