Part seven of our indie blogger series and its Liana of Mixed Plate. It's also the second anniversary of Mixed Plate. Woo hoo!!!
1. So tell us a little about your site and how you got started?
Mixed Plate is a site where I share all sorts of things I like that I find online. It is devoted primarily to introducing the readers to independent business owners, artists, designers, etc. and their handmade goods. I started this basically because I was a one-gal business operation of my own and knew how difficult it was to have folks notice your work, especially when there are so many larger corporations out there. I just wanted to show my love and support for all the talented DIY-ers out there. Plus, I’ve always been drawn to the handmade aspect of things. Mixed Plate is actually about to turn 2 on July 22. I can hardly believe it!
2. What do you look for when featuring an artist?
Honestly, if I could do it I would try and feature everyone. I really do wish the best for all the craftspeople out there. Since that isn’t always possible, however, I look for artists who create things with love. What I mean by that is that you can really see their love and passion in their work. When I feature products, it is usually something that I’m attracted to instantly as well. Oh, and the item usually makes me smile!
3. Suggestions on how to generate buzz about your products?
If you have a product that you truly believe in and enjoy creating, that is an excellent start. As far as generating buzz I would say there are a lot of ways. You probably want to be sure that if you are online, your site is easy to navigate and your photos have to be clean. Local art and craft shows are another way to gain exposure in your own community and I think blogging about your crafting process helps as well.
4. What not to do when contacting sites like yours?
I would say that sending just a press release with no note included is not the best way to approach sites in general. Don’t forget the important things when trying to introduce yourself to someone – your name, the name of your business, what you create, website address, etc.
5. What blogs do you follow to stay current?
I wish that I could say I had more time to read all the blogs that I love everyday. Unfortunately, I really don’t. I do, however, adore the ones that are of crafters creating things and showing how they come up with their amazing pieces of work. It’s always nice to see the process and sometimes even get a glimpse into the lives of favorite artists.
6. What trends do you see developing? What products or styles are hot?
Hmmm, I don’t know. I guess I don’t consider myself a “trendy” person, so I may not always be aware of what is going on as far as what is hot and what is not. Maybe I should work on that…Perhaps I don’t necessarily always gravitate towards the latest and greatest, but just towards the things that make me happy. That’s pretty much what ends up on Mixed Plate.
7. Is blogging more of a hobby or do you see this becoming a long term career choice?
Mixed Plate started off as more of a hobby in terms of not being as seriously focused on the direction it was going. While I do still have two day jobs, and two websites (http://www.onafriday.net/ -still working on the re-opening - and http://punknpie.net/), I dedicate many hours each day to the site. It really is like having another full-time job. Of course, the benefits of discovering and meeting so many great online friends is well worth it.
8. Do you see yourself embracing new media to reach your audience (podcasting, video)?
I have thought about learning to do a podcast. But I’m not sure that anyone would actually want to listen to my voice for very long!
9. What do you think sets you apart from other design blogs?
I like to think that even though we may have similar interests and probably overlap a lot on the people and things we feature, we all have something different to offer. I know that I’m not a great writer (I didn’t go to school for it or anything), but I do write what I feel and folks seem to respond to that. They like that it seems like we’re having a conversation.
Special thanks to Liana for taking the time for this interview. Be sure to check out Liana at Mixed Plate (http://www.mixedplateblog.com) And also check out her shops, On A Friday http://www.onafriday.net/ and Punk N' Pie http://punknpie.net/