Blogger Interviews: Ian Wright
Our next blogger interview is with Ian Wright from Randomly London. Ian is tackling the huge challenge of walking the London Underground network, overground, in order to raise money for bowel cancer research. A journey he is documenting on his blog.
Well worth checking in to see his progress and encourage him to walk every one of the 250 miles of tube track! If you have the resources donate a few quid too, it’s a worthy cause. If not I’m sure Ian would appreciate a comment or two to keep him on track to securing his target.
Ian’s day job is an SEO consultant and he’s offering London Bloggers Meetup community members a free SEO audit in exchange for a blog post about his challenge. Well worth taking him up on the offer – we have and the results were eye opening.
Anyway, enough of the long winded introduction, let’s get on with the interview…
1. What’s your blog called and what’s the URL?
2. What’s your blog all about (in 20 words or less)?
Right now the blog focuses on my attempt to walk London’s entire Tube network above ground.
3. When and why did you start blogging?
I started Randomly London a little under a year ago, but I’ve been building websites for 15+ years. Originally the blog was just going to feature things about London I found interesting. However, as of August 2012 – the focus has shifted to my attempt to walk the Tube above ground.
I’m doing the challenge to raise money for Bowel Cancer UK. Both my grandparents on my father’s side of the family died from the disease so it made sense to try and raise money for them while out walking around London.
It’s been great to write about the experience and I’ve had a lot of support from people so far.
4. Which blog platform do you use?
Self-hosted WordPress blog. The only way to go.
5. Can you give an example of how blogging has enriched your life?
The blog has enriched my life in a few ways. First, it’s a great outlet to write about whatever I like and connect with like minded people. Second, it’s allowed me to meet many very well known London bloggers, I probably wouldn’t have otherwise met.
Finally, it’s a great way to make sure I finish the whole walk. Having to write updates means there is a certain amount of pressure to finish it.
6. Are there any blogs you recommend reading and why?
There are a few bloggers I truly admire. Ian Visits is probably the best overall guide for stuff to do in London. Going Underground’s blog is the best blog about the tube out there. Spitalfields Life has some of the best articles about London’s history I’ve ever read. The Guardian blog is great blog about London politics too.
7. What three tips would you give to someone just starting out in blogging?
1) Don’t be a perfectionist. We all make mistakes, but it’s better to publish and fix them later than it is to never publish.
2) Keep going. I think many people get discouraged when they don’t see overnight success. For me it took 6+ months before I started to see regular traffic and I’m still a long way from where I know the blog can be.
3) Connect with other bloggers. No blog is an island. Link to the work of other bloggers you like, talk to them on twitter, go to meetup events etc. If you help them, they are much more likely to help you in the future.
8. If you could change one thing about your blog what would it be?
I wish I was able to create decent videos. After working with a friend who does freelance video work for Sky and CNN, I’ve realise how much work goes in to making top quality video content.
9. What is the key to getting readers to your blog?
I have two main ways. First, I’m very active on reddit and create content that I think they’ll find interesting. Second, I connect with a lot of like-minded bloggers on twitter.
10. And finally, what motivates you to keep on blogging?
Having the goal of walking the Tube above ground is a pretty good reason to keep the blog going. Beyond that, seeing traffic increase month on month is hugely rewarding. Even better is talking to people who say they’ve read your content; still surprises me when it happens.