How They Blog: Amy Lynn Andrews

amyheadshot-300x3003Amy Lynn Andrews

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Y’all….we have a blogger’s blogger in the house today. Amy Lynn Andrews’s blog is where I go when I need info on the latest blogging news.

When Google Reader shut down and I needed to find a new place to read all my blogs where did I go? Amy Lynn Andrews.

When I started hearing buzz about Google+ and Author Rank, who translated all the geek speak? Amy Lynn Andrews.

If you need to learn about anything about blogging, just grab some coffee and spend a couple hours on her blog. It is a treasure trove of information.

This week, we get to know the lovely lady behind the blog a little bit more. And in case you’re wondering if she goes by “Amy” or “Amy Lynn” …. (drumroll) it’s simply “Amy.”

Today she’s sharing how she got started and some important lessons she learned along the way.

Amy Lynn Andrews

1. Give us a quick intro to you, your family and your blog.

I started my first blog in 2004 when I was a struggling pastor’s wife with two small children underfoot. It was a hobby that gave me a much needed outlet. Since then we moved to a different state, got out of ministry, got back in, and added two more children. Blogging is now our family’s main source of income.

2. Tell us your blogging story. (Is this your first blog? How did you get started? How long have you been blogging?) Feel free to share anything that might be helpful for growing bloggers.

I can’t say my blogging story has particularly noble beginnings. About ten years ago my cousin emailed me a link to his non-profit organization’s new website. I was amazed. (Back then I thought websites were only for big businesses or the super techy.) I figured if he could do it, I could do. After googling until my eyeballs nearly fell out, I finally launched my first blog.

As I mentioned, at this point in my life, I was struggling in my role as a pastor’s wife. I went online to find others in the same boat. (Surely I couldn’t be the only one, right?) Much to my chagrin, all I could find were a few sites written by really happy pastors’ wives. While they were lovely, I just couldn’t relate. I decided to write about my own experience in case there was someone else out there that needed to know she wasn’t alone.

The lesson I learned here is the importance of being real. Bloggers are good at showing only a polished version of themselves. Believe me, I was not polished. It felt scary to admit I wasn’t coping well (especially as a pastor’s wife), but there’s nothing like hearing from others that your story has given them hope. The connections I made with other pastors’ wives in comments and emails kept me going.

“There’s nothing like hearing from others that your story has given them hope.” –> Click to Tweet!

3. Tell us about a blogging “success” or “failure” that taught you a powerful lesson.

When I began writing about my experience as a pastor’s wife, I had a lot of raw emotion. I wrote pretty openly because frankly, I didn’t think many people would find my blog, let alone read it. But people did…including some of those who attended our church and with whom there was tension. I don’t think I ever wrote anything particularly offensive, but I do wish now that I had used more restraint. The lesson? A computer screen is deceptive. We often feel free to say things we might not say in real life. It’s always best to exercise caution. A bonus lesson: assume that if it’s on the internet, it’s forever. Even if you delete it.

4. What are the intangibles that have helped you succeed?

My personality is well-suited to working online and blogging in general. I’m an introvert, I like to work alone and I love learning new things. When I first discovered the internet, I was instantly hooked. I love that I can learn anything and I don’t have to file anything!

Another personality trait that is not often talked about but I’ve found to be extremely helpful is the ability to empathize. Being able to see things from another’s perspective has helped me know what to write, how to market and anticipate what might be coming next.

5. How do you keep your blog and home life in balance? What does a “typical” blogging day look like for you?

In case anyone thinks I have excellent balance because I wrote an ebook about time management, let me keep it real. πŸ™‚ Making right choices in this area is a constant struggle for me. By that I mean, I put my blog inappropriately above my other responsibilities more often than I’d like to admit. My craving to learn new things, tweak old things and avoid the hard task of being a truly “present” parent makes the internet a huge draw.

Having said that, here’s a typical day in our family:

My husband and I both work half days and homeschool half days. We tag team. Seasons dictate how this actually looks from day to day, but currently, one of us works from about 8 to noon while the other one is with the kids. Then we switch and the other one works until about 4. Sometimes I work after dinner a bit as well and I pop on and off the computer here and there throughout the day.

Come back Wednesday to read all of Amy Lynn Andrews Blogging Gadget and App recommendations and on Friday she’ll share her thoughts on social media and writing. Stay tuned!

Q & A with Amy

What questions do you have about blogging for Amy? Click here to share your thoughts or ask your question!

