How to Gain Interest in Your Blog

I’ve been asked to do a blog post on this to provide a little advice on how to get followers for your blog (I’m very flattered don’t you know!)

So here goes!

I think there are five main really important strategies to help gain interest in your blog and you need to be doing all of them to stand a real chance of getting lots of followers:

1) Engaging with the Blogging Community 

One of the best ways to gain interest in your blog is to be interested in other blogs! Search through blogs that are tagged with subjects that you’re interested in and which you personally blog about yourself. One of my personal favourites is the YA tag. It’s a broad subject and there are loads of blog posts relevant to me! So spend time following other blogs, as well as liking and commenting on them to start conversations with your fellow bloggers. The more time you spend looking at other blog posts and engaging with them, the more you’ll see people taking the time to look at your own blog!

2) Writing Interesting Blog Posts 

It seems obvious but your blog posts have to be a great read otherwise why would anyone read it? (I mean, would you spend your time reading about watching paint dry? Maybe you would……maybe that’s what you’re into!)

Spend time thinking up things you could blog about but also use techniques such as lists, bullet points and pictures to grab people’s attention.

3) Tagging Your Posts Correctly 

Don’t tag every word you can think of that might vaguely relate to your blog. Be specific and tag only appropriate words. A good rule is to never tag more than ten words then you will be reaching a more specific demographic of people who will want to read your posts in the future.

4) Blogging Regularly 

You don’t need to blog every day but you should aim to write one or two a week minimum to keep interest in your blog. Consistency is key!

5) Having Fun 

Enjoy blogging! Have fun with your posts – experiment and see what works! I’ve found some of my quirkier posts to gain a lot of interest so I try to use that style regularly because I know they work. 
Tip – don’t link your blog website when you comment on other people’s post. If you’re truly interested in what they have to say then comment honestly on their writing and they may decide to look at your blog and follow you back. If not, don’t sweat it! There’s plenty more bloggers in the blogging sea!

The Would You Rather Book Tag

I’ve been tagged in the would you rather book tag! Thanks so much to lovingyoochun for tagging me whose blog you can find here: vilviohora@wordpress.com

Would you rather only read trilogies or only read standalones?

Trilogies! I find a standalone leaves me wanting. One book just doesn’t quite have enough platform to get me truly head over heels LOVING the characters. 

Would you rather only read male or female authors?

I wouldn’t consciously choose male or female but looking through my favourite novels I definately have mostly female authors so I guess I have a subconscious preference!

Would you rather shop at Barnes and Noble or Amazon? 

Definately

Definitely Amazon! I am a bit of an Amazon fiend actually; I use them for Kindle, Prime Instant Video and generally order all my DVDs etc from them. I also plan to publish with them later this year so I’m practically their biggest consumer haha.

Would you rather books were made into TV shows or movies?

I can’t deny I LOVE going to the cinema on opening night for the latest book adapted film e.g Hunger Games – BUT if they made the Hunger Games into a TV series I’d be in Heaven. So it has to be tv for me – it has the same affect as a series of books I just get so much more attached to the characters and the experience lasts so much longer

Would you rather read only 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

Five books per week! I have been known to do this anyway…

Would you rather be a professional author or reviewer?

AUTHOR – This. Is. My. Ultimate. Dream! 

Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

Booksellar I think as Librarians have to be so quiet and I’d rather chat away discussing the books with the customers

Would you rather read only your favorite genre, or every other genre but your favorite?

Favourite genre for sure! Though I’m not sure if I could pick between fantasy and sci fi!

Would you rather only read ebooks or physical books?

Hmmm…I love real books but I have to confess I generally read everything on my kindle since I bought it. It’s just so practical and easy to bring every where I go! I can also prop it up when im in the bath on a bath tray which has solved the issue of me getting books damp!

I also love the fact that I can basically carry my entire book collection with me everywhere I go. When I go on holiday I have a whole array of books to choose from and there’s no weight limit like there would be with real books!

Thanks for reading! Here are my book tags (if you’ve done this before don’t worry about doing it again!):

The Writer’s Slump

Writing takes a lot of time, concentration and an engaged mind but due to being human that just isn’t attainable 100% of the time – if only we could all be vampires! then we’d get a lot more done!

Some days you’re just too tired, distracted, busy, or even just hung-over! And you can’t summon the energy to write…

Okay, I admit it! I have found myself in this situation over the last couple of days…and I’m naming it ‘ The Writer’s Slump’

I had a busy weekend and have had little time to write and now it’s Monday I’m plain exhausted!

So what can you do if you find yourself in this situation (yes, I’ve been here before…)  ?

1) Acceptance – whatever the reason may be, some days writing just isn’t going to get done. The quicker you accept this, the better because otherwise you’ll spend you’re day feeling guilty for not getting anything done and you don’t need the grief! Give yourself a break and, when you are ready to write again, you’ll be fully recharged.

