The Writers Circle

creative writing community, craft and inspiration

SPEAKER SERIES RECAP: Kick-Start Your Blog

by Laurie Lico Albanese

“Go with your passion,” was the phrase of the day at Stacey Gill’s Kick-Start Your Blog workshop held at The Writers Circle in Montclair this past Sunday.  “Focus on what you’re passionate about and put all that energy into the blog.”

Blogger Stacey Gill

Stacey – a.k.a. the hilarious parenting blogger at One Funny Motha – launched her own blog anonymously three and a half years ago on the advice of The Book Doctors. She now has more than 12,000 followers and is shopping her parenting book to publishers.

“I believe if you’re a writer you really need some kind of online presence,” Stacey said. “I started to blog because I knew it was a way to hone my craft. I knew I had to press ‘publish’ every day, and it forced me to write.”

Stacey told the full house at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church that writers who want to build a following and a platform should choose a topic that energizes them, and then launch a blog and Facebook fan page to build their online presence.

“Blogging provides a platform for writers that didn’t exist before,” Stacey said. “My entire network is online; I can think of several successful writers who never would have been published if they hadn’t been online.”

Just some of the topics Stacey covered in the two hour workshop included:

  • Defining blog goals
  • Finding a catchy blog name and tagline
  • Developing a following
  • Creating a platform
  • Building your base
  • Honing your voice.

She had the room chuckling and buzzing with insights about writing blog posts that attract readers. “Internet readers searching for ‘butt crack’ and ‘Costco croutons’ have brought a lot of visits to my blog!”

2016-03-20 14.29.29

Stacey shared these tips to consider

BEFORE YOU START YOUR BLOG

  • read and look at other blogs
  • see what blog designs appeal to you
  • visit wordpress.com for free blogging platforms and information
  • decide upon a name and tagline for your blog
  • Google your blog name to make sure it’s not taken
  • reserve your domain name for the future at GoDaddy.com
  • create a Facebook fan page (with your blog name)

She also suggested getting familiar with other bloggers and follow the ones you really like.  Some she mentioned were:

IMG_4236BLOGS TO FOLLOW

Workshop participants came from a wide range of fields, including a wine merchant, a book group blogger, a real estate agent, a veterinarian, and even a fan of the One Funny Motha blog. Everyone left with a to-do list to help them conceptualize their blog, and plenty of tips for getting started.

“It’s no longer optional. If you’re a professional, you need to be on the Internet and you need to be able to be found there,” one student observed.

Stacey will be teaching a 9-week Launching Your Blog workshop on Thursday evenings in Montclair, 7-9 p.m. beginning Thursday, April 21st.

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