Questions & Answers - Among Other Things (The Blog)

Questions & Answers

Good question, longer answer

Why did you change the name of your blog?
How did you turn your blog into a brand? Any tips for doing that?
I'm new to SoulCycle. Any tips?
When did you feel like it was the right time to make blogging your full-time job?
What would you have told yourself when you started blogging?
How did you become a SoulCycle Instructor?

Blog & Biz Q & A

Q: How long have you been blogging?

Almost six years.

Q: Did you always want to end up blogging full-time?

A: No, not at all. Back in the day, I loved working in the agency world, and my blog was just a hobby (and fun way to meet people outside of the office). Social media didn’t exist when I first started blogging, but when Twitter, Instagram and every other platform launched, it ultimately became this crazy, every-changing industry and it ended up being a lucrative career.

Q: What do you see people who are new to blogging doing wrong?

A: They’re suddenly in it, but for the wrong reasons — like money, Internet fame or “free stuff.”

Q: What advice would you give to a blogger who is just starting out or is trying to take their blog to the next level?

A: Be authentic, consistent and patient. Establish your blog’s voice and stick to it. Know what your audience wants and expects from you and deliver on that. Consistently.

Q: Any social media best practices?

A: Yes. First, share updates that are purposeful and find a way to make them relevant. For the love of all things holy don’t just post for the sake of broadcasting. Would you walk into a party of 100 people and announce, “Attention everyone! HERE IS A NEW BLOG POST! CHECK OUT THESE PHOTOS OF ME ON MY BLOG!” I really hope not. (And if so, you’re not invited to my party.)

Sure, there’s a promotional aspect. I utilize it too. But let’s remember what each platform is rooted in: Being social. Sharing. Creating conversation. Being a freakin’ human being.

Q: What do you think is the most powerful social media platform for blog promotion?

A: It depends. What are your objectives? If it’s blog traffic, you probably want to invest most of your time in Twitter and Pinterest. You have to trial and error which works best for you. Instagram has become a micro-blog in-and-of itself, so you can treat it as such.

Q: How many hours a week do you work on your blog?

A: At least 35 hours per week. This includes weekends.

Q: Do you believe in “just blogging for fun”? Or will hinder me if I don’t have a lot of followers?

A: Girl, I’m still blogging because it’s fun! Everything else is just an added benefit… If it makes you happy, then keep it in your life. I always like to say “do what’s worth your time, not your money.”

Q: How do I get more blog followers?

A: This is the most frequently asked question I receive. Honestly, I’d encourage you not to focus on follower acquisition (especially since people can and do purchase all kinds of followers these days). Why not focus on getting the right type of followers instead of a certain amount?

Pour your heart (and time) into writing and creating amazing, high-quality content. If your blog posts are engaging, emotional, informative and/or pretty to look at, your readers will do the leg-work for you and share them. (Please note: This does not happen overnight! Unless you pay for followers… Which everyone can usually tell. Don’t do it.)

Q: What’s your secret to good time-management?

A: I always feel inclined to say something inspirational along the lines of: work hard, stay humble and trust that everything will fall into place. So there’s that, but also — delivery services. Seamless is really the one thing that keeps me going. And the dry cleaner and liquor store. Your time is money, honey!

Q: How do you stay organized?

A: I keep everything in one place: My Google Calendar. Everything from blog deadlines to Soul classes and personal shit. Dinners, due dates, workouts, waxing appointments — you name it. If it’s not on my calendar, I will not remember it.

Q: How do you separate yourself from your blog? Is the Hallie we see here filtered or exactly who you are in person?

A: They’re pretty much the same, yeah. While I will always have an open line of communication with my readers (and I love you to do the same), where I do draw the line is on things that are very personal or just plain heavy — until I’m ready to address them. And then I will. At the end of the day, I strive to be as positive and optimistic as possible, because I never want to impose negative energy on you. Plus, what’s the point in not being that way? You’re only as happy and fulfilled as you decide to be. Think about it.

Q: I’m not getting any comments on my posts (and it’s really frustrating). Any advice?

Yeah, I hate when that happens; but don’t get discouraged. Sometimes you just have to step into the role of what it is you’re looking for. If you don’t already, take 10 minutes of our morning to read and comment on five blog posts. People will return the favor! And also, because I do this too: As humans, we’re wired to seek feedback and approval from others — but try not to do that.

Q: Do you have advice for others who are balancing blogs and full-time jobs?

A: Yes: Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a LIFE!

… But seriously, I’ve found it’s best to channel focus on one or the other. When I’m at work, I’m working. Afterward (often until 2 a.m.) and on weekends, I’ll work on my blog-related tasks. Multitasking can be distracting and ultimately, a total time-suck, so wherever you are, be all there.

Q: At what point can you start working with brands?

A: There’s not really a black-and-white answer here, but once you can demonstrate that you’re an authority in your field, you have leverage. Do you influence people? Prove it. Screenshot tweets and comments that showcase purchasing behavior or specific feedback. Build a case to market yourself.

Q: What’s the best part about blogging full-time?

A: Being able to create my own schedule, come up with really awesome content ideas, and work with some of the brands I’ve dreamt about interacting with my entire life. It’s really crazy.

Q: What’s the worst part about blogging full-time?

A: No one pays you on time. Hell, sometimes people don’t even pay you.

More posts about blogging

Lifestyle Q&A

Q: Where do you live?

A: I live in Chicago, IL.

Q: Where are you from originally?

A: Ah, the great state of Ohio! (Cleveland)

Q: Didn’t you used to live in New York?

A: I did, yes — for about three years. Here’s why I made the decision to move.

Q: Are you and Jess (from bows & sequins) secretly dating?

A: No, lol. But great question.

SoulCylce Q&A

Q: Do you ever post your playlists online?

A: Not in their entirety, but I share and re-post a lot of the music I’m loving on Spotify, Soundcloud and Snapchat.

Q: Where can I find your teaching schedule?

A: Right this way — click here!

Q: Do you ever teach classes in other cities?

A: Very rarely, but not never. You can always e-mail customer service with Instructor-related feedback that you might have… Including that!

More posts about SoulCycle
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