interview with tara gentile

hello hello… are you waiting for something juicy? i have that juicy for you! today we shall have the third interview on {blogging… by bloggers}. if you haven’t been around, this is a special daily edition of interviews concerning blogging. as we newbies, and maybe not that newbies, that have been striving with blogging our own ways, we do have doubts. so, in order to clear, just a little bit of those doubts… i have come up with 5 interviews with 5 bloggers that we all know so very well. so… today we have the third interview… but you can still read the previous two interviews: brittni from papernstitch {here} & victoria from sfgirlbybay {here}.

but let us stop the talking and head out to the next guest… tara gentile from {big thinking for small business} & editor of {scoutie girl}.

“i’m tara gentile the writer, big thinker, and web designer behind scoutie girl, the outside-the-box manual for creating living & mindful spending. i’m in the process of building a web empire. true tale.”

{childhood memories via scoutie girl}

1. do you remember the first day you blogged? what did you have in mind?
i do! the very first day i blogged was during my senior year of college (winter 2004). while i’m not sure how i heard about blogging, i found the xanga platform and knew i would start one sooner than later. But i was in need of a reason to create my first post. whilst watching tv, i saw a commercial for velveeta cheese. it was about how velveeta was better for salsa dip than real cheddar. ’cause you can’t really microwave cheddar. i found this quite absurd. use fake cheese because radiation won’t work on real cheese? wow. needless to say, i had the fodder for my first blog post.

{childhood memories via scoutie girl}

2. what does your blog represents for you? how many hours it represents on a daily basis?
my blog represents my inquisitive mind and my energetic personality. while not everything i write or think or feel or create ends up on the “formal” blog, the process of blogging is a part of almost everything i do. and i like it that way. i never wanted to have a work life & a home life. i always wanted my work to be a part of me and i a part of it. that’s what i’ve found in blogging. so, to put a number of hours on my blogging practice is pretty impossible for me! there are very few hours when i’m not experiencing some aspect of blogging.

3. when you started to wish to make it grow in a really strong way, what strategies did work for your blog?
the best strategy for growing my blog has been to really focus on creating unique content. i strive to create content that you will find no where else because it’s a reflection of my own philosophy on the creative life and creative economy. when i stopped trying to make my blog a successful “design” blog and focused instead on what i really loved, my readers became fiercely loyal and engaged. and loyal & engaged readers mean more casual visitors. then casual visitors turn into fans. it’s a great cycle!

{kiki and polly via scoutie girl}

4. since which moment you believed that your blog was a successful one?
i knew my blog was finally successful when i wrote a post that was a personal rant about our limiting philosophies about money & abundance. i thought people might think i was crazy. or that they might not read it. or that i had no business giving that kind of advice. instead, it quickly became a twitter sensation and then was picked up by several other blogs & content outlets. that post really opened my eyes to reshaping my blog into something that was both very popular & something that reflected my true passion for creativity and life.

{fall print roundup via scoutie girl}

now… let us think about other blogs and blogging…

1. if there was a main rule about blog etiquette, what would it be?
i’m not sure if this is etiquette per se, but the main principle i would want people to learn is the art of the riff. instead of posting other people’s content, or just linking to things you find cool, or passing on other people’s ideas to your readers, add your own two cents. riff off of the original idea with your own original perspective. it makes everyone’s blog better. the original blogger will love you more for an insightful link back. your readers will learn about your unique perspective. you will learn to become a part of the conversation and not just another frequency of noise.

2. publishing a story every day… main rule towards success or not at all?
absolutely not. i’ve learned that blogging less with better content is way better. if you have nothing to say, by all means, inflate your page views with post after post of meaningless fluff. but if you do have something to say, something interesting to offer the world, much better to hone it & refine it and offer it up slowly.

3. when you read a blog, what is “that” thing that makes you click on “add a comment”?
i rarely comment on other people’s blogs. when i do, it’s because someone has gotten me to shift my perspective on something that’s important to me. whether it’s business or design or writing, i comment when someone has moved me.

4. what does your eye catch when you are searching the web and you find a new blog?
the thing that catches my eye is originality, at the risk of sounding cliche. blogs that are obviously trying to do something that’s already been done turn me off. but bloggers who are doing something new, offering up something innovative or fresh, those are the people that grab my attention in a serious way.

now, i have loved all the previous interviews… they all have pointed out something that made me think, whether rules, originality, character, design… but there is always one major thought that does not leave my mind. and i believe that this is the real thing we should all be asking. and by {we} i mean all of us that are striving for something in our lives.

how can i make the difference?

see you tomorrow friends!



  1. What a a great interview! Thanks! Tara is a great blogger, but so much more than that.

  2. thank you elizabeth!!! i think tara is a great blogger and motivator!!! we just feel the energy!! thank you for coming here! :) hugs, twiggs!

  3. thank you annamaria, welcome back! in a while there will be another interview :) i hope that this has brought you huge insight on the subject! :) take care, twiggs

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