I am really honoured to have been twice nominated in the few days for the Blogger Recognition Award! Thank you so much to Mercedes Prunty and Nicole Luttrell from Paper Beats World for nominating me! I think their blogs are really awesome too, as you might have noticed, since I have reblogged stuff from both of them. I think they have a lot of great things to say about writing and the writing process especially.
My blog started as a way to get myself out there as a fiction writer. I was no stranger to blogging when I started it, so I guess I had an advantage in knowing the format. But I decided that, like Mercedes talks about on her blog award post, I was going to do this one every single day, even if it was only a brief quote about something. I decided that it would focus on things related to my fiction career; my books, my process, the writing process in general, book reviews, worldbuilding, and facts of science or history that I felt were relevant to my field. And for it being so new, I’ve picked up a lot of followers rather quickly, which surprised me. So thank you for all the ongoing support!
The conditions of the award are:
- Thank the blogger who nominated you.
- Write a post to show off your award.
- Brief story on how your blog started.
- Advice to new bloggers.
- Select 15 bloggers to nominate award to.
- Comment on each blog so they know they have been nominated.
So, advice to new bloggers. I have a few things to recommend. My first is to keep in mind why you’ve created a blog. What is it that you’re trying to say that feels important enough to share with the world? Then always keep that purpose in mind when composing your posts.
Maybe you’re starting a blog because you’re a writer and someone told you that it’s important for a writer to have a blog to build a following. Okay, so then your purpose is to show people you’re a writer, so talk about the writing process, things of concern to writers, and the things you write. But keep in mind that your purpose is to communicate with your readers, not other writers. So don’t focus a huge amount on tips for marketing your book, unless you also intend to run a marketing service for writers, because then you’d want to show them that you know the business. Instead, write about what being a writer means to you. Write about grammar. Write about NaNoWriMo. Or write about what you write about. For instance, if you’re researching a historical novel that takes place in Byzantium, write about what you’ve learned in your research! Chances are that the people who do find that stuff interesting will also want to read your book.
My second piece of advice is to reblog from other people. This way you can post with more frequency. Also, you might end up picking up blog readers from the bloggers you’ve chosen to share. Never post the whole thing, even if you have to copy and paste parts into your blog to share it, because that’s plagarism, while copying pieces and then showing people where to find the rest of it is Fair Use and people appreciate having their material shared in ways that inevitably bring those who are interested back to their blog.
The third is to try to develop engagement with your readers. That term is always so misused in corporate speak, so I’ll clarify what I mean when I use it. You want people to share, comment, and above all, keep coming back to see what else you’ve put out there. The best way to do that, all the experts say, is frequency of posting, kinda like with YouTube. I have certainly found that’s true when I’ve made an effort to do it myself. But you have to make it interesting. So don’t forget to share your own voice from time to time as well. And don’t try for a voice that isn’t yours. You’ll naturally attract your readers by being yourself.
Last, my advice is to make good use of your sharing functions. Syndicate to your active social media accounts as much as you can. Some people prefer to read their blogs that way and you’ll reach a bigger audience.
Now, 15 bloggers to nominate! In no particular order:
- Dan Koboldt – great blog for writers on worldbuilding by a sci-fi writer and geneticist
- Dirty Sci-fi Buddha – another awesome SF writer who is sharing some of his novels online
- Steampunkapotamus – who shares all things steampunk and nerdy
- Okanagan Okanogan – where a respected writer shares his observations of the beautiful valley in which I live
- Humanistic Paganism – which approaches Pagan faith through an atheist and agnostic eye
- Travelling Light – where a fantasy author speaks about social issues and her adventures through life
- S.A. Gibson – another writer who writes about the writing process and aspects of fantasy literature
- (Almost) Average – where an indie writer talks about indie writing
- Angry Staff Officer – who deconstructs SFF battles with a military eye (in a funny way)
- Jenna Moreci – who vlogs about writing
- Space.com – a fascinating blog on the cosmos
- For Puck’s Sake – a newish Pagan blog with excellent think-pieces
- The Leather Library – a quality culture blog
- Raise the Horns – an excellent blog about Paganism, rock ‘n’ roll, and life
- Voodoo Universe – everything you wanted to know about Voodoo but were afraid to ask
I think I’ll save the commenting for another time, as this has already taken a couple of hours, but do check out those excellent blogs, and thanks for listening to my blather!