Welcome to Week Sixteen of the Tasha Turner Coaching/MasterKoda VBT!
Somehow, we made it. We survived a whole summer of guest blogs and drama, the terror of putting myself & my work out into the interwebs, and a fairly rigorous writing & posting schedule. There were times I wasn’t sure I could pull it all together, but I did, and with the exception of last week when my original guest had to drop-out and we didn’t get a replacement until the end of the week, it all went pretty darn smoothly.
So, to wrap this all up, I’ve put together my thoughts and conclusions about the experience. Read on!
Sixteen weeks ago, I was completely naive as to what a blog tour entailed. I was really just beginning this blogging adventure, for although I had had a personal blog back in the early aughts that did not require keeping to a regular schedule, building an audience, marketing, or trying to come up with interesting topics. I just ranted, raved, discussed my life and well… it was easy.
Blogging with a professional bent is hard.
Blogging as a writer just starting out on her publishing journey, knowing that whatever you write will end up on the pages of another writer’s website, I freely admit that I was intimidated. Several of the wonderful folk who hosted my humble words over the course of the TTC/MK Virtual Blog Tour are fairly successful in this new publishing world. I vascillated over topics, I bit my nails to the quick (after working so hard to stop biting them this year!), I wrote and re-wrote pieces. I honestly did not know what I had to say that would benefit anyone else. I’m no expert, you know?
Fortunately, the people involved with the tour were (mostly) helpful and understanding, encouraging and polite with criticisms. I ended up having a great deal of fun reading a bunch of blogs I might not have discovered, feeling awfully proud of myself for being hosted by other writers, and learned a lot about how to market/publicize my book and my blog (and how not to, also).
But the single most important thing I will take away from this blog tour — okay, other than some friendships and a deep respect for all the work Tasha Turner and her staff had to do to keep us all inline — is that professional blogging is hard work.
- You have to be dedicated so much so that even when you least feel like sitting down and composing something interesting, you actually do so.
- You have to have patience with marketing, because there’s a fine line between promoting it and spamming it.
- You have to participate in the blogosphere if you wish to garner more views/likes/comments. This can be time consuming, but its so necessary.
- You have to draft and maintain a schedule, of some sort, to be successful. Creating on the fly is fine, but sporadic posting can be death to a blog.
Joining up with the TTC/MK VBT was a huge step for me. Before the year of the Tangerine Tango began, I rarely allowed anyone to read my work. I had burned in the past by some very hurtful critiques (not constructive, not diplomatic, just spiteful and cruel) and had built up some high walls around myself. Even once I made the decision to start working toward publication for really reals, it wasn’t that scary to post here on PP.net because my readership was about 5 people a week.
But on some of these other blogs, the viewership was WAY higher. Thousands of people saw my words. My opnions. Excerpts from my novel. And that was terrifying, but I am proud to say that I survived. My book will be better for the feedback I’ve received, my blog will improve from the lessons gleaned during this tour, and next time I sign up for something like this I will go in with my eyes wide open and experience under my belt.
In the end, I can say that although it ain’t being bloggy (haha) it is all worth the effort. Knowing that a few extra people were touched by something I wrote puts a smile on my face. I am honored and humbled to have been a participant in the TTC/MK VBT 2012. And if Tasha Turner does continue to run these crazy events, I hope I can register again and have another go. If you’re a writer with a blog and you have the opportunity to join up with the next one – I say do it! You’ll come out a stronger writer, blogger and person.
Love & Rainbows,
Thanks to the amazing Penelope Price for returning to PP.net! *ahem* What? I am totally amazing. If you haven’t figured that out yet, well, keep reading. I’ll astound you one of these days, I promise!
Love & Rainbows,
[Editor’s Note: The give-away is still active (until Sept 15th, 2012 @ 11:59pm) over HERE!]
I will not pretend to be any sort of expert on branding. I have been writing for years, but it is only in the past year or so that I have really started watching the self-pub and e-book world. It is a boom-town of first-timers, indie artists and veteran authors, incredibly gifted storytellers and those with much to learn. It is a brave new world where those with the fortitude and determination enough to see it through, can find success in the writing world without corporate sponsorship.
It is, quite frankly, an exciting time to be a creative writer. There is opportunity everywhere!
This is not to say that it is an easy path. Gosh, no. In fact, in some ways, it seems like it is more work, more difficult, than being a ‘published’ author twenty years ago. If you’re looking to succeed now, not only are you responsible for writing your piece, and often editing it (or finding editors to do it for you), marketing it, acquiring a suitable cover, publicizing it, and so on and so forth.
Thus, in addition to trying to meet my daily/weekly/monthly/project-based writing goals, I am also struggling to build a brand. No – in all honesty, at this point, I am just trying to figure out how to build a brand. How to make www.penelopeprice.net more visible, how to set-up and begin using Twitter, to run a Facebook page, how to get my novels (once completed!) onto Amazon and/or Smashwords, how to attract good reviews and lots of sales.
Thankfully, I am not alone in this endeavor. Not only do I have the illustrious, brilliant, magnificent Jack Morgan, but I have found several communities of wonderful folks on Facebook and around the web who are supportive, knowledgeable, helpful and basically – amazing.
Still, its a daunting thing to consider. Especially when trying to balance a day job, family life, a social life, and all manner of other responsibilities. I am exhausted just thinking about all I have to do.
So on that note, I sign off and return to editing “Incandescence”, my current WIP.
Love & Rainbows,