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Growing Your Audience

This is a subject many have brought up. I guess… the first thing people do, when they visit my blog, is check out the subscriber count. And a four-digit number is pretty big for most blogs. However, that number doesn’t actually equate to active readers. Having gained a following over time, I cannot confidently say that everyone reads. People come, people go – some stay and lurk – and I don’t have control over my audience. But, I can most certainly grow it. How? Well…

#1 Know Your Audience

The first thing you have to ask yourself is ‘who’ – who’s your audience? Is your audience children, potterheads, Japanese, fitness junkies – who are the people you want reading your blog? This is one of the most important questions you’ll have to ask. Establishing your target audience is of top priority, whether you’re running a blog or writing a book. It’s crucial, because the people who read matter as much as the content you publish. If one is without the other, your blog will just be your blog.

#2 Find Your Audience

Now that you know your audience, the next step is to find them. When I first started this blog, I went on a hunt for readers. Since my initial target audience was potterheads, I scoured the internet for Harry Potter related blogposts. Once found, I’d read them and leave an opinion in the comment section. Doing so helped me build an initial following of Harry Potter fans, who read and supported my fan fictions.

This isn’t something I do anymore – with the amount of writing I need to get done, I don’t have the time to go on a manhunt. However, I can safely say that this is the quickest way to grow your audience. You have to first go to people, before people come to you.

#3 Study Your Audience

Do you know your audience? Yes. Have you found them? Some. Great! Now study them.

Your blog will evolve over time, and along with it… your audience. As mentioned above, you have no control over who reads your blog. You cannot beg readers to stay, nor can you shoo them away (even if you wanted to). They have their own desires – their own needs and wants. So how do you keep them engaged? You study them.

Head over to your stats page and you’ll know where your readers are coming from, and which post grabs their attention. Put two and two together, and you’ll learn what your readers are looking for – you’ll discover what piques their interest. But of course, we don’t just blog for our readers. We blog for our own personal reasons too. And with that said, we’re not obligated to accommodate to their wants. However, knowing what they want, will help you find a middle ground – where you can meet your need, while meeting theirs.

Growing your audience takes time – some people take longer, some people take shorter. So build your empire at your own pace. You’re not in a competition with that other blog. You don’t need a million subscribers by midnight. Racing against a non-existent clock will only result in a burnout. And you don’t want to risk your passion for a follower count that isn’t constant. Just do what you can, while focusing on what’s important: your craft.

At the end of the day, your craft is more powerful than your comment on Draco Malfoy’s hair. Your craft is what keeps people reading. Your craft is you. And the worst thing you can do, is lose yourself in your quest for numbers.

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Posted by on April 27, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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Does Blogging Help?

doesblogginghelp

If you’ve been on the blogosphere for a while, you’ve probably asked yourself this question. Heck, if you’re new, you’ve probably asked this question as well. More so if you’re a creative individual who’ve been told over and over again that blogging will help in your pursuits. And even more so if you’re a writer, as it’s been advised and advocated by writers everywhere.

Well today, I just want to tell you that blogging does help. This is my fifth year on WordPress and I wouldn’t have stuck around if it didn’t. So as a personal testimony (and hopefully as an encouragement for you to keep on blogging), I’ll share how blogging has helped me over the years.

*These lessons are what I learnt as a writer, but I’m sure they’re applicable to any form of creative work.

#1 Becoming A Serious Writer

You know what they say: if you want to be a serious writer, you gotta have a blog. Well, let’s just say I started blogging without this in mind. In fact, I started this blog for two reasons. One: to post the first chapter of my first novel, and two: to deal with my Post Potter Depression (PPD is real, guys).

If you’ve been here since the very beginning, you’ll know that all I wrote back then were Harry Potter fan fictions. It was my first time diving into the fanfic world and I was a complete newbie. But because I was upset Harry Potter was officially over, I needed to write to make myself feel better. And while I wrote, I was taught to take writing seriously.

Back in my fan fictions days, i had a habit of not capitalizing my ‘i’s’. It was me being a lazy writer and i was awakened by the fact through the comments i received on my stories. After the revelation, I began taking writing a little more seriously and started capitalizing. It wasn’t so hard holding down SHIFT, to be honest. But if it weren’t for those comments, i would still be typing like this.

