Believe it or not, I’m much happier when curled up in my Papasan chair from Pier 1, reading a good book, than I am talking about myself and trying to promote my blog. The scared little girl inside me tells me I’m not original enough & I don’t have anything important to say, that nobody likes me. With that in mind, here’s how I got started:
I started blogging in August of 2010. I was motivated upon returning from RWA Nationals in Orlando. At first I started just to show agents/editors I had initiative and was willing to have a presence on the web (and I didn’t want anyone else claiming jamieayres.com before I was a famous author–lol). It was exciting to have my own website but with the start of another school year and trying to write, I rarely posted more than once a month and the only people who read it were a handful of friends and family that pitied da fool (me). Last summer when I couldn’t afford to attend Nationals again, I decided to participate in Deana Barnhart’s Gearing Up To Get An Agent blogfest and that allowed me to finally connect with other bloggers. I loved interacting with aspiring authors all summer long, but once school started again, it was hard to keep up with posting my own blog and commenting on others. Then when I was ringing in 2012 at a New Year’s Eve party, I spoke with an agent who told me when she’s deciding between two similar writers she’s interested in, she’ll take the one with more of an online presence if their writing is equal. Soooooo that motivated me. I’ve posted every week since then (mostly) and try to comment on all the blogs I follow as much as possible. Ultimately it lead to signing a contract with Curiosity Quills Press last month after I particpated in a contest hosted by fellow blogger buddy, Sharon Bayliss.
Some things I’ve learned: (taken from a blog post by fikshun b/c I couldn’t have said it better myself:-)
Focus on your own blog. Make it the best blog it can be. Don’t worry about how well other blogs are doing. Seriously. This really isn’t a competition. The more writing & book blogs the better:-)
Find your voice and stick with it. I’ve said it before. And I’m sure there are plenty of bloggers who have also said it. But it bears repeating because it’s so important. The only thing that distinguishes you from another blogger is your voice. Let it speak for who you are. Don’t try to adopt someone else’s voice or style. Your blog readers are there because they want to hear what you have to say, in your own words, not in someone else’s.
Focus on your content. Mix it up. Keep it interesting. Don’t let yourself or your blog get bored or boring. Find something entertaining or promotional or informational or fun and talk about it. You don’t always have to meme to fill the spaces. Come up with something of your own.
*One thing I’d like to know is how to create an AVI and a blog button with a grab code.
Okely dokely–this post is long enough & there are plenty of blogs to visit today that I know will have tons of fantastic information to share . . . and it’s not too late for YOU to sign up for the Buccaneer blogfest, too. Your thrilling, high-seas adventure awaits, matey!