Insight from Kathleen Cubley, Editor of Knitting Daily
“I’ve been a knitter for about eight years, and my job at as the editor of Knitting Daily combines my editorial, marketing, and knitting skills. It’s not the easiest skill set to find!” – Kathleen Cubley
After having her own knitting blog for several years, about six months ago Kathleen Cubley became Editor of KnittingDaily.com. She’s been in publishing for twenty years; twenty-three if you count her time on a college newspaper. Until Interweave, she worked in print media, both books and periodicals. Cubley’s experience ranges from editorial, production, print buying, and management. She’s even done a bit of marketing and catalog work.
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Mequoda – Which CMS (ie: WordPress, Typo) are you using?
KC – We are currently using Community Server by Telligent.
Mequoda – Are you blogging for your company as part of your job (ie corporate) or is this a personal passion?
KC – I’m blogging for my company as part of my job.
Mequoda – Has your blog enhanced your professional reputation? How?
KC – Yes. It’s put me in the knitting community as an expert on Interweave and its products, and as a knitting colleague.
Mequoda – How often do you post a new blog?
KC – Three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Mequoda – Who is your target audience?
KC – All knitters and craftspeople.
Mequoda – What are you doing to grow your audience and to create customer loyalty?
KC – We put out freemiums several times a year. Additionally, we have a great Facebook fan site, and we post on Twitter as often as possible. We provide interesting, informative and inspiring blog posts, too!
Mequoda – How are you using social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin) to promote your blog? Has that changed the way you blog?
KC – Yes, we use those sites, but I don’t think it’s changed the blogging process for me—although I do try to post things that will translate well on those social media sites.
Mequoda – What is your main source of revenue: ads, sponsor, products sales, donations?
KC – Product sales are our biggest source of revenue, but we sell ads, too.
Mequoda – Approximately what percentage of your overall revenue comes from product sales vs. advertising/sponsorships or other sources?
KC – Advertising is responsible for about 14% of our total revenue goal.
Mequoda – What is you main source of referrals?
KC – KnittingPatternCentral.com
Mequoda – What key metrics do you monitor to analyze the health of your business?
KC – Delivery rates, open rates, click through rates, total revenue, RPM, unique visitors, opt in 1 and 2, Email Conversion Rate and Google Visibility Index.
Mequoda – How many sites have you linked to in the last 30 days?
KC – Approximately 30.
Mequoda – What changes have you seen in your market since you began blogging?
KC – Users have become more adept at online navigation. There’s been rapid community growth and participation. We’ve benefited from the instant feedback we get from the e-newsletters and we’ve seen a higher demand for free projects, tips, tutorials, etc. (as they can get it elsewhere) and a stronger need for video tutorials (as they can get those elsewhere, too). There’s also a surprising level of crossover with our other craft markets.
Mequoda – Any interesting experience you’d like to share?
KC – Readers seem to respond most positively to video tutorials, even over a free knitting pattern. They love having the video to refer to.
Mequoda – What advice would you give a new blogger?
KC – Get to know your audience before you begin blogging—it’s easy to alienate some of your audience if you assume demographics. It’s also important to respond to comments on your blog in a timely manner. I do, however, wait until there are a couple of questions and answer them at one time.
Mequoda – What ways are you planning to expand over the next year?
KC – We’re planning some iPhone apps, more digital product offerings, a wider range of freemium offerings (i.e. video), more work on social networking sites, collaboration with referring sites as well as our own to create more inbound links, implementing specific Knitting Daily branding in the Interweave Store, adding more subjects / definitions to the Knitting Daily glossary, and expanding our keyword universe.