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Bloggers Helping Bloggers

It’s one of the big surprises of my writing life.

Discovering that becoming a blogger meant I was joining a worldwide community.  A community that cares, and helps.

I became a blogger because my daughters thought I needed to “get myself out there”. I was struggling with the effects of a head injury and damage to my body; I’d become ashamed of myself and extremely reclusive.

Blog Photo - Pink Phlox and Butterfly

Blogging helped pull me out of hiding by giving me pen-pals all over the world.  As I read their stories — or their comments on mine — we started getting to know and care about each other’s projects and well-being.  They inspired and uplifted me.

Bloggers also help each other in practical ways:

Tweeting: Some bloggers often/routinely retweet my (and others’) posts. Take a bow, Wendy MacDonald, Sally Cronin, Sarah Vernon, Tina Frisco, Annika Perry, D.G. Kaye and all of you who do this!

Reblogging: It’s a great compliment when followers reblog a post. Props to Sally Cronin; Chris (The StoryReadingApe); Marcia Meara;  Bernadette; and many others who do this routinely.

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Sally Cronin

Helpful insights: Bloggers such as Gallivanta, Clare Pooley and Lavinia are likely to share a helpful insight, fact or contact in their comments. I always take note!

Writing Tips: Bloggers share tips to improve our writing — blogs or books. Props to Michael Dellert, Sue Uttendorfsky, and many others.

Connections: The best story I know is my own. Chris Graham connected me with Jo Robinson to illustrate Myrtle the Purple Turtle. A great partnership was born. I’ve been recommending Jo as an illustrator and editor ever since.

Author Services:  Jo, Kev Cooper,  Jeanne Balsam and others offer one or a range of services at affordable rates:  editing, design, illustration, publishing, promotions and promotional materials such as bookmarks and posters.

Recognition:  Blogger-reviewer-author Kev Cooper reads many books and started the Diamond Book Awards. Other bloggers give book/blog awards too.

Blog Photo - Diamond Book Award 2017

Promotions: Sally and Chris are the best I know, generously promoting what seems like hundreds of authors each year. How they find the time, I don’t know, but  — take a bow, you two!

Featuring other Bloggers: I do this on my blog, as do many others.

Blog Photo - Yvonne at Desk
Yvonne Blackwood

Blog Photo - Gift of memoir front cover

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Diane Taylor

Deliberately Buying each other’s Books:   All my purchases/requested Christmas gifts from family are books from small presses and especially by indie authors who blog.  I borrow books by the big-name authors from the library.

Blog Photo - Sally Cronin book

Blog Photo - Maya and the book of everything

Blog Photo - Donna K Mind Book

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Giving feedback on Manuscripts: When the draft is done but you’re still not sure and a blogger gives feedback, that’s a major gift.

Reading and Reviewing each other’s books: When a blogger reads my book then reviews it on Goodreads, Amazon or even better – their own blog — that’s a gift! Take a bow, everyone who does this! Thanks to bloggers who’ve done this for me.

Blog Photo - Lavinia Album cover

Spreading the Word:  We spread the word about each other’s books in circles beyond blogging. Lavinia Ross and Gallivanta: Thank you for spreading the word about Myrtle in your own circles and beyond.

Praying/holding faith for each other: We celebrate other bloggers’ “wins”. Invariably, we also learn about their life struggles. When my husband was critically ill, bloggers around the world expressed concern. Many were praying. And when my blogger friends or loved ones face troubles, I do the same.

Been helped by bloggers or helped? Please share!

 

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A Good Home, Blogging Considerately, Flowers, Tips for Blogging

Great Tips for Bloggers

Rule #1: Most people like pictures. Hence the “floral arrangements” in this post. (Smile)

Blog Photo - Hostas and Clematis

My last post was the most retweeted ever! Lots of interest. So today I’m sharing some tips which have worked for me, thanks to Lauren, my social media expert:  

  1. Be real. Life isn’t perfect and nor are you. Being real makes your blog interesting.  My book is hilarious in parts and I wanted my blog to be similarly uplifting and funny. But my injuries affect every part of my life — including my blogging schedule. I finally revealed a few of those difficulties — and my blog network supported me.
  2. Tell, don’t sell. Many of the bloggers I follow make products for sale – their books or paintings; farm products; furniture or vintage items. Some have a shop built into their site. But they know that blogging isn’t primarily a marketplace: it’s about engaging with others and sharing stories and ideas.
  3. Keep your posts short. Break up a longer post with images — or make it a short series.  Most of my posts are only 200- 500 words because I know that many people read a lot of blogs each week.
  4. Set aside time to read other blogs. I set aside time early morning and late evening/night to read and reply.  I’m slow, but I do it. That’s why following/having thousands of followers is not my goal. I couldn’t keep up!
  5. Blog Photo - flowers white daisies in vaseWrite a few posts now for later. I’m a wreck some days and stuck in bed. So I force myself to laugh by writing funny stories. My failures at baking, cooking, decorating a room or arranging flowers suddenly seem hilarious when described.  Then, on my worst days, I post them  — and smile at your great reactions.
  6. Blogging is a two-way street.  It’s not just a matter of ‘publishing’ your posts. Read other people’s stories, take an interest, respond. They’ll do the same. How true! I sometimes use my blog to highlight fabulous bloggers and other people; in turn, their supporters visit my blog, leaving great comments. Fascinating though I am (ha ha), my blog is not always about me.
  7. Follow up. When I disappear for a while, some bloggers check in. I appreciate this thoughtfulness and now do the same for others.
  8. Get help. I knew how to write, but didn’t understand social media. Among other things, an expert can make sure your blog is attractive, engaging and automatically distributed on many different platforms.

Blog Photo - Peonies and Solomon's Seal

This post is dedicated to all the bloggers in my network.

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