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Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Art of Blogging (it is an art, isn’t it?) with YA author Elana Johnson

Blogging is an interesting world, one I enjoy visiting as often as I can.  Most of you who read this blog are bloggers yourself.  I’m a huge fan of your blogs.  There are down right cool.
I love Young Adult Author Elana Johnson’s blog.   
Why?   First of all, she’s hilarious. Second, she always has something to give away. I’m not talking esty.  I’m talking knowledge.
This week she’s featuring tips on how to grow your blog readership.  Now that’s something most of us want to know.
She writes:

1. "To have friends, you must first be a friend." This philosophy (which I'm sure your mother said to you as often as mine did to me) applies to blogging. If you want more followers, follow more blogs. 9 times out of 10, you'll get a follow-back.

2. "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Yeah, we're taking a big of wisdom from Disney today. If you leave sincere comments, you'll most likely get the attention of the blog author. They're most likely go to your blog. They'll most likely follow you.

3. "The pen is mightier than the sword." Dude, if you want more people to follow you, give them what they want. Politicians tell the voters what they want to hear. Popular kids flatter the right people. So it is with bloggers. Give people good content, and they'll be yours forever. (And, uh, for the official record, the same is true in writing. Give readers a gripping story, and they'll read your books forever--and tell their friends.)

4. "If you build it, they will come." Let's face it. Blogging is WORK. If you think followers are just going to fall into your lap, you're wrong. If you think you're going to get a buttload of comments overnight, you're wrong.

It. Takes. Work.

*cue personal story*

It's February 1, 2010. I'm at Olive Garden, ordering desserts for myself and six or seven of my writing buddies. My treat. Why? Because I've just hit 500 followers on my blog.
I have over 1400 now. Just a short seven months later. That's a whole lotta followers in seven months. I felt like it took me half my life and liver to get 500. Why?

Because I worked my freaking tail off. And I didn't stop. All through the winter and spring, I worked. I left comment after comment. I followed blog after blog. I built it. They came. I'm still building it, day by day, post by post, email by email. I don't anticipate stopping.

Building a better blog is work.

*end personal story*

So there you have it. Each day this week, I'm going to leave you with my dirtiest, darkest secret for how I've built my blog into an online platform. I'd tell you not to tell anyone, but hey, I'm posting it on my blog! Tweet away!

Thanks, Elana.  Great tips and personal story.  Seriously, these ideas work.  If only I had more time in the day.
It’s difficult to balance writing with mothering with EBay with shopping with making chocolate chip cookies with nursing with kid’s homework, but sharing comments and becoming a follower of others blogs is the best way to get followers.  I also believe in the philosophy of sharing.  If I have an idea, story, photo, etc. that might help, brighten, enlighten or just plain make someone laugh, I'll write it on my blog and most likely read something charming on your blog too.  If you are not a follower of My Dear Trash, please become one.  That will give me the opportunity to visit you at your blogspot.  Thank you for sharing part of your day with me.  Keep up the great work and thanks again, Elana.
Click here to read more cool tips Elana's writes about on her blog.


  1. Thanks for the tips - Elana is a fab blogger, and she definitely knows what she's talking about! :) Thanks!

  2. Thanks for bringing this to our attention! Absolutely on target! Great blogger.

  3. Thank you! I'm honored you liked the post. And yes, we all need more time in our lives, no? I know I do. :)

  4. Great post. Wonderful to be reminded about common courtesy in blogging. Hugs, Marty

  5. Elana is just plain awesome isn't she? Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday :) I find it really challenging to manage my time wisely, blogging seems to be hit or miss for me. I guess that's just it, you do what you can and only that :)

  6. Thanks. I'll definitely go visit her blog.

    And I'm glad I found yours!


  7. What great advice. Now I'm going to have to visit Elana and see what other wisdom she has to share. Thanks for the tip.
    Peace & Love,

  8. Thanks for following and commenting on my blog. I guess we're putting Elana's advice to work! :)

  9. Thanks for checking out my post about violet :-)

    Good blogging tips from Elana. Another way to get your blog out there is to participate in weekly blog parties.

    Blogging is definitely a lot of work, but it's also really rewarding :-) I've made a lot of friends, both virtual and real, through my blog :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  10. This is wonderful, and you're right, it is very difficult to be a mother and do the whole blog thing. I often find myself struggling with getting enough writing time and kids and cleaning and driving around, plus the blog. I often feel guilty about it. Good to know I'm not alone!

  11. Hi there laura,
    great post and i to love bargins. Thank you for popping a long to I see you see, and thank you for the follow.

    see you next post! Hope that you guys are having a great week so far!

  12. Elana is the QUEEN! She has so many good things to offer bloggers and writers. What a girl!

    You have plenty to offer too, Laura. Your blog is amazing! I'm intrigued by all the great garage sale stuff you find and okay... a little jealous too. :o) We don't have near the cool places to look for treasures in Flagstaff as you do in Mesa!

    Have a great night!

  13. Hi Laura, thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I popped over from there and whata delight. I love Elana's blog, but had missed this particular post.

    I'll be back! that rebel, Olivia
    Ooo, I just noticed you do garage sales, etc. I recently discovered the joys of thrift stores!

  14. What a great post! And a great list of blogging do's. I was nodding my head at each point. Elana is one of my favorite bloggers. She's an inspiration!

    Thanks for connecting with me on Twitter and now Blogger. I've been waist-deep in my WiP this week, but taking time this morning to get all my networks up-to-date. Looking forward to following you!

    You have a beautiful blog, btw!!

  15. I'm new to your blog! Thanks for commenting over at my contest today. I'm pleased to meet you!

    And yes, Elana is made of awesome. I learn from her blog every day. Thank you both!

  16. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I also follow Elana's blog and have been trying to follow her advice this week by getting to some new blogs. You seem to have some interesting and helpful posts. I look forward to reading more.

  17. Thanks for dropping by. Elana is great and has much wisdom to offer.

  18. Elana certainly gave all of us bloggers a heaping of invaluable knowledge this week. And you know she's right considering her following and all that. She's an awesome woman, that's for sure.

    It's just hard to find the time in the day to work at building a following.

    Nice site.:D