Some blogs are purely informative, some pure fun.
Roxie Hanna’s versatile blog just happens to be both.
Hanna began the blog with the intent of creating a resource for “no-fee” writing opportunities.
Now it has grown to be a great tool for education and inspiration.
Hanna provides writers with industry news and inspires them by featuring successful authors.
Bothered by writer’s block or stress? No problem. Hanna’s Sunday Funnies will help you unwind.
Become enveloped in the warm voice of Roxie Hanna as she discusses below the journey and growth of her blog.
Straight From The Blogger’s Mouth
Hey Law, thanks for inviting me to your fabulous blog! Let me introduce myself to your readers: I am a freelance writer and editor, specializing in ghostwriting projects. My focus is on my ‘day job’, which like many of you, keeps me extremely busy.
Three years ago, when I began my blog, I thought I would cut down on freelancing work and dive into submitting my stack of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s pieces I’ve written over the years. I adamantly stated I wouldn’t take on any new clients…well those words have been pretty tasty, but they do travel to the bank and that’s important.
Now I submit my work, freelance, and somehow juggle it all, letting a ball slip to the ground but never dropping them all, yet. I serve as judge on short story and poetry contests, contribute to various magazines, sit (stand mostly) as poet-in-residence at a two-year college, and edit students’ book reviews. Occasionally I teach at workshops and conference sessions, and do anything I can to support First Book and The Cheerios New Author Contest.
Can you tell me about your blog and the objective you hope to achieve?
Oh, good question! When I began Roxie’s Blog I wondered what I could add, how would I be different, unique and helpful to the blogosphere. I saw many people already weighing in on their writing expertise. I considered an alternative angle, topics people might be surfing for based on my own searches. I noticed a void in a bulletin board-type space for writers to become aware of avenues where they may submit work without entry or reading fees. I began listing these no-fee venues for writers, poets, and visual artists. Then I expanded to spotlighting writers, illustrators, visual artists, and song writers, offering tidbits of knowledge from my experience, as well as information about the market place.
This year, I began a Top Twos-day column, posting the most interesting items to cross my desk in a week. My blog is still evolving, and in the fall my plan is to add a weekly column series. Upcoming topics will focus on editing, agents, publishing, ghostwriting, critique groups, and professional associations plus touch on the basics to cutting-edge ideas and technologies.
How did you get your blog started and how long did it take before you saw results?
Way back in 2009, hehehe, I kept seeing advice from agents and publishers for writers to ‘have a platform’. I searched online and asked people, not necessarily writers, how they established an online presence. Most often I heard Twitter was the ‘it’ venue and WordPress offered the most adaptability for styling a blog. I jumped in with both feet. Now I’m thrilled to say I have a presence on Twitter, Goodreads, and StumbleUpon as roxiewriter, on Pinterest as theroxiewriter, on Facebook as Roxie Hanna, and at NetworkedBlogs. I love company, come hang out with me and we’ll enjoy this networking journey together!
To the second part of the question: I’m not sure what results I was looking for, I was thrilled if someone read my blog! I watched my stats like a hawk and soon found out this was like waiting for water to boil! I decided I couldn’t make my stats go up any more than I could cause the stock market to increase on any given day. That led me to recall why I began the blog. With my perspective in focus I concentrated on creating the best one I could, and the results have paid off fairly well. Slow and steady like the tortoise and the hare race…I’m not in it to win a popularity contest. But I do enjoy readers’ responses and get a thrill when people push my ‘like’ button, 🙂
What are some tips?
First, be yourself…it’s a crowded world out here, if you can carve your own niche, you’ll be able to sustain the initial momentum. Visit blogs, become a regular commenter following favorite sites, taking note of features striking your ‘like’ button. No one blogger has a formula, nor is there a map to plot out the best way to produce a successful blog. It’s a combo thing.
Also, I believe you should move out of your comfort zone. Innovative expanses may be awkward and scary, but keep your eyes focused on the end goal, why you want to blog in the first place. Learn all you can about your craft, practice to gain confidence and then polish your work so your best becomes your standard.
IMHO it’s extremely important to surround yourself with positive people. You’ll hear enough negative voices in your own head, doubting your abilities, keeping you from moving forward. You can borrow the first rule comedians use, the answer is always ‘yes’ when doing an improv skit, which would allow you to go with the flow and never stress about whatever direction you’re heading.
If you could share a bit of wisdom with aspiring authors who desire to create a successful blog, what would it be?
I guess the best advice I have to offer is to build a blog you’d like to read. And then play around with it, never letting it become stagnant. Try enhancing your style. Find your strengths, play to them, and enjoy communicating with your readers. Have fun. Everyone says it, but are they, really?
Stretch yourself: did you write an historical fiction? You might consider writing posts about various topics that are side shoots from your work. If you did the research for your book, you’ve already done the homework for an interesting article.
Supplement your book: is your genre chick lit or romance? Pick one of the minor characters and explore what she will do in a variety of settings. Play the what-if game with her personality and see where it takes you.
Readers love connecting with authors on another level. Use your posts to share how you developed the book, series, characters, setting, etc. Give them juicy details and don’t forget to add the material you decided to leave out. All the hard work writing a scene and then you cut it…tell them!
Add, add, add to streamline your time. Link up your accounts, if possible, and make a schedule you’ll stick to. If you honor your own deadlines, you become a better writer. This builds confidence. You’ll realize you can tackle a 1500 word piece with just as much ease as a 50 word summary.
Don’t forget to subtract, too. Purge those time-stealers, stuff you keep putting off because it’s like writing those thank you cards after your birthday. Or just do them. Either way, be aware of how much time you’re spending on your blog; you don’t want to be so wrapped up in your platform you forget to create your product!
Connect with Roxie Hanna:
- Blogger Roxie Hanna: Building a following (lawreigns.com)