Those early days of writing snapped me out of my delusion of being a good enough writer and forced me to see how naive and immature I was. Simply put, blogging forced me to grow up.

#2 Becoming A Better Writer

The desire to become better naturally came after deciding to take writing seriously. Blogging itself helped with the process.

The comments I received during my fan fiction days kickstarted this learning journey. With more people reading my stories and more comments pouring in, I knew I needed to improve. So I took every advice and polished my works as best as I could. When I ultimately transitioned to posting original works, I paid closer attention to my writing style and attempted different genres.

I wanted to be a better writer for myself and for you. And because of this blog and its readers, I’ll always endeavour to outdo myself and be the best writer I can be. Without this platform, I wouldn’t put much effort into writing. And without the much needed practice, I wouldn’t have improved over the years (or at least, I’d like to think I’ve improved. Haha!).

#3 Accepting Criticism

Oh, how we hate it when a stranger trashes our precious piece of work. What do they know, right? Sadly that’s reality, and it isn’t something we can escape.

I’ve had my fair share of criticisms – some harsh, some kind, some insulting, some gentle – and they all started on this blog. Though I must say, bloggers are generally nice. There is rarely any hate on the blogosphere, except for a tactless few. Dealing with different comments taught me to accept that there’s still room for improvement, that not everyone will like what I write, and that some people should be forgiven. It has taught me to embrace constructive and thoughtful criticism, and ignore those that leave nothing but heartache.

Unfortunately, this lesson has yet to end (and I doubt it ever will). There are times where I still struggle in facing harsh reviews on Goodreads, but my blog has prepped me in advance and for that I’m grateful.

#4 Believing In Myself

I won’t lie, I still doubt myself these days. But when I receive personal emails and read wonderful comments, I’m encouraged. Those words are like nitro to a car running dry. And without the faith of readers I’ve never met, I wouldn’t have shifted gears and started writing and posting original stories.

It it because of you that I braved myself and put up my own short stories and blog series’. It is because of you I stopped fearing being plagiarized (as though my writing was so awesome to begin with) and hit publish. It was because of you I stepped out of my comfort zone and attempted different genres.

The shift from fan fiction to original works was the biggest move I made on this blog. I was nervous because the readers then were mostly subscribed for my fan fictions. There was a probability that many would unsubscribe when I made the switch. Thankfully, no one did. And that itself made me believe in myself.

Yes, I still have doubtful days. Yes, I still question if I have what it takes. But your emails, comments, likes, and reblogs, have the power to turn those days around. Don’t think your comments are worthless. Your comments mean a lot to me and they make a big difference in this writing journey. So… would you like to leave a comment now? Oh, please do!

#5 Receiving Support

When I started the crowd-funding campaign for The Battle for Oz in October 2014 (wow, time really flies), I reached out to you on this platform. Though not everyone responded, some of you did. Now if you didn’t respond, please know I don’t hate you. I was a nobody… I still am. And I didn’t expect to receive an overwhelming support. But to the few that responded, supported the project, shared it with your family and friends, gave a shout out on your own blog, I am extremely grateful.

If it weren’t for this blog and the readers who were willing to back an unknown writer, The Battle for Oz wouldn’t be published. I’m hoping that one day, should I attempt another crowd-funding campaign, more of you would be onboard. Still, all the support I’ve received up to now has been a blessing. And I’m very thankful to have you as my reader.

Well, there you have it… my testimony of how blogging has helped me.

The biggest challenge for every blogger is the discipline to be consistent. It’s my challenge as well. Sometimes, I wish I could skip a week with a lame excuse. But knowing that blogging, even when I don’t feel like it, is helping me in my writing journey, I keep at it. So if you’ve lost the mood to blog or you’re growing tired of having to blog, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t give up so quickly. Blogging is the kind of activity that takes time before you see its fruits, so just be extra patient.

Now, for some quick shameless plugging: if you have no idea what to blog about, you can join my 3 Words 1 Story writing challenge. This once a month prompt should be able to help you produce at least one post a month. There are no rules and it’s fun. Go check it out! Okay, shameless plugging over.

