Interview with Ellen
Interview with: Ellen
Her Blog: The Reign of Ellen
Her audience: easy-going, funny, non-judgmental readersÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢â¬Åmoms; dads; college-aged women
Things to note when you visit: the open spirit of community; the royal gallery, the blogroll; the multiple kinds of interactivity; the connection between Ellen and her readers; how the open, friendly, design supports the concept; the special features and unique ideas
2.5 Queen Ellen’s Advice
Ellen has been building blogging expertise since May 2003. Her background in design and graphics also brings an additional dimension to the conversation. She shared some of her experience with the highs and lows of blogging.
What was the biggest mistake that you made?
I wrote some critical comments about one of my sisters on my old blog. . . . None of my family even knew that my blog “diary” existed, so I never thought that she’d ever read it. But search engines are tricky little things, and she . . . found my blog and read every archived post. She was very hurt and angry. I don’t regret writing my true thoughts and feelings on my blog, but I’ve learned that you must be willing to accept the fallout if you choose to do so. Needless to say, I don’t write about family anymore. I don’t know who is reading.
What change made the greatest improvement?
Besides the obvious switch from my boring old “Sugar” blog to “Reign,” I think that the addition of the “The Court of Ellen” cartoons bolstered the community on my blog. People love to belong and love to feel special and unique.
What do you wish you could do for your blog?
To be honest, I really like my blog the way it is. But I do wish I had more time to respond to all the emails and comments that I receive from readers. However, being a working mother with several personal hobbies outside of blogging, this is impossible right now.
What was the best advice anyone gave you?
“If you delete that blog, I will beat you, woman.”
Not really advice as much as a threat. Said to me by my husband after I received my first attacking comment from a “troll.” I get my feelings hurt easily, and I was about to delete my entire blog. Thankfully, I listened to him and have toughened up a bit.
What advice would you give a beginner?
Surf the network of blogs. You can learn a lot about blogging from other bloggersÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢â¬?the good, the bad and the ugly. And as the saying goes for writers, ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã âif you want to be a good writer, read good books,ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬? so it goes for bloggers . . . ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã âIf you want to be a successful blogger, lurk on a lot of blogs.ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬?
Finally, make your template–ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã âyour template”–something you like to return to time and time again. My personal preference for my template is to keep ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã âclean and uncluttered.ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬? ItÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã¢âÂ¢s about the only place in my life that is ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬Ã âclean and uncluttered.ÃÂ¢Ã¢âÂ¬?
“Hey, you try having a baby, working part time, and pumping out artwork every week,” added Jason, Ellen’s husband.
In what ways, have you made your template your own? Stand back. Take a look. Does your blog reflect what happens there?
Is your blog a place you want to come back to time and time again?
–ME “Liz” Strauss