The second in the Interview With A Blogger series is with Tamahome Jenkins, owner of EverythingIsHistory.com.
DS: Welcome to Find A New Blog, Tamahome. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
TJ: I’m 28 years old, expecting my first child next month. I’ve never been so excited and nervous in my life. My wife and I live in Asheville, NC, having moved from Fort Worth, TX last year.
DS: Congratulations on the baby!
TJ: Thank you! It really is an amazing time, and I can’t wait to meet the newest member of my family. Maybe she’ll grow up to be a blogger like her dad!
DS: When did you start blogging?
TJ: I decided to start blogging about history in December 2008 when I saw that there weren’t too many sites devoted to the topic. All of them were either incredibly academic (read:boring) or they were copies of Wikipedia or the History Channel. So, I set out to write about history and try to make it interesting for everybody which resulted in EverythingIsHistory.com.
DS: I reviewed EverythingIsHistory a while back and I have to say that I’ve checked back quite regularly since – it’s a really interesting blog. Have you got any plans for future blogs?
TJ: I’m going to start a personal blog/portfolio site this spring because I’ve learned a lot about blogging and I want to share my ideas and experience with other new bloggers. I already have the domain (TamahomeJenkins.com), I just have to start the site now.
DS: Is blogging your main job?
TJ: I’m writing and blogging full-time and I dabble a little in affiliate marketing. I’m not making as much money as I was as a systems admin with the Department of Homeland Security, but I’m much happier and I know this is the best experience of my life. Thankfully, I have a very supportive wife who is behind me 100% and wants me to go for this.
DS: How long did you work as a Systems Admin for?
TJ: I started as a help desk tech back in 2005 and I loved it. I quickly moved up the ranks to systems admin, and I enjoyed it, but it was too political. I enjoyed working with the technology, but sometimes people’s egos would get in the way of actually getting stuff accomplished.
DS: What made you leave the corporate world?
TJ: After 4 years, I just started to get burnt out and knew that I wouldn’t make it another 30 years in the corporate world. Besides the creeping burnout, I also am a historian by trade. My degree is in history, but I entered the IT field because the pay was really good. I knew that now was the right time to get out of the corporate world, before I had too many attachments and responsibilities. I knew if I didn’t try it now, I never would.
DS: EverythingIsHistory has been going for a while now. What are your plans for the future in respect of your business?
TJ: I plan on releasing a couple of history-related trivia books this year. They’re going to be big and flashy, like something people will want to keep on their coffee table or in their bathroom. I’m also going to start marketing for my cousin’s diaper service business here in Western North Carolina. That will at least get the bills paid for now while my wife’s on maternity leave.
DS: You mentioned about writing – is this for clients, yourself, articles, news stories, education books, etc?
TJ: I write mostly for EiH (EverthingIsHistory), but I plan on guest posting about my experiences with blogging this spring. I’ve also started writing creatively; mostly for myself and my friends, but we’ll see if that turns into anything.
DS: How big of a part does writing play in your business life?
TJ: Writing is the core of EiH. Information can be found anywhere, but you need to give people a reason to come get it from you. This has opened my eyes to a whole world of marketing and how the human mind works. This, in turn, has helped me with my affiliate marketing efforts.
DS: How did you get into affiliate marketing?
TJ: I got into affiliate marketing when I got tired of Google paying me 5 cents per click! It was tough to get into at first, and I got discouraged early, but I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s definitely a better long term method of monetizing your blog than traditional ad networks.
DS: Have you learnt anything in particular in respect of blogging / writing / affiliate marketing that you wish you knew when you first started out?
TJ: I knew that the traffic wouldn’t start pouring in just because I was writing something, but I wish that I knew how slow that trickle would be! It was definitely discouraging to see 20 visits per day after a month. I guess that means that I wish I knew more about SEO. Also, I wish I knew about StumbleUpon. I know a lot of people don’t like it, and I understand why, but I often get extra 1000-2000 visits per post from them.
DS: Have you ever thought about giving up the writing work and heading back into a more secure / salaried job?
TJ: I’ve thought about it, but I quickly banish the thought when I realize that I do most of my work in my PJs or at the park. Money comes and goes, but at the end of life all anybody wants is time. When I start to freak out about money, I just remind myself that being self-employed is the best time investment, and renting your time to someone else is a poor investment.
DS: Are there any avenues that you want to take in the future in respect of business and / or personal life that people may not expect you to or that you think ‘I’d really like to try that in the future’?
TJ: Since moving to Asheville, I’ve discovered the outdoors, and mountain biking in particular. I want to start riding competitively and eventually open a bike shop.
And that concludes the second in the Interview With A Blogger series. Thanks to Tamahome for taking the time out have a chat with me and make sure you check back early next month for the next in the Interview With A Blogger series.