Hello everyone! This week I have another great blogger to guest post as a part of the series meant to help us all with blogging and just everything that crosses your mind blog related! I’m very proud to welcome Tara Gentile, the creative, motivating and just genius mind behind Scoutie Girl and Tara Gentile! Awhile back I subscribed to Tara’s free e-course (which I recommend to all!) and was smitten by all the useful info, positive emails I was getting from Tara and one thing is clear for me: this lady knows what she’s talking about and her site is the perfect place to look for motivation and advice! And so I invited Tara to share some things with us and here she is! Don’t forget to take notes!
Ludmila: Where to look for inspiration for blog posts?
Tara: I look to my readers for inspiration. I think about the fears, problems, and questions my readers have on their minds and try to pair that with my own knowledge & resources. My best posts are actually inspired by the questions my readers aren’t asking themselves. Maybe something is nagging them but they don’t really know what it is. I try to get in there and pull out the different threads of a need and stitch them together into something useful & insightful. In the end, it creates a real trust relationship between my readers and I. They understand that I know their needs & sometimes understand what’s bothering them better than they do themselves. That’s my goal anyway!
Ludmila: How often a blog should be updated and how important it is to let your readers know when to look for posts?
Tara: I think a blog should be updated when you have something interesting to say. It’s too easy to try to push something out there all the time just to get page views or keep people engaged. Yes, I think you should push yourself to find interesting things to say. And I think you should try to write or curate or create daily. But it doesn’t mean you should publish anything less than your best.
Ludmila: How important is social media in blog world and what are the social media tools to be considered when promoting a blog?
Tara: It’s important to realize that blogging is part of social media. It’s what makes blogging separate from writing for a magazine, newspaper, or book. Blogging is a conversation & community. Your blog is your home base. It’s the cornerstone of your social media networking. All the Twittering & Facebooking & LinkedIning in the world doesn’t matter if you have nothing to point people back to. And what you point them back to better be even more interesting & useful than your 140-character updates. Using social media allows you to create a more vibrant conversation around your blog. What used to happen in comments & emails now happens publicly on Facebook pages & Twitter streams. Using social media allows your blogging to be more mindful as you save quick announcement or current events for your fast-paced updating. Bottom line, if you want people to share your blog posts – and you do! – then make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Sure, the Twitter & Facebook buttons might not be the prettiest thing on your blog but they may just make or break your blog’s growth.
Ludmila: How to deal with negative readers’ comments?
Tara: Okay, this is something I almost never have to deal with. For a blog of it’s size, Scoutie Girl should have some trolls. But it doesn’t. I think that the main reason for this is that I’m always concentrating on “you.” It’s hard to write a negative comment when I’m writing directly to “you” with “your” problem in mind. Instead of personally attacking me, you’d just be attacking yourself, right? I keep a positive & enthusiastic tone. And that’s infectious.
Ludmila: What’s the one and only advice you’ve ever received in your life which helped you throughout?
Tara: This is a piece of advice that I’ve only been recently introduced to but one that has unknowingly weaved it’s way through the best parts of my life. Chris Guillebeau talks about understanding what the BIG question is that you want to answer with your life’s work. To focus on that. To let that inform everything you do. Over the last year, I’ve realized that my “big question” has really never changed. I’ve always wanted to understand why people “believe” and help them to understand how the “why” impacts their life. When I’ve really exercised that question throughout my life, I’ve felt complete. I continue to answer that question every day and project it out onto the work that I do. That helps me maintain focus even when things seem like they’re going to fall apart.
Thank you so much, Tara! I hope everybody will bookmark this post, as it’s definitely a must-read! xo