When I came up with my guest project for my dutch blog, I automatically thought- "oh but I can't not invite my English language blogger friends"!
My guest project came about as I started 'meeting' more and more bloggers through their work.. and wanting a wee bit more of an insight into the person behind the posts. Not to mention their ever so important tips and experiences. Those are invaluable to a 'newcomer on the blog' so to speak.
And so the translation to my questionnaire into English evolved, my list of bloggers created and a few invitations sent. At times I may even add or alter some of the questions. I will play that by ear. Bit more exciting reading maybe - if the questions aren't standardized. And the tips will also vary.
How do I select my guests and fellow bloggers?
Firstly, and I think naturally, those whose Blogs I read and admire.
Secondly, I want a mix of male and female guests so that means having a good look at my reading list and also my casual blog visits.
Thirdly, I want to involve some bloggers from Down Under ( NZ and Australia) as their writing style, their insights and lifestyle is recognisable to me as I spent 30 years in NZ, and possibly a fresh breeze for others.
So my search for a diversity of guests continues. I will not be posting on a set day or date as I know how fickle everyones' diary can be. Unforeseen glitches taken into account, I will take all sorts of hurdles into consideration and do promise though to pepper my posts with guests so as to spread their works and give you insight into their world at the same time.
For the opportunity to be informed on my posts - I have placed a mailing option on my blog where you can sign in on. What is also of real value to bloggers are the signs 'someone' has dropped in. This can be done in various ways including commenting on the post or by ticking some of the reactions boxes under the post.
One of my goals is to 'expose' these excellent writers to my readers. To share links and to allow their comments and ideas to help enthuse those maybe just needing that bit of encouragement, a tip or two, or insights needed to give a boost to a budding blogger.
My first guest is Jeanette Levellie. I have followed her blog for some time now and have also purchased one of her books called The Heart of Humor. And it sure is - full of humor and a lovely read. I realised Jeanette would have some valuable experiences and insights and am delighted to be able to introduce her to you.
For those of you who already know Jeanette- maybe you too will know more about her after reading what she has written. Readers, it gives me great pleasure to introduce -
The 10 questions and answers from:
1. What drew you to start using a blog to share and develop your writing urge and how long have you been a blogger?
I started blogging in 2008, to develop my writing “platform,” so more people would be aware of me as a writer. I also wanted to get to know others in the blogging world, to expand my knowledge of writing, and to have fun!
2. As a blogger, how do you decide on topics and regularity to place posts on your blog?
When I first began blogging, I wrote mostly about writing topics, like trying to find an agent and getting a book published. I connected with other writers that way, but it soon grew apparent that so many writers had blogs focused on the writing life. So I decided to personalize my blog and have it reflect me better, and the focus of my life, which is GRACE. I call my blog HOPE SPLASHES because I think we can all find God’s grace and hope, even in the puddles of life.
3. Are reader’s numbers and responses important to you? Do these two items influence your writing?
I don’t look at the numbers as much as I did at first, but they do influence my writing, in that I see what types of posts garner the most hits. I like comments, because those give me a way to connect with my readers.
4. The Blogger’s world has become a place to be for writers – what other options were available to you or would you have used should Blogging not have been available?
I think either Facebook or Pinterest, although neither lend themselves well to what blogging affords: images and a piece of writing. I don’t use Twitter much, as it comes across to me as a huge billboard, where people advertise their newest book or blog post, and that gets old fast.
5. Publishing- ( a multi question )
5a. Have you considered publishing any of your blog posts?
Yes, several of my blog posts became articles for my inspirational/humour newspaper column and/or chapters in my books, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top, The Heart of Humor, and Shock the Clock
5b. In what form? See above.
5c. If you have published – what process did you follow in choosing the ‘right’ material?
I just know “in my heart” when a blog post is worthy to be published in my column or as a chapter in a book. The writing is a cut above the normal blog post in both content and style, and it’s usually either super funny or very transparent.
6. What is your motivation to Blog and share?
I like to keep my writing skills sharp, and blogging every week forces me to do that. I also like to connect with friends and readers of my books and articles, so I don’t lose touch.
7. Is writing your main activity or a much loved hobby?
Writing is my #1 passion. I love my cats and I garden in the summer, but most of my free time is spent either writing or reading.
8. Are there unforeseen repercussions due to blogging?
It takes a lot of time and discipline. And you might get your feelings hurt if someone “unfollows” your blog or makes an unkind comment.
9. What are (if any) main hurdles to overcome- to start a blog?
If you are someone who loves to start new projects but do not follow them through in the long run, blogging might not work for you. If you gain many followers, they will want to hear from you regularly, or they’ll quit following your posts. Consistency is the key, even if you only blog once a week.
10. Can you give beginner bloggers your 3 most valuable tips to a successful blog?
A. Keep them short—I try to shoot for 300 words or less, and include at least 2-3 images in each post, to keep the readers’ interest.
B. Be transparent and let us know how you feel and what’s in your heart, but don’t share so much that we get uncomfortable. I know of one blogger who shares her marital problems, and I feel awkward reading about that.
C. Focus on a theme or two or three, like pets or cooking or your family or the Bible. If you talk about everything under the sun, it’s hard to gain a steady following. I try to focus on hope, humour, and book giveaways. This way my followers know what to expect of me.
Thank you SO very much Jeanette for sharing your thoughts and insights into the world of blogging with me and my readers. I enjoyed getting to know you better.
Do you want to know more about this author?
Thanks for you visit.