Sarah Bryden Brown switched from newspapers and magazines to embrace new media. She has recently formed a new community for bloggers.
Tell us about your websites.
I started Blogstar last year in response to the growing professionalism of the blogging community. I wanted to offer all bloggers, big and small, old and new, a community to join where they could connect and collaborate with both other bloggers and advertisers and marketers for the purpose of making a business of blogging. We now have close to 500 registered bloggers and after operating in a private Facebook group, I’ll be launching the publicly accessed community site early April.
Blogstar partnered with Kirtsy to lead online and offline creatively curated events that connect and engage with tastemakers.
What are their most popular features?
Blogstar’s popular feature is the My Life As A Blog series. Each post is written by a blogger who shares their blogging back story. The stories mix up inspiration, education and laughs.
Kirtsy leads each day with an inspirational slideshow that is as pretty as it is helpful. Kirtsy is a go-to spot for “what’s hot now and what’s hot next”.
Describe your typical reader.
She’s connected online, curious, driven, and is always up for the new new thing.
How, when and why did you start your online career?
I started my career online in 2006 by launching a daily email newsletter for a small Australian site that provided directory listings for moms. We grew the newsletter into a website, Kidspot.com.au, and it became an online parenting powerhouse, which sold to News Corp last July for $48 million. I’m still involved in part and have most recently been leading a new social project called justb. It’s in Australia and I am in New York, and that is what it means to work online 🙂
How does it differ from working in traditional media, ie magazines/newspapers?
It’s fast, responsive, creative and humbling. You are never really in control, but if you understand that your audience is leading, and you’re there to guide and provide opportunities, it’s a ton of fun with daily rewards. Plus you can do it from anywhere. Last year we spent a couple of months in France and this year we’re set to do the same. It’s positively portable!
What is the best and worst thing about being involved in the blogging community?
The best thing about being involved in the blogging community is soaking up continual inspiration from so many clever and talented people whose talents may never have seen the light of day if not for the internet.
The worst thing about being involved in the blogging community is soaking up continual inspiration from so many talented people whose creative cleverness may never have seen the light of day if not for the internet, because there are not enough hours in the day to make use of it all!
What are your plans for Blogstar?
To build an online community that serves its members well and explores opportunities to take blogging local and social for the benefit of both bloggers and readers.
Tell us about your Welcome to My World book.
Welcome To My World is Blogstar’s second ebook. It is a collection of powerful and insightful essays from stay-at-home moms, working moms and work-from-home moms. If you ever wondered how it looks on the other side of the fence, these women have it covered.
How important do you think social networking is?
Very important for bloggers. Google as a traffic tool is not as powerful as it once was; there are so many options for driving traffic back to your site now and they all fall under the social networking banner. It’s well worth your time to find the right mix for you, your lifestyle and your audience.
Why do you think women in particular are drawn to reading and writing blogs?
Because we’re always interested in how and what other people think. Blogging provides a steady stream of voices you can pick and choose from that you may never have had the chance to discover if you only had your IRL neighborhood to explore.
What changes/advances do you foresee for the online community over the next few years?
I think blogging is going niche and narrow and the person behind the blog is set to become as well known as the blog itself.
I have been a newspaper reporter and editor (The Australian), magazine editor (donna hay and Family Circle), author (The Lost Art of Childhood, Random House, and Dad and Me, Harper Collins), before ditching old media for new when I joined the online start-up kidspot.com.au, after which I moved to New York with my husband, Rob, and two kids Monte and Lucy to become VP Content and Community for babble.com, after which I launched Blogstar.