Blog this Way!-Interview with Tamara Horton, creator of Tammy Talks

I started my blog with the expectation that I would provide relevant information to my target market. I also wanted to establish myself as an expert in my field, and let that the world know that I am approachable. But is there more I should be doing? I really don’t know the answer to that question. I am constantly reading tips, articles, and e-books to find ways to be a better blogger. One of the articles I read an article called 5 Tips for Starting a Blog gave a great synopsis of blogging.. The key points of the article were:
1.       Learn the basics of “SEO”
2.       Look at other good blogs
3.       Write great content
4.       Market your blog
5.       Have a call to action- Once you start getting traffic, make sure you know what to do with it. Get readers onto a mailing list? Sell some products? Arrange a meeting?

I have learned the basics of SEO to the point I am self-sufficient. I also read other blogs. I write content based on my experiences managing my own personal finances, as well as FAQs I answer for my clients. Now all I have to do is market my blog well and have a great call to action. I am the type of entrepreneur that learns that knowledge AND real life experience. So I decided to reach out a successful blogger from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

I interviewed Tamara Horton, creator of Tammy Talks to gain some insight as to how to be a better blogger.

What inspired you to become an entertainment blogger?

It started as online storage for me. I would upload pictures and stories that I wanted to show friends or family members so I wouldn’t forget and so I wouldn’t clog my phone with pictures. Little did I know, there were people from all over were checking out the blog as well and actually subscribing to the RSS feed.  So I began to take it a little more serious and started posting things I thought a vaster group of people would be interested in.

I am new to the world of bloggers. Since starting in 2009, what some challenges you faced and overcome as a blogger.

The biggest challenge any blogger will face is gaining an audience. Blogs are a dime a dozen. So trying to win people over and convince them to check out and trust your blog is the hard part.

Your blog has grown tremendously. I want to grow my blog to increase my subscribers and generate leads. Can you offer some tips?

1. PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE! Promoting your blog is the only way to gain subscribers and views. You have to think outside the box and be innovative with how you get the word out.

2. Stay on topic…if you have a specific genre you want to cover stick to that. You don’t want a post about a Bible lesson and then right underneath there is a Lil Wayne video.

3. Be consistent. If you are a weekly blog…update weekly. If you are taking time away from your blog let your readers know. You don’t want people coming to your blog and noticing you haven’t posted in weeks….chances are they won’t return .

Some people believe that there is a lot of money to be made by doing blogging. Is that true?

Any hobby can be lucrative so yes you can make money from blogging. But, it’s not as easy as people assume. Find advertisers is relatively easy, but you really only get paid based on how many people not only come to your blog, but how many people actually click the advertisers links.

I noticed that on your website that you have a “blogroll” that list other websites featuring other bloggers and websites that report on the entertainment industry. Why did you decide to cross promote?

Cross promotion is one way to show support. Bloggers borrow stories from each other all the time. I’ve had some stories and pictures I’ve posted and have the rights to posted on NecoleBitchie and TheYBF so why not return the love and list their urls on my site as other dope sites to check out. Also not every blog is going to post every single entertainment news piece that hits the airwaves, so it gives people an option to check out another site where they may find news that I don’t have posted.

What did you do to market your blog? How often do you post to your social media outlets?

I initially relied heavily on word of mouth. When I started my blog it wasn’t big in Milwaukee, and not a lot of people knew of blogs and exactly what they were. SEO (search engine optimization), Twitter, FB, and various forums are mainly what I use to promote. My personal Twitter (@TammyTalks) as well as my blogs Twitter account (@TammyTalksBlog) are set up to auto tweet a new story right away when I put it on the site, and again every 4 to 6 hours based on the popularity on the site.

You have an online store of Tammy Talks products and you recently became a contributor to VH1. What is next on the horizon for TammyTalks?

Just continuing to work on TammyTalksTV on YouTube, and preparing to launch my radio show next spring in addition to booking more celebrities for exclusive interviews.

Any advice you want to provide to me and other aspiring bloggers out there?

Make sure you have the time to blog and the desire to really become a blogger; a lot of people see the glamour in blogging and realize the effort and time that goes into it. Double and triple check your story before you post it. You want to maintain your credibility as to attract more fans. If you constantly have to post retractions on a story because you found out it was false it lowers your credibility thus causing people not to trust the information you post.