In today’s interview we are going to be talking with Marcie Hill from MarcieWrites.com. She has over 12 years of writing experience as a freelance writer, blogger, and author. In addition, she has been in the blogging sphere for over six years and has three published books about blogging.
1. Please tell us about yourself and how you got into blogging?
I am a freelance writer, blogger and author. I left my job and 12 year career in human resources (HR) to become a magazine writer. I pitched a few publications and never heard back from them and got discouraged. While attending a journalism conference, someone from Black Enterprise advised to me start a blog to get kick start my journalism career.
2. Walk me through step-by-step process that you went through to get to where you are today?
In 2002, I started a newsletter, Shorty In Da House, for fun. I shared information, resources, good news, jobs and other little known things in this four-page publication. That became a bright spot in my life; I looked forward to doing it every month. I wrote, published and edited it each month for eight years. I only missed one month and that was because I was attending conferences.
Hurley Green, the managing editor of the Chicago Independent Bulletin newspaper, recognized my gift of writing and started giving me assignments. He was also on my newsletter list, so he saw the growth in my writing.
When I left my job in 2008, I was supposed to be a magazine writer. I pitched a few story ideas; didn’t hear back from anyone; and got discouraged. During that time, blogging and social media were becoming big deals. I attended a conference where someone told me to start a blog to grow my skills and clips. I did. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Blogging has given me confidence to pitch ideas to publications. I currently own four sites: Marcie Writes, my portfolio sites; Shorty: Your Chicago South Side Resource, my community site; Overcoming Blogger’s Block, my book site; and Real Skate Stories, my research site.
Also, I’ve had articles published in Forbes, Toastmasters magazine and St. Louis Magazine. My magazine writing career is moving slowly but surely. I will be published in my other ideal pubs by next year.
Lastly, I’ve published four books. Two of my books, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block and How to Write a Powerful Professional Bio, are for sale on Amazon and Smashwords, respectively. Also, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block will be published by the end of the year.
3. How would someone describe your blogging style?
My blogging style is conversational, educational and engaging.
4. A lot of people are interested in blogging for some money earning potential. What are some tips for people interested in making money from blogging?
Be patient. Grow your following. Connect with people. Promote your site and posts heavily. Have something to sell – products or yourself.
5. What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
It varies according to your monetization strategies and how hard you work. Most bloggers make a bulk of their money from selling their skills, consulting, affiliate marketing, and selling their own products.
6. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
I appreciate Darren Rowse for sharing blogging tips with other bloggers. Afrobella was one of the first bloggers to discuss natural hair for black women.
7. What tips can you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend about blogging?
Do not be afraid to speak your voice and be different. This is scary because it’s hard to put your words out for everyone to read. Writing is private for most people. And you’re always thinking, “Who’s going to listen?” or “Will people look at me as a troublemaker because I’m talking about this?” or “What will people think?”
8. How are you currently monetizing your blog traffic?
My monetization comes from book sales, consultations and freelance writing.
9. Can you give us three recommended tools/services that you use with your blogging?
- Hootsuite: which allows you to schedule your blog posts
- Awesome Screenshot: take full-page screenshots of webpages
- Social sharing plugins: people can share your posts on their social networks
10. What is next for you? What can we expect in 2015?
I will be conducting writing, blogging and creativity workshops at companies, high schools and junior colleges.
My book, 62 Blog Posts to Overcome Blogger’s Block, and the accompanying workbook will be published, along with a resource guide and a book to help generate ideas.
I will be published in my ideal publications: Entrepreneur, O, Inc, Crain’s Chicago Business, Parade and Chicago Magazine.
I’m starting a black history book club; will hold my first writing retreat; start a podcast; and finish research on Chicago roller skating history.
11. How can readers of my blog get in touch with you?
Thank you for this opportunity to interview, Nancy.
Thank you once again Marcie for taking the time to share your advice and story with my blogging community.