Does your blog need help?

The week ended, or rather began on another glorious note.  The lovely Katrina bestowed upon my blog two awards: The Versatile Blog award and the Beautiful Blog Award.  Thank you so much, Katrina!  I will have to go through my extensive list and decide who to nominate.


While this is not the first time a fellow blogger has nominated me for these awards, it is the first time I really sat back and thought about the versatility and beauty of my blog and why I even have one.

Why did I start a blog?

Honestly, I was told I needed to develop a platform.  I had to brand myself; make my name synonymous to what I could bring to the world.

But what did that mean?  I didn’t have anything to bring to the world.  I had nothing that was published.  I certainly had no expertise in the matter.  All I wanted was to bring writers and readers together, to give them a place to unwind and talk about successes and failures.  I also wanted to impart some of my wisdom I’d learned over the years about writing, but after a year and amassing only 500 views and 21 followers, I knew I was doing something wrong.  Terribly wrong.

How did I fix it?

Floundering, I asked a successful blogger what I should do.  She gave me some great advice:

–         Write from the heart.  Stop trying figure out what you think everyone wants you to write about and write what you want to write about.  Stay focused.  Stay disciplined and let the creative juices flow.  You’re a writer.  Be creative.

–         Connect with other writers.  Get out of your shell.  Visit other blogs.  Talk.  Connect.  Don’t limit yourself to only writers. Discover your passions and find blogs that cater to those desires.  Expand your world.

–         Find your voice.  The more you write, the more your inner voice will emerge.  Listen to it.  Don’t try to be something you’re not.  Be honest.  No one likes a fake and if you’re lying, people will see through it.  The façade won’t last.  Be natural.  Be you.

–         Find your niche.  It is important to identify your interests, your passions.  Write about them, no matter how obscure they may seem.  There are others who share the same interests.  Write with passion and authority, and others will think of you as the one to turn to in times of need.

–         Write on your blog a lot, several times a day if you want.  Learn about tags and how to use them effectively in your posts. This will increase your accessibility. It will also help your page to climb in the Google Page ratings.  Like it or not, Google is the ‘find it’ browser, and the higher your page is ranked, the better for you, the blogger.

Did her advice work?

Yes, I have to admit it did.  In the last 1 ½ years, my blog has gone from 500 views to almost 25,000.  Not huge in the blogosphere (there are people who hit that in 6 months), but it’s huge to me.  Followers are slowly on the upward climb which is all good, and my Google page rank is 3/10.  That’s the average page ranking for blogs.  (If you want to find out your Google page rank, click here).  Redfusion also has an article here about what the Google ranks all mean, if you’re interested.

I’m still trying to find my ‘brand’. As a YA fantasy author, I’ve decided to take my blog more in that direction, especially since I have such a passion for mythical characters and the creation of brave new worlds.

Nowhere is that reflected more on my blog than on the front page.  Quite by accident, I stumbled upon the amazing artist, Josephine Wall, and found one of her pieces that personifies my tagline.  With her permission, that piece now graces my blog.  It’s as if I’ve found a part of me that was missing.  I can now say to myself my blog is beautiful, and it’s here to stay.

I intend to remain versatile as a writer and a reader, and I’m always open to new ideas for blog posts, conducting and giving interviews, blog hops, giveaways, etc.  Thank you all for taking the journey with me and I hope you visit and comment often.  Next time, feel free to bring a friend or two.  There’s plenty of room, and I certainly love having you.

How would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar?

I feel like that is what I’ve been doing all week…swinging on stars and carrying moonbeams in a jar.

The week started with a cover reveal of the Make Believe anthology that my short story, The Amulet of Ormisez, will appear in.  Tuesday, I received a blog award.  On Wednesday, the lovely Kourtney Heintz nominated me for two blog awards:  the Very Inspirational Blogger Award

and the Inspiring Blog Award:

Today I wake up to find the charismatic wantoncreation bestowed the Beautiful Blogger Award upon me.

I don’t know what to say.  You guys are so absolutely and completely amazing and I am honored you thought of me when nominating others.  It really means a lot, especially knowing how many blogs are out there.  I’m touched.  Really.

Wednesday also brought more good news.  The gals over at allthingsurbanfantasy gave two thumbs up on the Make Believe anthology cover.  To say I’m floating on cloud 9 would be an understatement; however, I do need to come down and address the issue of the blog awards.

As a recipient, I’m supposed to reveal seven things about me before passing the awards on to other bloggers.  As I am accepting all of them together, I’m going to list things that both inspire me and I find beautiful.  As far as picking seven other blogs…might I suggest you click on My Faves at the top of my page and scroll through the blogs and websites I visit almost every day.  I find them all wonderful, beautiful and inspiring.

So here are some things that inspire me AND I find beautiful…

Pregnant women – I think pregnant women are beautiful.  There is a magical glow about them.  Something peaceful and serene.  They are an inspiration to me because they carry within them the future – beautiful, blessed gifts of love, purity and innocence.

Creation –  Everything around us – the sun, the moon, the trees, animals, people – all of it started from somewhere, from something.  No matter one’s thoughts on how the universe began, the fact it exists is awe-inspiring and beautiful.

Music – music is the universal language.  It speaks to us.  No matter where we are from, whether we speak the same words or not, we all understand music.  The notes, the melodies resonate within us and evoke emotions, inspiring us in many ways.  If you have any doubt of the effects of music, watch this video.

The ocean – I love the smell of the salt air and the sound the waves make as they rush over the sand and shells.  The magical shells the waves drop at my feet as I walk along the beach enthrall me.  I am enchanted by sea stories of hippocamps and Poseidon, sirens and mermaids.  The voice and strength of the ocean call to me, inspire me to think outside my own shell.

A child’s look of wonder – Have you ever noticed the way a child’s face lights up at a puppy or a kitten?  The way a baby smiles when you coo to it and make funny noises?  Do you  know the joy of finishing Guess How Much I Love You for the tenth time and hearing that little voice, “Just one more time, Mommy”?  Children amaze me and inspire me to maintain my childish enthusiasm and always remain young at heart.

Last but not least, my four children.  Every day they remind me of why I’m here in this life.  It’s them.  If I accomplish nothing else in my life, I know I have given birth and raised four beautiful, unique individuals who inspire me every day to be more than I am.  I would go to the ends of the world for my children.  I would gladly give my life to save theirs.  There is nothing I would not sacrifice for them.  They are my life, my reason for living.  They are incredible human beings destined to make the world a better place.  I love them more than any words can express.

Thank you all for stopping by my blog and lingering a while.  Though I don’t know you, never forget how wonderful you are.  You may not think you mean that much, but to someone else, you are their world.  Feel free to take the awards for yourself and post on your blogs because you are an inspiration to many and each of you have beautiful qualities.

Until we meet again…

P.S.:  The artwork presented in this blog is by the incredible Josephine Wells.  Please visit her site and get ready to be dazzled by her talent.