An Interview with Kent Griswold
Over the last few months, I’ve been interviewing amazing bloggers about simple living, location independence, financial freedom and more. Every Thursday, a feature interview is posted on RowdyKittens.
Last week the feature interview was with Dee Williams. This week the feature interview is with Kent Griswold, the writer behind the Tiny House Blog. I've been following the Tiny House Blog since it's early days and it is a fantastic resource for those interested in living small.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kent last summer and we had a fantastic conversation about tiny homes and writing for a living. At that time, I was just starting to think about leaving my day job. So hearing Kent's story gave me the extra motivation and encouragement to start my own little business. Thanks Kent! :)
Keep reading to learn more about tiny homes, design, and how Kent became a full-time blogger.
Tammy: Can you tell us about the Tiny House Blog? And what inspired you to start writing about tiny homes?
Kent: The Tiny House Blog originally was conceived from a bunch of bookmarks I had on small cabins and tiny houses. I stumbled upon Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny Houses several years ago and became enthralled with the concept. It has always been a dream of mine to have a small simple cabin in the mountains by a lake. The internet had become a great way to find people who built these type of buildings and I was enthralled with the many different types of construction. I had done web work in the past and when I discovered blogging it just seemed like a way I could share my findings with others who might be interested in the same thing.
Tammy: What are some of your all time favorite tiny house designs?
Kent: Jay Shafer's Bodega is probably my favorite tiny house concept. No one has built one yet and I would very much enjoy being the first person to build the Bodega. On the other hand I have always wanted a log cabin so I became a huge fan of Montana Mobile Cabins and if my property ends up being in the Northwest I would most likely have them build a cabin for my wife and I. Other favorites are Brad Kittles Texas Tiny Houses and beautiful designs using reclaimed materials.
Tammy: Who is your tiny house hero?
Kent: Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company would have to be my modern day tiny house hero. His expertise with design and artistic creativity has made the tiny house movement come alive today. I am happy to say that we are now friends and I am lucky that he lives close by so we can get together every once in a while and discuss ideas and issues.
Tammy: Can you tell us how you became a full-time blogger? And do you have any tips to share for those readers who are thinking about making a living on-line?
Kent: Like many people these days, I was laid off from my job. Fortunately for me it came gradually as I was cut back to half time about a year before I was laid off. During that time my blog had been steadily growing and my income also. By the time I was laid off my income from the blog equaled my income from my part time job. After I was laid off I put my full efforts into growing the blog and in about a years time I was able to build it up to a full time income.
As far as tips go, first and for most you must blog about something you are passionate about and will stick with. Second you need to produce quality content on a regular basis. It is important that you be patient as it takes time for people to discover you and follow you.
As far as income is concerned, I am a firm believer in multiple streams of income. You don't want to be dependent on one business or ad agency, so diversify. I recommend using ad revenue, affiliate income and having your own products for income. Look at the big picture because those multiple small sales added to your larger income streams add up in the long run. Several people have asked this question and I plan on writing an ebook this summer that tells the full Tiny House Blog story.
Tammy: What have you enjoyed the most about your new blogging career?
Kent: The one thing that stands out for me has been all the wonderful people I have met along the way. From meeting fellow bloggers, like you, to discovering a new story of someone living my dream in a tiny house somewhere. Working at home can feel confining at times. But the making of new friends and the joy of chasing down another story makes blogging a lot of fun and very rewarding.
Tammy: Reading is an amazing way to discover life changing ideas. What books have made a significant impact on your life and career? And do you have any specific book recommendations relating to tiny homes?
Kent: Several books influenced me when I was young, one was about a couple who back in the 60's chose to move off the grid in the backwoods of the north country and live a simpler life. Their engaging story explained the day by day life and the hard work involved with this type of living. Other favorites were about people living in the logging camps in Alaska. I have always enjoyed Jack London and James Michener who wrote about life in the far north. These and many more influenced my love for the out doors and living a simple life.
Tammy: Everyone has unique skills; skills that I call superpowers. What is your superpower?
Kent: I've always been a visual person with a sense towards design. I love photography and have an eye especially for nature photography. I enjoy graphics and bringing all these elements together. The internet has been a place where I have been able to put these skills together in designing websites and now blogs. It is something I enjoy and does not feel like work but is more like play.
Tammy: Thanks Kent!