>>Blog Out Loud Interview
Tara Frey of Typing Out Loud & Blogging For Bliss

Today's Blog Out Loud interview features lovely blogger and author, Tara Frey. Tara's popular blog about life and inspiration is Typing Out Loud (yes, we love the title) and she's also written an informative book about creating a blog to enhance your craft blog. Yes! We are so thrilled to have Tara share her thoughts on blogging, keeping it real and tips for designing the look and feel of your blog.

We love your About section on your personal blog, Typing Out Loud. The 1st line reading, "Hi! I'm Tara Frey, an accidental author, purposeful blogger, aspiring photographer and editorial contributor to a few home decor mags." Share with us how you got into blogging, how the experience has been rewarding and what "purposeful" means to you?
I began blogging in 2004 out of what I call "bored store owner syndrome" I owned an online boutique at the time called Bella Pink and was getting tired of writing descriptions for products and the occassional one dimensional newsletter for my customers. I had some press coverage and an inbox jammed with questions, so I thought, "what if I started a blog and communicated with my customers instantly, sort of as if we were at the cash register of a real store?" The blog was born. I say purposeful blogger because I think my blog has evolved over the years to a really comfortable place for me to speak freely, sharing bits of my life and random thoughts, and challenged me to really crank up my photography a notch. I am no longer looking at stat counts or worried if anyone is reading. I blog for myself, which may sounds selfish, so I'll add in that I also blog for my mom, who gets on my case if she hasn't seen a photo of her grandchildren in 2 days. Blogging has allowed me to express myself and my love of my husband and children and allowed me to get back to my passion of creative writing and storytelling.

With BOL, we often talk about the importance of being real and authentic on your blog. You definitely have a passion for design and your family and you express it so authentically on your blog. Share with us how you defined you voice and why a blog is the place to keep it real. Also what's your advice on avoiding being too "salesy" or "overbearing" on a blog.
Like any blogger, it took me some time to find my voice. I had the online store (which since closed due to my desire to focus on writing) and I definitely didn't want to keep posting about sales or new products over and over. People responded most when I wrote about my family or my home. This was easy for me to write about because I think for every woman, their 2 favorite things are family and home! Once I started blogging for myself, the rest came easy and naturally. I think if you stay true to yourself, your blog will grow organically. It's great if you have something to sell and want to talk about it in a post, you can avoid being too "salesy" for example, by writing how you made the product or mix in a bit about how you use the product yourself in your home and show photos. There is no right or wrong way, just be yourself !

Setting up a blog can seem daunting to new bloggers. How did you design your blog and over what period of time? What are your tips on new bloggers regarding design?
This was a journey for me. My blog was all bedazzled and sparkly at one point. For me, personally I felt it took away from the content, my photos and writing. I decided to clean it up, tone it down, make my own banners from my photography which has made it completely freeing. I love having this freedom of changing my banners myself and not relying on a designer. It's great to change them out for the seasons or whatever mood you are in. Also a fun way to keep it fresh! Another tip I always tell new bloggers, is to keep your email address up top and easily seen. You never know who is reading it (in my case, a publisher!) So you want your readers to be able to contact you and find that information easily. Also, practice your photography. Blog readers love photos and are very visual people, so be sure to include a photo in every post, even if the photo has nothing to do with the post. And of course if you have an online store, be sure to keep a link and/or button easily seen up top on your blog!

Congrats on your book, Blogging for Bliss - Crafting Your Own Online Journal! You have penned a book aimed towards the crafting bloggers (a huge and creative community) that shares valuable information on embracing and setting up crafting blogs. Share with us the inspiration behind writing the book and what you learned along the way.
My book was a take off on some of my columns in Romantic Homes Magazine and Romantic Living Magazine. In the columns, I would feature 2 or 3 women of interest, their craft and their blog. When I met with the publisher, the idea for the book was to really focus on this explosive community of creative bloggers and feature an array of crafty women, along with visual imagery as inspiration sprinkled throughout, then blend it with a "how to". I think the finished product is a perfect combination of all of these things and a great resource for all creative bloggers...from new ones, to seasoned experienced bloggers as well.

Thanks, Tara!! Definitely check out Tara's book right here and her blog, Typing Out Loud.

Check out more Blog Out Loud Interviews from...
>>Jess Constable of Jess LC & Makeunder My Life
>>Zem Joaquin of ecofabulous
>>Erin Lochner of Design for Mankind & BAKERY

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Kasey said...

great interview!

Post a Comment

>>Thanks for your comment on Blog Out Loud