Marcie Hill from The Write Design Company is a prolific writer and live blogger. For those of you who are curious about what live blogging is, check out Marcie's guest post where she gives us Quick Lessons in Live Blogging. I was introduced to Marcie during the Small Business Influencers Awards in 2011 and we have been Twitter buds ever since. I jumped at the opportunity to interview her and gain more insights into her expertise in freelancing, writing and of course to learn even more about the process of live blogging.
Interview with Marcie Hill from The Write Design
Q1. Marcie, some of the readers here might remember you from the guest post you did here about live blogging. But for those who don’t know you, please introduce yourself and give a little bit of insight into your background and how you starting blogging.
I am a gifted writer with a creative soul. I left my job in 2008 to pursue my passion of writing. After submitting a few freelance stories, which resulted in one response from Essence magazine, which wasn’t published, I got discouraged and stopped trying. A few months later, I attended a journalism conference, and a few of the presenters encouraged the use of blogs. I jumped on the blogging bandwagon and have been riding ever since.
Q2. Now tell us more about live-blogging and why you decided to get involved with it. What attracted you to that format?
Honestly, I cannot recall how I found out about live blogging. I do remember that Cover It Live was the first software I found. Live blogging allows you to share information instantly. You can also share audio, images and videos in real-time. The ability to engage your online and offline audiences is really cool. However, if your online audience is not very savvy, you may not have much activity, but you are building your brand as you live blog.
Q3. When you do your live-blogging does that include interviews? Have you ever interviewed someone famous or someone that you look up to? How did you get the opportunity to speak with them?
I don’t conduct formal interviews during the live blog, but I do ask random people questions about themselves and the particular event, and share those details. There are two benefits of doing this. First, you give someone their 10 seconds of fame; second, you may create an ally who will share your live blog and expand your reach.
As for interviews with famous people, I was blessed with the opportunity to interview Chaka Khan for a cover story for N’Digo MagaPaper in 2010. Zondra Hughes, one of my most favorite people and former editor at the publication, extended the opportunity.
Q4. Most of the events you attend, I’m sure they are pretty packed with attendees. Have you ever attended an event that was a flop? By that I mean, the attendance was poor or the speakers weren’t that great – or maybe the event just didn’t live up to your expectations.
I am pleased to say that all of the events I have attended have been pretty good overall. However, many were flops as far as networking was concerned. I am finding that not many people respond to attempts to connect in person after the event. However, I will make several attempts before I stop trying.
Q5. Let’s talk more about blogging in general and the blogs you’re involved with. How many blogs do you have and do you also write for other blogs?
I currently have four blogs: Marcie Writes (personal), Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource (community), The Write Design Company (business) and Real Skate Stories (roller skating). Right now, I am guest posting on other sites. However, I am looking for paying blog gigs.
Q6. If there is one thing that you learned since you started blogging that you wish you knew when you first started out – what would that be? And can you talk a little about some mistakes you might have made as a blogger so that others don’t make the same mistakes?
I wish I had more knowledge about affiliate marketing starting out. I read many books and guides, but I never had a full understanding. This goes along with my my biggest mistakes which were blogging for three years with no efforts to get paid and not having a defined target. I was blogging for the love it. However, I really couldn’t offer anything to sell or advertisements if I didn’t know who I was catering to. Thus, my advice for other bloggers: Start blogging as soon as bug hits, but try to define your target market as soon as possible. Also, watch your analytics, which will help with your blogging goals.
Q7. Talk a little more about the writing process is it any different for you as a live-blogger than it might be for others? For example, to you research keywords or do any other type of SEO work on your blog posts?
The writing process for live blogging is very similar to Twitter. You want to share as much relevant information in as few characters as possible. Although you are not restricted by character limitations, you still want to be concise and engaging. You can’t share a full story, but you can provide background information to draw your audience in and keep them interested. And this is also a way to share your personality online. Be witty and funny.
Because you embed or link the live blog into your blog, you can use the same keywords and tags you currently use on your site.
Q8. Let’s switch gears and talk about social media. What’s your favorite social network and why? And what’s your least favorite social network and why?
I love Twitter. I like the fact that all of the social things that separate people offline are erased online. There is so much positive energy flowing through the people I’m connected with, it’s great.
I’d have to say that Facebook is my least preferred site because of the shallow conversations, and people have started using it as a primary communications tool. Really?? It’s easier to get a response from a friend through Facebook than from a telephone call.
Q9. Do you get a lot of traffic to your blog through social media? When you look at your stats, what are some of the social sites you see in the top ten referrers to your blog?
Traffic to Marcie Writes has picked up because of my Twitter activity. However, I am finding that the keyword entered into Google sends the most traffic my way. Of course, the keywords depend on the site.
Q10. Finally Marcie, what are some of the goals you have set for yourself or your blog in 2012? Any advice you’d like to pass along to people who are reading this?
Increasing my cash flow through writing and blogging trainings, information products and speaking engagements are my top goals this year. I am going to share more engaging content, conduct more audio and video interviews, incorporate affiliate marketing on ALL my sites.
Advice from Marcie
Here’s my advice to others reading. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions. Blogging helped give me the courage to speak my thoughts online and I’m working on tact in person. Second, know that your efforts are not in vain. You may not have the number of followers you desire, but someone is reading your work and gaining much from your knowledge and experience – even if they don’t leave comments. Third, if you share love by leaving comments and guest posting on other sites, I assure you, it will be returned. It may not come from those people but you will be blessed greater than you ever expected. Lastly, be you. At the end of the day, people are not only coming to your site because of the things you share; they appreciate who you are.
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and insights. I appreciate you doing this interview Marcie and best wishes!