I hope this post has been somewhat encouraging. I’m an advocate of blogging, not because it gives you a web presence, helps you reach out to fans, and all those things people say – which are true – to help you grow your business, but because blogging helps you polish your craft and gives you the courage to be better in it. You can do it for the business, but you should also do it for yourself.

As I like to say, always blog for YOU!

 
47 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2016 in Writing Journey

 

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A New Year, A New Journey

2015 has been good.

It was a year I self-published my novella, Dr. Slubgob’s Letters, and crowd-published my novel, The Battle for Oz. It was a year I started to earn royalties… for the first time in my authoring career! And a year I pulled through The Clubhouse series. 2015 was also a year I finished the first book of my first trilogy. It’s safe to say, I wrote a lot this year.

So what’s up for 2016?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I don’t know where my authoring career would go in 2016. I don’t know if there would be a 2nd print run of The Battle for Oz. I don’t know if The Slave Prince will be a success on Inkshares. And I don’t know if I should also crowd-fund the first book of my trilogy. But what I do know is the change I want to incorporate on this blog.

Blogging in 2015 was slow. The growth in readership wasn’t large. But that isn’t what’s bothering me. To be honest, the interaction with you is what I’ve missed throughout 2015. So for 2016, I intend to change things up.

Being that The Clubhouse series has to finish (as I don’t like leaving stories hanging), I’ll be posting a new chapter every fortnightly in 2016. In the weeks in between those chapters, I’ll either post short stories, talk about my experiences, voice opinions, and maybe share personal tips and tricks – all under the sun of writing and fiction. I hope that this variety will get you responding again. I won’t deny, it’s been lonely having no one to talk to. And I’ve thoroughly missed you.

Do I sound like a clingy ex? We haven’t broken up yet, have we? Oh, no, we haven’t. If you’re still here, we haven’t. So let’s rekindle this love affair. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, do let me know. Having a livelier blog is my goal for 2016. Speak up if you have something to say, I’m all ears! If you don’t like commenting, because it’s not your thing, my inbox is always open to emails and I check it everyday.

With that being said, I just want to add a thank you for your faithful following of my blog. I know I didn’t do much in 2015, but I’ll make sure 2016 is better. Thank you for staying on board in this slow current and thank you for the constant support. Please remain seated because the ride isn’t over.

Cheers to a Happy New Year, my dear reader. May your 2016 be filled with lots of adventure and fantastical experiences. I hope it would be a great year for you, as I hope it would also be for me. Let’s have a memorable year together! *cue imaginary fireworks*

 
12 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Others

 

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2014 Annual Report by Monkeys

My blog has been viewed in 126 countries! That’s more than half of the world! More importantly, I could not have done it without you. So thank you, for being a part of my blogging experience 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2014 in Others

 

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4200 Questions

4200

4200 is not just the number of random questions I hope to answer in this post, it is also the number of subscribers I’ve recently hit!

No, no, I’m not answering 4200 questions in this post. I probably scared you there. This post wont take up much of your time, so I’ll just do 10 questions… Ok?

BUT before I get to that, I just wanna say a big thank you to all of my subscribers 🙂 You guys are amazing! I love replying to your comments, reading your emails, and seeing the likes I get from you. Those little gestures and words go a long way without you realizing it, and I’m always excited whenever I publish a post. I constantly look forward to sharing my works because you have all been a great encouragement. So thank you for simply being here. That is all that matters to me 🙂

Now, on to the 4200 questions. Did I say 10? Nah, 4200 seems fun! I shall call this the 4200 Random Question Tag. You can do it too if you want!

#1 Would you rather answer questions or ask them?

Answer. Though I tend to think too long before I answer.

#2 What is the best way of wasting time?

Binge watching TV series or dramas or The Ellen Show.

#3 If you could invent something, what would it be?

The fastest mode of transportation in the world; portals.

#4 Which successful company would you like to own?

Google.

#5 What’s your number one rule in life?

Never stop believing in your dreams.

#6 Brains, beauty, or brawn?

Brains.

#7 What is one thing you would want in your dream house?

A library. Even if I don’t manage to read all the books in it.

