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Olyvia Works: An Interview With Meredith Greenberg Of Arts And Classy

  |   Olyvia Works   |   12 Comments

Meredith Greenberg of the Arts and Classy blog talks about why she decided to open an Etsy store + blog while still working full-time, her 3 best tips for growing your blog readership, 6 top things to have in place to prepare yourself for monetizing your blog, the bloggers + entrepreneurs who have inspired her most...and much more!

 

Today is a good day. I have a new Olyvia Works interview with yet another talented, uniquely beautiful woman that I get to share with all of you!

 

An art department coordinator in the film industry by day and blogger at ArtsandClassy.com by night, Meredith Greenberg is a fascinating woman with heaps of stories + wisdom to share when it comes to work and blogging.

 

In this interview she talks about…

 

 

1. Her work for The Ellen Degeneres Show, E! Entertainment, Big Brother, and more

2. Why she decided to open an Etsy store + blog while still working full-time

3. Her 3 best tips for growing your blog readership

4. 6 top things to have in place to prepare yourself for monetizing your blog

5. The bloggers + entrepreneurs who have inspired her most

6. …And much more!

 

I’m going to let Meredith take the spotlight so you can get to the good stuff. 🙂 Here she is!

 

1. Meredith, tell us the story behind your position as an Art Department Coordinator in the film industry. What led you there, and what about it do you find 1) most rewarding and 2) most challenging?

 

First: I feel I should tell you that my father is also in the film industry. I can recall being on several movie sets from an early age. That being said, I feel as though I was destined to be in this business! I always felt very much at home on a film set.

 

In fact, I was able to visit my father on my favorite movie set, Titanic, when it was in production. The sets were phenomenal, and I knew the moment I walked down the famous Grand Staircase that I wanted to be involved in this type of work as my career. Ultimately, my dream was to be a successful Production Designer.

 

I began my career working as a Production Assistant on the television show Southland. After a couple of years of Production Assistant work, I transitioned into an Art Department Coordinator position in my first big network job working at E! Entertainment, Style, & G4.

 

After a couple of years I moved on to the famous Ellen DeGeneres Show where I was working with their fabulous Production Designer doing fun things – helping to create a splash tank for breast cancer awareness or designing scenery for musical acts like Pink, Carly Rae Jepson, and One Direction.

 

From then on, I have bounced around to fun shows like Big Brother in their 15th & 16th season, Rizzoli and Isles, Nail’d It, Pixels, and several other productions.

 

I would have to say that the most rewarding part of this business is the creativity! Granted there are normally budgetary provisions, but I have found that the most creative off-the-wall “get it done” mentality comes from the art department. Artsy people in the biz have to MAKE IT WORK like Tim Gunn (from project runway) always says. This has translated well to my DIY home decorating.

 

The most challenging part would be the personalities. Creative types can sometimes be a bit eccentric. This doesn’t always go over too well in stressful situations. When you are in crunch time trying to get a set finished, sometimes people show you their true character. This can be the most challenging part because it can be difficult to not take misplaced anger personally. I have struggled firsthand with this.

 

Meredith Greenberg of Arts and Classy interview on Olyvia.co

 

2. You have worked on everything from TV shows to feature films and music videos. Tell us about your favorite projects and experiences.

 

Hmmm… how do I pick? A few of my favorite projects were working on a commercial for McDonald’s in 2013. It was their Fish-o-licious campaign and I had the opportunity to work with some miniatures. I had not yet explored the art of creating a real underwater world using miniatures and forced perspective. It’s pretty much the most fun I ever had on set. A lot of laughing between takes made the day fly by.

 

Some more memorable experiences…

 

When I was working at E! Entertainment, I worked on pretty much all of their red carpet’s for the major award shows {i.e. Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Grammy’s & Academy Awards}.

 

These were stressful schedules and many long hours. However, with perks of the job for these events, I had the opportunity to stay at some amazing hotels – the Beverly Hilton, the Hotel Roosevelt, and the JW Marriot in Downtown LA! I felt very official and professional being put up by the company. Swanky!

 

There were so many surreal moments literally bumping into celebrities, especially at the Golden Globes. I enjoyed every minute! In fact, I saw my teen heartthrob Leo DiCaprio in person for the first time at the 2012 Golden Globes. He was within 5 feet of me and I turned beet red when I saw him. I typically do not get star struck; however, this was an exception!

