I want to thank everyone who contributes to the community on my blog. I have come to realize my initial post is just the beginning of the conversation, and it is through readers and their comments that real value can be added to my post. I have been fortunate to have an excellent community building around my blog and I want to thank you.
I can’t believe I recently received my 1,000th comment. I thought this milestone is worth mentioning and the commenter should be recognized. In fact as I write this, I am almost to 1,050 comments.
My 1,000 commenter is Opal of Vegan Momma. I was not surprised that she was the 1,000 commenter as she frequently visits and contributes to my blog. I figured I would interview Opal so we could find out more about her and she was kind enough to take the time to respond.
Interview with Opal of Vegan Momma
1 – How did you get into blogging?
Hmm, I had the website Vegan Momma long before I started blogging. I had a lot of info that I wanted to write about, but I wanted to do it without using Dreamweaver. That’s how I found out about blogging before that time I had no idea what “blogging” could do. I checked out Blogger. I hated it! I deserted the blog the first day I signed up. I moved onto TypePad stayed with them for 9 months and finally moved my blog onto my website Vegan Momma. I should have done that from the beginning.
2 – What attracts you to a blog, and what keeps you reading?
Solid & informative content what keeps me coming back. I want to visit someone that is friendly and takes time to respond to their visitors. If I feel like I’m having a conversation with you, well you are added to my blogroll and my RSS Feed.
3 – You have numerous blogs that you write, can you give a quick list and overview?
Wow, that would take a long time. I’ll just write about a few of them, ok?
Vegan Momma – www.veganmomma.com/blog
Is my main baby? Initially, I created this website so I could talk about veganism after about a year (surprised it took me that long) I grew weary talking about that. I was only networking with other vegans. I don’t follow that practice in real life so why in the world am I doing it online. This website is constantly evolving recently I’ve been writing more about health, nutrition, exercise, and alternative ways people can make money online. You don’t have to write reviews, and you don’t have to be dependent on search engines for your traffic. I’m not.
Healing Yourself Naturally – www.healingyourselfnaturally.com
I’m passionate about alternative health so it’s only natural that I write about it. I guess it’s my way of showing people there are natural ways remedies for the variety of ailments we encounter throughout life. I don’t think over the counter remedies should be the first choice. I’m hoping through providing information/recipes that people will be open to other methods to heal themselves. In many cases you can heal yourself naturally without the side effects that is associated with medication.
The Raw & The Cooked – www.therawandthecooked.com
This is a whole food recipe website. I don’t post junk food on here. Westernized cultures consume entirely too much junk food I’m not about to prepare those types of recipes. We have a high amount of disease we really need to wake up and focus on what we our putting into our bodies. Many diseases that plague our society (various cancer, diabetes, heart condition, high cholesterol) can be linked to our health choices. Its time we wake up and make changes in our lives. We have only one body quit filling it with junk. ☺
Weight Loss Diva’s – www.weightlossdivas.com
This one is currently sitting collecting dust. I’m going to hire someone to take on this project they will have a similar vision as myself and be extremely knowledgeable about nutrition. There are many people searching for ways to lose weight. I think many will look for a quick fix to accomplish these goals although some might lose weight rapidly following these methods, it’s not the healthiest option available and if you don’t have a plan on how you are going to maintain the new figure the weight will come back.
A Homeschool Resource – www.ahomeschoolresource.com
I created this website because there are many people who are single that want to homeschool their child but think they cannot accomplish this. I believe they can. I’ve met single parents who work outside the homes that are able to accomplish this. That is impressive.
4 – You are a very busy person, how do you have time to work, take care of your family, and still write your blog and build community?
It can be hard fortunately I don’t require too much sleep. I sleep three – five hours nightly and I’m fully rested. I also take care of my body which accounts for me not needing a lot of sleep.
I take the time for what is important. My daughter, businesses, fitness & relaxing. My daughter is my #1 priority, naturally she comes before everything. I manage to fulfill most of my goals simply because I make a schedule and try to stick to it. I don’t make excuses. Yes I do have to make sacrifices occasionally, but I’ve seen the benefits of doing that, and it inspires me to do more. My hard work is paying off. I could sit around complaining about what I cannot do but how is that helping me? It’s not. It takes a lot of work to be “successful”. Success isn’t always about money. I’m willing to put in the time and sacrifice to become a success.
