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Anne Bender of Anne On Life an Interview

Anne is someone you can trust. You read her words and know that what she means what she says. She’s a grammar loving, giveaway entering, happy winning, link sharing bloggy momma. She’s even wearing the Flirty Apron she won from a giveaway on my blog in this photo. Trust me and visit her blogs.


Tell me about your Blog –
My blog, AnneOnLife, is a mixed bag of sorts. It was started in November 2008 as a form of therapy after being let go from my job. Now it’s a way of sharing what we’re doing on the farm, my frugal finds, and some great products that I get to test, review, and sometimes giveaway. It’s amazing what happens when you just keep writing.

What was your first blog –
My first blog has had a few names. I honestly cannot remember some of them, but one was Reference Information. Dull, I know. Since I was a college student up until January, I decided to focus on that aspect of my life and it is now called AnneOnCollege. It’s been neglected lately. I should remedy that.

What is the biggest tip you would give to product reviewers?
Be honest. No one wants to hear how great and wonderful a product is only to find out it’s not. If you are not comfortable giving a bad review, then you should set some guidelines prior to accepting products to review. Most products are not all good or all bad, so just be diplomatic, list what you liked and what you didn’t like. Let your readers take from it what they need. You’ll gain the respect of your readers and companies and have more fun things to review come your way.

Are you contacted by companies or PR companies or do you contact them or both?

I have joined a few sites which pass along products for review. Also, I’m a member of a few sites that help match up bloggers with product reviews. As far as contacting companies directly, I have not done that yet. I really should as I’m probably missing out on some opportunities there.

What is your favorite product that you have reviewed?
It had to be the Wild Harvest Organics courtesy of SheSpeaks. Unfortunately they do not sell these near me, but that did not stop me from telling friends and family how good they are. I received 3 packages ranging from cookies and crackers, to juices and peanut butter, and finally pasta and sauce and salad dressing. My family loved this and I would totally buy it if sold near me. Anyone from Wild Harvest Organics listening? hint, hint

What do companies or PR companies do that you wish they wouldn’t/ do that you like?
I would love it if PR companies would be more direct. Many PR companies want bloggers to meet certain requirements which are not always clear. I was taught to not apply for something for which I do not qualify as that only annoys those doing the hiring. I take this same philosophy to applying for product reviews, yet I don’t really know if I qualify. It can be confusing and frustrating at times. Some guidance to show me the way would be most welcome.

I love that companies are willing to share. I love it when I can review and hold a giveaway so one or more of my readers can also get a chance to check products out.

What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t/do that you like?
Many bloggers load their site with banners, buttons, and graphics which cause long load times. I see a review or product I’m interested in, go to the site, and have to go do laundry or something while I’m waiting for the page to load. Unless I am really, really interested I will just close the window and move on. In fact, I’ve noticed my site is taking a tad too long for my liking and am looking to fix this very soon.

On a positive note, I love the communities of bloggers I see around the interwebs. I really like knowing we’re never truly alone. Someone is always looking to spot the next blogger needing a hand up and more than willing to help along the way.

What company would you like to work with given a chance?
Apple. Really, I know it’s a leap and probably a pipe dream, but I love my MacBook and would love to test drive their products, even if it meant returning them afterward. But, it would be really sweet if I could buy it at a reduced price after reviewing instead of returning. If not Apple, then I would say Beachbody. I really like their workout videos and would not mind being part of one of their test groups.

Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
Social and news media is taking blogging to a whole new level. I notice local news stations starting their own blogs, referencing blogs, suggesting their viewers seek information from bloggers. Blogging is now a household word.

What is one thing about you that not many people know?
Although I’ve worked in bookkeeping and accounting positions, I have often been the go to person for IT issues at several of my previous places of employment. Must have something to do with my always wanting to know how things work. Yet, it could be my uncanny ability to get computers to work just by looking at them.

What’s your favorite book?
My favorite book is Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I read it when I was 9 or 10 and it changed my entire outlook on life.

What is on your iPod?
Everything. I love alternative rock, but you will find country, classical, oldies, comedy, ambient. I even have the Abbott and Costello classic, ‘Who’s on first?’ There are movies and television shows on there, too.

What are your contact details?
anne.s.bender(nospam)@gmail.com or anne(nospam)@anneonlife.com  — remove the nospam
Main site anneonlife.com
Writing site annebender.com
Fan Page www.facebook.com/anneonlife
Personal www.facebook.com/annebender

What events do you attend?
I haven’t attended any events yet. I’m a bit shy offline, but hope to shake things up a bit and find a great event to get my feet wet and get over myself and mingle a bit.

How do you prefer to communicate?
Email is my preference.  You can also get me on Twitter or Facebook, but email is the surefire way to get in touch with me.

Who would you recommend, and why?
– Rachel of sheddingit.com is someone I would not even think twice about recommending. She writes about health and fitness. There are great recipes and reviews of what she’s doing. My favorite are her videos. Her is not always safe for work, but it is always motivating and fun.
– Jannie Funster is another great blogger to check out. She sings and loves to take pictures over at www.janniefunster.com. A few weeks ago she asked why people should subscribe to her blog. This was my answer, “inspires a love of life and family and earth and everything in between… my heart fills every time I visit”.
– Holly Jahangiri writes children’s books among other things. One thing is for sure, she challenges you to think. So, if you like to think [I think way too much], then you should head on over to jahangiri.us/news.
– Lisis shares stories of life, balance, wants, desires, needs, and what is truly important. You’ll find her over at www.questforbalance.com. Peaceful, serene, an old soul if there ever was, Lisis is someone everyone should get to know.
– Heather Kephart is another great one. She isn’t blogging as much right now, but that’s because she’s working on the next great thing in fiction. Watch for it! In the meantime you can catch glimpses of her work at heatherkephart.com.
– Dave Doolin has set up shop at website-in-a-weekend.net. Everything you ever wanted to know about WordPress and Thesis but were afraid to look up. Dave is straightforward and willing to help out.
– Sire of Wassupblog.com has something to say as well. He’s always willing to try something out and tell you all about it. Oh, and he has this really neat Aussie accent.
– Mitch is over at Imjustsharing.com and he loves the Muppets. Come on, you gotta love a man who loves the Muppets!
– DiTesco of iblogzone.com shares tons of information on how to get your blog noticed, running faster, tweaks, tips, and more.
– Justin Germino shares poetry and blog tips. If you’re looking for ways to supplement your income by blogging for money, then Justin is your guy. Check him out over at www.dragonblogger.com and www.wandererthoughts.com.

What is one thing people can do for you?
Let me know what you would like to see me blog about. Are there any products you want to know about? Thinking about raising chickens and have questions? Is my site loading way too slow and it bugs you? I need to know what you want. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. As long as your sincere and not mean I want to hear it. I’m here for you as well as me. And quite honestly, without you it’s just not as much fun.


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