#8 Given the chance, would you want to be immortal?

No.

#9 If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?

Lucy Pevensie. She was the closest to Aslan.

#4200 What is your attitude towards cannibals?

Cautiousness. You can’t reason with cannibals, so it’s best to stay out of their radar.

There you have it, I answered up to question number 4200! I hope my answers tell you more about me. If you’re doing this tag, be sure to leave a comment below. I want to know what your answers are too 🙂

Anyway, that is all for this post. I want to keep it short and sweet, so I’ll end with another big thank you for all your support. You guys are awesome and amazing, and I’m so blessed to have all of you 🙂

I hope you have a good week and may the weekend make an early arrival!

(*Current blog post schedule: A post every Thursday alternating between an original short story and a Harry Potter fan fic novel.)

 
16 Comments

Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Others

 

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Vlogless 4k

vlogless4k

I usually shoot a vlog every time I gain one thousand new subscribers, but this round I decided to scrape the idea. Mainly because I know most of you rather read than watch… at least I think you do, base on the view count on my previous vlogs. That being said, a vlogless 4k ‘thank you’ post does not make this any less special 🙂

I first started this blog mid-end of 2011. I did not have a goal of sharing my works on my blog and I can’t even remember why I started it. I never thought it could grow and I’m rather surprised at my consistency. It’s safe to say I’ve published a post every Thursday without fail (except for when I was on vacation), and I always try my best to deliver because I know there will be someone reading… you.

You. The person I’ve never met. The person I’ve spoken to only through the internet. The person who saw me as time worthy. The person I want to say thank you to.

So thank you. Thank you for the mornings you read my stories, for the afternoons you wrote comments, for the evenings you liked my posts, and for the nights you faithfully stuck around. Thank you for the days you left me encouragements, and for the months you gave my books a shot. Thank you for simply being here.

I am very blessed to have you!

For all those who are new or have been blogging for years, I just want to encourage you to keep going. Keep going and be proud of your little space on the world wide web. Don’t ever compare your followers, but imagine them in a room ready to listen to your words. That should make you smile 🙂

There will always be blogs bigger than yours in the blogosphere, I’ve come across many who are newer yet bigger than mine too. But when I imagine four thousand people in a single room… it blows my mind. I’ve been imagining since I hit fifty subscribers, and back then it blew my mind too!

Blogs will always come in different shapes and sizes, and with each shape and size is a platform to inspire and touch lives. I hope I have inspired you and I hope you inspire others. Let’s continue to do this together!

To keep this ‘thank you’ post short and sweet, I shall end with a quote.

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe. ~Anatole France

Have a great weekend, you!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 28, 2014 in Others

 

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2014, Here I Come!

WordPress hires monkeys. Yes, they do. And these monkeys have prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 25,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I love reading the annual reports, as I get to look back and see what I have accomplished on my blog throughout the year. On top of that, I like to see which country visits my blog the most. This year, my own country has taken India’s spot in the top three! Honestly, I’m rather surprise.

Comparing from last year, I have 6000 more views and 14 extra countries viewing my blog. Hey, that is a significant improvement 🙂 And lets not forget, I have you guys to thank for.

Anyway, since I’m publishing this to share my joy with you guys, I have a few updates:

#1 I’m working on Raindrops. I will be sending it to be proofread soon, and will be checking on my artist to see when she can send me the cover design. I’m aiming March for its release and I’ll probably put it up for free.

#2 The Battle For Oz: Exitium (book 1) will also be released this year. I will work on the draft in January and February while the artist works on the artworks. Hopefully by June, we can release it.

#3 The Slave Prince is my second novel, which I wrote in January, 2013. I have an artist working on the art since last year, but I haven’t gotten the time to really go through my writing. I’m aiming October – December 2014 for its release, since I have my hands full at the moment.

Yes, I will be releasing 3 books this year and I am excited! I definitely have my work cut out for me. Oh, busy, busy times ahead!

Well, I just wanna end by saying thank you once again. 2013 was great, and part of it was because of you guys. Knowing I’m going somewhere with all your support makes me happy. I’m definitely looking forward to another year of fun and adventure with all of you!

Happy New Year guys!

 
19 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Others

 

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