Featured Blogger: Carolyn Gonzalez
- Personal Blog: http://caroincarolina.com
- Review Blog: http://theartofrandomwillynillyness.com
- Email: email@example.com
HPRB: Tell us about yourself, any relevant journalism experience you have and why you started your blog?
Carolyn: I am a Costa Rican-American. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and my parents are from Costa Rica. I lived most of my life in L.A. until I moved to Miami to attend the University of Miami. I met my husband in Miami and we have lived in various places around the country. I now live in a small Western North Carolina town with my husband and 2 cats.
I have a degree in Communications from the University of Miami. I double majored in print journalism and Latin American Studies. I was assistant editor and a writer for Aboard Magazine after I graduated. This was an airline magazine found on some Latin American carriers. Ultimately, I fell into the world of fundraising and have been a fundraiser for over 15 years. Currently, I am the Director of Development for a foundation that raises money for a charter school in Western North Carolina.
I started my blog after we moved to North Carolina for my husband’s job. We live in a tiny town and there was no work. A friend suggested I start a blog to tell my stories of being a city girl in the country and I did. At heart, I am a storyteller and my blog allows me to do just that: tell stories.
I ended up starting a review blog as well. I didn’t want to crowd my personal blog with reviews and giveaways so I just did it somewhere else.
HPRB: Who is the target audience of your blog and what data can you provide us about the size of your audience?
Carolyn: My target audience on my review blog is people who love giveaways and learning about new products. My audience is pretty large and diverse.
My personal blog audience consists of family and friends who like to keep up with my adventures. I have friends all over the US and family in Costa Rica who read it every day.
HPRB: What makes your blog unique?
Carolyn: My blogs are unique because they are in my voice. I write what I feel and write like I would talk to my friends or family. Because I like telling stories, my reviews will sometimes be peppered with personal ancedotes. My personal blog is about my life and, inherently, that make it unique.
HPRB: Do you have any accompanying Twitter, Facebook or other social media contact information you would like to share?
- My Twitter account is @carogonza http://twitter.com/carogonza
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.gonzalez
HPRB: What is your blog’s web address and how frequently do you update your posts?
Carolyn: My review blog, The Art of Random Willynillyness, can be found at http://www.theartofrandomwillynillyness.com. I try to update this at least 3 times a week minimum.
Carolyn in Carolina, http://www.caroincarolina.com, my personal blog is also updated at least three times at the minimum because my audience will demand it. I get emails from my friends and family if I don’t post.
HPRB: What is the key contact information for you and or your blog?
Carolyn: I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @carogonza
HPRB: What topics are of special interest to your blog and which ones are definitely not?
Carolyn: On my review blog, I will review products that are relevant to me. I do not have children so I avoid kid and baby reviews unless the item is so good that I know my audience would like it. I love cooking so I love doing food and kitchen related item reviews. I am pretty open to any pitch thatfits with my lifestyle.
My personal blog focuses on my daily life. I love cooking, traveling and gardening so my personal blog reflects those hobbies and activities.
HPRB: What are the best days and hours to reach you and/or your staff with a specific type of story or interview? What are the worst days/times?
Carolyn: Best times are evenings. I work full time and it is tough to get a hold of me during the day unless you email me. Then you will definitely get a reply.
HPRB: What are your policies in terms of accepting press kits, photos and/or multimedia video files?
Carolyn: I usually do not accept reviews or press on my personal blog unless it is something I truly believe in or it is very relevant to my personal life.
I accept well-thought out pitches and campaigns from PR. I will also accept product reviews on my review blog. If it is a fit for me and my audience, then I am open to new opportunities.
HPRB: Is there anything you would like to add about your blog or about working with you?
Carolyn: Because of my experience in fundraising, I learned how to work with PR, marketing departments and other professionals. I am also open to events because that is my specialty. I am easy to work with and open to anything new.