Hi Anne - Thanks very much for taking time out of your busy day to spend a few minutes with us. We love your blog and wanted to know a little more about you and how the blog came to be.
Perhaps you can begin by telling us a little about yourself?
Well my name is Anne Robert and I love exploring the rapidly changing world of the urban gardens. I'm based in both Paris and London.
I had a great time working in advertising for over 15 years and I was lucky to work in the most creative agencies (including those who do the fantastic Apple ads!) enjoying the buzz. I have always loved creative people and finally discovered I loved designers. I also have a special feel for outdoors as many lovely things in life happen there.
Where did you get the idea for your site?
I have a flat (that's an Apartment for you Americans) and was looking for outdoor furniture. It was an ordeal looking through zillions of sites which all had tiny parts only that were in the style I enjoy. No one consolidated the offer. Then I realised that the overall concept out Urban gardens was undergoing a revolution. It was no longer about just furniture. Designers had been developing new options to help us enjoy the space in different ways - Fire pits, outdoor kitchens, outdoor TV's etc. Urban gardens are no longer the space for the green fingered ...they have been joined by deco fans, gourmets, party lovers, and more.
Do you have other sites? Was/is this your first?
This is my first site.
Do you do all the writing yourself?
I have some contributors, but the majority of writing I do.
How do you choose your topics?
I source talents, ideas, and designs from around the world and share them with my readers.
Is this your primary job or do you also work elsewhere?
I do both.
How long has your site been live?
Going on 8 months now.
How many people does it require to run your site?
How much time do you spend on your site on average a day?
How long have you used SiteMeter?
Since day 1.
What was your inspiration for the site?
My own passion for the outdoors, gardening, design, and style.
When you first started the site what was your experience like?
Fun but challenging.
Did you already know how to setup a website/blog, get a domain, deal with the layout, graphics, images, etc., or are you just learning along the way?
Initially I had no idea - it is like learning a new language.
How did you decide which blogging platform to use?
My coach had her blog on Typepad. I found it easy then I checked out alternatives but still found Typepad was more to my liking.
Is the technical stuff getting easier or harder?
I find myself having to keep an eye out for new ideas/widgets/formats and learn new tricks. It's a lot of work.
Do you find yourself having to spend a great deal of time learning about the technical side of blogging and growing your site's readership?
Growing the readership has been the greatest challenge. I've tried a couple of approaches. In one case I learned there are quick fixes that boost traffic but they end up not really reading your content so it is artificial. SEO marketing is tricky because you get lots of people with lots of opinions. For me developing quality traffic comes from focusing on linking with the best sites and developing focused content.
What do you enjoy most about having a web/site?
In addition to enjoying my readers feed back, I have found a great deal of satisfaction in discovering other blogs and getting to know other bloggers. It's been a lovely experience – it really feels like a community.
What is the biggest challenge you face in running a site like yours?
Dealing with the occasional writers block. It's a challenge to feel inspired on a daily basis.
Do you have plans to try and generate revenue from your site?
Yes, definitely. I've really just gotten started thinking about how I can best make my site into a profitable business.
What are your goals for the site?
To be among the TOP 20 best blogs in the design field.
To people just getting started what piece of advice would you give them?
Can you expand on this a little? What in particular did you find yourself having to be patient with?
The blogosphere is about relationships at the end of the day. Relationships with co-bloggers who will share info, swap links etc. and relationships with your readers to whom you must provide valued reading. They both take time to create. Trust and true attraction doesn't occur over night!!!
Well thanks again for your time Anne. We appreciate your willingness to talk with us and wish you and your blog all success.
Visit Anne's site at www.MyUrbanGardenDecoGuide.com