I was anxious to talk to Terri for a few reasons. Different from other interviews I’ve posted, it wasn’t necessarily the number of followers that drew me to Terri’s blog, but rather her way of writing. Her posts come across in a very sincere and transparent way that make me feel as though she’s writing with her own voice, being true to herself versus writing with the intention of simply attracting followers, etc. Personally, I value this in a writer as I find their work much more interesting.
Her journey includes making the decision to change the name of her blog as part of this effort to reflect the nature of her content. I love this willingness to evolve and grow in order to perfect; I hope to do the same. Her life has been a colorful one thus far, and whether it be her past life teaching in northern California, wind surfing on the weekends or advocating for women’s interests, this same energy and transparency shine through. Read on for my conversation notes!
So Terri, what motivated you to start your blog?
I started my blog for professional development reasons, to focus on the research on my master’s thesis “The Impact of Four Generations on the Workplace” and share the information. I present on this subject several times a year and I wanted workshop attendees to have an additional resource to follow. Because the subject matter was so research-based, I felt I had to use references and keep it very accurate, which made it hard to sustain.
Last year I started blogging about other professional development topics like women in leadership, Lean In, temperament assessments, etc. That slowed me down, too, plus I really had no readers. After I started the Blogging University 101 (I stumbled upon it after not even looking at WordPress for 4 months!) in mid-September, I changed the focus of the blog, especially after reading others’ blogs.
The name of the blog was originally “Insights by Terri Webster Matal” (my married name at the time) then I changed Matal to Schrandt after I married in Fall 2013. Boring, huh? Like I was someone, LOL. The 101 class empowered me to change the name–now: Perspectives On…Work, Life and Leisure. That change gives me much more leeway to write.
What one thing do you feel has contributed the most towards growing your follower base?
Definitely Bogging 101. Without that class and all the tasks, I would still be where I was. By tagging “101” in each of the assignments, others could visit your blog and pretty quickly, you gained more followers. (As of 10/25, I have 128 followers; in August I had 6). I am also following about 200 people and commenting on many of them builds the social networking and community atmosphere in WordPress, which I didn’t even know existed. It really is the coolest experience to be surrounded by incredible writing talent and it makes me a much better writer.
What do you feel has been the biggest thing you’ve learned about blogging since you started Perspectives on…Work, Life and Leisure?
Again, just being exposed to so much great writing and storytellers, also music and photography, has been very educational! The Blogging 101 and 201 courses have been instrumental in exposing me to the whole WordPress site with all its resources.
Can you name one of your favorite blogs and why?
Gosh, this is hard because I have so many interests. I am very partial to the following because not only are they amazing writers, but they are consistent, have great messages and have become my friends 🙂A Momma’s View–an Swiss expat living in Australia with wonderful stories.Doug Warren–shares awesome music and some cool stories.Chris Jurewicz–A Canadian former hockey player and family manAbolish Work–features leisure (my profession)Retirement and Beyond–good info as I am retiring soonThe Honking Goose –hilarious stories and love the titleThe Milspouse Foodie–a friend who I know from church who writes about being married to a sailorWomen Achieving Goals–women in leadershipAnd Brews and Views of course 🙂
How do you take your coffee?
Try not to laugh–(my former boss died laughing as I placed this order at Starbucks one day): Iced Venti non-fat half-caff light-ice mocha, no whip. Regular coffee at home is a Colombian medium roast with a flavored creamer.