Coffee Date: Carly Heitlinger from College Prep

I am excited to share my interview with Carly Heitlinger from College Prep. Carly is also a coontributor for USA Today College and Today.com.  Carly can now add published author and Editor in Chief to her already impressive resume.  Carly wrote the book The Freshman 50: 1 Part Memoir, 1 Part Survival Guide and is Editor in Chief of Sweet Lemon Magazine

1. How did you come up with the idea or focal point for your blog?

I came up with the idea for my blog after a long night of studying for an accounting final during my freshman year at Georgetown.  I had read a couple of political blogs (it was, after all, 2008), but I was unfamiliar with the whole blogosphere and it was certainly early in the whole Social Media Movement.  My friend originally suggested starting a blog and I jokingly came up with the name “College Prep” as a play on words.  Over Christmas break, I actually sat down and started to blog.  I just jumped right in.  At the beginning, I had, um, two readers: my mom and my grandmother.  I just blogged about preppy things in my life.  Over the years, the focal point as shifted and morphed and changed as I have grown older and truly found my “voice.”

3. What advice would you give to people who have just started or would like to start a blog?

 

Start with a basic plan or idea of what you want to do, but go forward with the knowledge that you will eventually have to be flexible.  If things aren’t really working out, you may want to change course a smidge.  Try to find a topic that is not so broad that you don’t have focus, but also not too narrow where there is not a lot of room for growth.

Don’t worry so much about how many page views or comments or followers you have.  Blogging should be fun!  If you put in the work and commit to keeping up with it, you can gain a loyal following… but it doesn’t happen over night.

4. What forms of social media or widgets do you use to gain readers and followers?

I think that the best way to gain readers and followers isn’t through widgets or gimmicks.  Instead, focusing on original content, consistent posting, and connections with other bloggers will help you carve your niche in the blogosphere.  It’s really not even about the number of followers, it’s more about what you have to offer readers to keep them coming back!

5. How have you been able to gain friendships with other bloggers?

I have met some of the BEST people through my blog.  It’s my favorite part.  I find that I can connect with someone because we have similar interests.  I connect with the people in my network through Twitter and messaging on Tumblr and commenting on each other’s blogs. I’ve even become friends with some of my readers if I meet them in person!

6. What goals do have for your blog?

Definitely some big things in the works 😉

7. How do you get inspiration for posts?

I read a lot.  I observe a lot.  And I draw from personal experiences all the time.  I also try not to blog about something that someone else, or one hundred other bloggers, has/have written about.  Since my posts come from my every day life, the blog really reflects my personality!

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6 thoughts on “Coffee Date: Carly Heitlinger from College Prep

  1. Pingback: Preppy Interior Design and Jack Rogers Giveaway Winner! | The … | Achitecture

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