 

While working on the Ellen Show I also was in close proximity to many talented celebrities, but I really enjoyed working with the Production Designer to create the holiday show themes. The Halloween show and the “12 days of Giveaways” sets were my favorite to design! There was also a lot of amazing swag on that show… I received 3 fun trips to luxurious locations and many other things. I feel so grateful!

 

Meredith Greenberg of Arts and Classy interview on Olyvia.co

 

3. While you’ve pursued this career, something else has happened: you’ve opened up an Etsy store and launched your Arts & Classy blog. This has become a huge passion of yours! Would you share with why you did it, and how it’s changing where you see yourself in the next 3-5 years?

 

My Etsy store started with my desire to sell my own artwork. There are a few artists in my family; however, no one ever took it to the next level to sell their art pieces.

 

At the time both entities were created, I was working the 9-5 grind at E! Entertainment and it became a little less stimulating. I felt that I could handle the extra time and effort to invest in myself. I needed to express what I had to say and tap into my creativity.

 

It’s funny because I was raised my entire life to think that working for a good company with benefits was the dream and goal. But after living it for a few years I was not happy. It is not for me.

 

I AM grateful for the experiences I have had because they have only empowered me to keep pressing on. No matter how impossible a task felt, the passion behind all that I have done really helped me.

 

I figured out that I wanted to be my own boss. This quest led me to the blogosphere.

 

My first blog project started with a hand-me-down antique ottoman that I wanted to re-cover. This ottoman was beyond scratched up by my 3 furry felines. I was looking for a temporary solution to mask the frayed fabric I saw every day.

 

Since I knew absolutely nothing about blogging, getting started was intimidating. I had a very unorthodox approach to it with no business plan, knowledge of affiliates, html, or marketing.

 

I didn’t even tell my friends and family about my blog for at least 6 months, because I was little embarrassed that my rookie approach wouldn’t look legit. My other fear was that people would think what I was doing was stupid or something.

 

I registered my blog on the platform Blogger through Google, and did my best to navigate around to post the images I had taken and add some text to the article. While it wasn’t fancy, it was start. I didn’t have a real logo, branding, or posting plan. My love for blogging grew quickly. It was a fun new puzzle I knew nothing about, but was determined to figure out.

 

After about a year and a half, a lot of sleepless nights reading, watching video tutorials, and writing I made the transition to WordPress. This was a huge deal for my blog.

 

Now that I am beginning to master the art of blogging I see it taking me wherever I want to go in the next 3-5 years. My hope is that it takes me to blogging full time so that I can move away from Los Angeles at some point and work from home. The city has been fun but I can see myself wanting a change when I start a family.

 

The problem I often face is when I choose to work on a new TV show or movie.   That consumes my life and leaves little time for blogging. Staying dedicated to my blogging schedule ends up being very difficult.

 

My average workday is 12 hrs/day. When I get home, I work from 8pm-midnight on my blog and social media. Very time consuming but I love it, even when I have to be up at 6am the next morning. However, this is a surefire way to burnout quickly.

 

 

4. What 3 crucial things have you learned about blogging and/or social media that is helping you best grow your blog readership?

 

1. Creating beautiful alluring graphics (since Pinterest is my main traffic source)

2. Connect with other bloggers!

3. Quality Content – Be yourself because there is no one else like YOU!

 

 

Meredith Greenberg of Arts and Classy interview on Olyvia.co

 

5. The ability to make a full-time income blogging is a goal so many bloggers share, and something you’re personally working to achieve. What top tips have you learned about the process of beginning to make money via a blog?

 

  • I have learned that consistency is key! Get on a schedule and make sure your readership knows when you post.

 

  • Make sure to work on growing your email subscriber list. I use the Jetpack plugin and Mailchimp. Creating an Opt-in form that your readers can see is essential for gathering as many emails as you can.

 

  • Connecting with other bloggers is important! There is a huge community that I didn’t begin to tap into until late 2014. It is not just you behind your computer screen churning out info and posts. Make friends, create a tribe online with other bloggers in your niche, share each others posts, create group giveaways, and participate in link-up parties. Become an online social butterfly!

 

  • Professional images and graphics. This is something I was also a little “late to the party” with. I was very amateur with when I started back in 2012. But not to fear, there are wonderful photo editing programs like canva.com and picmonkey.com that can make the process easier than photoshop. I pretty much only use photoshop and Canva now, but I am receiving much better feedback on my images now.

