How to be more awesome on the internet – an Interview with Sarah Von Bargen

Every once in a while I come across something on the internet that quite literally feels like a breath of fresh air.  A rolling playground of effervescent prose, engaging and often hilarious stories, and general fabulousness all around.  That’s how it felt when I stumbled upon the work of Ms Sarah Von Bargen, prolific blogger and traveler/fashionista extraordinaire over at Yes & Yes.  She is what most people would say, excellent at being awesome on the internet.  And today in our short interview she shares with us some of her secrets on how to do it.

In this interview you’ll learn:

  1. how she made the transition from otherwise-employed to self-employed
  2. using travel as a trial run to get over the intimidation of entrepreneurship
  3. the 3 steps Sarah recommends for increasing and retaining readership even if you don’t blog super often
  4. how to inject more of your own “voice” or personality into your writing
  5.  the merits of using words like ‘douche’ if that’s your thang
  6. how to have Sarah make YOU more awesome on the internet

*note that one of the first things out of my mouth is that I accidentally call Sarah a “vrogger” – so all you cats out there who are afraid of doing video on your blog because you’ll look like a dork, I just paved the way for you.  You’re welcome.

Find more of Sarah over here:

www.yesandyes.org and www.sarahvonbargen.com (Solution Sessions)

 

Do you have any great blogging tips you want to share?  And insights gleaned from this interview?  Please leave them below!

 


 

About the author

Heather Author: Heather Thorkelson is a small business strategist for people with heart. She's crazy grateful to make her living helping other people lay the foundations so that they too can live as they dream. Don't be shy - connect with her here in the comments or over on Google+

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  • Rachelia October 29, 2012, 4:49 pm

    Wow, great interview. I truly look up to and admire Sarah – she is so down to earth and seems like she is having so much fun living life on her own terms.

    Heather, you really asked some great questions and drew out some useful tips from Sarah, and even though I’m a long time follower of her’s, I still learned a few new things!

    Also, this is the 4th time in 2 days I’ve unknowingly ended up at your site through links from 2-3 different people, so I’m definitely going to be subscribing :)

    Reply
    • Heather October 29, 2012, 6:16 pm

      Isn’t she awesome Rachelia? I’m so glad you enjoyed the interview and even more happy that you keep ending up on my site – I’m always looking to connect with new faces! Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  • Sue V October 29, 2012, 6:25 pm

    Lots of Great Information in here! Thank you.

    Reply
    • Heather October 29, 2012, 7:28 pm

      Thank you Sue! Glad you liked it!

      Reply
  • Sarah Von October 29, 2012, 6:46 pm

    Thanks so much for the kind words, guys! And thanks for having me, Heather!

    Reply
    • Heather October 29, 2012, 7:29 pm

      You’re so welcome! Lots of great comments on FB and Twitter as well – you’re a hit!

      Reply
  • Ellen October 29, 2012, 7:06 pm

    LOVE this – the three tips are actually ones I’ve not heard before! I’ma go work on my promotion skillz. AND both of you are women whose work I really really enjoy, so it was fun to hear your take on things in a brief, impactful way. Thanks for not making this an hour long :-)

    Reply
    • Heather October 29, 2012, 7:30 pm

      Thanks Ellen! That’s so great that we’re not recycling the same old info and you actually learned something. :) And yes…keeping it brief is the way of the future here on my blog. Hugs to you!

      Reply
  • Patty October 30, 2012, 3:51 pm

    I love, love, love Sarah. I did her Solution Session, even though I’ve been blogging for like 8 years, and I learned some great skills. I’m still in the implementation phase,and I’ve got so much fun stuff to implement, it will take a while! Anyone that wants to make their blogging life more fun, entertaining and fabulous should do Sarah’s session. Plus she’s fun. :)

    Hey, Heather! I’m still thinking about Peru, deciding if my budget will allow for it. I really, really want to go! xo

    Reply
    • Heather October 30, 2012, 10:55 pm

      Hey Patty! I’m so glad you chimed in as someone who has already done one of Sarah’s Solution Sessions. That’s pretty awesome that you’ve been blogging for 8 years and still found a ton of value in it. Thanks for posting!

