Blog Features

Blog Spotlight | Grandma Sez So

Today I would like to welcome Laurie from Grandma Sez So. I had a chance to learn more about her blog and here’s what she had to say:

Please tell me about yourself.

First off , Stacie, thank you for this feature. Hi Simply Stacie readers. My name is Laurie. I’m a 51 year old grandma, mom, wife. (not exactly in that order) My husband and I reside in a little Wyoming town. (population 70) I have two kids (living) and two grandchildren. Both of our kids started college in 2010. My kids (ages 18 and 29) and my two granddaughter, ages 1 and 3) are my pride and joy. I also consider our pets family.

Please tell me about your blog.

My blog was created on 12/17/08. I had saw a giveaway on a blog. I can’t remember what the prize was but I really wanted it. I could get extra entries if I had a blog so I created one on blogspot. I never won and the blog hung in bloggy space until Oct. 2009 (I entered another blog contest) In latter Oct 2010, I made a decision to start a review and giveaway blog for our family. My idea was that I could keep my family close to me by including them in this new venture. We are separated by some miles but with Grandma Sez So, we can work together on reviews. We’re always under one roof on Grandma Sez So. It’s a great feeling.

How long have you been blogging?

I have followed some blogs for years but my own blogging has just really been since October 2010.

How did you get started?

Entering blog contests and giveaways (for extra entries)

What kinds of products do you feature on your blog?

With our versatile team we are capable of reviewing virtually any product. Personally, I love critters so I really am partial to pet products. I also get a charge out of handmade items. I’m not crafty so I really appreciate folks that are. My daughter, Melissa, who has performed two reviews, leans towards mommy-with-young-kids products and plus size clothing. My son, who has only had the opportunity to review one product thus far is a geek. (I mean that in a good way) He is a techie loving typical 18 year old.

What was your favourite giveaway?

Those that I won on other blogs! If your asking about what I gave away, so far, hands down, it was the Holiday Gift Giveaway hosted by Little Ya Ya‘s, My Wee View, Stock Piling Moms and You! I didn’t have a sponsor but I gave away a free night’s stay at a LaQuinta Inn. I had 596 comments on that one giveaway. I was tickled pink! It made me feel great when the winner replied via email on how happy she was. That was one of my first giveaways. Wow! I doubled my followers from that.

Who does your blog appeal to?

Our followers are women, all ages. (perhaps a couple men in there) We’re hoping to get sponsored to feature more male type products too. Cubby, my husband, is an outdoorsman. My nephew, Camron, is a welder and mechanic. They are ready and willing to do reviews. It would be great fun and I think we need more guy type products because women are the shoppers. They buy for their male loved ones.

What direction do you see your blog going in the future?

If we keep working on it, I don’t see any other direction it can to go but UP! Additionally, I want to break away from blogspot. I want my own domain. It is obvious that it is needed. I have been reading your posts about it, among others. I’m just not financially able to put very much money into our blog right now. It certainly is a goal for 2011. I call my little stash of cash a hidey-ho. It needs more ho-ho before I can take it out of hiding and put it to work for Grandma Sez So.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far with your blog?

Oh! Lord have Mercy! Figuring out the CSS, HTML, the technical junk that makes it work. I still have not discovered why I can no longer log into my blog with Internet Explorer. I had to download Firefox just to get into my blog. Thankfully, there is a lot of free help out here in the blog world. I have jumped hurdles by reading how other bloggers did it. I feel I have learned a lot compared to day 1. At least I don’t break down in tears anymore when I have to edit HTML, for whatever reason. I’m still no expert, by any means.

What do you love about blogging?

I’m not kidding when I say reading other blog posts. I don’t always comment because I browse with my google reader. I skim through my reader a couple times a day. I’m not always just looking for giveaways (but I do like them a lot). I read reviews on products. Not only do I learn about some nifty products, I pick up on different writing styles.

Do you have a blogging pet peeve?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. Blog Hops. Not the hop itself. I enjoy those. But my peeve is, after I spent literally several hours hopping, following, leaving a comment (even if it a copied/pasted one), then return to Grandma Sez So and see very few, if any, comments. One thing I learned was not everyone that posts their URL on a linky and notes “I follow back” always do.

Do you have any advice for the readers entering your giveaway? newbie review bloggers?

Giveaways: I want people to know they can trust Grandma Sez So 100% on giveaways. From an enterers point of view, I know I had the feeling blog giveaways may not be on the up and up. That was before I became a blogger and understood how a blog giveaway worked exactly. I have entered sweepstakes for years and years. (clear back to the snail mail days) They are different in the respect there are “official rules”,  a sponsor, and a marketing company that represents the sponsor. This all made sense to me. Blog giveaways didn’t. Now, I know they are basically the same. We have rules, sponsors, and we are the “marketing company”. It’s just on a smaller scale.
Newbie Review Advice: I don’t have enough under my belt to give out great advice, except for just “keep it real.” Write like you talk. Don’t take negativity personal. Getting your feelers hurt once in awhile is going to happen in blogging. Shrug it off  and move ahead. Do what you can for other bloggers. Never look at it as a competition. Look at the whole blogging community as family. I feel they are.

Stacie Vaughan

Stacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Ontario, Canada. She enjoys cooking/baking, photography, reading, DIY and is fueled by lots of coffee!

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