As you might guess from the graphics above, I am involved in the third Writer's Platform-Building Campaign. And this has prompted me to blog about one of the best method's I've found to draw a following to your site.
You may have found it a little tough to get noticed (unless you're Shelly Brown). That is where the blog party comes in. Rachael is calling it a "Campaign", Tristi Pinkston calls hers a "Blog Hop", and Shelly Brown called hers a "Blogfest". Regardless of what they are called, they put together people who want to become part of a bigger writing community. That means people are going to sign up for your blog site and you are going to do the same in return.
Initially, I didn't think this would help me advance my writing career. After all, how did it benefit me to have a bunch of my fellow authors-in-training subscribe to my blog? It struck me as being the literary equivalent to Amway.
I believe (and keep in mind I'm just an author in training) that the advantage that is gained in the early, pre-published segment of your blogging career comes from the increased networking that results. Participating in blogfests and attending writer's conferences will expand your network of resources. Each one will have a unique perspective on writing and the writing business. All of them together will provide a wealth of knowledge that you can draw upon.
Your network of influence extends beyond the obvious following of your fellow authors. All of us know other people that are not part of any given circle of companions. Some of you will know agents, or editors, or have contacts vital to anyone wanting to self-publish. Nor do these connections have to be directly tied-in to publishing. Artists, web-designers, programmers, and even fans who would be willing to serve as Beta Readers for your upcoming novel.
Sometimes working to be a published author can be a lonely endeavour. My immediate and extended family support my decision to write, but they don't really understand it. Gaining a respectable collection of other authors, in the same position as you, can help give you the support you might need to get through a tough spot in your writing. Not only that, it's fun. What can be better than discussing hooks, plot and character development with someone who understands what the terms mean? I can certainly vouch that I've met a couple people through my blogging that I think are great and exchange tweets with them all the time. Hopefully, I will make even more friends with the people that are new to my blog and reading this post now.
Finally, all of us hope that the "pre-published" status that many of us find ourselves in will be a temporary situation. As those in our community of writers advance in their careers they will gain fans of their work. Because of the connection you share with them a certain number of people who follow them will eventually discover you and become your followers too. Think of it as getting in on the ground floor.
I know there are several blogfests going on right now. I am going to provide a couple of links to the ones I know about and see if I can't add buttons for them along the side of my blog. If you can handle participating in multiple blogfests, please do. If you're more time restricted, like me, you can choose one that seems best suited to you.
As a final word, I highly recommend that you participate in a blogfest and get yourself immersed in the writing community.
Tristi Pinkston’s Awesome August Blog Hop
Christine Tyler Spark Blogfest