Permalinks, tags, banners, widgets, sponsors—whether these words are foreign or fluent in your everyday language, Joy Cho, author of the freshly pressed book Blog, Inc. and blogger behind the award-winning site Oh Joy!, will help you navigate the wide-open frontier of the blogosphere.
Her book is a veritable road map to the seemingly endless world of blogs, breaking the pieces down in such a way that dreams of becoming a published blogger are easily turned into reality. And if you’re already established, don’t worry. Joy offers her veteran audience plenty of resources, complete with interviews featuring fellow creatives who offer relatable commentary on the ins and outs of managing a public site. If the physical world of blogging is about fostering a sense of community, then Blog, Inc. is its new manifesto.
We were recently lucky enough to get a behind-the-scenes look at life as a published author and blogger straight from the guru herself! Whether talking candidly about juggling life as a new mother or offering her perspective on the future of blogging, Joy Cho’s voice is one that we have come to rely on as both a friend and a mentor.
Tell us what motivated you to write the book. What do you hope your audience will gain?
In my 7 years as a blogger, I’ve gotten lots of questions from both my readers and my clients about blogging and how to start, grow, or maintain a blog. I wanted to write a book that addresses what people want to know about this funny world of blogging—a book I wish I had while growing my blog over the years.
Can you give us insight into the book’s name?
Blog, Inc. is part of the “Inc.” series that was started by Meg Mateo Ilasco with Craft, Inc. about how to have a product-based business. We wrote the second book in the series, Creative, Inc., together, which was about how to have a successful freelance career. And earlier this year, Meg came out with Mom, Inc., which she co-authored with Cat Seto. My book is the fourth in the series of business-based books for creatives.
Can you describe the process of writing the book? What kind of research and development went into it?
I wanted the book to be the go-to guide for not only those who are brand new to blogging, but also for those who have been blogging for a little while and want to take things to the next level. A lot of the content is based on questions I’ve received over the years and the things people want to know most. But I also approached it from a business end and tried to make readers think of this as a hobby that could potentially turn into a successful business. I interviewed 18 bloggers (as well as companies that work with bloggers) to show the various paths that led to how our blogs came to be and how they’ve grown.
Best moment in your book tour so far?
I can’t say there is just one moment, but overall, it’s meeting the people who have been loyal readers for so long. Sometimes when you sit behind a computer all day, you forget that there are real people on the other end who read your site. So I’ve loved meeting and talking to people in real life!
Your collaboration with paper cut illustrator Chloé Fleury for the book trailer is both memorable and unique. Can you tell us a little bit about the concept and idea behind it?
Thank you! Well, the last trailer we did for Creative, Inc. was so fun, and I loved the result. But it involved two full days of Meg and I lying on our backs on a cold, concrete floor, and I literally could not walk correctly for a week after that shoot! It was worth it, but I wanted to do something different this time and show myself in the video in a different way. I’ve seen Chloé’s work around the Internet—most recently on a project she did for Anthology Magazine—and approached her with the idea of doing a papercut version of my concept. She was in (thankfully!), so I gave her a storyboard and the scenes and we went from there!
What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? Your greatest fulfillment?
When you write a book, it’s usually such a crazy process because the actual writing time happens pretty quickly—at least, in my case it did. I wrote the book in about 3 months—partially because of my deadline, but also because I was due to give birth a few months later and wanted to be done before my baby came. So the speed of it can be intense, but then you wait and wait because it takes over a year for it to come out. That’s the hard part, because you get so excited to share what you’ve created with the world and no one sees it until over a year later.
The fun part is when people do get to read it and they like it! You never know how someone will receive your book, so when people tell me that it’s helped them so much or they’ve started new businesses or blogs because of it, that’s so wonderful to me. I had someone recently tell me that after reading Creative, Inc. she left her day job to open her dream business of an organic cake bakeshop. I had the chance to try her cakes and they were amazing! I am so thrilled that I had a small part in her getting to share her passion and talent with the world.
How did you go about choosing the bloggers for the book’s multiple interviews? What qualities motivated you to reach out to these particular men and women?
I wanted to profile a variety of bloggers, from the various topics they cover to where they live to their age. I wanted to show a mix of bloggers: some who blog part-time, some full-time, some on the side. While there are so many more I would have loved to include, it was important for me to show that successful bloggers don’t just live in NY or LA, but all over!
Favorite section or message in the book as a whole?
While many people see blogging as a potential job these days, I always emphasize that it should be approached with passion in a topic—what it is that YOU have to share with the world. Whether it’s a talent, your story, your family life, or your particular set of skills, everyone has a story to tell.
In the forward of the book, Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney discusses the exponential growth of the blogging community. How would you describe your own vision for the future of blogging?
Blogging is an amazing outlet for people, and the future of that has so much promise because everyone has an interest they want to explore in some way. Now that more and more people are familiar with blogging, the methods in which people blog will continue to evolve, change, and advance. Because we see the potential that blogs have to create an amazing community, people are now starting blogs with a lot more creativity and purpose—and that can only make the blogosphere stronger and more inspirational. I’m excited to see where it’s all headed!
Written by Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY