I am a pop-culture writer who shares my experiences as a music, television, and film consumer. Based out of Philadelphia, The Flat Circle is an entertainment-focused lifestyle blog that informs and connects readers with an eclectic range of art and media.  

I re-started this love of labor in 2017 because I enjoy finding my voice and turning other people onto great entertainment. That can be sharing a television show that I have been obsessed with for years or being tucked away on the corner of a stage, learning concert photography on the fly.

My Featured Writer Friday guest this week is John Saeger.

1. How long have you been blogging?

I began The Flat Circle in 2017, but this is my second stint as a blogger. I initially wrote the music blog Long After Dark from 2011 to 2013. After I put that aside, there were many times that I thought about resuming blogging. I was hesitant to resume unless I knew I could dedicate myself to writing again. When I started again in 2017, I wanted to keep music in the fold, but also open up to different aspects of pop-culture.

2. Are you a full-time blogger or do you also have another job/career?

Blogging is a part-time pursuit. My primary job is being the Office Manager of an accounting firm. I also work as a video replay technician during college basketball season. Between 1099s, prepping for the Oscars, and hoops, time is at a premium in January and February. There are definitely days that I could use more than 24 hours.

3. What got you started into blogging?

I originally began blogging to dust off writing skills after the bookstore that I worked in (Borders) closed in 2011. When I resumed in 2017, I had a clear long-term idea that I wanted to carve out some kind of professional niche as a writer (even just part-time).

4. What is your blog about and how does it help others?

The Flat Circle shares my pop-culture experiences. I have broad viewing and listening habits that fill my time. I blog to share the good, the bad, and lesser-known stuff that needs a chance. In the current entertainment landscape, it is difficult to clear out the noise and find the music, television, and movies worth your time. I try to provide consistent content and be a steady voice who provides quality recommendations.

5. What is working for you and your blog? Why?

My regular Music Monday series has been rewarding in terms of traffic. I have a strong preference towards indie music, so I love sharing some of those amazing artists. The fact that it has steered regular traffic to the site is a rewarding bonus.

Pop-Culture Blogger, John Saeger.

6. What did not work out so well for your blog? Why?

My main struggle is with search engine rankings. With so many other established pop-culture sites, it is difficult to break through and generate consistent traffic. I certainly was not the only person to write about Black Panther or The Last Jedi, so bringing in regular traffic for posts on well-known media is a challenge.

7. What tools, programs, apps do you use to create your blog/website (tools that you can’t live without)?

My blog is on Wordpress, which I highly recommend for anyone on any basic platforms. Starting out on Blogger was my biggest mistake. I am gradually cleaning up the damage of poor performing posts that were on that lesser platform.

I use Yoast SEO to structure my posts and Social Pug as a plug-in for social media sharing.

My best resource to date has been other bloggers. While some Facebook groups such as Blogging For New Bloggers have been helpful, a local group called PHL bloggers has been a wonderful way to connect with other bloggers and swap ideas.

8. What piece of advice would you give to someone who is interested in starting a blog?

I know that most blogs start out as passion projects. If you have to scratch a writing itch, I recommend seeking out established bloggers for advice first. When I resumed blogging, it was because I had to do it right at that second. If I had taken a bit more time to research platforms and SEO in the beginning, I would have saved more time and effort in the long haul.

9. What do you have planned for the future of your website?

I am currently expanding the number of sites that I write on so I can raise my overall profile as a writer. That not only includes pop-culture, but other topics as well. I will start to provide content to the new horror and fantasy lit magazine Dusk & Shiver this spring. I also plan to publish more interviews with artists and influencers within the arts community.

10. Where can everyone find you?

blog URL    https://flatcircleblog.com/

Twitter       https://twitter.com/John_Saeger

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/FlatCircleBlog/

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/johnsaeger/

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Until next time everyone,