Bloggers are the heart of Ebuzzing Social, so we like to take the time to get to know some of the people who make us so great (and modest).
This month we chatted to RJ Evans from Kuriositas, a blog about art, science and all the interesting bits in between.
1. Why did you first decide to write Kuriositas?
Kuriositas has just celebrated its third birthday. I had created online content beforehand for several years through a publishing service but as time wore on I felt I needed more editorial control over what I published and – to be honest – a greater share of the advertising revenue generated by my writing. It isn’t something I have regretted, despite the fact that there have been as many downs as ups. The name, incidentally, is based on curiositas – the Latin word for curiosity. I had to change the c to a k to keep the price of the .com to a reasonable price, rather than trying to be street-fashionable (which I am way too old for anyway).
2. What’s your favourite thing to write about?
Kuriositas is an eclectic mix of articles – unusual places all over the world, art and science news, and the moving image: I love short independent movies and animation and they have become a mainstay on the site. I simply write about things that interest and excite me and which I hope will engage others similarly. In many ways it’s just me pointing a finger and saying hey, look at that! A friend once remarked that I should really have called the site shitthatilike.com – pardon the expression – but essentially he was correct. It is proof too that a niche-less blog can be successful. My readership is the niche, not the content.
3. Which part of writing and maintaining Kuriositas do you find the most challenging?
Honestly? In one word – content. The old adage that content is king remains true and although I rarely struggle to find wonderful videos for the site, it is often challenging to discover places to write about which haven’t already been covered a million times on the internet already. Plus, keeping the copy fresh and interesting can stretch a writer at times, particularly if the previous evening has involved friends and alcohol. I am also committed to using only Creative Commons (CC) images and it can be difficult to source some images, especially when they are little visited places.
4. How do you feel about monetising your blog?
Very relaxed – in fact if I didn’t earn from the blog I probably wouldn’t do it. Whether that statement is completely true or not I will never discover as it is something I will always pursue. Of course, the trick is to make the advertising part of the whole site ‘experience’ so that it seamlessly (or as much as possible) matches or complements the rest of the content. More and more I find that advertisers wish to promote their products or services through editorial content more than sidebar ads and that’s generally a clever move for both them and the blogger. There’s no blocker for editorial after all!
5.Twitter or Facebook?
Both. Kuriositas has a Facebook page (de rigeur for bloggers these days it seems) but everything I put up there feeds in to the site’s Twitter account, so hopefully it’s a double whammy. I have to say, however, that generally I prefer Facebook. It’s probably because I am half Welsh. 140 characters? We have words longer than that! However, with both of them, I have let the ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ grow organically. The site, after all, will ultimately stand or fall on content alone and not my pithy comments on social networking.
6. How do you think social networks have changed blogging?
Completely and utterly. As they are in many ways micro-blogs, they have encouraged a huge amount of people to become interested in and fully enter the blogosphere. They are also great, of course, for free publicity even though social networks can occasionally see bloggers as something of a nuisance if they – ahem – over-promote their blogs. Of course, many bloggers often feel that the ‘voice’ of their own blogs is drowned out by much larger, corporate sites on social networks and that the personal can be overwhelmed by the big businesses which have jumped on our little bandwagon and made it a gravy train!
7. Do you have a top tip to share with other bloggers?
My top tip is more useful to new bloggers than to old hacks like me. Focus on the quality and consistency of your content and always remember your audience (potential or real) when you write. Be patient and don’t give up, potential does become real if people start to agree with you that what you have to say is relevant to their interests and experiences. It does take time for people to notice you: after all there are 7 billion other people on the planet. Yet that sheer, vast population will ensure you an audience if your message says something to even a fraction of them about their lives.
So for arts, science and all that's inbetween check out the Kuriositas blog.
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