Another week, another Cape Town Blogger interview. This time it is Heather Wenzel.
She is only staying for a few months in Cape Town and blogs about her time in our beautiful city.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a senior at Michigan State University studying advertising. I currently work for a marketing communications firm but will be moving to Cape Town in June to work for Zoom Advertising for three months. I am moving back to Michigan after my internship, but if I love South Africa I just might move back!!
How you first got involved in with blogging?
I was required to write a blog for my New Media class at MSU, and decided to keep my blog updated after the class ended because so many people were reading it! I was required to install Google Analytics and use keywords in my posts, and realized it’s a great way to let people know what you have to say.
What do you find most challenging about blogging about your topic?
My topic itself is not difficult to write about (I am blogging about the process of obtaining an internship abroad, and what I experience while I am there). However, it is difficult to remember to blog every week, and I often feel like I don’t have anything to blog about, but I need to remember that my readers still want an update!
How would (someone) describe your blogging style?
My blogging style is professional, because I have many adult and professional readers. This blog is for my family, friends, co-workers, and those seeking more information about my internship in Cape Town. I also try to keep my blog light-hearted and fun, more informative than anything – I think my readers want to learn a bit and be entertained, but not overwhelmed.
What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?
I currently work full time as a Brand Manager Assistant for a marketing communications firm in Michigan, which keeps me pretty busy. I love to read self-help and business books, find new music, and try new beer when I’m not blogging and tweeting!
What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging business?
I am active on Twitter, Facebook and Google +, which helps me keep people informed about my blog. I do not blog for a living, so there is less pressure for me to advertise and optimize my blog’s content for SEO, but blogging has still helped me become aware of the impact promoting your blog online really has.
How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog?
I experience something new every day in my process of pursuing my internship/moving abroad, so I typically sum my past week up on my blog. I keep my posts fairly short, and only hit the hot topics that people will actually be interested in. I am lucky because the people who read my blog are genuinely interested in what I have to say. I don’t have to go looking for readers – they found me.
What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
I prioritize my content, because the minute I start writing boring blog posts that don’t speak to my readers, they are going to stop reading. I hope to keep my readers engaged and interested in what I have to say, because I think it’s important and I want people to learn from my experiences!
What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
I linked my blog to Facebook and Twitter so that every time I post to my blog, the post goes to Facebook and Twitter as well. This really helped me gain readers, because I have much more social leverage on those social networking sites. I also sent my blog page to my co-workers, and I have edited my Twitter information to include my blog. I also tag every one of my posts, which has really helped me gain followers that I have never met. Overdoing it in the social media aspect really helped me get my blog visibility.
What was the most challenging moment in your blog content development process and why?
At first, I had no idea what to write about. I thought by life was boring, and people didn’t want to hear about it. But I had to write a blog for class, so I just started writing. I ended up realizing I actually have a pretty interesting life that at least a few people want to read about!
Which one plugin would you suggest all bloggers to have?
Google Analytics!!!!! If I hadn’t used Analytics, I wouldn’t have realized just how many people were actually reading my blog. I check Analytics a few times a week, and each time I am shocked at how many people are reading my blog – there are even people in other states and countries reading my blog! When I saw that, I knew I couldn’t let those people down, and had to keep blogging.
If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Just do it! You might not know what to write about, but just post every day, and soon you will realize that you just MIGHT have something to write about. You don’t need to even show people your blog until you feel like it is ready to be seen by the public, but at least you have a running start, and that’s all you need.
A big thank you from Cape Town Active to Heather for this interview. Please check out her blog at http://capetowninternship.tumblr.com/
If you want to participate, please visit our Cape Town Blogger Interview page at http://cape-town-active.com/cape-town-blogger-interview/