Interview: Amanda Kendle, blogger and writer

A funny thing happened a few months ago. I sent a proposal to UWA Extension to present the digital storytelling workshop and in discussions discovered that someone was doing a blogging course. Then I sent out an email to everyone I knew asking who wanted to do a dry run of my workshop and Amanda replied saying she was doing a blogging course at UWA Extension. Weird moment. You see, Amanda went to school with my best friend and flatmate, Katrina. We only kinda knew each other, but we’ve had fun reconnecting since we’ve discovered our mutual impending workshops.

Amanda, whose blog is Not a Ballerina, was kind enough to respond to some interview questions in the lead up to her Become a Blogger for Fun and Profit workshop.

1. You are a writer – can you tell us what you enjoy writing about most?

Ooh, so many things. Being able to arrange characters and a plot to provide (hopefully) just the right emotional experience for the reader – maybe I like being “all powerful” for just a few odd moments. I love trying to find the right words which sound “beautiful” when put together. I also love it when something I’m writing is finished, because it can sometimes be a bit of a painful process to get to that stage!

2. Your course on blogging is soon – what do you have planned for participants?

I have the superhuman objective of telling them everything I know about blogging in just one day. Obviously that won’t quite work out so I am planning on looking at the technical how-to of blogging, the writing side in terms of what you might write about and how, and even how you can make money from a blog. With a lot of interesting personal stories thrown in along the way. If you come to my course you’ll actually leave with your own blog up and running. (Oh and you can enrol in my course here )

3. Okay, come clean – how do you make money writing on the net!?

With a lot of blood, sweat and tears! I started off writing for online magazines but you have to do a lot of work that you may not end up getting paid for; a travel blog approached me to write for them, and that’s how I started blogging. I was lucky to get into the game early on before there were many bloggers out there so a lot of my work has come from people approaching me rather than the other way around. Most of this work is “pay per post”, that is I get paid a set rate for a short blog post or article and that’s it; some of it is related to visitor numbers or advertising click throughs and that means it’s like getting a royalty every month for ever and ever. On my own blogs I use Google ads to get a trickle of income which manages to support my web hosting costs. And I should mention that I’m never going to get super rich doing this!

4. What is your best social media as marketing tool advice?

Be honest, genuine and generous. So many people get into social media stuff (be it Facebook, Twitter, digg or whatever) with the sole aim of promoting themselves. Doesn’t work. Market other people – for example, highlight great articles you’ve read by someone else, or do interviews with people who run their own lovely blogs (like this one!) – and your personal promotion will take care of itself. This advice would probably not be very popular amongst the social media mavens of the world but it’s how I work.

5. What is the best museum you’ve been to (I know you’ve been lots of places!) and why?

Of the many, many places I’ve been (I have something of a travel addiction, it’s true), the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam remains the most memorable. Perhaps it was something about connecting back to my childhood, when I read and loved Anne Frank’s diary; the fact that the museum is housed in the very place where Anne and her family hid is also very moving; and I think what overwhelmed me was they actually had Anne’s physical diary there on display (beneath a glass bubble of course!). The whole museum is really well set up with interesting multimedia displays (but without being at all tacky). Highly, highly recommended.

6. The arts industry in Perth needs more funding. Imagine that happened and you could import some arts industry event/ organisation/ festival/ exhibition or the like to Perth, what would you like to see here?

If you’d asked me this a few years ago, I would have said we should have a Perth Writers Festival. But now we do, and it’s absolutely brilliant, and I think one of the best around because the majority of the sessions are free to attend and they manage to attract some fantastic writers each year! So my second choice … a really, really good writers’ organisation like Varuna in NSW – we have several small groups which don’t exactly cooperate and the result is there’s not enough of a writers’ culture here.

Awesome Amanda, thanks so much – it is nice to share my little home on the net with you!

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Comments
One Response to “Interview: Amanda Kendle, blogger and writer”
  1. Thanks for the great interview, Jen, got me thinking about a few things!

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