Bonjour, Blogger! Robin

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Name Robin
Age 44
Location Charleston, SC
Blog URL www.lollifeoutloud.com

What is your blog about?
Lifestyle blog based in Charleston, SC. A chronicle of adventures, family, food, travel, shopping, and interesting people. Of laughing, loving, and living Life Out Loud in the Holy City.

Is this your first blog?
No, this is my second. I started my first one back in 2011 and it can be found on my other site www.robingibsonart.com — it has more of a design focus but also includes personal content as well as political and humorous commentary.

When did you start your current blog?
My current blog was born out of a freelance contributing relationship with a local publishing company’s digital media initiative. I was brought on board as a notable community voice blogger and Life Out Loud began. This was in December 2014.

What made you do it?
I wanted an opportunity to share my unique perspective on life, to showcase my personality, style, and taste. For me, it is an outlet for creative expression.

What was your first blog post about?
My first blog post was a personal essay about my wife, Jennifer, who happens to be a female hunter in South Carolina, and her experience finding and joining an all male hunt club. It was titled, “The Quiet Activist,” and was originally published December 9, 2014.

What do you think is the most useful tool to you as a blogger?
I would say, hands down, my iPhone. Without it, capturing memories and photographs would be more challenging and I would have to spend a great deal more time cultivating and crafting content for distribution.

Do people in your real life know about your blog? If yes, has your blog helped you career wise? If no, why? Do you purposefully keep it a secret?
Yes, my blog has helped tremendously with my freelance writing career. I am a former columnist from the Charlotte, NC, metro region and when I relocated to Charleston, SC, blogging was a great way to put myself out there while looking for the next big break.

What has been the one thing (blog post, project, etc) that you have been really proud of?
My first essay for Life Out Loud remains my favorite, and most personally rewarding to write. I am proud of the message and how it portrayed our experience interacting with folks whose exposure and experience with LGBT individuals had, perhaps, been limited or unfavorable. The one thing I’ve learned in life is that you have to give people the benefit of the doubt. Often, when you do, they surprise you.

Where do you see your blog in a year?
Continuing in the same vein as today only with more readers and advertisers.

What do you wish you knew when starting your blog?
I wish I knew how best to boost my site domain’s visibility and traffic. Working with a limited budget, it was incumbent upon myself to do as much of it on my own as possible. That said, I have stumbled a few times on the technical aspects of blogging.

What do you wish you know more about now?
I still wish I was more technically savvy, and I’m afraid that it will only become more challenging as entire industries sprout up to support social media marketing. I’ve been somewhat successful keeping everything in house and I am not looking forward to the day when I am forced outsource some tasks based on the level of complexity involved.

How do you keep motivated to post?
Motivation, for me, is all about tapping into how I feel after a post is complete. The sense of pride and accomplishment and having just created something from nothing, that is original content and a reflection of my true self, is incredibly rewarding.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Just that I’m extremely grateful to have found an outlet for creative expression that is both rewarding and beneficial to my career. I would encourage anyone who believes they have a voice to pursue it.

Hayley Constantine

Hayley has been blogging since before most people knew what a blog was! She started Bonjour, Blogger! in May 2013 as a way to share her knowledge and experiences - if you ever have a question, get in touch!

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