Hello there! It’s been a while since I posted here and I’ve really missed it. I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus over the last few weeks, Pitch Wars was a really worthwhile and valuable, but completely exhausting experience, and I’ve had a few personal things going on, but I’m back and excited to get back on track!
Thankfully, I was tagged by the fabulous Katie @ Read with Katie for the Blogger Recognition Award, which is the perfect way to ease me back into blogging!
If you haven’t checked out Katie’s awesome blog yet, pop over there immediately! Or, when you’re done here, that’s cool too.
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 10 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
- Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
How I started my blog…
This isn’t my first blog, but it’s the one I’ve kept at the longest (recent hiatus excepted). I started it around a year ago when I first started writing my book, I wanted somewhere to share my progress and to hopefully meet other writers and readers.
In my writing research, I’d seen lots of posts about author platforms and the importance of having an online presence where readers and anyone searching for you could go to contact the author and just generally find out more.
I thought a blog might be more fun than an author website, somewhere I could post snippets of my writing, advice I’d come across and found useful, and other fun posts that people might enjoy. To be honest, I didn’t expect many followers or really anyone to stumble across my little corner of the internet, but so far there are over 300 of you! So thank you all for joining me on my journey to publication (fingers crossed!), for liking and commenting on my posts, and cheering me on. I couldn’t do it without you!
Advice for new bloggers…
#1 – Interact with your followers and fellow bloggers
The one thing that’s made the biggest difference to my blog stats, and also helped me build a community of fellow bloggers and writer friends, was interacting with other blogs. Basically, that means replying to comments on my posts, commenting back on my followers’ own blogs, and taking part in blog hops.
Joining in with weekly or monthly memes like Beautiful People by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In, or Top Ten Tuesdays by The Broke and the Bookish is also a great way to find similar blogs to follow and interact with.
One of the best blog hops for writers I take part in is the Author Toolbox Blog Hop by Raimey Gallant, which is a monthly hop where we share posts with advice, support and experiences. You can take a look back at past posts by visiting the hashtag on Twitter, if you’re a writer and blogger I definitely recommend getting involved, the quality of posts is absolutely fantastic and the community of writers taking part is inspiring to say the least!
I follow a lot of the bloggers I follow on their social media accounts too, mainly Twitter and Instagram, and I’m a member of several Facebook groups with other bloggers and writers I’ve met online too. Interacting with other bloggers who write about similar topics, or who you admire and would love to emulate, is the best piece of advice I can possibly give if you want to get the most out of blogging!
#2 – Find your niche
People are more likely to subscribe to your blog if they know what to expect from your posts. Is your blog about books? Reading them, or writing them? Which genres do you prefer? Do you write reviews? Are they in depth and detailed, or mini taster reviews? Do you include spoilers? Those are the kinds of things people like to know before subscribing.
There are millions of blogs on the internet, probably even billions, so you need to carve out a little corner of paradise for yourself where like-minded individuals can find you and your posts. There’s nothing completely original in this world, so don’t worry about coming up with something brand new that’s never been done before, but if you have a niche you’re more likely to attract the right kinds of readers, people like yourself who maybe didn’t think anyone else was into the exact same type of sci-fi, or little-known manga, as them.
You’ve probably heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”. Well, that applies to blogging too. If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll wind up with a blog that has no identifiable category, that search engines struggle to place in results, and readers won’t subscribe to because they can’t guarantee that every post will be relevant or interesting to them.
You don’t have to be as specific as ‘a blog about 15th Century Italian poetry with religious imagery’, but you need to give your potential readers an idea of what to expect. For example, my blog is about writing and reading YA lit, that’s the general theme of this blog. I diverge a little, I read and review some adult lit, and I lean towards fantasy, but also feature contemporary and thrillers. But on the whole, the vast majority of my posts are either about reading or writing, and mostly YA fantasy.
I’m going to leave this one open, so if you fancy sharing your blogging story and some tips for newbie bloggers, feel free to pinch this tag!
Thanks for sticking with me through the impromptu hiatus, I’m hoping to be back to regularly scheduled programming from now on. I will be taking part in NaNoWriMo next month, but I’ll do my best to keep posting here as well.
In other news, I sent my first query for THE FAIR QUEEN yesterday, so I’m officially in the query trenches! Wish me luck, I’ll keep you all updated on any developments (that I can share 😉 ) and you can all commiserate with me as the rejections start to flood in.
Until next time!