I was able to attend this amazing Online Blogging Convention a couple of weekends ago, not only did I learn some incredible stuff, I got to meet some amazing bloggers. I thought I would share with you some of the things I learned from the conference.
The only thing holding me back is me.
NovelReaction.com has existed for almost a year now (make sure you help me celebrate in June with some amazing give aways and contests) and I had some ideas about postings, contacting publishers, and contacting authors but I have kept myself from doing any of them. I kept telling myself, well, when I have *blank* number of followers, or *blank* number of regular readers I will do *this*. Since the conference I have implemented two of my ideas with great success, thereby proving that the only thing hurting me was me. If you (or I) have an idea, go for it, the worst thing to happen is they will tell you ‘no’.
Consistency is the key.
My cat gets grumpy when his routine is interrupted, people are the same way. They like to know that they can count on a specific event happening at the same time. My postings should be something my readers can count on. Right now I post about whatever I want on Mondays and a book review on Thursdays. I need to keep consistently posting, regardless of what I post to help me stay organized and so my readers know what to expect.
Content is very important.
Some bloggers post everyday and when I started my blog I worried that I wasn’t posting enough but I felt like I just didn’t have that much to say that people would want to hear. Now that my one year blogiversary is approaching I have realized how much work and effort goes into consistently blogging. For me, posting everyday would make the content of the postings less than stellar but by posting at the rate I am, I can focus and make sure the content and writing style (grammar, punctuation, etc) are well thought out. Focusing on the content first and getting readers second will improve the first and bring in the second.
Do what you love.
If you don’t love what you write about, stop, because others will be able to tell that you aren’t writing because you love it. Every blogger at the convention posts on their site in their spare time, given the numbers of hours put into the their sites, it truly is a labor of love. So only do it if you love it! The unofficial mantra for the convention was “I blog for books” which is what most of us do.
The conference spanned three days and was online (so I was able to stay home in my pjs to attend, hooray!). There were numerous panels with a moderator that spoke via phone to each other and I was able to listen to it live on the internet. While they were discussing things live, I was able to comment in an online forum, with the panelists answering any questions I posted. I was also able to have an ongoing conversation about the panel with other listeners. I have been able to access all of the panel discussions to listen to the panels since the convention ended. I also met some incredible bloggers, some who have been at this for a while and some who are newbies. It was great to be able to listen to what worked for them and what didn’t. All for $20.00, well worth the money. They will be doing a mini-conference in 6 months and then another full conference in a year. I encourage anyone who has a book blog to attend. (Also, a bunch of publishers donated Advanced Reader Copies of books so I got my entrance fee back in free books, photos to follow when they arrive.)
I left the conference feeling engerized, optimistic, and intimitated! There are some amazing people out there doing amazing things online, leading the way for the rest of us to follow. The marketing of books is changing and bloggers/individual websites are leading the way with the change. Some publishers are realizing that the market is changing and are adjusting accordingly and some publishers refuse to change what they are doing. It will be interesting to look back in five years and see how much things have changed.
I have decided to continue with my Thursday posting of books, author spotlights, etc. but I am now going to add a Monday posting entitled Monday’s Musings where I will post on whatever I feel like. This week I have been thinking about favorite places to read. A couple of years ago my husband gave me a hammock for Mother’s Day (no, I am not a mother but I have him convinced that I deserve a gift every Mother’s Day because of the labor I will someday go through). My favorite place to read is in the sun, on the hammock, with a soft pillow and a cool soda beside me. My other favorite place is snuggled under the covers in my bed with my kitty curled up next to me.
My husband will tell you that I read everywhere: the futon, the kitchen table while eating lunch, the car (but not while driving), and obviously the yard. I am the oldest of five children and while I was growing up we had numerous cousins and neighbors live with us. I spent the first seventeen years of my sister Jocee’s life sharing a room with her. Needless to say it was hard, at times, to find a place to read without being bothered by someone, so growing up one of my favorite places to read was in the bathroom. I would lock myself in there for hours at a time because I knew I wouldn’t be bothered while I was in there. Of course, once Jocee realized what I was up to in there she took great pleasure on pounding on the door until I got out, not because she wanted to use it but because I was hiding in there. (You know how siblings are, I did my fair share of pestering her in retaliation.)
Where do you like to read?