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Featured Bloggers: Jenn Walters and Erin Whitehead of Fit Bottomed Girls

by Paige Wilcox
Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Fit Bottomed Girls is a one-stop shop for getting healthy.  Bloggers Jenn Walters and Erin Whitehead cover topics including  motivation, nutrition, exercise, fitness equipment/accessories and even workout playlist recommendations! They’re the fun, friendly fit experts we’ve always wanted and now can have thanks to their site! In addition to their blog, keep up with their fitness news on Facebook and Twitter.


Fit Bottomed Girls Founders Jenn Walters and Erin Whitehead

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: Erin Whitehead and I created Fit Bottomed Girls almost three and a half years ago, when we set out to help women realize that working out could actually be fun — and make your life totally awesome. We love to blog about fitness, obviously, but also a lot about body image, nutrition and really anything that we think will improve our readers’ lives. From creating workout music playlists to reviewing workout DVDs and fitness products to sharing healthy recipes, we like to get readers motivated to be healthy in any way we can. A little more than a year ago, we launched www.FitBottomedMamas.com to bring that same message to motherhood.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other health blogs?

A: There are a lot of fabulous blogs out there. We think ours stands out at first because of its name (gotta love Queen references!), but then it hooks people in because it’s objective, honest, down-to-earth and real. We tell it like it is with any review we do, and we are quite public about our own struggles and triumphs with working out and eating healthy. With some humor, sass and a conversational tone, we’ve heard readers say that reading Fit Bottomed Girls is like talking to their funny best friend who knows a thing or two about fitness. Best compliment, ever. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Jenny Hwang of Geek in Heels

by Paige Wilcox
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Geek in Heels is a blog that highlights blogger Jenny Hwang’s interests ranging from gadgets to motherhood. The site reflects her diverse interests, which means she’s always posting new and interesting content. Make sure to also keep up with Hwang on Facebook and Twitter

Blogger Jenny Hwang of Geek in Heels

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started blogging in 2001, simply because all my friends were doing it! I have kept diaries and journals for as long as I could remember, so blogging came easily to me as I began to think of it as a way of sharing a piece of my life with the world. Unfortunately, most of my friends have since quit blogging, but I kept up with it over the years.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst blogs of the same genre?

A: To be completely honest, I don’t think that my blog has a specific genre. In addition to the happenings of my life, I also share funny and interesting tidbits I find on the web. I am a geek and so I write about tech and gadgets and the web, but I also devote a lot of space to motherhood and to my relationship with my husband. So I guess that my blog is different from many of the more popular blogs out there in that it is niche-less.

Q: What does your family think of your blogging?

A: My family knows that I have a blog, but they do not make a big deal of it. My husband sees it as a hobby, as something I do to maintain my sanity and to vent and share. My parents do not know much English, so while they know that I have a personal website, I’m not sure that they know what a blog is!
That being said, I have gotten in trouble in the past for over-sharing parts of my life that my loved ones prefer to keep under wraps. As such, I am much more careful these days when blogging about situations that involve others, or I will ask their permission first. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds

by Paige Wilcox
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Jessica Colaluca is a true lover of colors. On her blog, Design-Seeds.com, Jessica sees the inspirational details in photography.  Along with posting photos with a great use of color, Jessica offers her fans the color palette swatches that make up the dynamic photos.  Design Seeds is the perfect breeding ground for cultivating design creativity!

Blogger Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started blogging in May 2009…Design Seeds is my first blog and a complete passion project.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other design blogs?

A: Design Seeds are for any sort of creative inspiration…I have received feedback on the many ways people are inspired by Design Seeds beyond design. One of the most powerful comments I received was from a reader who said they were moved by color in the same way many are moved by music.  Those sorts of comments and emails are humbling, and I am grateful for the opportunity to share my approach to color and inspiration.

The goal of Design Seeds has always been to provide original content, which is also another way the Design Seeds blog is set apart from many other design blogs.

Q: What do your family and friends think of your blogging?

