Member Spotlight: Catsparella
May, 25 2011
Welcome to our very first edition of Member Spotlight - where we all get to know each other just a little bit better! Our first Spotlighted member is Stephanie, who writes the hugely successful blog Catsparella. Stephanie was kind enough to sit down with us for a few minutes and tell us more about herself, her lovely kitties, and her blog. Read on to hear what she had to say...
** Tell us a little bit about your self and your four-legged friends.**
I live in New Jersey and have a passion for all things cat and pop culture. I grew up only having dogs, but somehow turned out to be a crazy cat lady! I have two cats named Priscilla and Charlie. Prissy is my ten-year-old tuxie baby (and my first cat!), and Charlie is my little black kitty boy, who just turned six.
**How long have you had Catsparella? How did you get started? Do you have any other sites?**
I officially "launched" Catsparella in August of last year, so it's been almost 10 months now. It started out as a creative outlet for me. I was always finding things online and sharing them with my friends, so I thought, why not start my own
blog to keep a collection of all the cool things I was interested in, and wanted to find out more about. Catsparella is my first and only blog. I believe in staying focused on one thing, and with all the time I put into it, it would be hard for me to maintain another site at the same time.
**What is your inspiration or goal for this site?**
The inspiration behind the site is my cat, Priscilla. The goal for the site started out more as a creative outlet, but has also turned into a way to help me move out of a corporate career into a more creative field.
**You have a great deal of traffic to your site. How do you attract new readers?**
It's not a simple formula where I can say "do this" and you'll get this many more visitors a month. It's a combination of a lot of hard work and time. I put a ton of time into the site. I post six days a week (when I was just starting out and really trying to grow quickly, sometimes I was doing 7 days a week, but eventually decided that I really need a day off to stay sharp.) Posting consistently is a big key. You're only as good as your last post, and you have to give people a reason to keep coming back. Which leads to the second point: I always aim to post fresh, original content. I try to post unique stories you won't find anywhere else, or if you do, you'll see it on my site first. I've also been fortunate to have the support of fellow pet bloggers and a few major media sites that have picked up my links, which has also helped increase traffic.
**Do you have any tips on blogging for someone that is new to it or wants to grow their site?**
It's not as simple as just writing blog posts. You can write the best posts in the world, but if no one knows you exist, it doesn't matter. If you're don't have them already, make sure you have a Twitter account and a public Facebook fan page so people can see what you're up to. In terms of advice about posting, my number one rule is post what you like, and write something you'd want to read, if you weren't writing it! You're going to spend a lot of time with your blog, so make sure it's a topic you're really interested in and passionate about. While it's true that I have a cat blog, it's not entirely about cats. I found a way to incorporate several of my other interests, from fashion to cupcakes to tv shows, to keep things interesting. Also, be consistent! Obviously your blog is not going to grow as quickly if you're posting once a week or less, vs. if you're posting 3-6 times a week. That being said, don't just post something to post it. If there's a day where you're not feeling up to it or just can't come up with something good, just let it go and remind yourself tomorrow is another day.
Pets Blogroll would also like to congratulate Stephanie on being chosen as a finalist in the search for the first ever Purina Cat Chow Correspondent. This honor is truly a testament to her hard work and commitment to this great blog! Please stop by and visit Catsparella and let her know that you found her on our Member Spotlight feature.
Do YOU want to be a featured blogger or do you have a blog to recommend for this honor? Drop us an email and let us know!