@SimonCocking more here. Photograph by @DolmenDigital

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Interview with Samatha Kelly, Ireland’s @Tweetinggoddess. You can check out the TweetingGoddess site here.

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With a blog they say you should try and grow it for at least 12 to 18 months before expecting to see significant traction / engagement. Would you say it was similar as a ‘tweeting goddess’? Or were you able to start making enough to pay the bills earlier than that?

Answer: Gosh….I started in May 2013 to blog about Twitter, then I started blogging about being an entrepreneur and all the challenges we face. So I kinda vary it a bit. I have only got to the stage now where I can pay bills. Not all I might add lol!

Or were you able to start making enough to pay the bills earlier than that?

No

I started my first biz in Oct 2011. It was out of necessity …my daughter got her first period and I felt a little sorry for her so I went out to buy her something nice like a starter set or a box with everything she needed to start her on her journey into womanhood….but there were none. I was standing in tescos…..I was hitting 40…and my Dad had just passed away and my hearing impaired daughter had just started school. I said to myself…ok …I’ll do it! So I created Funky Goddess….got lots of sales, lots of attention and PR (As it was such a taboo subject) and started to use twitter to market the business (as I had no money)!! Soon I discovered that that magic investor wasn’t going to come along ..( I did appear on Dragons Den and got investment on the show, but it didn’t materialize afterwards, which sometimes happens). So I sold the business and decided to concentrate on what everyone was telling me i was good at…..TWITTER.

One thing (or more) you love about the way you get to work now?

I work for myself, I can do what I love and get to stay at home too so I can be near my children if they need me.

Three things you don’t miss about your old working lifestyle

Answering to a boss.

Having to put children with a childminder

Feeling like a number.

You have great engagement and followers on your site. They do say though that when a twitter account leaps in growth, from under 10,000, up to your sort of figures and upward. It then becomes harder to maintain that level of personal connection with all of your incoming followers and the various conversations that break out.

This may not be an issue yet, but if you reach say 100,000 + followers, how do you think you might handle that?

Ha ha I will worry about that when I reach 100k. No but seriously it is possible to engage with people no matter how many followers you have once you put time aside to do that. I sometimes….well often ‘play’ on twitter in the evenings to do just this. Look at Ted Rubin with over 200k followers, he still engages with me and lots of others.

At the Disruptors conference in September there was a lot of talk about identifying if something is scalable. In your case, as a one woman show, that might not necessarily be your goal?

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It looks like you are having a lot of fun, and therefore it is perhaps a case of enjoying how it is. Are you at the stage, where you look at what is the most fun, and focusing on them?

Yes. That is exactly what I do. Why spend your life doing stuff that you don’t enjoy. Now I love tweeting, meeting others and networking. But tweeting puts food on the table as do my workshops. I have lots of plans…just haven’t got around to them yet.

Or, if they are all fun, are you still having to prioritise?

Yes. I have to prioritise. Clients. family, networking, blogging, irishbizparty, events, speaking moments…me time…romance….not necessarily in that order.

As we discussed before, what’s your strategy for dealing with the 0.1% that are actively negative towards you. Some people troll the trolls, some engage, some block, what are your words of advice?

Block, ignore and talk to someone you trust if you are really upset by it.

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Do you write to each new follower ? (I’m guessing yes)

I try to yes.

How much time each day do you have to spend just scanning the notifications, retweets, following people who follow you ?

Hmm….I do it throughout my working day. I am on twitter anyway working for clients whose accounts I run. So I check in from time to time.

You don’t follow everyone that follows you – what is your philosophy on that?

I think follow them back if they are interesting ….check their last few tweets. Are they positive, are they bitching about something or someone….avoid.

Or is it that some of those extra followers are fridges or toasters etc that don’t need to be followed?

Some are. Some aren’t. lol

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Life / work / family balance

We often have less time than we would like for our non childcare related activities. I’ve been trying to follow the idea of trying to get as much done, as well as possible, but not obsessing about it being perfect, there just isn’t the time to do so.

How do you deal with your challenges in this regard?

I think this is the most challenging thing. I get up, get kids to school. Start work. I work till 3pm , get the kids, make dinner, homework etc then check in after dinner, do kids stuff, relax a bit, check in to twitter now and then. housework (yawn, hate it) and then when kids go to bed do a bit more work and ‘play’ on twitter. (Building relationships or writing a blog post sometimes) I have to point out that I have a very supportive other half who does the chores I don’t do and helps out a lot.

I’m guessing you work around this, and are active when you have windows are time free. Any tips for other people looking to make a living in a similar way? 

Be prepared to be working even when you are away. I always try to set up meetings if I am heading to Dublin or Belfast and could have 3 meetings in one day.

What else should I have asked you?

What would I change……the only thing I would like to change is my health. I smoke and I don’t exercise when I know I should…it’s on my list …wouldn’t change a thing otherwise.

You’re 3 years into your twitter life as tweeting goddess. Where would you like to be in another 3 years?

With a team of fine tweeters tweeting for me and around me that I can refer all kinds of business too. eg. if someone wants a good pinterset person or instagram person I can supply that for them. Wexford social media type thing. I also love radio and TV so my own TV show would be a dream come true! #couldhappen

Thanks for chatting to us, good luck with all the ventures.

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