 

  • Create quality content. I have seen some bloggers that rely solely on pinterest for traffic by only posting images in an article with a short intro. Search Engine Optimization will not help you with this. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

 

  • Do keyword research on Google Adwords before posting/writing an article. Hone in on your ideal keyword that will help you show up on the search engines.

 

Meredith Greenberg of Arts and Classy interview on Olyvia.co

 

6. Who are the entrepreneurs and bloggers that have inspired you so much that you think everyone should be following them?

 

I love this part! I love sharing the info that I have found to help other aspiring bloggers! But who to choose? There are so many that have inspired and helped me along the way.

 

I discovered Regina at byregina.com in June of 2014 and I have found that her site is super helpful. I pretty much stalk her site everyday scrounging for great tips and tricks to help me on my blogging journey. Her content is AMAZING! I love how her playful personality shines through her writing. She is great at translating scary blog language into something more tangible. I have been enjoying a few of her courses like her “Grow Your Blog With Social Media” course and “3 Day Create!” She has helped to inspire me to write an ebook this year! She is my favorite!

 

Leonie at leoniedawson.com is another fine example of amazing blogging success. She is a little granola at times (because she is an Aussie Hippie), but the info she presents is fantastic. She releases terrific workbooks each year to help women set and follow through on their goals in life and business. She knows her stuff. She is my favorite blogging spiritual guru goddess.

 

Ruth at livingwellspendingless.com is another fave of mine. She wrote an amazing book that I just read at the end of last year, How to Blog For Profit Without Selling Your Soul. By far one of the best blogging books I have read. She has been doing this whole blogging thing for a while and it radiates through her content, courses, emails, and articles. Any blogger could learn a lot from her methods.

 

Julia at galmeetsglam.com is the blogger I follow. I am always inspired by what she is doing and places she is going. She is more of a fashion, lifestyle, and travel blogger. Her site is very clean and her images are perfection. But, she also does home decor projects. The reason I would say to follow her is that she is a fantastic model of how to market on Instagram and Facebook. She is also good at linking back details of her outfits, products, etc to her affiliates links. She apparently does very well because that girl travels to some amazing places!

 

Carly at carlycristman.com is a blogger and vlogger that I love. She is also mostly a fashion blogger, but she has a lot of her own home makeovers that she shares with her audience. The reason I would recommend her is that she is truly authentic on camera. I study her vlogs to help prepare myself for when I start my youtube channel. She sets a great example of authenticity, quality editing, and superb photography.

 

Meredith Greenberg of Arts and Classy interview on Olyvia.co

 

7. Share with us your big, delightful, a-little-bit-scary goal for Arts & Classy in 2015! 🙂

 

My BIG scary {OMG can I do it?} Goal is to make at least $15,000.00 from my blog this year! After doing a lot of reading and researching I feel like this is totally achievable. It will require a lot of hard work but I cannot wait!

 

I hope to transfer into full time blogger status in 2016. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

You can connect with Meredith (and I hope you do, because she’s amazing) on the Arts and Classy website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Google+.

 

What was your fave part of Meredith’s story? Were there any tips or resources you just loved? We’d both love to hear them in the comments below.

 

 

Erika Madden

(Chief Olyvia)

 

 

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  • Love this interview! Meredith seems so down-to-earth and fabulous. I love her direction and drive, and totally agree that blogging quickly turns into a passion that even makes us sacrifice sleep! Thanks for another awesome interview Erika! I’m looking forward to connecting with Meredith!

    • You are so incredibly sweet, Kirsten. Thank you. I’m so glad you enjoyed; Meredith is awesome!

    • Meredith

      Thank you so much for your kind words Kristen! Happy to connect with fabulous people like you and Erika!

  • Love these features, Erika! Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m so so glad to hear that, Maya. 🙂 Thank you.

  • Erika, I love that you bring different business owners to our screen and I love to discover each and everyone of them. I’m looking forward to following Meredith’s blog and her tips and diy projects since we began renovations at home. Thank you!

    • Meredith

      Thank you Marlene for following me at Arts and Classy! Erika is the best! I loved having this opportunity to share my journey. If you ever have any diy project questions, please don’t hestiate to contact me!

    • You are so welcome, Marlene! I’m so glad they are of value to you.

  • Love your big goals girl! I feel like I know you so much better now Meredith 🙂

    • Thank you for your encouraging comment, Colleen!

  • Loved getting to know Meredith better! AND? That big goal is totally attainable and we’ll help keep you accountable! Thanks for another great interview, Erika!

    • You are so welcome. 🙂 Meredith is awesome!