A: Although friends and family know I blog, the concept of Design Seeds is a bit abstract and not something I am defined by with those most close to me. Although it is my passion project and what I am most driven by, I don’t talk about it that often with friends. My family & friends know me for owning the design consultancy, and we don’t discuss my blogging generally. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Scott Esposito of The Quarterly Conversation and Conversational Reading

by Paige Wilcox
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Blogger Scott Esposito publishes quarterly essays and book reviews for his online magazine, The Quarterly Conversation, in addition to posting reviews and interviews of authors and publishers on his literary blog, Conversational Reading. Esposito’s 25th issue for Fall 2011 is now available on The Quarterly Conversation, so make sure to check it out in addition to keeping up with his news on Facebook and Twitter!

Blogger Scott Esposito of The Quarterly Conversation and Conversation Reading

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started my personal blog, Conversational Reading, in 2004 and The Quarterly Conversation in 2005. In both cases the reason was the same: I didn’t see a whole lot of places to do the kind of writing about literature that I wanted to do–in-depth writing about great books, but not in an academic sense at all. I started these sites to share my writing, meet other like-minded people, and encourage people to read great literature. I think it’s worked out on all 3 counts.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other similarly-themed blogs? 

A: I think The Quarterly Conversation stands out for the kinds of books we tend to cover–we do a lot of translations because that’s where a lot of the most interesting literature is happening these days. We also go very in-depth, with our reviews averaging around 1500 words and our essays 3,000 to 4,000. Everything on TQC is closely read and edited, and I think it shows in the quality of the material we present. We’re definitely not one of those sites that will throw whatever up online in hopes of generating pageviews through quantity. We believe we’ll get plenty of traffic—and better traffic—through quality.

Q: What does your family think of your blogging? 

A: I don’t really know. I think they think it’s cute, but they probably don’t really think about it beyond that. They probably have some idea that my sites are cool to certain people, but the things that my sites cover aren’t really my family’s thing. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Heather Cushman-Dowdee of Mama Is…Comic

by Paige Wilcox
Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Blogger Heather Cushman-Dowdee balances being a mother of four and sharing parenting insights through her cartooning on MamaIsComic.com, which addresses topics like breastfeeding, home-birthing and attachment parenting. In addition to visiting her site, check out her Facebook and Twitter pages!

Blogger Heather Cushman-Dowdee

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I’m pretty old school; I was posting comics to a static Web site once or twice a week starting in 2001 before I had even heard about blogging. My first official blog was probably started around 2003.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other similarly-themed blogs?

A: I’m first and foremost a cartoonist, I post a newly created comic two or three times a week and then the ‘classic’ comics are posted daily, along with a few of my written thoughts. I think the whole process of posting takes about three times longer than it would if I was just writing. I have been creating the comics since 2001 and so I’ve built up a stockpile of 500+ comics, and a large fan base that can’t wait to see the next comic. My fans are global, which I believe is because I’m posting ‘art’ instead of just words. I have a lot of visitors from England, Australia and the first customer of any product I put up for sale is always from Croatia. Go figure!

Q: What does your family think of your blogging?

A: They are incredibly supportive, and they enjoy the comics even though it takes a lot of time.

Q: What blogs do you read?

A: Stephanie Morales who runs my Facebook fan page does a really good job of aggregating blog posts, so I usually visit my page to see what I want to read:

Q: How much time daily do you spend blogging?

A: About three hours- I have four kids, and we homeschool. I make them my first priority, and posting a comic is my second priority. If I can get to the rest of the business of blogging, it’s last on the list…

Q: How many times have you redesigned your blog since it started?

A: About 6 times. At the beginning of 2011 I had two different blogs with two different comics posting. I recently redesigned the whole site and moved the two into one. It’s now called Mamaiscomic.com, and I post the new comics in a members only portion of the site. I post daily Hathor the Cowgoddess comics for everyone to see.

Q: How much do you correspond one-on-one with readers?

A: Any time they write to me, I will also leave comments in reply to them on my blog and will check in on the fan-run Facebook page and post there, too. I think of many of my fans as friends now. A few have been fans since the beginning (Hi Heather, Hi Lara!)

Q: What joys did you not expect when you started blogging?

A: I didn’t realize how much I would like growing a fan base and how personal it feels to post a comic and have an immediate friendly response.

Q: What pains?

