Saturday Evening Interview

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Suzie’s blog photo
Hi everyone! Today’s Saturday Evening Interview is with Suzie from Suzie Speaks. Suzie was one of the first bloggers I interacted with here on WordPress. I’ve attended several of her blog parties. They’re always a great time for everyone! Suzie is always helping other bloggers gain readership here and on social media. She hosts #SundayBlogShare each week on Twitter. Since we’re both women around the same age, I can relate to a lot of what she blogs about. Like me, she enjoys traveling, eating, drinking and the simple things in life. Please take a look at/follow her blog if you aren’t already. Please help me welcome Suzie here on Life of an El Paso Woman.
ME: How would you describe Suzie Speaks to others? How long has your blog been around? My blog will be three years old in April. It’s always difficult to describe it when anyone asks ‘what do you write about?’ because I don’t have a theme or niche. I like to talk about whatever I feel like at the time – sometimes I write about my day or something I’ve experienced. Sometimes I’ll write about a news item that is trending. Sometimes I’ll just talk nonsense. I’ve started to do reviews of restaurants, products and events!
ME: What can readers expect from your blog this year? What goals have you set for it?
I haven’t set any goals as such, apart from the number of views I would like to achieve by the end of the year. I’m going to try and get back to what my blog was originally and focus a little more on the online journal side of things, but I generally just try and go with the flow. I know bloggers who have checklists, charts and blogging schedules, but the thought of that makes my head hurt. I have enough trouble trying to think of things to write, never mind having to do so by a specific time!
One of Suzie’s favorite bands
Me: You’re well-known on WordPress for helping fellow bloggers succeed. What advice would you offer to up and coming bloggers? It depends on what your focus is. Content is key. Include images and check your spelling, punctuation and grammar before publishing. Be generous and kind in the blogging community. Visit other blogs and genuinely read posts and leave a meaningful comment, WITHOUT begging them to read your blog or leaving a link to your site. If your stats are important, get those social media accounts going! I can practically see a whole bunch of bloggers rolling their eyes at me here but I waited for months before I developed my Twitter and Facebook accounts, and even longer to establish my Pinterest page. And yet, more than 50% of my views come from social media accounts now on a daily basis.
Me: Tell us about some of the blog parties you’ve hosted. Which one/ones stand out for you most and why? Ooh, the one I had on Valentine’s Day was pretty epic – hundreds of people joined in to leave their links and network and I know that many bloggers gained a whole bunch of new followers. I love a good party – the atmosphere is always so positive and friendly and it’s a place where people can promote themselves without spamming everyone! I like to host parties every three or four months usually – I start promoting them a week or two before and send out personal invitations to my favourite bloggers.
Me: You’re also great at promoting blogs on Twitter. Tell us about #SundayBlogShare. How and why did you start it? I’m really proud of #SundayBlogShare and still can’t believe the fact that there are thousands of tweets shared every week. I started it in November 2014 – it wasn’t an original idea as these sorts of blog sharing hashtags exist everyday of the week. I noticed after participating in a few that there wasn’t one on a Sunday. I sent out an initial post, checked that the hashtag didn’t belong to anyone or anything, registered it with Twubs (although you can’t own a hashtag like you would own a domain name), and it went from there! It now trends every week, certainly in the UK, but it has also trended across Europe, Canada and the USA too. Exciting! (Me: It’s extremely exciting!)
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A beautiful view of Birmingham, England (Photo from Birmingham Future.)
Me: Tell us about where you’re from. What is it like there? What’s there to do for fun?
I’m from Bolton originally, a town in the north of England that is very close to Manchester. Where I grew up is beautiful – it’s a small community where everyone knows each other and is in everybody’s business. However, Bolton has a lot to offer and while it doesn’t have city status it has everything that a city does. Since 2001, I have been living in Birmingham, the second biggest city in the UK, and I have a bit of a love affair with the place – the community, the diversity, the people. It’s a great place.
Me: In a word, how would you describe who you are and why? Spontaneous. I much prefer doing things as the mood takes me rather than making plans.
Me: When you aren’t blogging or working, what are you doing? I’m often out with The Bloke or my friends, which often means eating far too much and trying out as many cocktails as I can! I enjoy nothing days too, where I can sit on the couch and watch my favourite films without having to go anywhere.
 Me: Who do you look up to in life and why? Anyone who is truly content with their life. Anyone who spends their time being happy rather than pursuing it.
Me: What was one of the best moments of your life? Why? Oh my gosh there are so many. I’ve been very lucky. I actually did a post about this so I’ll try and condense it…Sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at night, overlooking the Washington Monument, (it’s) absolutely stunning. Swimming in an open air pool, surrounded by sunflower fields on a gloriously hot day in Le Mans, France. I kid you not, this actually happened. Exploring London with The Bloke. We like to visit a few times a year if we can and each visit opens up a world of new places and things to see. Moving into my first ever room in the Halls of Residence in 2001. Everything I had with me was my very own. I felt safe there. Eating hazelnut ice cream and crepes while looking out onto the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Visiting Ground Zero in New York, just as construction on the Freedom Tower had begun, (it was) an incredibly humbling experience. Watching Bon Jovi at Hyde Park in London in 2010. It was the fourth time that I had seen them in concert (they’ve always been my favourite band) and the atmosphere was incredible. Sitting by the Seine in Paris and watching the sunset with The Bloke. Spending the day at a beautiful spa with my friend on my birthday. Walking around the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I must admit, I had a little cry to myself. Having a dinner party with some of my oldest friends. These often last for hours and get louder throughout the night. And, believe it or not, curling up on the couch and watching TV with The Bloke and the cats on a Friday night are sometimes the best moments of my week. Sorry, you asked for one haha! Can I get away with saying all of them? (Me: Of course you can Suzie! :D)
Me: What do you like most in life? How about dislikes? I like good food and good company, sunshine and days off work. I really dislike lots of things, but I’ll undoubtedly offend somebody if I say them so I’ll keep those to myself haha!
(Me: Aww, come on Suzie!)
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