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.
- Google PageRank Explained (epiphanysolutions.co.uk)