Editor's Note: Farmington and Farmington Hills residents have taken to the Internet to share their thoughts on a variety of subjects. Meet the bloggers who call our community home.
Blogger: Caren Gittleman
1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging to try my paw (er, hand) at something new. I had lost my job in 2007 and had been unemployed for quite some time. I have always loved to write and when the opportunity presented itself to do something creative that involved my love of cats, being an adventurous type of person I jumped at the opportunity.
2. Briefly, describe your blog. What do you write about? Are you making money with it?
What I write about is quite obvious by the title of my blog "Cat Chat"... cat chat is just that ... a chat, about CATS! I write about all things cat. Everything from funny stories, rescue/adoption events, cat causes, I post cat videos, photos, products, cat related book reviews, etc. My goal was to make it a haven for cat lovers to come and share their stories as well . It is warm, loving and hopefully interactive. When I started the blog I wasn't making money, I am now but very little.
3. What's the strangest comment you've gotten on it?
I don't think I have gotten a comment that was "strange" per se. Sadly there have been some abusive comments and comments from people (or a person) who obviously hated cats. That is when I activated "comment moderation" which means that no comments get posted unless they have been cleared by me first.
4. What's been the biggest benefit of blogging?
The biggest benefit of blogging has been the amazing people I have met. Many are fellow pet bloggers, others are bloggers who blog about general subjects. Some are just cat lovers. I have friends now in Australia, Malaysia, Minnesota, California...all over the world. It is amazing.
5. What's the down side?
My self-imposed deadlines and the hours I keep (like now I am answering your questions and it is after midnight.) I get up by 6 a.m. ... I am on the computer most of the morning. Maybe have a few hours off in the afternoon, then I am back online after dinner, some evenings I will be online (reading other blogs, working on mine, connecting via social networking) it takes HOURS. It takes up more time than any full time job I have ever had, but it is infinitely more rewarding (not monetarily but in a soul-satisfying way).
6. What's your best advice for someone who would like to start a blog?
Pick a topic that you are passionate about. Your readers can tell if you are "faking" Passion has it's own energy, it's infectious. If you are passionate you will attract a following. Interact with your readers/followers. People like to feel that they have been "heard" when they leave a comment on your blog. Take the time to respond individually if possible, if not then at least reply to the group as a whole acknowledging that you have read what they have written. Above all else, be yourself. Be approachable. Don't expect to make a dime blogging, it may happen, more often than not it doesn't. If you love what you are doing everything else will fall into place.