2) Don’t Force It – if you try and write when you’re in one of these moods the quality is invariably going to be downright terrible. So don’t sweat it! Just take this time to do something else – for example, write a blog post about how you feel (it’s working for me!)

3)  Make a Plan – Put a plan together for your writing when you are feeling up to it in the next day or two. This way, you will be ready to go all out writing ninja when you’re feeling in the mood but relax in the meantime!

4) Have Fun – While your not in the mood for writing don’t fret! Do something enjoyable – maybe you’ve put off doing something recently to spend time writing? Watch a new film, bake something tasty, read a book or play a game on your playstation or xbox (you must have a game sitting there that needs finishing!)

Naming Your Novel (What Really works? And Does it Even Matter?)

I think novel names are either intuitive (spring into your mind in a eureka moment!) or depressingly hard to come up with…

Thinking through some names that I love I think that best ones somehow sum up exactly what the book is about with just a few words.

Take A Game of Thrones for example – I mean wow! That tells you just what you’re getting into! It’s a genius name!

But then on the other hand there are abstract names like Twilight which works just as well but, to be honest, doesn’t say much about the story…

But does it really matter? If a book is popular it’s going to be whether it’s called ‘Flutter’ or something that gives more away like ‘Dancing with the Fallen Fairies’ ( Both could be the same book!)

What’s in a name? Would you choose a book because of a name or is it the cover what draws you? Or do you disregard all of these things and judge it based on the blurb and reviews?

Does the title of your book have to imply the genre?

If so then….

– Beautiful Creatures sounds like a book about pretty animals

– I Am Number Four sounds like someone waiting in line for an argos purchase

– The Giver….well it depends how filthy your mind is here…

– Fifty Shades of Grey…if you pick this up expecting a colour chart then you’re going to be in for quite a shock

However, I think people know something about a book before they pick it up because of what I believe to be the biggest promiting factor; word of mouth.
So is a book name important?

Yes, but…it needs to be combined with sveral other factors to be effective: cover, blurb, and most important of all content – the book has to be a great read and then, whether it’s called Poo Bucket or A Game of Thrones, it’s going to do well!

How to be a Successful Writer (Using the Hogwarts’ Houses Method)

Writing takes a combination of skill, determination and passion and I think this can be broken down using what I like to call the Hogwarts’ Houses Method (that’s right!)

The first thing you need to be as you begin your writers journey is brave!

 
Yes! No writing will get done until you switch off that little voice inside your head that tells you that you can’t do it. Forget the fear of being judged and Gryffindor the hell out of that first draft! 

If you want to (and I bet you do) think of that evil little voice as voldemort….and who does he think he is anyway?!

Now you’ve got to have a few brain cells to rub together to get down to business with the rewrite (don’t worry just a few!) So this is the part where you can stroke your chin thoughtfully and take a leaf out of Rowena Ravenclaws book. Take your time and perfect the writing to the best of your ability!

  
Once you send your work off to Literary Agents you may find yourself in the place that most writers do; rejected. So we need to be extra Hufflepuff here people! They aren’t phased by anything and are suuuuupppppper patient. These are qualitites that you’ll need to succeed ultimately. You need to play the lonngggg game but, with a bit of hufflepuff loyalty to your writing, it’ll be more likely to pay off!
  
And some people mock Hufflepuff so I thought I’d give this little reminder…

 
Finally! You’re allowed to go a little Slytherin (gasp!) that’s right, even they have some qualities you’ll need. Just a little sprinkle of cunning…

  

No I’m not saying go write your name in blood on the walls near the chamber of secrets! (But that sure would be one hell of a promotion technique if you did!) I’m just saying you need to be imaginitive to help achieve what you want. If you wana get your book out there through traditional means or self-publishing you have to find creative ways to promote yourself! Connect with people! Make other cunning little friends and help them to achieve their goals in return! But please people let’s not become death eaters about it…
  
Whisper in people’s ears! This might work for you. Or better still, tweet, blog and network!

And remember, there’s thousands of free ways to promote your work so don’t splash out too much money on this – you’ll only get muggled off….

Thanks for reading!

Guest Post: Rejection is coming…(and dragons…maybe)

Hey guys check out my first ever guest post!

Sadly I can’t figure out how to turn the comments on at John’s site 😦 if anyone has any tips they’d be greatly appreciated!

Johnny Reads

So for my first guest post in my blife (blogging life) I have decided to talk about rejection (Gasp!)

No, wait! Keep reading! It’s not all that bad…..I promise!

Rejection is inevitable as a writer…I’m sorry…it just is. Let’s all take a moment to deal with that, deep breath, and move on!

