I IS FOR I SMELL SHEEP!
Welcome back to the A-Z Blog Challenge, those of you who are playing along this game. I've met some wonderful people so far and followed some awesome blogs.
I did an interview with a pair of bloggers, who just tickled my funny bone. Their blog is called I Smell Sheep, and ewe are in for a treat! Because they did such a great job with the Q&A I sent them, I'm going to just repost that interview, along with the quirky pictures they provided. Enjoy! And all of you who blog or like to follow fun things, (I mean why do the other stuff anyway?) here they are (used with permission): Sharon and Katie.
- What kinds of books do you review and why?
Katie: First, thanks so much for having us over! We review paranormal romance and urban fantasy the most, but anything in the speculative fiction arena we will take a look at! Plus we review comic books and interview both authors and actors!
We're at comic book conventions and readers gatherings. The Sheep are taking over the world!
Sharon: I personally prefer dark urban fantasy, but I dip my toes into the paranormal romance pool occasionally…as long as there are monsters involved. I adore horror comics that have a dash of campy humor too.
- Do you review audio books and why?
Katie: We don't review audio books right now, but maybe in the future!
Sharon: I haven’t reviewed any because I don’t have slots of time conducive to listening. I can read faster than I could listen.
- Give us a little rundown on the blog's history: when formed, how it grew, how you helped make it grow and where you are headed in the future?
Katie: I started the website 5 years ago, after my Mom pretty much forced me to finally start writing down all my random and at times off-beat opinions. I'm not a strong writer by any means and totally admit that! I try and write from the heart and make, not only my writing tone colorful but add some facts along the way.
Not long after the site started, I reached out to some folks who were leaving comments and the first guest reviewers came on board. About a year into the site Sharon Stogner burst into the scene. She's now a huge part of what we do, while it's a collective, Sharon keeps us all in line and on track to meet deadlines. We wouldn't be where we are as a site today without her.
I don't know what the future holds for the Sheep, but I'm excited to find out!
Sharon: Don’t let her fool you…her writing style is truly unique and her enthusiasm, when she writes about a book she loves, is infectious! We also have some devoted followers who spread their love of all things sheep. The I Smell Sheep Facebook group is where the crazy happens. Everything from the reviews to the interviews to the guest post topics is quirky and fun. You never know what you will find each day when you visit us. But behind the scenes, we are serious about what we do and our professionalism when dealing with authors, publishers and readers has helped us become what we are today.
- How many followers on each post do you get per daily average?
Katie: It depends on the post and honestly we try not to focus on the day to day numbers of visits. For those out there needing a number, we have an average of 50,000 page views per month.
- In your opinion, why is your blog so successful? Why did it win the awards it has?
Katie: I think the website has been successful from all our hard work. Through marketing on other online sources, creating a Facebook and Twitter page. Social media has really helped us spread the word about I Smell Sheep. Though it could also just be that we are something a little different. Strange even. Offbeat and proud of it. We are weird and we are proud to be this way. Normal is scary to us.
We recently won the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll for Best Review site 2014. That's still shocking to say, we never in a million years thought an award this big would come our way!
Sharon: Katie developed, before I came onboard, a quirky style for interviews. Authors/actors often thanks us for the atypical questions. We also have unusual guest post topics and features. We also try to be flexible when working with others. And under all the fun and quirkiness we have built a foundation of trust and integrity.
Shout out to our followers who voted for us! Big sheep kisses to everyone. It is quite humbling.
- If you could give advice to a struggling blog, or someone wanting to start blogging, what would you advise, based on your experiences.
Katie: I would say, do whatever you love. No matter what it is. Don't hold yourself back or shut any doors with inner thoughts of doubt. Be realistic though, there's a very slim chance you'll make enough money to blog for a living. But if you want to find another way to be creative, then go for it and don't look back!
Sharon: There are a lot of bloggers out there willing to help and give advice. Visit blogs you admire. Talk with the people behind the scenes and ask questions. We have an amazing network of blogging friends. We help each other out. Integrity and trust is crucial to success in blogging. You can’t build trust overnight, you have to earn it from readers, other bloggers, publishers and authors. Break that trust and you are done.
Thank you so much. Here's how you can stay in contact with Sharon and Katie. Ewe won't regret it!
If you would like to follow the A-Z Challenge, click the button at the side/bottom of this blog page and you'll be directed at random (how fun!) to another A-Z Blog Challenge poster. Enjoy your ride. And may the sheep take over the world!