Read All The Interviews with Amy

1. How They Blog: Amy Lynn Andrews
2. Gadget and App Recommendations (Coming Wednesday)
3. On Social Media and Writing (Coming Friday)

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Comments

  1. Amy, I stumbled upon your blog a couple of months ago when I began blogging and had no idea how to begin. You provide such wonderful details about hosting and WordPress and I couldn’t have figured any of it out without your site. Thanks for all that you do!

    • I’m so glad it’s been helpful to you, Lisa! I am very familiar with the feeling you describe (i.e. not knowing where to begin). My goal from the beginning has been to provide the site I wish I had when I was starting out. Encouragement like yours is just about my favorite part of this gig, so thank you!

  2. Loving this week’s blogger! I guess I am the opposite of Amy- I am an extrovert, and I get sooo bored with chasing rabbit trails on the internet- so I am super looking forward to more exploration on Amy’s blog because she has done it for me! (Just spent my first half hour there!) πŸ™‚ Looking forward to hearing more of Amy’s story!

  3. Looking forward to reading more about blogging from your website, and reading the rest of the interviews here, Amy!

  4. Amy your blog was so helpful at giving me direction when I first started blogging. I still feel somewhat like I’m “just starting” and always find useful answers to my questions on your site. Thanks for sharing here today. It’s fun to see a peak into how you do it.

    • Thank you so much, Lindsay. Hearing that my blog has been helpful to others never gets old at all. I’m so glad to have played a small part in your blogging journey!

  5. Kat, this blog is one of my favorite weekly reads, even on the days I don’t have a moment to leave a comment. Thank you for the insights I glean each week from here!

    Amy, I love your emphasis on real but caution about the raw. Those were lessons I learned, too, in this 7 year blogging/online journey!

  6. …way to leave us hanging! Soooo looking forward to the REST of the story!

  7. I’m looking forward to the next part of the interview and to exploring Amy’s blog!

  8. These interviews are so good. And Amy’s has been especially helpful – all these tools. And hey – games too (got to give a shout out here to Tiny Wings). One thing I’d like to ask about – and maybe this is a more general question – is what about a blogging mentor. The more I delve into this, the more I see people mention this and the benefits they’ve gleaned from their great mentors. So how does one find a good blogging mentor if you’re not able to get to a conference in the near future. I’ve been doing lots of research and compiling a notebook (thanks Kat!) but would love to have a personal connection in this endeavor. Would love to hear yours and anyone’s thoughts on this. Thank you!

    • Hi Rebekah, great question! I think the best way to find a mentor is to let it grow out of the relationships you build online via Twitter, Facebook, commenting, etc. I know a lot of bloggers who have never gone to a conference but still have amazing friendships with people they only know online. I would find some bloggers in your niche that are doing things you admire and simply ask. I know a lot of bloggers are super busy but I know many would love to help in that way. The other option is to form a mastermind group or blogging support group. In fact, I think those groups are sometimes more valuable because you get the perspective of several people, not just one. I would just find a couple other people in your niche who seem to have blogs similar to yours (although it doesn’t have to be) and just ask if they want to join you. Fire up a private Facebook group or Google+ community and start chattin’. I wrote a couple posts about mastermind groups here and here. I hope that helps, Rebekah!

  9. Amy, I started reading your blog a few months ago, and I have learned so much from you! I love that you write in a clear, easy to understand way for those of us who are not techies.

  10. Amy, Thank you for saying this….

    “In case anyone thinks I have excellent balance because I wrote an ebook about time management, let me keep it real. Making right choices in this area is a constant struggle for me. By that I mean, I put my blog inappropriately above my other responsibilities more often than I’d like to admit. My craving to learn new things, tweak old things and avoid the hard task of being a truly β€œpresent” parent makes the internet a huge draw.”

  11. Amy is the best! I have learned so much from her site and love her personality. She explains things in a way even the newest newbie can understand.

    • Thanks so much, Sheila. That’s so encouraging to hear because sometimes when I’m about to hit “Publish” on a post, I think “Oh my stars, I hope people understand this.” πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Amy. I’m so glad Kat featured you here. I can’t wait to spend some time checking out your blog. I feel like we are similar both being introverts and having the ability to empathize. As you say it isn’t something that is talked about much and it feels a little weird to say I have that ability (like it’s a superpower or something). But I believe that is one of my God-given gifts and sounds like it is for you too. Looking forward to learning more on your blog. Xoxo

  13. Amy – I’m a huge fan! I did not know that your first blog was about what life was like as a pastor’s wife. Thank you for BlggingwithAmy and for teaching bloggers like me how to blog. I truly enjoy blogging and I loved reading your interview. I’ve met so many wonderful people through blogging and it’s become a great online community for me. Thanks again for all you do!

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