Whilst checking some backlinks to BloggingTips a week or so ago I came across a Blogspot blog called MadeByGirl, which had linked to BloggingTips in it’s blogroll. The blog is run by Jennifer Ramos, owner of MadeByGirl, a unique online card and print shop which has been featured in dozens of well known lifestyle magazines.
I was intrigued by Jennifers story so I contacted her and thankfully, she was more than happy to take part in an interview for all of you. I hope you enjoy it 🙂
For those who don’t know you, can you tell everyone a little about yourself and your company MadeByGirl.
I’m the designer & owner of MadeByGirl online shop. We design paper products such as cards & prints. They’re available to purchase via our website as well as on a wholesale basis for retail shops that are interested. 99% of our product is printed onto Earth-friendly paper, which we encourage others to start doing.
I also run a popular blog (madebygirl.blogspot.com) where I post about the newest home design trends, items in my shop, art, DIY projects, fashion, home tours & whatever else inspires me at that time.
How did you start working online? Was it something you planned to do or was it a natrual progression from your previous job?
Working on line was just the right thing to do for me. It allowed me to create my own business and interact with potential clients from all over the world. A few years ago I had started in the apparel business, but that didn’t last too long. I then went into designing and embellishing coffee tables and sold those online as well. Now, I am in the Paper Goods Industry and doing quite well.
MadeByGirl has appeared on dozens of well known Lifestyle and Design related magazines. How much has this exposure helped your online business?
It’s helped some. I honestly thought it would increase my sales a lot more….however being in magazines etc. gives you great credibiity within the industry. Sure, people will see you in the magazines and it’s a great feeling when you see it yourself. However, the best exposure has been my own blog. Having your own active blog and using it every so often as a marketing tool, helps a great deal.
Many online shops start blogs nowadays as they are aware of the SEO benefits. So it’s refreshing to see someone who seems genuinely passionate about updating their blog and keeping in touch with customers. What made you decide to start a blog?
I think reading other popular blogs & seeing how they were growing, their success etc. gave me the confidence to start my own. I knew it was going to be a commitment & a challenge, something I had to tend to almost everyday. But I was ready for it, starting my own blog in 2006 and haven’t stopped blogging since. During this time, I slowly realized what a great marketing tool blogs were becoming.
A couple of people I knew (who have businesses, but don’t run blogs) would tell me I was wasting my time. They told me I could be selling my product instead of blogging. Sure, that may be true, but having my blog has established a name for me and brought me many sales. The SEO benefits have been great and it’s a great opportunity to reach potential customers from all over the world…in my own words.
Do you sometimes find it hard to juggle running your shop and updating your blog? How many hours would you spend working on your blog i.e. what is a typical working day for you.?
I usually spend 8-10 hours a day on my business & blog. It can be quite difficult to juggle both. I also take p/t classes at the University too, how about that?!
It gets a little crazy but luckily, I have some help with production, which is great!
Which aspect of blogging do you enjoy the most?
Finding content that no one has posted is always a good feeling. The feedback & the comments are also fun to read.
Is there any part of blogging you have struggled with or find a chore?
Dealing with blogger can be a pain in the neck. I wish their posting window was a lot larger where I am able to see most of my post. At this time I alternate between ECTO and Blogger for postings.
What blogs do you read regularly?
What advice would you give to an online shop owner who is just launching a blog for the first time?
Make sure you update your blog as much as possible and interact with your readers. Once in awhile post about your product, to remind your readers that you are also a shop owner & direct them to your website.
* Many thanks to Jennifer for taking part in this interview. Please contact us if you would like featured on BloggingTips.