Monday, July 4, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Jana Mousekaholic



Jana - Mousekaholic

blog: http://www.mousekaholic.com/
twitter: @mousekaholic
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#!/mousekaholic1

I met Jana through the Disney Blog Hop, her blog is a favorite of mine. I have a soft spot in my heart for her because like my daughter, she is an Army wife and I know first hand how tough that can be. Like me Sleeping Beauty is her favorite Disney movie, and Aurora her favorite princess. You are going to enjoy today's interview!! So without further ado, here's Jana...

Introduce yourself and describe your blog.  My name is Jana Robins, and I have a blog called Mousekaholic. I am an Army wife and mom of an 8 year old daughter and an almost 3 year old son.  Mousekaholic is a blog about my obsession with Disney.

What inspired you to start blogging?  Being a military family, we move all the time.  I originally started blogging to keep family and friends updated.  While my husband was deployed to Iraq last year, I decided to apply to become a Disney travel specialist.  I started a Disney blog titled Jana’s Guide to Disney to give clients some helpful tips.  I never updated that blog and I feel that it was the name that was really dragging me down.  I was overwhelmed with the feeling that every post had to be a tip.  Sometimes I wanted to just talk about something Disney-like that had happened in my day.  I abandoned that first blog, and started Mousekaholic about 4 months ago.  The name is more generalized, so I was encouraged to write whatever Disney thought happened to cross my mind. 

How do you decide which articles to include in your Mousekaholic Daily? How do you keep them organized?  This question made me giggle.  I get this question so much and there’s a very simple answer.  I don’t.  The Mousekaholic Daily is a daily newspaper that is automatically generated from the website http://paper.li/.  It uses who you follow on Twitter or Facebook to create your own paper.  I have gotten some pretty amazing followers based on the Daily mentioning their names!  
   
Any tips for choosing topics for posts, how early do you write them?  I think this is something all bloggers struggle with.  One thing I do if I’m having trouble thinking of anything, is to go through and look at my Disney pictures on my computer.  Remembering past trips usually generates a good topic.  In general, I am not a planner – the exception being planning Disney trips.  We tend to do things spur of the moment in this family, so I write my posts as they come to me.  I have found this method (or lack of method) a little harder with both kids at home for the summer, so I may have to tweak when I write my posts!


If you could give a new blogger one piece of advice what would it be?  Blog about your passion!  If you’re not passionate about what you’re blogging, it’s going to become a burden to write and your readers will be able to tell.

How important is networking with other bloggers? Do you have any suggestions for connecting with fellow bloggers?  Super important!  A lot of my readers are fellow Disney bloggers I’ve connected with on Twitter and Facebook.  It’s great to connect with other bloggers who share your same passion.  One great way to connect is to find a blog hop to link up to.  I get lots of new readers each week from linking up with blog hops. 

How often do you post, and how important is it to post frequently?  Ideally, I would like to post everyday, but that has yet to happen.  My goal is to get at least 3 new posts a week.  I usually don’t blog on the weekends, as they are reserved for family time.  I do think it is very important to blog frequently.  It’s really the only way to keep readers coming back to your blog.  If there’s nothing new to read, readers will lose interest quickly.

If you could be a Disney Princess for a day who would it be, and why?  Definitely Princess Aurora!  Sleeping Beauty is my favorite Disney movie and she of course is my favorite princess.  In addition to being a Disney nut, I am also very artistic and musical.  I LOVE the art in this movie and how the characters appear to have been placed in a Renaissance painting.  The music is amazing as well.  I would love to sing and dance around barefoot with an owl in a cape in such a wonderful backdrop.  Prince Philip is also a definite plus!


Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?  I think the most important thing to remember is to relax and have a good time.  Go into it knowing that it is impossible to do everything, so there’s no reason to run yourself into the ground trying to get it all done.  If you have small children, let them be your guide.  Let them go back and take naps, so they can enjoy their time.  Believe me, if your kids are tired and cranky, no one is going to have a good time.  Also if you’re travelling with a large group, don’t be afraid to split up.  The worst mistake you can make is trying to keep everyone together one hundred percent of the time.  Everyone is going to want to do different things at some point during the vacation, and it’s perfectly okay to split up for a while and meet back later.  You’ll alleviate a lot of frustration that way.

Anything you would like to add?  When I first joined Twitter, I have to admit I was a little discouraged.  I was overwhelmed with how many Disney blogs there are and all the Disney experts.  For a while, I thought I shouldn’t blog about something when others have the most updated information out there.  I would hesitate to post an update about something because I had already read about it on Twitter.  But, you have to realize that even if there are a million blogs about that one subject, no one has the same viewpoint.  You have different experiences, so your blog will be unique as are you.  You also have a whole different group of readers.  My readers don’t visit Disney sites regularly, so even if something has already been posted out there, they won’t know about it unless I post it as well.

I also want to thank Donna Kay for hosting Mentoring Mondays.  When she first asked me participate, I wondered if she had me confused with someone else.  What a great way to help those new to blogging as well as those who have been at it for a while.  It's an honor to participate amoung all the great guests you have interviewed.  Thanks, Donna Kay!

14 comments:

  1. ANother great interview! I too am a fan of Mousekaholic and really enjoy reading it. Great advice, especially about the little ones! :-)

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  2. Brilliant post as always Donna Kay! And awesome tips Jana!! Love your photos! :D

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  3. Hi Jana! I loved reading about your blog's genesis, and the The Mousekaholic Daily. (It's always fun to see how http://paper.li/ works,and it feels so good to be "published"!)
    Thanks Donna- you always pick WINNERS :D

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  4. Another terrific interview!! I'm a fan of Mousekaholic and enjoyed reading your tips today:)
    Thanks Donna Kay! Happy 4th of July!

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  5. Thanks everyone and thanks again, Donna Kay! I love reading your Mentoring Mondays and am honored that you asked me to participate. Hope you all are having a terrific holiday! :)

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  6. Awesome interview as always, Jana AND Donna. Always happy to come by and read some great advice! :)

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  7. Hi Beth, Manda, D, Deb & Chad!! You are all so sweet to come back each week to check out Mentoring MOndays!! I think the advice that has been given throughout all of Mentoring Mondays is fantastic!! And of course, this week is no exception, THANKS Jana!! It was honor to have you! :-)

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  8. Once again, awesome advice and a great interview.

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  9. I love this post, great interview and great advice. I also doubted about starting a Disney blog. Reading that I'm not the only one is really great.

    Bookgirl @ My Magical Adventures

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  10. Hi Melissa & Book Girl!! Thanks for stopping by, I totally agree, Jana's advice is great.

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  11. Hi Donna Kay, I have enjoyed this interview as well. It's always good to know that someone else is having the same feelings as you. I too have had the blog block. Thanks for sharing Jana.

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  12. Great post, Jana & DonnaKay! I'm running a couple days behind this week (obviously!). This was a nice mid-week pick-me-up :)

    Thank you, Jana and family, for serving in the Armed Forces to protect and preserve our freedom!

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  13. Hi Diane! Thanks for stopping by I really appreciate it! I have bloggers block all the time, it is great to know you're not alone! :-)

    Hi Jodi! Hope you're having a great Wednesday!! I second that THANK YOU for serving our country!!

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  14. Y'all are all so sweet! :)

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