Charcoal Conversations is back. Today’s conversation is with Monie, the prolific blogger of Monie On The Outside. If I could describe her blog in one sentence it would be a glorious mixture of high-resolution images celebrating black women, spliced with analysis on the situation surround issues for black LGBT people and dollopings of Alicia Keys’ posts. I asked Monie all about her journey into blogging and her thoughts on blogging as a black LGBT woman. Monie started blogging in June 2008.
1) Why did you start Monie on the Outside?
As a creative outlet
2) What do you like most about blogging?
Getting to know other bloggers such as yourself.
3) What’s been your best experience since you have started blogging?
Getting thoughtful comments.
4) Can you tell us how many views you average daily or weekly? [I think this will interest people who want to get into blogging] Also can you tell us your highest ever day when you got the most views?
Here are my latest stats: I have 33,000 total hits. I average about 1200 views per week. I have had a total of 58,000 page views.
I’m not sure about my day with the most visits.
5) Do you see yourself as a lesbian blogger or as a black lesbian blogger?
I am a woman blogger and a Black woman blogger and a Black lesbian blogger. I have lots of identities.
6) You have slowed down your schedule a lot recently. What was the reason for this?
I was getting burned out.
7 ) Are there benefits to posting regularly?
I think people get into a habit of visiting your blog if you post everyday. So it’s a lot easier to build readership if you post often.
8 ) What are your thoughts on black gossip blogs like Bossip?
Well sites like Bossip make most of the stuff they post up. I would say 99% of what you read on Bossip is false. So sites like that really don’t have any credibility. I visit Bossip to get good pics of certain celebs. But I really don’t pay attention to the nonsense they talk about.
9) Vibe has folded. King = folded. I am worried for the safety of Ebony & Black Enterprise, but I don’t believe that blogs are always the answer. How do you think black media can adapt to the net?
I think one reason traditional media is having a hard time competing with the internet is that they try to change their publications in an effort to compete with online sites. I think that each form of media has a place. Magazines like Ebony have a place but they are getting sidetracked trying to compete with online sites.
The internet is good for getting info out fast. But that usually means the info is not fully reliable. That’s where magazines can find a place for themselves, by being a reliable source of information.
Also most internet sites don’t have the resources that magazines have. Most internet sites only have a few employees. A magazine has a real staff in place which means they can do more.
10) Name your 5 favourite blogs that you visit regularly, ie, more than once a week.
11) Do you think that there is pressure to blog?
Yes, I used to feel enormous pressure to blog every day. That’s one of the reasons I’ve slowed down. It can be a bit much.
12) Would you mind telling us if you have RSS subscribers and if so, how many? Do you think having subscribers is important to a blog?
I really have no idea how many RSS readers I have. I suppose the importance of having subscribers depends on what you are trying to do with your blog. Monie On The Outside is just a very simple blog doing simple things.
13) One great thing I have noticed about your attitude to blogging is you reply to virtually all people who comment on your blog, and many bloggers don’t do this. How do you do this and what are your general thoughts on comments?
Well for one I feel it’s rude not to reply to comments. If someone can take the time to comment on my blog I can certainly take the time to reply. Also I generally return to blogs after I’ve left a comment to see what the response to my comment was from the blog owner. So I figure others do that to when they comment on my blog. And it’s just fun to reply to comments. Interaction, to me, is really what blogging is about. I remember running across a very interesting blog once that didn’t allow comments. It just seemed like masturbation to me.
14) What do you think of the idea of blogger beef, ie like the one between sandra rose & angel from concrete loop?
I think people like Sandra Rose make up “beefs” to get attention. These so-called beefs don’t really amount to much. And it’s always the blogger with the lower readership that starts the beefs. That’s very telling.
15) Does your family know you blog?
16) Is your readership mostly from the US?
Well when I check my stats, which is very rare, I get hits from around the world. But I think the majority of my readers are from the U.S.
Thanks Monie! You can check out her blog here.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on what Monie has brought up, especially the idea of replying to comments. I think this is crucial in blogging. When I first started visiting her blog, I specifically came back because I realised she took time to reply to all commenters and Monie’s blog is successful because she gets comments on virtually every post she writes, which is pretty hard to do as a blogger. Actually it’s very very hard to do — getting comments all the time so I applaud her for that.
As Gator in Jungle Fever says Flipper, ”hit me” except this time hit me up with your comments!
 — Aww thanks for the shout out!