A: It’s been more work to monetize the blog that I thought it would be (my blog grew up as Internet surfers began to believe that everything should be free). My goal in the beginning was to be published, but in the years I was blogging print production started to recede, so now I self-publish. I’ve had to readjust quite a bit to the changing times, and sometimes the adjustment is painful. A while back, I realized that my comics weren’t ‘searchable’ by Google, and that essentially my blog was full of un-search-engine-optimized posts. I had to quickly come up with a plan to make my images searchable. The plan is work intensive. It’s a strange new world, that I have to constantly adapt to.

Q: What’s something your readers don’t know about you?

A: That back in the day I was a mohawk flying punk rocker girl. Most of them think I’m a crunchy granola hippy.

Q: What’s your personal favorite blog post?

A: My favorite and my fans’ favorite luckily coincide:

http://www.mama-is.com/very-crafty/ the comic is Very Crafty, the ‘likes’ reached 5,715 people.


ADVERTISERS: Reach Mama Is…Comic’s audience for 50% off using discount code “Blogads50” for the next two weeks! Advertise on her top right sidebar, bottom middle square button or bottom right mini ad units!

Featured Blogger: Wendy Atterberry of DearWendy

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Blogger Wendy Atterberry is the friend that everyone has needed at one point or another. On her blog DearWendy, she provides thoughtful and honest relationship advice. Wendy has the broader perspective and insight that a close friend just may be too close to properly give. Wendy responds to readers’ questions in addition to posting advice inspired by issues and trends in the news. In conjunction with reading her blog, fans can follow her on Twitter and Facebook!

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started a personal blog called “City Wendy in the Windy City” back in 2004 at the urging of my then-boyfriend, who was a blogger himself and thought the writing outlet would be good for me. I changed the name of that blog to just “City Wendy” a few years later when I moved to New York. Shortly after that move, I began blogging professionally, first at Nerve.com, and then at TheFrisky.com, where I started my advice column, “Dear Wendy” in 2009. In January of 2011, the column got a new home when I launched my own blog of the same name. I now publish my advice columns, as well as other relationship-themed content on DearWendy.com several times a day.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other advice blogs?

A: I have a “tough love” approach in my advice-giving that’s maybe a little less touchy-feely than some other advice blogs out there. That’s not to say I’m not compassionate, but I try to tell people what I think they need to hear and not necessarily what they may want to hear. I don’t mince words. And the one thing that perhaps sets me apart the most is the active community on my site — it’s not unusual for a column to get 100-200 comments from readers with a range of perspectives and additional insight and advice. I also frequently post updates from previous advice-seekers letting us know whether they followed the advice given and how they’re doing today. I think that further fosters a sense of community and reminds us that our words — both mine and the readers’ — are making a real difference in people’s lives. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Jon Accarrino of MethodShop

by Paige Wilcox
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Jon Accarrino’s MethodShop is not your standard gadget site. In addition to bringing reviews and tutorials on gadgets and games, the blog stays fresh by offering up humorous and offbeat posts like the favorite celebrity mustache poll and a how-to article for using social media at a Renaissance faire.  With such unique and fun content, it’s easy to get hooked on this blog. Stay connected with MethodShop on Facebook and Twitter!

MethodShop Blogger Jon Accarrino

Q: When did you start MethodShop, and what was the inspiration that got you started?

A: MethodShop.com turned 15 years old on March 22, 2011, but the origins of MethodShop actually go back 5 years more to 1991 and an alternative print publication I started in high school called Rubber Ducky Magazine.

When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher brought in an underground magazine of short stories, called a Zine, and made it part of our assigned reading in class. That’s all it took. I was instantly seduced by Zines. We weren’t reading an old boring text book that millions of students had read before. It was new, raw, edgy and unfiltered. Plus, let’s be honest, anything “underground” is cool when you are in high school.

After learning a little more about Zines from my English teacher, I decided to make my own. It was a cross between a twisted children’s activity book and MAD Magazine. I called it Rubber Ducky Magazine. The content included things like satirical David Hasselhoff Valentine’s Day poems about his chest hair, a South Central Los Angeles version of Where’s Waldo and a comic strip about a gassy baby called Fart Boy. It was ridiculous, but everyone loved it.