      Reply
  • Pam Pearson October 30, 2012, 5:10 pm

    Thanks Heather and Sarah! For me I’m going to try the tip on posting once and promoting every day. Seems so obvious and simple, yet I’m not doing it. An easy way to make big steps! Thanks.

    Reply
    • Heather October 30, 2012, 10:56 pm

      I know, right? I felt the same way…like “Duh…why am I not doing that?” But you know since I’ve started tweeting like crazy about each of my posts I’ve gotten a ton more traffic. Just in the past couple of weeks! So she knows what she’s talking about. :)

      Reply
  • Mindy Crary | Creative Money October 30, 2012, 7:56 pm

    What an awesome interview! When I saw it was 14 minutes, I went, “uh-oh, my ADD is going to screw me on this …” but i was totally hooked the entire time! I am definitely going to start tweeting my weekly post more on Twitter and do some more “cheaty” blog posts to fill in between the “meaty.” :o)

    Reply
    • Heather October 30, 2012, 10:58 pm

      Mindy, I hear you loud and clear. I normally wouldn’t want to watch a video this long but I PROMISE you I will only be putting up video interviews that are worth watching from here on it. You can always listen while you do the dishes! Personally, I multitask so I can learn and get stuff done at the same time. :) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Kathleen Prophet October 30, 2012, 9:48 pm

    YES! This is AWESOME! wow…. Sarah is brilliant! thank you so MUCH for this, Heather. So many pieces of GOLD in here! Took notes. Thank you for these great interviews.

    Write the way you talk…. Well curated posts (thinking about that one and what I would curate? hmmmmm). Would LOVE to do her solution session. One daaaaaaaayyyyyyy!

    Reply
    • Heather October 30, 2012, 10:58 pm

      Yay Kathleen! Love that you loved it. There will be more where this came from. I’m just getting started and there are a LOT of smarty pants people on the interweb. :) xo

      Reply
  • Aditi October 31, 2012, 3:56 am

    Thanks for this Heather. I love Sarah. I just discovered her through you and I love everything about her. I also am thankful for the insight she provided about tweeting your articles 3x a day. I always felt like that was way too much and what would people think if I tweeted the same article. But since other people are doing it too (and successful ones at that) makes me feel better about it. Great interview, thanks Heather!

    Reply
    • Heather October 31, 2012, 1:56 pm

      Really glad you found it helpful Aditi! I know…3x seems like so much but as I mentioned earlier in the comments, since I’ve been implementing that advice myself, I’ve seen a huge increase in readership and traffic. The key is to change up the text every time, as Sarah advises. So simple but so effective! Good luck trying it out yourself. :)

      Reply
  • Sarah Yost October 31, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Love these tricks. My favorite is the write once, promote a million times. And the value in curated link posts.

    My daughter looked at the video and said Sarah looks just like me. It’s the glasses and the stripes. :)

    Reply
    • Heather November 3, 2012, 3:32 am

      So glad you found value in it Sarah!!

      Reply
  • Megan Flatt November 1, 2012, 2:33 am

    I can always tell how much I love a post by if I take notes or not…I took a page of notes!! Great, great tips and I LOVED the interview. You both have awesome on screen personalities that kept me hooked (even if you said vrogger ;) Thanks for a great post

    Reply
    • Heather November 3, 2012, 3:34 am

      Megan you have no idea how happy that makes me! A PAGE of notes? Right on sister! Best of luck implementing…you must report back. :)

      Reply
  • Mona November 1, 2012, 4:05 am

    Great interview! Kudos to you both on your dynamic – interesting, engaging and inspiring :-)

    Reply
    • Heather November 3, 2012, 3:35 am

      Thanks Mona – If I ever get really boring with my interviews I hope you’ll let me know. We aim to inspire around here!

