Friday, June 26, 2009

The emerging writer's festival, part four.

Hi all,

The Revolution will be Downloaded was the fourth session I attended at the Emerging Writer’s Festival. The spiel for the session suggested I might find out about new writing markets and ways to promote my writing online. The Yarra Room was full with writers eager to learn about new opportunities.

Rachel Hills, a writer, editor, project manager and social commentator who has been publishing online since 1998 spoke first. She suggested using Google Profiles to collate all the online information about yourself. It is a quick summary page of your blogs, websites, and social networking activities which you can direct people to. I have started creating my own simple profile page, which I just linked my Facebook profile to. One suggested way to use the profile page is to put it as a link at the bottom of emails instead of having multiple links to blogs and websites.

Rachel has been blogging for a few years and stressed that you have to blog every day to capture a following. I don’t agree. It depends what you blog about. Literary Agent Nathan Bransford has a substantial following based on two posts a week. I haven’t got the time to read someone’s blog every day, so why should I expect anyone else to read mine everyday. Currently I will glance through the directory of Networked Blogs on Facebook or Myspace blog directory to see if any of the twenty or so blogs I have joined have something really interesting to say in the first sentence. If they don’t, I will skip most of them. I am thinking of dumping one blogger because she blogs three or more times a day and just clutters up my Networked Blogs directory.

Angela Myer, an emerging fiction writer and literary commentator, said you shouldn’t blog because you feel you have to, you have to enjoy it. She recommends enhancing a blog by using all the available media, like video and music. She emphasised that a blog has to have a theme, not be all over the place, and says the best blogs are personal. When I started this blog, its subjects were varied, now it concentrates on writing. I aim to share with readers, most probably other writers, my endeavours to finish writing something that is more than publishable. Once achieved, the blog will shift to my attempts at getting published while still talking about the writing process.

Darren Rowse, the founder and editor of, a Top 50 Blog Globally (as ranked by Technorati) and one of the leading sources on the Web for information about making money from blogs; and James Stuart, an online poet, were the other members of the panel.

Twitter was mentioned as a good promotional tool, so I relented and started my own Twitter account.

The session didn’t really introduce me to anything new. It did give me a few things to think about when blogging and got me experimenting with Twitter and Google Profile.

My next post will hopefully cover a couple of the sessions, including one on pitching.



Sally Odgers said...

I agree about the constant blogging. I don't have time to read from multiple blogs every day, and I have got off several lists because of the constant promotional traffic. ONE excerpt is enough for me to see if a book interests me.

Graham Clements said...

I just read in the Green Guide in Thursday's age that in the year to April 2007 visits to blogs decreased 27% in Australia, while visits to social networking sites increased 16%. It seems other people, like me, are running out of time to read blogs because they spend too much time on facebook.

I have successfully cut down on the amount of time I spend on facebook, but I am spending more time blogging and I have just joined twitter. One of the people interviewed in the Age article reckons twitter is good for plugging his blog, something I am already trying.