Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest Post by Melissa Maygrove

 
Please welcome Melissa Maygrove!
 
Livia invited me to guest post and tell you, in 1000 words or less, about my blogging experiences. Hopefully, I won’t bore you or scare the word limit to death. Here goes...
 
A couple of years ago, I decided to write a book. Not long after that, I realized I needed some critique partners if I was to be successful. As fate would have it, I met the wonderful and talented (and soon-to-be-published!) Carrie Butler online, and we hit it off. By then, I knew I would eventually have to dive into the social media pool, but—being the shy person I am (no, really...I am)—I avoided it like the plague. Of course, my sadistic new friend had other ideas.
 
Carrie emailed me one day and coerced encouraged me to build a blog with her help. She was taking part in a blogfest aimed at helping new and struggling bloggers (and out of all the people she could have chosen, she chose me!). Once I realized she was serious and what that meant for me, I literally had fight or flight heart palpitations—the key word there being flight. But, also being the logical person I am, I knew that between Carrie’s offer (and her summa cum laude degree in marketing) and Rachael Harrie’s Platform Building Campaign, I’d found the perfect storm. No matter how badly I wanted to turn and flee in the other direction, I’d be a fool to say no.
 
Carrie helped me build my blog, designing many of the page elements herself and even getting on instant chat and ‘talking’ me through each step. And she was there for me every single time I needed encouragement and advice. It worked, too. I ended up with a beautiful blog and gained 60 followers in a month!
 
...only to lose them the morning of the big reveal.
 
When Google discontinued GFC for NON-blogger blogs, the Follower gadget on my BLOGGER blog broke, taking all my lovely followers with it. A flurry of emails flew behind the scenes as Carrie and I tried to fix it, but our efforts were in vain. Was I disappointed? You bet. I had busted tail, positioning myself for a calculated social media launch just in time for some serious publicity, and the most popular way to follow my blog had disappeared.
 
We went ahead with the March 1st reveal, and I kept blogging, trying from time to time to reinstall Follower. Still nothing. 
 
In July, I finally gave up and built a new blog. The blog move was a colossal, nerve-wracking undertaking, but it was successful. Since then, I’ve gained back my 60 followers and more.
 
As far as what I post on my blog and when, that has evolved. I knew I wanted to help new writers, but I didn’t have a clear direction in the beginning. I now run a series on Mondays called Grammar Police Monday, in which I address various grammar issues. My GPM series is apparently more popular than I first realized. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, visitors have been leaving some very kind comments lately, warming my heart and showing me that what I post really is important to people.
Moral of that story: If you like something a blogger does, tell them.
 
Wednesdays are my regular posting day for everything else, although I occasionally vary the schedule, merge topics, or post a third time for the week. I’m open to hosting blog hops, cover reveals, book tours and guest posts, and I’m a not only a crusader for grammar and good writing, but also for CAPTCHA-FREE blogging. I even have little blog buttons you can snag.
 
As for other venues, I joined Twitter shortly after I started blogging and just past 1100 followers. I also started a Romance group on Kristen Lamb’s WANA Tribe.
 
I don’t have any earth shattering advice when it comes to blogging or social media. Just like many of you, I’m still learning. I simply post the kinds of things I’d like to read and treat others as I like to be treated. I pay return visits and leave positive comments for other bloggers. I thank each new Twitter follower with a personal tweet and reply with a thank-you for RTs—stuff like that—and so far, what I’m doing seems to be working.
 
Thanks for having me, Livia.
 
Thank you Melissa!

Don't forget about Insecure Writer's Support Group is coming up on Wednesday! See you all at our monthly meeting!

39 comments:

  1. Thanks again for having me on the blog today, Livia. :)

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  2. Hi Livia-- I enjoy your blog very much and am a frequent flier at Melissa's great blog as well. It's so wonderful to have writer contacts! I am in deep-thought about my blog and the purpose of it and if it should be the sole purpose-- even wrote about that today in my entry. I appreciate your thoughts on the process, Melissa.

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  3. Enjoyed the post! Blogging is just a great way to connect with so many people!

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  4. Bummer you lost the gadget right before the reveal! Glad Carrie talked you into blogging though. Best group of people around.
    Speaking of followers, you are one away from a hundred, Livia!

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    1. Ha! It was NOT a fun day. :\
      Yup. Agree about the group. ;)

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  5. Ohh... Melissa, you ROCK. And so does Carrie! And so do you, Livia. Great post. :D

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  6. I enjoyed reading about your experiences. I'll have to check out your blog.

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  7. Did I just read 'sadistic'? *grins* Thanks for the shout-out, Melissa! You've made the blogging world a much better place. :)

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  8. Hey,

    One of my favorite peeps "Live at Livia's" - suhweet:)

    Melissa, you are such a pay-it-forward type of blogger and I so appreciate all your efforts to help me grow (I love GPM :)

    It was nice to hear a little of your "backstory" and kudos to you (and Carrie:) for getting over that followers hump.. I would have lost my hair.

    Oh.

    PS...Thanks, Livia, for having MM over. Great choice :)

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  9. Yes, Carrie is a marketing and techno-genius! That stinks about your GFC issues. I was worried when I heard they were going to discontinue it, but I haven't lost it...yet! I hope I don't I'm one away from 500. As for blogging, it can be a pain in the ass sometimes, but it will bring you closer to those of us in the writing community, who will help you on your writing journey. I know I could NEVER have done it without them, including you. Your content is exactly as it should be. Know you're heading in the right directions and doing all the things you should be doing.

    And HI Livia!! *waves*

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  10. After seven-plus years, I can't imagine moving my blog now.

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    1. No doubt! The *fun* part was fiddling with the addresses once it was done to get the old one back. :)

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  11. Yay for CAPTCHA-Free blogging! There's a blogfest going on for that, Melissa. I'm psyched to be a part of it. :)

    Great interview. *waves to Livia*

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  12. Hmmm, I do seem to remember when you lost your follower button. Very nice story of your evolving blog, Melissa. When I decided to split my Run Gwen, Run! blog from my author blog, I had to rebuild my following again. I'm still not quite there, but I'm glad I did it.

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  13. What a nightmare! Well, I know who you are, so your follower bust didn't hurt you too much. ;)

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  14. How awful! I'm glad you were able to successfully gain those followers back. Sounds like some dedicated fans :)

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    1. Yes, they are. The writing community is awesome! :)

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  15. I'm glad Carrie was there for you and got you blogging, it's been a pleasure getting to know you. (:

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    1. Thank you, Elise. I'm glad I met you, too. :)

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  16. Yay for Carrie! She's a wonderful blogger. I'm glad she helped you, Melissa!

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  17. Oh my - I can't imagine how sick Melissa must've felt after losing all her followers! Good for her for not giving up and building back an even stronger following.

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    1. I was freakin' out. hahaha In the end, it turned out okay. I just wish I'd made the blog move sooner.

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  18. I truly enjoy your blog and I'm glad you didn't let your set back stop you. Keep blogging Melissa!

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    1. Thanks, Natasha. I feel the same about you and your blog. :)

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  19. Oh wow, it's good read about how you started and developed your social media presence. Yay for having that kind of wonderful support :)

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    1. I give Carrie grief all the time, but I'm blessed to have her. :)

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  20. What a great story! I was also reluctant to start a blog - I feel many of us are...and then somewhere along the line we realize how fabulous and supportive this community is.

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    1. Very true! Thanks for the visit. :)

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