Ashley is a successful blogger who likes to bake cakes publishes how to guides on how she made the most wonderful creative cakes on I’m Topsy Turvy. Last year she attended my SEO Workshop at EVO, and apparently grew her traffic significantly after the 3.5 hours marathon sit. I would like to claim any credits for this, however, if you look through the different cakes she has made, and the how to guides, it was bound to happen!
Can you first introduce yourself, where you come from, and what is your background?
My name is Ashlee and I’m a stay at home mom to 5 wonderful children! I’ve moved 33 times in my life, lived in 7 states and even Japan! Growing up I was into Theater, singing and dancing. My dad was pretty ahead of the game and we got a PC for our house when I was 14, and I’ve loved computers ever since!
What are some of the topics you write about on your blog?
How did you get started blogging? What made you want to start a blog?
In 2007 my husband graduated with an MBA and we had our 4th child the same week. A few weeks later we moved to Houston TX, away from all family and friends, and then my husband left me for 3 months training in India! 4 kids, new town, brand new baby, no husband… I was lonely, bored and crazy busy. a friend suggested I start a blog to update my husband on the kids while he was gone, as well as connect with my family and friends all over the world! So I started a PRIVATE family blog, and at the same time I started a food blog, July 11th, 2007! In January of 2010 I started my craft blog and after my first conference in June of 2010 I merged the craft and food blogs, renamed/branded them and the rest is history!
Where do you get your inspiration?
Since I blog about so much my inspiration comes from all over! I get on kicks, sometimes I’m all cakes for weeks, then all knitting patterns, or all about the kids (summer). I love getting from my kids, family, friends, pinterest (I’m an addict), fellow bloggers, my sisters, mom and friends! I’m very visual so sometimes I’ll get inspired in the check out line at the grocery store, or from a picture at the dentist office, I try to take pictures with my phone when I see something I want to remember later, or pin it if I see something online!
Do you have a specific piece you have written, which you are really proud of? Can you tell us how this came together, and the story behind it?
The post about a Lego Star Wars Birthday Party.
I once wrote a quick blog post about the Wireless Switch on a Dell computer, which became my biggest traffic driver on my blog. I called this accidental blogging success. Do you have content which you didn’t spent a lot of time on writing, but turned out to be some of your most popular posts?
LEgo Head Birthday Cake it was so big and got so many request I ended up doing a follow up with a tutorial a year later! Lego Head Cake Tutorial then this year a cake that took me not time at all to make has been one of my biggest pinned cakes! Rainbow Sprinkle Birthday Cake
What did you learn from these successes?
Did you also have posts you spent a lot of time on, which in the end are not driving a lot of content?
What did you learn from these posts?
On top of simply the content the posts I’ve learned so much about SEO last year (thank you Dennis) that I’ve actually taken some of those older posts, like this one, that hadn’t done well when I thought they should and renamed the images, used the SEO tips and tricks and some other quick fixes (the layout, and order of the pictures/writing) and even though it was over 2 years old it’s gained momentum and done MUCH better!
Are there any people, or other bloggers, you see as examples or to whom you aspire to?
Because I’ve been blogging for 5 years I constantly learn from other bloggers. some I aspire to learn from, and some i learned what not to do from! it’s still such a new industry I think we’re all learning from each other! I like being in the middle, bigger than the beginners and smaller than the titans, it’s a good place to be!
Have you been featured on large blogs, media or in TV programs? If so, how did they find you?
tipjunkie.com/ and u-createcrafts.com/
A local TV network, KSL, is reaching out to bloggers and I was featured as their blogger of the week
My cookies were featured in Vogue Mexico. They found me via google images.
I’m now working on doing a show with an online craft tv show network! Hopefully in the fall!