I was thrilled when Ange and Vicki agreed to be interviewed about their thoughts and philosophies on pro-blogging, on a regular basis, via their websites which are hosted by Weebly.
Maria: What are your views on the benefits of establishing a website on Weebly?
Ange: I’ll narrow the list to three things...
Vicki: I think Angelia is a wonderful resource person for anything Weebly. It's a lonesome thing to start your own website, even when you're quite capable from a tech point of view. Angelia has a phenomenal amount of experience to draw from, and this is beyond price.
Oh, yes, price...well she’s also generous to a fault, and has built many sites for different folks. It's seldom that she charges a fee for the lovely sites she's devised.
There's a whole lot of fun and friendship on Weebly, and the more you interact the more interesting and enjoyable it gets. This is beyond just shallow “friends,” it's about folks who genuinely seek to learn and do better constantly, plus support each other to the max.We have a speedy and talented leader in our “hood”, and as you know, the speed of the leader is the speed of the gang!
Maria: If technology is not one’s forte, what assistance is available after the decision has been made to write on Weebly?
Ange: Weebly.com houses its own tutorials. Some are made by Weebly and some are made by Weebly users. There’s also YouTube, which is my on-going fav place to learn how to do stuff.
A good bit of working with a site is patience and determination. If someone gets stumped with something, and can’t find their answer via a web search or YouTube, another (though slower) route to get help is from me, or Vicki. I never mind to do whatever I can to help someone get their site situated in the way they want it, and help them learn how to work with it, including building the site for them and showing them how to use Slack and Google Drive to help them stay in the loop and develop easier collaboration with other Weeblyhood neighbors.
A faster way of getting in touch is by posting a question in the Slack channel called, theweeblyhood. To gain entrance, folks can check with me, or any other Slack member that has access to it and we’ll be happy to grant access.
Also, I often give access to a Google Drive folder that contains an ongoing compilation of helpful (we hope) information gathered by Weeblyhood pro bloggers. These are bloggers who write to earn an income, and have been generous in sharing their tips and experiences with others who also desire to earn a profit via blogging.
Past all that, Weebly makes it very easy to add someone trusted by a new Weebly site owner, to serve as an editor (or backup/standby editor) on their site without any of their personal data being divulged. The access can be enabled or revoked whenever the site owner desires.
Vicki: It’s entirely possible for you to build a free site, but the real work in personalizing it and adding all the bells and whistles comes about after that. With the combination of really good Weebly support and Angelia, I don't think you can go wrong.
Angelia and I have learned to work together and rely on each other for specific tasks that tend to come up.
Maria: You have both been phenomenal in the marketing and sharing of our work, both on social media and in your local communities. Have you seen an increase in traffic to your websites and others in the Weeblyhood?
Ange: I started seeing an increase in traffic to flashPress immediately after establishing and sticking to a publishing schedule.
Also, I noticed an increase after the ShoutOuts section was incorporated as a static feature into some of our regular editions. ShoutOuts is a dedicated section for sharing posts by other bloggers. We tend to reserve it for promoting pro bloggers’ posts only, but occasionally, a hobby-blogger or a not-for-profit blogger might be included in the mix.
Vicki: I agree with Angelia on this. The way we get bloggers to become known is by supporting them consistently, while writing consistently ourselves. It's about modeling commitment to the path you've decided to walk, and getting a kick out of seeing others do the same.
I would never have seen my views increase the way they have if it wasn’t for our promotion of other bloggers and their sites. The key is to become a consistent blogger. It's a hands on business, and deadlines are always just a couple of days away for us. It's when you genuinely see this, and embrace it that the magic starts to happen.
Maria: ‘A little birdie’ told me that the Tips for Talent Club has been reworked into the Virtual Buskers’ Guild. Below is an excerpt from a recent “string” in Slack that I’ve gotten permission to share...
femmeflashpoint (Angelia): I wanted to change the name of the Tips for Talent Club to something that's more on-target in description.
My trouble with the name was, we aren't asking for tips because we have talent. We're encouraging tips as earned income for our work.
