Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The Truth About Blogging - IWSG
Happy March! And as with every first Wednesday of the month, bloggers everywhere post about their insecurities or share wisdom, or just good ol' fashion support. And there's always room for more, so click on the picture to get to HQ and sign up.
So why my title, right? Truth is, I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately.Since my debut novel launched in November, I've had less and less time for blogging. I'm sure many of you can relate. The problem is not posting content, it's getting around to all the other wonderful blogs out there. The Catch-22 is, I LOVE visiting other blogs and seeing what you're all up to--plus I learn so much!
But what happens is I feel so guilty for not getting around to more blogs, that I stop posting content on my own, and so it sits until I've had a chance to do return visits. I fully believe in return visits, and never want to bypass that. Meanwhile, my list of content for posts grows and grows and rarely gets used.
Truth is, after November, I started exploring other platforms too. I started a Facebook author page, a Tumblr blog, Wattpad prequel, and joined about a hundred Facebook groups. There's a LOT of great info on FB groups, and for awhile I found myself sucked into it. It was easier to access, didn't require a lot of time, and I could do it all from my iPhone.
But in turn, I've been neglecting my blog here. What I've realized since November is, I don't really like Facebook all that much. I never have. Don't get me wrong, it's a useful tool for sure, but having an author page has done very little for me other than suck my time. Thanks to fellow author, SJ Pajonas, she discovered that by being active on FB with your author page instead of your regular profile account, your author page becomes more visible.
Even so, it still puts me back on FB where I don't really love being. Why? I've seen friendships ruined and marriages destroyed. Not that it's FB's fault, but it's all a little too easy, if you ask me. And there's a reason why we didn't keep in touch with a lot of the people who "friend" us now. I still believe that if you're not on FB, you're probably missing out on some important connections, but whether or not you'll ever miss it, is up to you to decide.
Twitter on the other hand is much more writer-based for me. I'm on Twitter to talk about writing/ books/ media and don't get bogged down with everybody's drama. I love Twitter. Tumblr I'm still learning, LinkedIn is simply another presence. Google + is convenient and I like being able to share other blog posts with that handy little button.
But blogging. You know, there's just something about it. The friends I've made blogging (you guys) are the best around the interwebs. I think there's a real commitment when it comes to running a blog. And dedication to making it work, posting, formatting. It takes time and effort. And when others see your blog and what you've accomplished with it, you get a certain amount of respect. There's a credibility associated with it, and that makes it worthwhile.
People see that you take your writing and networking seriously enough to put a professional foot forward. And I don't think we should discount that. As hard as it is to make time for blogging, it's still the most effective way of communicating and networking with other committed writers.
Now whether or not it sells books? That remains to be seen. My guess is very minimal. However, that doesn't mean it doesn't open doors to other possibilities. I just accepted a special work assignment for my day job, and I got the op because it requires writing and formatting for our company website. It was a competitive position that I had to prove I was capable of. I showed them my blog, and it helped serve as proof I know what I'm doing, and that I'm committed.
And I'm sure most of you have been contacted plenty of times via email to assist with other promotions and such. That's because they see our blogs, the exposure it gets, and they need us.
Which brings me to blog tours. Those of you who helped with my cover reveal blogfest are superstars in my eyes. I handled that blogfest myself, and it was a lot of work, but well worth it.
Last month I hired Candace Robinson from Candace's Book Blog to arrange my Butterman Tour. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I have mixed feelings about blog tour companies, because they don't offer a lot of incentive for bloggers. By incentive, I mean potential traffic and author interaction. Now, I realize that's my opinion and not everyone feels that way. That's coming from a bloggers perspective.
But with my tour last month I got to experience it from the author's perspective. And it's a bit different. First off, I just want to say that Candace is a rockstar. She did ALL the work. What I loved about her, is that she has a strict policy of not taking on authors/books if she doesn't support the book. She reads it first. And that to me is HUGE. I admire that. A lot.
She has such a strong network of book lovers, that she posts her review of your book, then later opens it up to interested readers. I did have to donate my book to all the bloggers who chose to review it, and I was happy to do that. All the reviews were honest and heartfelt. It was SO much fun going around meeting new bloggers who love books, and some of whom really got my story. I couldn't have done that without Candace, so I'm super grateful she was recommended to me by a trusted friend. She's also way down to earth, as well as professional, and that's my kind of people.
I worked on a sub panel a while back with various emerging authors and one of them told me once, "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to find quality stories."
Huh? Not my kind of people.
I'm not saying everyone has to be best friends, but a feeling of community is way more important to me than success. Besides, what good is success if you have no friends to share it with? Plus I think we can encourage BOTH quality and community in everything we do.
So anyway, I know I'm rambling now and if you made it this far, you're amazing, thank you! What all this has been about, is to let you know that while I'm fumbling my way through all these platforms, I do NOT want to neglect this fantastic blogging community who has been so supportive of me over the years.
My PROMISE to you, is that whenever you need me to post or share your news, I will do it. I may not see it because I'm locked away in my writing cave and juggling projects and family and a day job, BUT I am always available to tweet, share, or post for you.
Trust me, I know who you are. And if I've been to your blog, or if you've actively commented here on my blog, this means YOU. This is only going out to my blogging buds, so by all means, let me know if I've missed something. Here's how:
You can tag me with a tweet promoting your book, agent, deal, special blog post, or whatever at anytime and I will retweet it to my followers. ANYTIME! @pkhrezo
If you have a cover reveal, and you've actively visited my blog here, email me the deets and I'll share it.
Tag me on Facebook with your announcement and I'll share it. ANYTIME!
I do not want to miss any of your news, so please please accept my offer and I am more than happy to share. Again, I know who you are. :D
And if you're wondering why I'm locked away in my writing cave so much lately, it's because I'm working on the sequel to Butterman, as well as a memoir for someone else. I've delayed my sequel so I can work on this memoir, because I believe it's a very special project--one that is stretching my writer skills in new ways. I'll share more on that later, but if you're interested, please visit the website JoinQueena.com to learn more about this family and the challenges they've faced, as well as the support they've received.
Thanks so much for stopping by and big ups for you if you read the whole thing. lol
How about you? Are you sinking in social media? Do you feel blogging has lost some of its appeal? Have you reduced your blogging time at all? Or have you found a platform that works better for you? And what are you working on? Anything new? Spill the deets in the comments ...