Small Hands, Big Ideas, (SHBI) of Boulder, Colo., is a repeat Top Ten Gen Y blog for Generation Y and entrepreneurs.

Measuring Success: For my blog, success is having a healthy, interactive community that is loyal and returns each day. I would rather have a loyal, strong community of 100 than 1,000 visitors. Although this isn’t the only measure of success, numerous awards I have received as a blogger also show recognition. One of the earliest successes was when a blogger I really looked up to featured me as a top 8 “underappreciated” Gen Y woman blogger. It was the first time someone else talked about me, mentioned me and even put me on a list. This was within six months of my blog and I realized how the opportunities could really be endless if I kept with it.

Biggest Struggle: As a blogger, you need tough skin. Your words, ideas and blog are public. Recently, a newspaper accused me of copying their work. After a phone call with the editor (she called me from Australia) and after I backed up all my words and posts with sincerity, she admitted it was their columnist who was copying my posts, word-for-word into their print publication. There isn’t an “internet police” so it was an odd experience. I wrote about it and I felt that I handled it respectfully and honestly. I even spoke directly with the columnist who copied my work and I forgave her. When she asked, I even gave her some tips for moving forward. I told her to not give up writing, but I was stern about plagiarism.
I moved on because as they say, “imitation is the highest form of flattery,” but I also paid close attention to my work and take much of what I read on the Internet with a grain of salt.

Surprise!: Running a blog can be tiresome. I really thought I would write whenever I wanted, but when you build an audience and subscribers, you are held accountable. I never thought I would be accountable. It’s a blessing and I appreciate the push and encouragement I feel internally as well as from the community.

Getting Sales: I promote my blog by being where my audience is. I signed up for social and blog networks (like Brazen Careerist or 20 Something Bloggers) and I interacted on Twitter. I let my content and personality speak for themselves. I also interacted with other bloggers. I asked questions and I commented. In return, they would ask, “Who is this girl who keeps asking me questions or leaving inquisitive comments?” They would land on my blog, we would connect and the cycle would repeat. I landed my current job because of my blog. Because of my blog, I have been invited to speak at conferences because of my blog and I have been invited to write for eBooks and guest posts around the web. Your blog is your voice that contributes to your overall marketing and success.

What I wish I would’ve known: There are no ‘real rules’ to blogging. Unlike other activities, sports or hobbies I have participated in, there isn’t a referee or rule book. Rushing or anxiously waiting around for your first comment on a blog doesn’t get you anywhere.

What keeps you up at night (business-wise!)?: Food! It’s why I launched my food blog out of sheer passion. The idea of food combined with my online background lets my mind race with the ideas, applications and websites that could be built. I also love helping people and I’m a big idea person. I could stay up at night coming up with ways to condense my ideas and package it, thus selling/offering it to small businesses or friends.