      Reply
  • Tina Pruitt November 1, 2012, 5:21 am

    Love the energy and all the great tips in the vlog! Great job ladies! The solutions day sounds amazing too! I have already checked out the blog and love it! Thanks for a great vid….yay!
    xo, Tina

    Reply
  • Felicity Fields November 1, 2012, 6:59 pm

    Wow! This was, indeed, a fabulous 15 minute interview! I’ve been struggling with putting more “me” into my blogging voice – this has given me some new ammunition!

    Reply
    • Heather November 3, 2012, 3:36 am

      Felicity, I can’t say enough good things about recording yourself speaking what you want to say in a blog post. Basically dictate the post into your iPhone’s voice memo function or whatever recording device you have handy and then transcribe it, cutting out all the um’s and ah’s. You’ll be shocked at how much more YOU your blog posts will sound like. :) Good luck and thanks for your comment!

      Reply
      • Jen Vertanen November 4, 2012, 1:37 pm

        Yes! I’ve done this too (always feel like I’m multi-tasking since inspiration usually hits when I’m driving and have nothing but my handy iphone. It does really help your voice come through in your writing.

        Reply
  • Jen Vertanen November 4, 2012, 1:35 pm

    That was AWESOME!!!!! My blog is dark at the moment but I’ve always had much greater success writing like I talk and curated lists are just so damn much fun.

    As someone who..ahem…struggles with things like committing to editorial calendars (read: doesn’t like making them) I am so hiring you, Sarah, once my blog is back up and I’m doing it regularly (summer 2013ish).

    Reply
    • Heather November 5, 2012, 2:11 pm

      Yay! So glad to hear it Jen! Looking forward to reading your blog when you’ve got it up and rocking again. :)

      Reply
  • eemusings November 6, 2012, 2:18 am

    Yes, yes, yes!

    I love doing my weekly roundups as I come across so much great writing online. It’s a bit time consuming, but I just star posts in my reader and then go through and pull together a post on the weekend. I don’t get a lot of comments on those posts but every so often I get a commenter mentioning how much they love my link posts (I’d like to think I curate well and have a nice variety) and that they always find something to read in them. Last week someone told me my link loves were the best of any blog she reads :D

    Great interview – if it’s possible, I now love SVB even more…

    Reply
    • Heather November 14, 2012, 2:17 pm

      Great feedback eemusings! It’s so nice to heart positive feedback for stuff like link loves and I’m of the belief that it’s mostly a numbers game. Lots of people love them (I bet) but only a few reach out to tell you. As your readership grows, the % of people who communicate their appreciation will too. Yay SVB!

      Reply
  • Jill November 7, 2012, 9:32 pm

    Heather I love this! And am using it both for myself as well as a (VERY) small biz that I am working hard at right now! Thanks for all the great tips ALWAYS! You are incredibly inspiring:)

    :)Jill

    Reply
    • Heather November 14, 2012, 2:18 pm

      Thanks Jill! Glad this helps. And girl, YOU are the inspiring one. You’re one of my running heros!

      Reply
  • Kirsten November 9, 2012, 3:00 am

    I *pink puffy heart* Sarah and her blog, so thank you so much for posting this interview! There are some wonderful tips in the video, and I have some great ideas for re-invigorating my blog. Thanks again to both of you!

    Reply
    • Heather November 14, 2012, 2:19 pm

      You’re welcome Kirsten. I love that you used the term ‘re-invigorating my blog’ – we all need a little some of that sometimes. :)

      Reply
  • Davia Gorman November 19, 2012, 7:36 pm

    This is an amazing read..thank you for being so kind to share this with me! Thank You to Carrie@Bloom.com for sending me your way!

    Reply
  • The Dame Intl December 5, 2012, 10:32 pm

    Thanks for doing this interview Heather, its always awesome to be able to pick the brains of the people we look up to and put a living person to the written word :)

    Reply