Saturday, February 16, 2013

Online Success story of Gina Trapani - An Extremely Dedicated Blogger and Web-Developer

Gina Trapani, born and brought up in Brookly, New York is now a successful blogger and web developer, who works mostly online and has published some books and articles in magazines also. The founding editor of Lifehacker.com, Gina has developed a powerful habit of getting things done immediately, which has been the key to her success as an online entrepreneur.


At present she resides in San Diego, California and works as a web programmer and freelance tech writer. Gina writes about software and productivity and her credentials and dedication towards her work brought all the success she deserves.

Started with blogging:

While living in New York, Gina used to work at an office located about 2 miles north of the World Trade Center. Like every other individual her life also changed after the horrifying September 11th attack at World Trade Center. Witnessing the attack so closely and losing a family friend in the accident had a great impact on Gina. While reading the day’s experience in the blogs of her friends and relatives, she thought of writing something on her own besides the main coverage. This way in December 2001, Gina Trapani started writing her own personal blog.

Getting involved with Lifehacker.com:

While working as a programmer for a couple of years with the founder of Lifehacker’s publisher, Nick Denton, Gina was offered to write as a blogger at Lifehacker.com. Though she had never tried writing professionally before, she accepted the offer cheerfully. This is how she stepped in with Lifehacker.com and became the founder editor.

Till September 2005, Gina was the sole blogger of the website but right now she has 3 co-editors named Adam Pash, the senior editor; Rick Broida, associate editor and Wendy Boswell, the weekend editor. Adam, who was a regular reader and used to comment on every post, was hired because of his knowledge while Rick and Wendy who used to work as guest editors have been absorbed as permanent employees.

Work schedule of Gina and her co-editors:

Gina writes about 6 posts on each weekday regarding productivity of items around the web and also takes care to write two feature-length original articles every week. Her co-editors also write 6 posts everyday and atleast 1-2 feature articles per week. Besides these they do frequently post reviews on each other’s writing and keep an internal editorial wiki for their own guide and documentation. Every week they meet and chat to brainstorm feature ideas.

To update the site for about 20 times per weekday and to publish atleast one feature article every week day is the main goal of Gina and her team. Every day Gina Trapani spends most of her time in researching, writing posts, replying to mails, interacting with readers and managing the co-editors. Planning for new posts and articles are some important things which she has to decide.

Like the writer of a magazine gets paid per word, Gina also gets paid like them. But for feature stories in magazines, that require much hard work to get the traffic, she gets a higher rate.

Her ideas for new posts and blogging tools:

Gina usually get the new ideas for her posts either from the comments of existing posts on Lifehacker, tips in the mail box or from opinions and thoughts of her friends and family.

Some important blogging tools that she uses are:

  1. Gmail for regular mails
  2. Google Reader for RSS feeds
  3. Google Analytics to get a statistics of traffic
  4. Firefox with some extensions
  5. AutoHotKey and TextExpander for making blog markup easy

Building a few bookmarklets and Greasemonkey scripts help to generate post types while searching archives prevent duplicate postings.

Her believes:

Gina Trapani believes that in order to have a profitable blog, select your favorite topic and start writing on it just like she did with Lifehacker. Secondly she thinks its utmost important to cater the needs of your readers and provide them the most useful information they are looking for and make your writings entertaining and interesting to your readers. And finally check the response you are getting from your readers. She thinks building your own audience will automatically bring you the money.

But in order to get into a job blogging at a blog she thinks building your own blog is a must. So that while applying for a job, pointing out the most impressive posts could bring an impact on your employers before hiring you.

Gina’s guiding principles:

Gina thinks once you get stuck while writing a post, it is better to leave that and concentrate on other works. She also thinks if your ideas are not coming instantly while writing it must be a wrong topic that you have chosen.

With the habit of doing every job as soon as it comes up, Gina never feels lazy to do it then and there. Even at a grocery shop if something comes to her mind, she immediately takes out the pen and paper to jot down the points or send an email through her mobile. She never delays to give response to her readers nor does she bookmark an important web page to work on it later. She has developed this powerful habit and by practice she has managed to put right things at the right place instead of having random stuff here and there.
Gina doesn’t agree with the old school of time management. She remains open to work for something that seems exciting and interesting even besides regular work schedule. But she obviously maintains a list of work she has to do. She updates and reviews it daily.

Gina loves to work on two modes, one is loose or open and the other is closed or focused. While working in an open mode she keeps her available for surfing, writing, checking mails, coding and even listening to music as the things get done. But while working on a closed mode she stops checking mails and close other windows and simply focus on the work she is about to complete within the deadline set.
Being so much involved with her work, Gina always tries to keep a day free for her own. At least at one weekend day, she stays away from computer, no email, no writing but only checking movie times, relaxing and spending time with family.

Her dream set-up:

She dreams to have a computer that would start with at least a terabyte of hard disc storage and 10 GB RAM. She dreams to make it fold to a wallet size that could easily fit in her pocket but to unfold it into a 50 inch touchscreen to watch movies or use it as a white board when needed. She imagines that the computer would stay cool even on a 90 degree day to make her car cool. She wants this super-fast computer to work without any electricity and also to run an operating system like Windows, OS X.

Besides being a web developer, Gina has written books about the Lifehacker philosophy and articles for popular Science, Wired, Women’s Health, PC World and Macworld. Her sincerity and dedication which she has developed is very much inspiring and motivating to others to be a successful blogger like her.

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