October 25, 2012 by thehealthycoed
Yay, my class let out super early tonight! My 6 p.m. class isn’t supposed to let out until 8:50 p.m., but tonight we were dismissed before 7 p.m. Score! I hurried home straight away, so I could try to get a post up for you before my team activity.
Interviewing Tina Haupert from Carrots ‘N’ Cake
As you know, I had the opportunity yesterday to interview Tina Haupert, the blogger behind the very successful Carrots ‘N’ Cake. A week or so ago, I contacted Tina via email and asked if she would be willing to answer some questions for a paper I’m writing for one of my communication classes. My professor calls it our “networking assignment.” Over the course of the semester, we’re supposed to interview three people in career fields we are interested in. I knew from the start that I wanted to talk to Tina.
Tina and I set up a phone interview, and boy, was I nervous. I do interviews all the time for the school newspaper (I’m the news editor), and I never ever get nervous, but I really didn’t want to mess this up and come off as sounding too much like a total fan girl. Regardless of my nerves, my interview with Tina was very informative, and it was so exciting to finally interact with someone whose blog I’ve been reading for so long and who I genuinely look up to. Not to mention, she was super nice.
Carrots ‘N’ Cake started out as a personal blog which Tina used to record her progress as she tried to lose weight and tone up before her wedding. A private fitness and food journal, she never had any intention of anyone reading it. Four and a half years later, Carrots ‘N’ Cake receives over 1.2 million page views a month as well as 185,000 visitors. I wanted to find out how Tina took blogging from a hobby to a career.
In January 2009, Tina took a position working for the Dean of Harvard College. While she enjoyed her new job in the Dean’s office, it didn’t leave her much time to blog. For nine months, she tried to do it all. She was working for the Dean, blogging for CNC, doing freelance writing, and trying to fit in her personal life. Balancing everything was tough, and according to Tina, she knew that “something had to give.” First, she considered giving up her blog but didn’t want to give up on her dream that easily. She also considered devoting less-time to her blog but said she isn’t “they type of person who can half-ass something, especially a project that I have devoted so much time and energy to in the past.”
Since giving up or cutting back on CNC wasn’t an option, she knew she had to find a way to pay the bills if she quit her job at Harvard. She didn’t want to just hope the blog income would get her by, so Tina made a “calculated decision.” In the end, her plan was to save money before leaving her full-time job, look for and secure a part-time job, and seek out additional social media projects for extra income. Her plan worked, and Tina was able to feel comfortable financially while she pursued her dream of making blogging a career.
When asked where she sees her professional life as well as CNC in five years, Tina said that she hopes to continue blogging because she really enjoys the freedom it allows her. She likes being her own boss. However, she is considering expanding the blog by hiring someone to help her produce content. Tina’s not quite sure yet if she’s ready to relinquish control, and she doesn’t want the blog to lose the personality readers have grown accustomed to.
Tina graciously offered some advice for newbie bloggers like me. First, she advised new bloggers to pick a topic that they’re passionate about. It can’t be something you’ll soon get bored with. Tina said that in order to be successful, readers need to be able to tell that you care through your words and photos. Her second piece of advice was to blog frequently, and be consistent with when you post. According to Tina, readers will keep coming back if they can expect new material. Finally, Tina couldn’t emphasize enough the importance of utilizing social media. She advised concentrating on two social media sites and working hard to spread the blog’s name.
Not only is Tina my healthy living role model, but she is my professional role model as well. She took a risk by leaving her safe job at Harvard, but she knew it was worth it since she would be pursuing her dream. I aspire to have this same courage in my own life. Pursuing a career as a blogger may seem irresponsible to some people, but if you’re doing what you love, how could that ever be wrong? I appreciated Tina’s blogging advice and will be sure to take it to heart. She also directed me to more advice on her blog that I plan on checking out as soon as possible.
Thank you, Tina, for taking the time to talk to me! I really appreciated your help with my paper!
Question of the day: Do you blog? What’s the best blogging advice you’ve ever received?