Friday, June 1, 2012

SDB Interviews: Amy of Lemon and Raspberry

Want to get noticed?

Collaborate on an awesome project.

That was how I first discovered Amy Schubert. She, with a couple other cool girls, put together a fancy journaling/creativity project called 30 Days of Lists. The project was calling my name, and I had to know what I was getting myself into. I did my research about the creators.

Amy runs three blogs, in addition to the 30 Days of Lists project: Lemon and Raspberry (tips and inspiration for creatives), Those Crazy Schuberts  (the family blog), and Teegan Photography (Los Angeles-based photography). I couldn't believe that she had the drive to keep herself so busy! I was tired just thinking about it.

But as I got to know Amy through her blog, her twitter account (@amytschubert), and emails, I realized that Amy is solely driven by passion—the passion to help others, to be her best self, and to make her mark on the world. She is so hilarious and so open, it's crazy. Here is a little bit more about her, in her own words.

Wife, sister, daughter, cousin, friend, wedding photographer, scrapbooker, reader, writer, editor, planner, blogger, traveler, singer, crocheter, cook, Netflix subscriber, podcast lover, aspiring linchpin, English literature M.A., procrastinator, encourager…

I am a writer and a photographer offering tips and inspiration for small business owners and bloggers. I want etsy sellers to improve their product images, I want teachers to improve their sales copy, I want bloggers to grow their audience. Any thing I can do to help you achieve your dream with your blog or small creative business, I am happy to help you with.

From all of the adventures going on in her life (a new house and a new nephew, to name a couple!) to the many blog and work responsibilities she has, Amy has been more than generous with her time by granting me an interview. 
Enjoy her vast wisdom and A+ charisma!

1. If your blogs were celebrities, who would they be? 
This is such a hard question! I don’t know if I have any that REALLY work, but here’s my best guess….
Those Crazy Schuberts would be Tori Spelling. Used to have a glamorous, entertainment industry past, but now is mostly home life, cooking and child-rearing.
Lemon and Raspberry would be Alec Baldwin. Interested in a wide variety of things (from podcasting to politics), a little no-nonsense. Liked, but still outside the harsh spotlight.
Teegan Photography would be any C-lister. Nothing particularly WRONG with them, but still needs a revamp and some love and attention in order to be a real player.

2. Your latest focus on Lemon and Raspberry is on guest posting, on which you seem to have an endless wealth of knowledge. I know you're an avid student of all things blogging, so what are your favorite free resources for blogging tips?
SO many!
First of all, I read A LOT of blogs … I’ve been reading blogs since 2005 or earlier, so I have a pretty good sense of what works, what doesn’t, what I like, what grates on my nerves, etc. Just like any good writer should also be a reader – if you want to be a good blogger, you would probably get a lot out of reading other blogs.
Second, ProBlogger and Copyblogger are both EXCELLENT resources for the business-side of blogging. They offer resources on anything from converting readers to buyers to how to format your text. I always pick up a little something from those sites.

3. What is your method for culling posts for your link roundups (Found on the Internet, DIY Projects, Resources)? Do you feel compelled to do these, because link lists are trendy in the blogosphere?
I have been creating link posts since about summer 2008 … long before they were as prolific as we currently find them.  Since I read so many online blogs and other resources, I find a lot of gems. A LOT of great posts and videos and how-tos and images that I think my readers would be interested in. Genius writing that shouldn’t be ignored. I don’t want to re-post someone else’s brilliant photography tips – I would prefer to just direct my readers to the original source.
Before summer 2008 and I put all my weekly finds in one big link post, I used to publish an entire post with just one link. It was messy and inefficient and amateur. In the archives of Those Crazy Schuberts you can still find some of these posts.
Now my link-posting is a lot more organized. I just keep a draft post open in my WordPress blogging platform and add links as I find them. When I feel like I have enough, I schedule or publish it. I don’t have any set guidelines of how many links to include – I just go by what seems like enough.
I’m currently compiling links for photography tips, writing tips and SEO tips for future Lemon and Raspberry posts.

4. The Seed of Inspiration posts are near and dear to my heart; I'm all about being inspired to constantly better myself. How many of your inspirations have spurred you to action?
Actual action – definitely some but not nearly every single thing that I’ve written about.
Example: earlier this year I wrote about Danielle’s Clean Eating challenge … and I have since given up soda, sugar in my coffee and most desserts.
Or …. I wrote about getting a new iPhone and have done SEVERAL of the things on that list – saving money to upgrading, keeping my laptop at home while traveling, and I’ve even worked out some more details of an app I have in mind to launch.
Not all the activities that I blog about are easily doable (when I wrote about seeing In The Heights, I said that the show made me wish I was Latina. Not a whole lot I can do about that), but of the ones that are I have taken action.
I find that these inspiration posts actually do 2 things apart from inspiring literal action –
1)   Writing about what is inspiring me every week helps me keep my eyes clear and my heart open to more inspiration. I find that I pay more attention to the various media that I encounter.
2)   Because I am paying more attention to WHAT inspires me, I feel creative a lot more of the time. Used to be I needed to wait for the “muse to strike” before I did something like scrapbooking or similar. Now, I feel like anytime I go sit down at my desk I have enough inspiration and creative juice stored up to just do it!

5. How difficult is it to keep your personal life on Those Crazy Schuberts and away from your more professional blogs (Lemon and Raspberry, Teegan Photography)?
I actually have to actively remind myself to add more personal touches to L&R and Teegan Photography. For someone who has such an active online presence, I’m actually a very (very) private person.
I deliberately set up a couple regular features that are Amy-centric on L&R to make sure that there’s a personality behind the blog … My bi-weekly "A little of this a little of that" posts are just a rough overview of what is going on … and at the beginning of every month I post about what I have planned in my personal life.
Even on Those Crazy Schuberts there’s a lot I do NOT share. I keep that content specific to a few broad categories (our house, our travel, etc) … but you’ll never find me writing about the latest disagreement between my husband Andrew and I, or potty-training updates if we have kids, or our love life at all.
It took Andrew awhile to learn that me being online did not mean that everyone knows our business – but I think there’s a good balance of sharing and staying private.

6. As a southern California resident, you must be aware that I am insanely jealous of you. What California-centric adventures do you have planned for this summer?
Ha! Our summer adventures depend a lot on my husband’s work schedule (which is not predictable at all).  We like to go on day-trips or really quick weekend trips A LOT. California is GREAT for that! In the past we have gone to Hearst Castle, San Francisco, Bishop, Paso Robles, Monterey, Palm Springs, San Luis Obispo, Malibu and so much more. For the last few years we’ve been going to San Diego/La Jolla at the end of August to snorkel with sharks! True story. We also have a friend down in Orange County that has a big Lobster/Steak cookout every summer that we’re hoping to attend again this year.
We still want to go to Santa Barbara, Ventura, Mammoth, and Yosemite among other places. In fact, I have a CA-focused travel series planned for Those Crazy Schuberts …. No ETA, but you’ll love it!
Plus! My husband’s sister just had a baby – our first nephew! So we’re hoping to see them quite a bit. I am hoping to get together with a couple SoCal blogging friends (Hi Kam and Justine!) and we will be going to Phoenix for more friends for a weekend.
But mostly, we will be spending our summer fixing up our new house! Our Schubert HQ to do list is incredibly long … so between building window screens, planting grass in the front yard and everything in between that will keep us quite busy.
So, you know. Busy.

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