Wednesday, December 11

I first found Taylor Grace's blog, The Daily Tay, through my roommate Julia who is friends of friends with Taylor from back in Nebraska {aren't you glad I stopped there?}. Before I knew it I was reading her blog every day, aspiring to one day have a blog as funny, genuine, and stylish as hers. A fellow Chicagoan and Second City and iO improv student, Taylor is a passionate writer and blogger. I reached out to her a few weeks ago on a whim hoping to ask her some questions about her journey as a blogger. She graciously responded and sent over to me some gem answers. I hope you're inspired by her and her work as much as I am...

What have you found to be the best ways to build a readership and get your blog out there?
1. Sponsoring other blogs. 
It took me a long time to suck it up and realize that if I want to grow my blog like a business that means I need to treat it like a business. And how do businesses grow? With advertising. I jumped from about 50 followers to 500 in four months after I started paying bigger bloggers to let me post on their site and introduce myself to their readers. I think it's best to start sponsoring the smaller blogs first and then work your way up to the bigger.

2. Commenting on other blogs. 
If you leave good meaningful comments on other blogs that lead to more people finding your blogs. 

3. Link-ups.
I used to do link-ups all the time because it would lead me to finding new blogs and other smaller bloggers to find me. 

4. Write original good content. 
This is really important, if you're writing good stuff people will keep coming back. Find your voice and stick to it.

Who is your ideal reader or target audience? How do you shape your blog to reach and appeal to them?
This one is tricky for me because I know the blog world is a lot of women, but I also like to appeal to men as well. Or at least I try to. I try to balance out my girly posts with posts that can appeal to guys as well. However it's mostly women (aged 20-40) who purchase ads on my site. And most of the businesses/product reviews who contact me are typically geared toward women. 

How do you stay motivated to write every day?
I guess I just really love to write, I always have. However I have my days when I have nothing to write about, or just lack of desire. But once I started making money on my blog I stopped thinking of it as a choice, I simply have to write a post every single day because I think of it as my job now, and not so much just a hobby. I am constantly looking for blog post ideas and always have a notepad (on my iphone) with me and write down every little thing that catches my attention. 

Do you have a writing ritual? (specific music/location/time of day)
Nope. Although I do love a good Starbucks. But I'll pretty much write any time of day anywhere.

Do you recommend writing multiple posts at once and then posting one a day, or do you write each blog post the day you post it?
I don't plan any posts. I simply sit down and write what comes to me. However I do know people who have schedules that aren't quite as flexible as mine who write all their posts for the week on Sunday evening. I think you just have to find what works best for you.

Who takes the pictures of you?
Mostly Chris. :/ I absolutely loath photos but know it's a necessary evil. I also stalk up when my mom is in town. 

Is there anything you wish you had known when you first began blogging?
Hmmm.... Considering I blogged for about three years without posting a photo or really joining the blogging community, yes, I wish I would have started marketing myself and my blog from the beginning, probably would be a lot further along by now. But hindsight is 20/20. I was a lot more controversial/snarky/negative back in the day and I'm kinda glad I didn't start sharing my posts with strangers until I'm at the point in my life where I am now. And don't let negative comments get to you! People will always have their opinions, but usually it's only unhappy people who take the time to leave an unhappy comment.


  1. Mara, I agree completely! I've tried starting blogs before but honestly never had the time that a blog deserves.

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  3. This was great for me to read having literally just started my blog. Thanks for all the advice. I definitely need to think about some of the questions- such as who I want to appeal to and I want to try to plan some more posts and join in some linkups.

    Late Night Coffee Drinker

    1. Yay so happy it could help! It's been so helpful to me as well since I also just started!