I know you may remember the author interview I did with Coral McCallum, but today I have her interview about blogging! She loves what she does, and she stays busy, whether it’s time with her family or writing or blogging; but she loves every minute of it!
What made you start blogging?
A fear of letting people read what I write. No, honestly, that is why I started my blog at the end of Dec 2013. I am terrified of letting people read what I write. I suspect this fear goes back to my school days and being bullied and never feeling good enough. By the end of Dec 2013, I had the first draft of Stronger Within, my first novel and half of the second one, Impossible Depths, written but wasn’t sure what to do with them. I started my blog to help me overcome my fears of letting people read my work. My 2014 challenge was to post one blog a week on any topic. I’ve posted one every week ever since, and it has helped me to keep my fears under control.
What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
The freedom of it and the flexibility. I write two different blogs. I write an ad hoc music blog, The 525 to Glasgow, where I review concerts and albums. There are no set criteria for it and entries are posted as and when I’ve been to a show, roughly once a month. My main blog is one where I can experiment a bit and share thoughts and feelings. I’ve never really set a theme for it. I’ve shared “normal” blogs, short fiction, poetry, my photography skills, book baby progress updates and also invited guests along to help promote fellow indie authors. I guess it all just goes with the flow.
How often do you post to your blog?
I post weekly but not on any set day. I wanted to keep it flexible.
Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
I’m an indie author, blogger, music blogger, amateur photographer, the admin for two social media fan pages for real-life international rock star Myles Kennedy, a team manager for a retail bank and work full time. Also, I’m married; I have two university-age kids, am the human slave to four cats, a bit of a rock chick and a self-confessed caffeine addict. Oh and I do find time to sleep occasionally too! There are no set themes or topics for my blog. I’ve shared various articles and anecdotal posts. I use it as a proving ground for new characters that I am playing about with. Jake and Lori, the central characters in the Silver Lake books, made their debut on my blog in pieces of short fiction called Him and Her. When I’ve faced a bit of writer’s block, I’ve even interviewed my characters and used that as a blog post. I share short fiction pieces on there too and have some popular vampire angel serialized fiction on there too. (The Silently Watching stories on the fiction tab). More recently, I’ve added my author newsletters to my blog too. It is a bit of everything and anything!
When did you realize you wanted to be a blogger and how did you know it was right for you?
As I’ve said above, I started the blog to overcome my fears of letting people read what I write. Blogging seemed the easy way to do that with short pieces of work and minimal pressure. At the outset, I had no idea if it was right for me, but I knew I had to give it my best shot. Five years on and it’s still going strong.
How do you manage your time to run your blog efficiently?
I set aside time in my creative schedule to blog once a week. Sometimes I will plan blogs ahead of schedule. For example, if it is a Silently Watching installment, I’ll plan that several weeks ahead and have it written and re-drafted and edited in time for its slot. Other blogs can be almost instantaneous. As long as I manage to post once a week to it, I’m happy that it’s running efficiently. I share my blogs on my social media pages too.
How do you decide what to blog about? Where does your inspiration come from?
The million-dollar question! I keep things simple and flexible. I can find inspiration in a multitude of things. The inspiration for some of my flash fiction can come from everyday items or phrases or words. A recent short story was inspired by a notebook that sits on my writing desk, for example.
What are your goals for your blog in the new year?
To keep blogging once a week. I’d like to add more guests to it, perhaps one per month, to support other indie authors. My creative goals are centered more around my novels, so getting Book Baby 5 written and edited and published before 31 Dec 2019 is the main goal for the year.
How do you attract new readers? Describe the methods you’ve used and their impact on site traffic?
I share it on social media at every opportunity. Marketing and promoting are not my key strengths, but I seize every opportunity to publicize things. I share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. I share the links of promotional sites on Facebook. I try to tweet with appropriate hashtags to attract attention. Traffic is usually busiest when I’ve shared a piece of short fiction rather than a “blog” article.
What advice can you give someone just starting on their blogging journey?
Keep it simple. Keep it short and sweet until your confidence grows. Experiment with it and have fun. Writing should be fun and should never feel like a chore.