What if you write a blog about bird watching? Or hula hooping? Or cupcakes?
What if you write a blog about, say, Brooklyn?
Then this is the interview for you.
(Well, it’s for you if you want advice from real people using social media and not boring “experts” like yours truly…)
Fucked in Park Slope is a ridiculously popular blog that features laugh-out-loud posts and the kind of snark that makes Mama proud. The second I saw it I knew I had to harass talk to editor Erica Reitman for my brand-new series interviewing folks who ROCK at blogging. And guess what? They don’t blog about blogging.
So without further ado, my new internet bestie Erica gives you insight into FIPS, Twitter, managing more than one blog and the benefits of not blogging for a living…
First of all, who are you?
I’m just some 30-something, smart aleck-y chick who tells it like it is [my kind of girl!]. I never really believed I could be a writer (and if I’m being really honest, I’m *still* surprised by the fact that anyone actually cares about what I have to say), but I discovered through blogging that I CAN ACTUALLY DO THIS SHIT. Well kinda… it’s still pretty friggin’ hard. I’m married to a cool dude and we have a cool Basset Hound named Oliver.
How did you get into blogging? What prompted FIPS and Design Blahg?
I started FIPS two years ago with a friend who also lives in our leafy, Brooklyn neighborhood. Not sure if your readers have ever heard of Park Slope, but some crazy-ass stuff goes on down here: People bring their babies to bars, everyone works in this big Food Coop and parents get into days long fights over the assumption that a navy blue hat might belong to a boy. We felt like the opportunity was ripe to start our blog that took on the neighborhood in a more bad ass way. Four hours after we posted our first blog entry, we had been picked up by all of the big NYC blogs and the rest is history.
I started Design Blahg this March because I’m obsessed with interior design, and felt like there was, again, a void in that world that I needed to fill with a snarky, curse-y, funny blog that also happened to be about design. That one has been slower in terms of traffic and popularity, but it was a good reminder that stuff ain’t always so easy when you’re starting out.
Why two blogs? How do you function by keeping them both up? AND three Twitter accounts?
While I love FIPS, I can’t exactly convince you with a straight face that I’m passionate about Park Slope news, or ranting about the Stroller Nazi. I love design and read all of the blogs out there, but just felt no one was quite doing it like I’d do it. So, voila, Design Blahg.
The audiences for both sites are so completely different, I needed separate Twitter accounts. And believe it or not, I actually have FIVE (though one is not active anymore and I barely use the fourth one).
Are these sites your full-time work?
BWHHAHHHHHAAAAHHHHHA. Um, no.
I’m a Marketing Director at Squarespace, which is a rad web publishing platform that you should all sign up for (use code ERICA for 10% off!). Really, its all sorts of fab. And I can say that because I came to the company AFTER becoming a gigantic fan . Plus, they pay me way better than blogging.
How do you monetize the blogs?
In version 2.0 of FIPS we’re thinking more about monetizing. We’ve always had a steady stream of advertisers, so I’m excited to see what’s gonna go down! I’ve also started some side gigs, like doing singles events (check out BK Hookup for more on that). On Design Blahg I starting working with Carbonads, and so far so good!
Do you have staff or is it just you? Contributors?
I’m lucky enough to have a bunch of great writers who help me run both blogs. Thing are getting so busy with FIPS though, I might be at the point where I actually need to hire an editor. Its amazing to have the extra help and our writers all rule my face EXTREMELY hard.
Some “Rapid Fire” Qs Y’all Should Read Because You Can Learn Things
Favorite social media site:
Twitter, twitter and more Twitter. I’m not sure I’d have any friends without it. I’ve gotten soooooo much from my involvement with Twitter, if nothing good ever happened again, I’d still be ahead of the game.
Any cool things that have cropped up because of social media?
Here’s a short list:
- A freelance writing gig for MTV
- A real job at Squarespace
- A real job teaching blogging at Mediabistro here in NYC
- A million billion cool friends
- Countless biz opportunities and connections
- Another side biz
- Speaking opportunities at conferences
- Getting free shit (from people who love/read my blog)
- Connections with people I would have been terrified to connect with on my own (politicians, journalists, and even some pseudo celebs).
Best Twitter tip (generic, bull-shit, jargon advice is greatly discouraged):
When starting off, build up a week or so’s worth of tweets BEFORE you follow anyone. Yes, you will feel like you are talking to yourself, but tweet like you have thousands of followers and drop all sorts of juicy twittage. Then you can let loose and start following people. Cause if you follow me, and I go back to your profile and there’s nothing there, I’m just Audi 5000.
Best Facebook tip:
Ditch it for Twitter.
Best blogging tip:
Take a half a day on the weekend and schedule some posts so you can lighten your load during the week. Also use Link Within or Outbrain. Since I added that to my blog I’ve increased page views by a kajillion.
How do you learn about social media?
I follow 200+ blogs in my RSS reader and I work Twitter like its my job.
Worst part about blogging:
Think of your available spare time as the water that comes out of the kitchen sink and your blog as the drain. All the water in your kitchen sink eventually goes into the drain, right? Any questions?
Best part about blogging:
The fact that I can go back and look at TWO SOLID YEARS of posting every single day. That’s proof I actually am a writer. BOOYAH.