My proposal was to redub it the Virtual Buskers Guild.
Virtual Buskers is a title/phrase that's gaining ground rapidly, largely due to a few of us throwing it around, and adding hashtags to it, when possible, within the social networks.
It also has medieval yet modern attributes, which is hugely attractive to gamers, many of whom are also pro-bloggers.
The same requirements can apply to bloggers/vloggers/authors who want to participate, meaning having their site to include a virtual tip option.
Eventually, we can decide on a logo-design for it. Once done, I'm likely to have it stamped onto some jerseys, tees and other stuff to help spread the word and encourage membership.
Maria: Can you shed some light on the thought process behind this?
Ange: I’m happy to say we had a unanimous agreement to go from club to guild. It’s now officially the Virtual Buskers' Guild, and its website has been updated to reflect the change.
As Vicki pointed out in the Slack exchange, the term guild depicts we’re serious about our craft, and care about the quality of our work. We aren’t just slapping content to together in some willy-nilly fashion.
Vicki: I think Angelia has expressed this very well. Virtual Buskers' Guild describes us and our building tip system with nice precision.
Maria: Is there anything you wished I had asked that you’d like to share here?
Ange: Yes, the concept of platforms and brands.
It has been personally and professionally rewarding transition from Ezine and content farm writing to writing from my own platform under my own brand. I have a freedom and drive in working for myself that I never experienced before. I do still engage in writing for a local newspaper, but it’s a rarity. My reason to maintain with it is to keep a presence in a community I care about that I have many years of association with, personally and I have a huge fondness for the publisher, Dan Barton of New Harmony, Indiana and also for a couple of his writers, one of which happens to be Ann Rains of RainsWriter.
Locals here are familiar with my site, and I admit that it feels oh-so-awesome to consistently meet new folks, who step up to me in public, and take the time to tell me they're fans of flashPress.
That’s a dream come true, and gives me nearly unlimited opportunities to direct their attention to seek out other pro bloggers' sites as well.
Thanks for having us, Prof. Mahreer! You've been a wonderful asset in this venture.
Vicki: Yes, why we're confident our work is worthy of tips.
I guess at some point we should think about revision of the term tips. For some it might suggest we provide a brief service, and you then decide whether it's worthwhile to show your appreciation by offering an appropriate cash amount.
As any ezine writer will tell you, the pickings are slim, because the site actually makes all the money, and throws you a few well-picked bones! Sure, you get nice comments from some of the hundreds of writers involved in hoping for the big time, but does that really pay you for the hours you spent developing great content? And then, just when you seem to be moving forward, another update happens, and you're further back than square one!
So why not think a bit outside the box? Our great friend Maria Jordan (thanks for the invite to write here!) hasn't lost any friends by still visiting her ezine ones, but at the same time developing a great and inspirational site of her own. I bet she can tell you very honestly that your earnings increase massively by striking out on your own, but with the support of fellow bloggers, you're never actually on your own!
If this seems a tad confusing, why not try the math approach? If you have 10,000 followers/readers, and even 10% of them love your work, and know how hard you work at it, deciding to pay you $1 per month via PayPal (more secure than your credit card) you'd be better off by $1000!
See now why we love our readers and fellow bloggers? There is a way to have your cake and eat it. And it gets more delicious all the time! Join the Virtual Buskers Guild and see what I mean.
Thanks so much for the opportunity, dear Maria! It's just the best that we can all work together on inspiring each other.
Maria: Thanks to you for your time and inspiration. I’m forever learning from you both.
☙ Robin Hood and The Big Bad Banks via WarnerWords
☙ SmarterNotHarder: Collaborating? Why it’s better to start your doc “inside” Google Drive via flashPress
See you next month and thanks for stopping by,
Every tip in my jar is a reminder that my musings matter.
marcoujor, Virtual Buskers' Guild
is a totally free site, but, if you like it and would like to leave a tip, I'll surely put it to good use!
Thanks for your support of the indie biz community!
Tipping made easy!
1. Click ---> PayPal
2. Select friends or family option
Something awaits us all.
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