Same Blog-New Place

This is now my old blog address-I am now one of those Wordpress geeks and my blog now sits at . So, please visit me there and if you subscribe to it, you will be my new best friend and chocolate chip cookies will fall from the sky.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Words With a Blogger Wednesday

Hey, I didn't let you down this week!
I have a Words with a Blogger Wednesday guest!
Her name is Angela and she's from
She's dedicated her blog to helping people save money through coupons.
I love blogs like this. I'm addicted to blogs like this. You will become addicted to this blog-trust me.
So, I'm going to shut up now and let Angela tell you her story.
Take it away, Angela!
My name is Angela and I'm a stay-at-home mom of two and a freelance writer. A few months ago, I discovered the wonderful world of couponing. I couldn't get over how much I was saving and I began sharing deals I was finding with friends and family. A few people suggested I started a blog. Although I didn't know how to do that, I quickly found out how. I spent a couple months reading up and planning my blog before launching it.

There are many "coupon blogs" out there, and I don't just want to be one of the pack. So after some serious brainstorming and planning, I came up with a few elements which I believe makes my blog different:

1) I'm a newbie. I don't have all the answers, nor do I pretend to. I'll share with you what I learn as I learn it. I'll share my mistakes as well as my successes. I'm not an "old pro" by any stretch of the imagination.
2) I avoid coupon lingo. This sort of goes with #1, but you won't find acronyms or what I like to call "Couponese" on my blog. I work hard to put my deals in layman's terms, giving you blow-by-blow instructions on how to use coupons. I really want to make my blog accessible and readable to folks who are new at this, too.
3) I work to be gender-neutral. I've deliberately chosen a gender-neutral name (The Coupon Project) and design. There are many "coupon mom" blogs out there. Don't get me wrong, many of these have wonderful content and are reaching a very specific (and large!) audience. However, there are many guys out there that do the shopping for their families. I want my blog to be a place that both men and women can come to find deals.
4) I work to share my knowledge of writing and math. As a freelance writer, I want to provide in-depth and "meaty" posts on all things couponing in addition to sharing the deals. And as someone who worked in the banking industry for several years, I know a thing or two about running the numbers. I always encourage my readers to see the bigger picture and make sure they're making a difference in their total bottom line.

When did you start blogging?

I started my blog in February of this year. However, I've been a freelance copywriter ( for the past three years. I started my writing career as a means to earn income from home while raising my kids.

Do you make money from your blog?

I sure hope to! I just obtained my business license and am in the process of monetizing my blog. I decided from the get-go that I wanted to focus first on building quality content and just getting the hang of blogging. Now that I've been doing that for a few months, I've begun to look at the money-making opportunities available to me. I recently signed on with Google AdSense and I am also trying to think outside the box as to how I might profit from my blogging venture.

How frequently do you post?

I try to post at least once daily and usually post more than that.

Do you have a favorite blogger(s) that you just can't live without reading?

I'd have to say the top two blogs I follow are Money Saving Mom and Hip 2 Save! Both provide quality content and post frequently.

Have your readers influenced you in any way?

Absolutely! I always encourage reader feedback! I often post deals readers share with me, I have made enhancements to my blog based on reader feedback (such as the Feedburner option I added yesterday), and I make sure to respond to comments left on my blog.

Has blogging changed your life in any way?

Just last night, I went to my SiteMeter tab and viewed the locations of my most recent readers. I had a reader in New York, another in New Orleans, a couple in Kansas, California, Texas, and Florida. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that I am connecting with readers all over the country. (Not to mention, I've connected with some pretty wonderful bloggers, too!) Whenever I get a reader that thanks me for my work, I know that the time I spend on this blog is worth it.

I have also learned that I am more capable of accomplishing things than I realize. A few short months ago, I had not a clue about how to start or run a blog. I also have another business and don't forget - two little ones here at home with me all day, every day. But guess what? I'm making it happen! My confidence has definitely grown since becoming a blogger.

And I have to add, as a writer, it is an exhilarating feeling to be able to write what I want, how I want, and publish it when I want. Now that's power!
What do you do when you get writer's block?

Good question! First I think to the day of the week it is. Having certain days set aside for certain posting topics is helpful. On Saturdays, I work on my drugstore scenarios. On Wednesdays, I tackle the grocery stores. On Thursdays, I'm looking for coupon previews. Another thing that has been helpful is to come up with a big topic that you can break out in a series of posts. I am currently finishing one entitled "Coupon Myths and Misconceptions." When I started this series a couple months ago, I brainstormed about 10 different myths I could talk about. Then, tackle one a week for 10 weeks! Another idea - I read other blogs and forums and see if I can find deals there or other posts worth linking to. As a final idea, think of some personal experience you could share - take a photo of your current stockpile, share how you did at a recent sale, or ask a friend who's having success if you could share one of their stories.

Any other advice you might have for newbie bloggers?

I have lots of advice, but in the interest of time, here are my top three suggestions for newbie bloggers:

1. Do not apologize for being new. I physically cringe when I see bloggers do this. Don't say, "I'm new...I don't really know if anyone's reading this, but here goes nothing." I don't even think you need to say you're new...folks can check out your archive if they really want. Whatever you do, don't discount yourself and what you have to offer! Be confident! Pretend you have a readership in the thousands RIGHT NOW and get going. Remember, people that are reading your blog are already assuming you have something worthwhile to say - so say it with authority. Be confident. And if you aren't confident, fake it.
2. Determine how you will be different. Please, please do something different! Don't just repeat everyone else. Offer something different, unique. In order to do this, you'll have to be a reader of other people's blogs of course. See what they might be missing and jump a the opportunity! Then let other bloggers know about your blog and how it's different. They might feel your content compliments theirs in some way and they could link to you or feature you in a post from time to time.
3. Let folks know you exist. Don't expect to just start blogging and have people find you. Introduce yourself to other bloggers. Offer to write a guest post. Share a deal you find. Leave meaningful comments on their site. Add your deal scenarios if you find a Mr. Linky. I also like to put updates on Facebook or emails. I have submitted my blog to web crawlers and blog aggregators. I'm always looking for new ways to get found.

Finally, if you are thinking about starting a blog, do your planning ahead of time. Don't just launch it at random. Remember that your first post IS important, so be thoughtful about how you proceed.

If you have additional questions about my blog or about starting your own, please contact me at thecouponproject at hotmail dot com. Thank you!
And thank YOU, Angela!


TheAtticGirl said...

Hi there. Following from MBC.

Jennifer said...

Wow! Great interview! I especially loved her tips to new bloggers! I totally agreed with her - Great points!