I met Tim when a mutual friend of ours (Sharla of Beaded Tail) told me that he was featuring etsy sellers on his blog! I contacted him to be featured, and that got us talking. He agreed to be interviewed for my blog...and the rest is history!
Oh, and he did feature me a couple of days ago, you can find the post here: "Creative Gifts from Rose Works Jewelry."
RWJ: How about starting off by telling me a little bit about what you blog about and why you blog?
Tim: I guess the main reason I started blogging, was to try and maintain some semblance of sanity in my life. You see, I’m a stay at home dad and I also home school our kids, so you can guess how much outside contact I have with people…none. So, during one of my travels on the Internet, I came across and interesting site, which happened to be a blog. I had never even heard of the term before, but it sounded like something that would be fun to do, so I did a little more research and ended-up on Blogger (well, it IS free). I then got myself a book on html and css and taught myself just enough coding to get myself into trouble.
As to what to blog about, well I started to write about my experiences as a stay at home dad, but after about a month I ran out of ideas, so I though it might be fun to post jokes and funny pictures. That lasted about another month before I got tired of posting other people’s work and not doing any writing. Besides, I started blogging to write, right? Now, although the main theme of my site is about my journey with losing weight, I usually just write about whatever is on my mind.
RWJ: Do you mind if I ask what lead to the decision to be a stay at home, homeschooling Dad?
Tim: This was a straight monetary decision. My wife and I had already decided that we wanted one of us to stay home with our children. When my wife found out she was expecting, we had a huge decision to make. I was currently working for the State and my wife was working for the Federal Government. Even though I had been in the position for over three years before my wife got pregnant, the insurance company considered it a pre-existing condition and would not cover it (They stated that any condition under five years is considered pre-existing. Please don’t ask me to try and explain this “logic”), which meant we would be stuck with the entire $4,000+ bill. On the other hand, my wife’s insurance, through the government, would cover 100% of the doctor and hospital bills. This decided the matter and, when our first daughter was born, I gave-up my job and have been home with them ever since.
As for the home schooling, our eldest had been in private school for four years (our youngest for three) and we could just no longer cover the costs. My wife and I asked them whether they wanted to go to public school or be home schooled. Well, they decided to learn at home, so I did some research and found that Virtual Academy is run through our local public school system. They supply the computers, books, and any supplies needed for the lessons. They also have teachers who conduct online classes in various subjects. Since this is affiliated with our public school system, our kids must meet State standards in attendance and they must pass State standardized testing.
RWJ: Very cool! I was home schooled so I'm well aware of some of the advantages that can go alone with the experience. What gave you the idea of featuring etsy sellers?
Tim: This last spring, my friend over at the BeadedTail gave me the idea when she began featuring the works of several sellers each Friday. I decided that since I have no talent, it might be nice to try and help those that do. The people in the Etsy community have tremendous talent and although it may sound strange in this day and age, I truly like to help people. Now, I know I don’t have the best site out there, but I figure that any extra exposure can be helpful.
RWJ: Is there anything you've learned about blogging that you'd like to share with other bloggers?
Tim: Beyond the usual SEO tricks and tips, I would say that if you are just starting out, blog because it is something YOU want to do. It can be very frustrating when you first start out, because more than likely, there will be very few people stopping by. I understand from personal experience that it can get pretty depressing when you pour your heart out on a post and nobody stops by to read it. Try not to get too discouraged and just keep writing, because the audience will eventually come. Also, just be yourself and let your personality seep into your writing. This will allow people a chance to get to know you better, which can also help you build a loyal reader base.
Next, enjoy yourself. Don't get frantic about posting every single day. Yes, it is important to update frequently, but don't let the blog take over your life. Don't lose sleep over not having anything to write about. The best thing to do in these situations is to walk away and do something else. Believe it or not, an idea will come.
Lastly, I would also suggest that you become involved in various social networking sites. Visit other blogs and leave relevant comments on posts that interest you. On those sites you find particularly interesting, leave your relevant comments and bookmark the site, so you can return to it later. Become involved in the blogging community, because you will meet some fantastic people.
RWJ: Thank you for sharing with us Tim!