Blogger Interview # 95 : Sofia Byrd

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your blog?
My name is Sofia. I am married to a wonderful man; I'm a mother to two little boys; I'm a pretend cook and an aspiring photographer. From PDX with Love  is where I share my random thoughts on parenting and every day stories in my life. 

Are you a full time blogger? How did you get into blogging and why?
I put a lot of work and effort into my blog (with content, interaction, and social media). There are days where it feels like blogging is all I do. But I wouldn't call myself a full time blogger. I have two little boys and they are, and will always be, my main focus. We love to baked,  go to the park and take long walks. I always try to include these activities in my blog. 

I first started blogging when my husband and I moved to Vancouver, BC in November of 2006 in ways to keep our friends and family updated on our whereabouts. I took a year long sabbatical. When my oldest son was born, 2008, I brought the blog back to share all his whereabouts to, mainly, my family who live in Texas. It has since evolved into a bigger blog where I not only share their silly stories but mine as well.

If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?
Don't be afraid to speak. Find your voice. Interact, connect, create content. Don't try to be the next "it" blogger, it will be stressful and frustrating. Make friends with other bloggers in your niche. But above it all, just be yourself!

Oh, and also, include photos in your posts! People love photographs. don't be afraid to use your own even if they are not the best out there (we've all been there, you know?).

How do you build a community around a blog and social media?
A blog cannot live on its own. It doesn't matter how amazing your content may be, if there is no one to see it it practically doesn't exist. This is where the community comes into place, to help you out to find encouragement, inspiration, even friendship, and to help grow your blog. Of course, it is not all handed to you in a silver platter. If you don't reciprocate you will be left behind. 

I use social media for many different purposes. Twitter is a great way to chat with your pals and/or followers. Silly one liners are awesome on Twitter. Facebook is great way to share not only your own content but anything else that might inspire. The blogger community needs from everyone to grow, so spreading the share love with others, even when not asked for, is always welcome. Google+ is also a great way to share your finds. Not everyone uses it but it is a great way for Google to find your content. Pinterest is a great microblogging site where you can showcase your content, find content, and procrastinate to a great level (main reason why I try to not go to Pinterest on a daily basis). 

What are your three favorite blogs to read? What makes those blogs special?
There are so many and every month I find even more to add to my list! But if I had to choose 3 blogs they'd be:
  • Live and Love Out Loud » Kristi is an extraordinary and strong woman who has gone through tough times and still shines as bright as the sun! Plus, her photography is beyond words!! When I grow up I was to be as great as she is!
  • The Paper Mama » I lurk Chelsey's blog here and there but I am always stunned by her photographs (and how we never crossed paths while I lived in Portland, we were practically neighbors!). I often find inspiration in her blog.
  • Project Alicia  » Alicia's images are beautiful! I always use her photos as inspiration. They help me find new angles to photograph daily life.

Which one plugin would you suggest all bloggers to have?
You are making me choose only one?! ;) Oh well...I have quite a few but lets go with Google Analyticator which will add the necessary JavaScript code to enable Google Analytics. 

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