5 – You receive quite a bit of positive feedback concerning your blogs, what suggestions do you have for other blogger’s?
Stay positive. It’s great to have regulars, but it’s also nice to reach out to new people. I try to follow up with every new person that stops by my blog. Sure they get the generic email that goes out to all my readers, but I also try to send them a personal email. I respond to the comment they left and invite them to come back. I also let them know if they have a blog I will be stopping by to visit.
Opal also followed this question up with a list of suggestions. They were such great suggestions that they get their own post.
6 – It is obvious that photography is one of your hobbies, do you have others?
I have many hobbies. Although I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, I love creating it. I imagine over the past several years I’ve sold hundreds of jewelry pieces, and I’ve given many of them away also.
Hmm, is that a hobby? I volunteer a few times monthly at a local homeless shelter. I’m also a mentor for an 11 year old girl.
You might as well say that is an addiction. It keeps the stress at an all time low. The past few months have been very stressful. I’ve got a lot on my plate but the exercise keeps me positive and the projects that face me daily just aren’t so bad.
I love skydiving this is a something I put on hold when my daughter made an appearance I’m hoping it’s something I can pick up when she is a little older.
7 – You have a young daughter, how do you balance how much to disclose about your family on your blog?
People are shocked when I tell them I’m a private person because some say I’m so “open” on my blog. What I reveal on my website is only a small sampling of who I am. I don’t reveal everything about me of course that goes double with my daughter. I don’t use her first name on my website. I’m not comfortable revealing too much about my daughter so I don’t post too many pictures about her or write to many personal things about her. If she wants to reveal tidbits of her life when she takes up blogging (I believe she will) than that will be her decision. Of course, if she is underage I’ll keep a tight control on what she can or cannot reveal. Now that I think of it that would be pretty cool if she decided to blog on momma’s blog when she gets older. Barring any unforeseen problems I believe Vegan Momma will be around for a long time.
8 – Does Aiyana help you blog, and does she have any favorite bloggers?
Yeah, tries to get in the way, lol. Currently she is “blogging” but those are simple notes for family/friends. She’s been reading since she was three. It’s amazing how much she has improved in that aspect. Since I know how important technology is I encourage her interest and let her explore, under mommy’s supervision.
Who are Aiyana’s favorite bloggers?
I’ll name the top three. I honestly think you’re her favorite. Why? You have a lot of screenshots on your website. She sees that a lot with my work. I take screenshots of my work and send them to clients. Occasionally I do that on some of my website’s. She makes that connection and thinks you must be “ok” because you do something that mommy does. She also knows you work with computers. She knows that mommy loves computers/technology. She usually calls you Mr. Thomas the Tech Guy or Mr T the Tech Evangelist! She thinks it’s cool that you work on a computer must like her. Her computer is a Windows OS a HPdv6000t that she has named “Zizzy”.
She likes Pelf www.chenpn.com and is in love with her new turtle website (so am I). Ms. Pelf sent Aiyana turtle cards all the way from Malaysia so she is the #1 lady blogger in her book.
She also likes Mrs. Beth www.eclecticstudiocafe.com/blog Mrs. Beth sent her a gorgeous photo of a jumping spider. It’s framed and hanging in our room. She’s also fond of her daughter although the only way she’s met her is through her photo online. Anyone that shows a lot of pictures will get a lot of attention from Ms. Aiyana. She’s visual. Currently mommy is on her “bad list” because I haven’t been posting a lot of photos, lol.
9 – You have 4 ferrets, what are their names?
My adorable little monsters, lol. I cannot imagine my world without my fuzzbutts. I named them after Hindu deities; Ganesh, Indra, Hanuman, & Kali. Although I’m Buddhist I’m accepting and interested in a variety of religions. My ferrets can be found at www.ferretshaven.com. I’ve been neglecting their website. However they have informed me if I don’t start posting videos and pictures they will hide my keys, again! 😉
How you “view” me online is how I am in person. I’m very approachable and am always smiling. People like that. Thomas, thanks for taking the time to interview me. You’re a fabulous person, my favorite Microsoft guy, and I’ve been a fan of your website ever since I discovered you earlier this year. You’re an excellent example of how to make your website interesting. You do it well.
Thanks to Opal for the great information, and thanks to my readers and commenter’s. If you are a reader and have not yet commented, please feel free to add to the conversation.