The first issue consisted of 15 black and white photocopied pages stapled together. I sold it for $1 an issue to my high school friends (and a few teachers) and probably made $30 on the first issue. But I submitted issue #2 to Factsheet 5, a Zine that listed other Zines that you could subscribe to via mail. Factsheet 5 gave me a great review and before I knew it, I had my own PO Box and Rubber Ducky Magazine was a quarterly publication with around 500 subscribers (including a couple C-list celebrities and a few Fortune 100 executives). Original content, a unique voice and the ability to make a profit…. Zines were in many ways the grandfather to the blog. And thanks to my financially successful experiment with independent publishing, I had a nice little nest egg to head off to college with. (more…)

Featured Blogger: Eugene Volokh of The Volokh Conspiracy

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Comprised of about 20 contributors,  The Volokh Conspiracy focuses on providing thoughtful discussion of newsworthy legal issues.  Blogger Eugene Volokh took some time to chat about the site and its distinctiveness from more political and news-oriented blogs. Make sure to check out @VolokhC on Twitter in addition to visiting the blog!

The Volokh Conspiracy's Blogger Eugene Volokh

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: April 2002.  I had seen what a great resource some blogs had become – my favorite was Prof. Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit.com – and I thought that my cobloggers and I could also offer something to readers.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other similarly-themed blogs?

A: We try to use our knowledge about law to explain interesting legal issues, especially ones that are currently in the news.  So ours isn’t a political blog, like some, or a news headline blog.  It focuses instead on news analysis, specifically with regard to contentious legal debates.

Q: What does your family think of your blogging?

A: My brother is a coblogger of mine, so I hope he thinks well of it! (more…)

Featured Blogger: Noah Antwiler of The Spoony Experiment

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

The Spoony Experiment shares Noah Antwiler’s entertaining video reviews of movies, comics and video games with a multitude of loyal fans.  In addition to becoming one of the many fans of his site, join his nearly 14,000 Facebook fans and more than 20,000 Twitter followers for Antwiler’s latest updates!

Spoony Experiment Blogger Noah Antwiler

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: I started writing and making videos in 2004 primarily to make my friends online laugh.  I never expected that it would catch on as widely as it has, let alone that I’d be able to make a living doing it!  The whole purpose of the site and the reviews is to exorcise the demons (and by demons, I mean bad movies and videogames) from my childhood.  People really enjoy watching me lose my mind and reviewing all the stuff that drove me nuts as a kid.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other similarly-themed blogs?

A: It’s all about personality and style, and my friendship with many of the other critics who often show up in my reviews.  I think a lot of people identify with me and trust that I’m being honest with them.  Well, honest and hyperbolic.  People really appreciate the work I put into the reviews and enjoy the nostalgia trips I take them on.

Q: What does your family think of your blogging?

A: Oh, they’re supportive of the fact that I’m self-employed and working as a comedian, although “bewildered” is probably a more fitting term.  They always figured I’d go into software development after college, not dressing in funny costumes and playing horrible video games for the enjoyment of others.  I can hardly believe it myself! (more…)

Featured Blogger: Amy Bajalis of Love Meow

by Paige Wilcox
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

A self-proclaimed cat lover, Amy Bajalis shares her passion for felines on her blog, Love Meow.  In addition to posting oodles of adorable cat pictures and videos, Bajalis also uses her blog to draw attention to the importance of animal rescues and adoptions. Fans of this addictive blog can also keep up with cute cat news on Twitter and Facebook!

Love Meow Blogger Amy Bajalis

Q: When and why did you start blogging?

A: It was fall 2009 after we adopted Flip into our home. He is a shy black cat with the sweetest heart. A couple months later, we were found by two other cats Jackie and Shadow. Together with Flip and Lucy (our youngest adopted kitty), they became my inspiration for Love Meow, a blog dedicated to spread the love of cats.

Q: How do you think your blog stands out amongst other animal-lover blogs?

A: Most posts on Love Meow have a story behind it. Love Meow has published many amazing and inspiring stories shared by animal shelters, rescuers, foster parents, and cat lovers. They have touched the hearts of so many that now we have approximately 50 thousand Facebook likes and the number is growing fast daily. In an effort to raise the awareness of animal adoption, for each comment my readers make, I put 5cents into a fund which goes to an animal shelter nominated by my readers.

Q: What does your family think of your blogging?

A: My husband is my biggest support for my blog. He is a real cat lover who understands and loves cats with a passion. My blog has brought many interesting topics into our family conversation. It’s been a joy to talk about things we all enjoy. (more…)

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