Whether you’re rejected by a literary agent, a publisher, or your mum (yes! Even your mum might hate your writing! – What? She might!) it’s pretty much a done deal that someone is going to reject you once you start putting your work out to the general public – even popular authors have people who hate their books, you just can’t please everyone.

And to be honest….who cares!

Screw everyone who hates what you write. You love it! I know you do! Or you wouldn’t have spent all that time writing and rewriting and rererewriting until all your…

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Update on my YA Fantasy Series: The Rise of Isaac

So I just finished the first draft of the third book in my series: The Rise of Isaac, Book Three: Turning Tide

Eek! I’m so excited! 

Its current word count is 81,900 words but I think it will be somewhere in the 90-100 thousand region when finished.

As to the released date…I am planning on publishing at least the first three books in the series on Amazon Kindle around Christmas 2015

I am currently on such a role that there is a chance I will have at least the fourth book ready by this point too and (big gasp!) possibly the final fifth book if all goes well – you can’t deny my optimism hehe

The Rise of Isaac Synopsis:

After sixteen year old Oliver Knight discovers the existence of six other worlds, his adopted sister, May, is struck ill by a lethal curse. The curse links her to the fanatical terrorist, Isaac Rimori who murdered Oliver’s father in cold blood ten years ago. Now, Rimori is plotting to wage a war that will change the face of the seven worlds using the monstrous creatures that live in Vale to aid him. 

On his quest to save his sister, Oliver and his friends must compete in near-impossible challenges to gain access to the Gateways that are the portals to the other worlds. With time running out, Rimori thwarting them at every turn, and devasting secrets unfolding about Oliver’s family, he must overcome his demons and do whatever it takes to save his sister, even if that means ultimately giving up his life…
I can’t wait to share this story with you all! 

Thanks for reading!

Is Writing Addictive? (I ask as I’m writing away like a crazed maniac…)

As I begin writing this I’m literally starving.  But before breakfast I wanted to get this blog post up because it’s been whizzing around my mind before I went to sleep last night and in the few seconds after I woke up today (okay I had a lie-in don’t judge me!) 

So yes, I am obsessed with writing. I know this because (clearly) it comes before food and is therefore now at least as essential in my list of things to do today. (Alright I wouldn’t die if I stopped writing but….my soul might? Too far? Probably…) 

Before I started writing my book series I’d never found anything to write that I was so obsessed about. This, I think (and hope), is a good thing. At least in terms of drive and determination. I will do anything it takes to finish this series and get it out to the world! Because there’s a burning need inside me to do so. 

Call it what you will; an obsession, a calling, the onset of some sort of psychotic episode…but whatever it may be, I just can’t ignore it!

Today is one of the first days that the UK has had warm weather in literally months. And I’ve got a couple of days off (lucky me!) but you know what I’m doing? Sitting in my flat writing, and I intend to do so all day long. To be fair I live in a top floor flat with a large sash window to my left and the sun is shining through so I’m technically sunbathing right? (RIGHT?)

Writing is addictive in its many forms. I only started a blog a few weeks ago and now I find myself thinking about what to blog and am constantly checking in on what my fellow bloggers are writing! 

Anyway – I admit it, I’m a writing addict. There! I said it! 
  

I’ve got 99 followers but a cliche ain’t one!

Okay if you got that reference you are totally amazing! I was gonna do a post on getting 100 followers if I met that amazing goal! – But if 99 is my max then I’m not complaining! (Also I started singing Jay-Z in my head when I saw I had 99 so…what’s a girl to do?)

I think cliches have a bad name for themselves. Obviously if your novel is written by stringing a million together that’s not gonna work -or it could be a crazy masterpiece who knows?

But I think a good cliche has its place. Sometimes I love a moment in a good action film where the protagonist says: 

I could tell you…

And I turn to my friend and say:

But I’d have to kill you…

Just as the protaganist says it. Haha I love it. And these days I think it’s used ironically in a lot of films as a little nod to those classic action films that gave those cliches life (die hard, armageddon, terminator, speed, true lies, misson impossible….this list goes on and on and on and on!)

But as I say..it has its place…

Writing cliches are a little different. So I’ve made up a little story using some of the most overused cliches in history! Enjoy:

It was a dark and stormy night…
  

Billy was an orphan farm boy…he was a loner, a maverick…

  

After his parents’ death, Billy moved into his uncle’s castle that sat on the edge of a cliff. It was rumoured to be haunted…
  

Billy soon met the girl next door. It was love at first sight!
  

An old hag came to billy all dressed in rags. She told him of a prophecy; that he was the chosen one and only he could defeat the dark lord who reigned over the world….

 
Billy overcomes his demons and rises to the challenge, destroying the dark lord in a one on one battle to the death!

And they all lived happily ever after…. 

The end….or is it?