This post is about an interview which I had with award-winning Pro Blogger, author, and speaker Jennifer A. Janes. Jennifer has contributed several articles for major online and offline publications. She writes mostly about topics related to faith, parenting, family, and homeschooling a child with special needs. You can also visit her personal blog for more information.
1) Please tell us more about yourself?
Jennifer: I live in Arkansas with my husband and our two daughters, ages 9 and 11. We currently have three cats and two gerbils as members of our family. I am a lifelong writer, and I enjoy drinking iced tea and write in blue ink when I write longhand.
2) How you started blogging?
Jennifer: My brother gave me a blog for Christmas 2005. He set up a free one for me on WordPress.com. I had no idea what I was doing. My posts were a couple of sentences long and usually shared something funny that had happened with the kids. My husband and a couple of friends were my only readers. It was pathetic. I finally gave up, until the day I was praying about how to bring in some extra income for my family and I remembered my blog. I still didn’t know anything about blogging at that point, but I started writing and learning more. That said, I really consider my blog to have started in April 2010, when I published a confession that freed me from writer’s block and launched my current focus and ministry.
3) What are the topics you usually blog about?
Jennifer: Faith, family, and parenting and homeschooling a child with special needs.
4) How do you think blogging has helped you?
Jennifer: Blogging has made me a better writer because I write more! It has opened doors to speaking engagements and to paid opportunities both online and offline.
5) What are your goals and ambitions in blogging?
Jennifer: I want my blog to provide encouragement and support for those who come to read, and I want it to be part of my platform for the books I’m working on.
6) How many articles have you written in your blog and in other blogs till date?
Jennifer: Including the pathetic early years, there are over 1300 articles on my blog. I have no idea how many articles I have on other sites. I have lost track. I actively guest post and am a contributing writer for several websites.
7) What do you recommend to a fellow blogger for consistency in blogging?
Jennifer: I recommend setting goals for yourself and for striving to meet those goals just like you would a deadline at work or school. If you can’t post five days a week, then don’t set that as a goal. Set goals that are realistic for you, but always set one or two that stretch you a bit.
8) What would be your tips for moms who want to start a blog?
Jennifer: Do it! Your voice and take on the world are unique. You will reach an audience that is uniquely yours. Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers. Even if you never reach 100,000 page views a month–or even 10,000–remember that the numbers for your blog represent real people. So only 200 people visited your blog this month. Wow! That’s 200 individuals who were touched by something you wrote! Don’t ever discount that. In fact, just avoid looking at your stats as much as possible.
9) Apart from writing what are your other interests?
Jennifer: I love to read, although I don’t make as much time for it as I should. I also enjoy crocheting, spending time with my friends and family, and meeting new people.
10) Is there anything you wish to add?
Jennifer: If you want to build a blog with a following, one that will bring in some income for your family, know from the beginning that it won’t happen overnight. It takes time and a lot of work. Don’t be discouraged if you have some rough starts, have to scrap some ideas and start over, or if it takes a while to get things going. Find a group of people who are a little farther along in the journey than you are, and ask them for guidance, help, and support. Having a network of people who are doing the same thing is incredibly helpful!