|Michelle Fayard of Bird's-Eye View|
Pre-published author Michelle Fayard has more than 20 years’ experience as a writer and editor, and her nonfiction articles have been published internationally. She has worked as both a public-relations specialist and a newspaper reporter. A Chicago native who also has called Kansas City, the mid-South and the Gulf Coast home, Michelle lives in Northern California with her husband, Marcelo, and their 12 rescue cats, where she writes historical YAs and nostalgic to quirky PBs.
LBW: When did you begin your online platform building?
I started March of this year, once I realized a former newspaper reporter whose average article was only 15 column inches long really could write something comprised of tens of thousands of words—and fictionalized words at that. (Although some would rightly say news journalists engage in fictionalizing all the time!)
LBW: What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?
My goal is that my blog always will be more about and for my followers than about and for me. To that end I run book reviews and author interviews on alternating Tuesdays/Thursdays and have a new Books by Blogging Friends page, which includes a mini review as well as links for more information. On alternating Thursdays I run guest posts by other bloggers, and on the alternating Tuesdays I run what I call Bird’s Words, a series of writing and social media tips.
LBW: How have you built your followers? What have you done that has been the most successful? What have you done that has failed?
Whenever someone leaves a comment on one of my posts—whether it’s on my blog or a blog I’m guest posting on—or follows/subscribes to my blog, I write a personalized reply then send an e-mail message letting that person know they have a response to their comment. I also follow their blog and leave comments on their posts. As I’m following these blogs and the blogger mentions one of their favorite friends, I try to comment on and start following that blog as well. I want people to know that their comments are more than just a number on a counter; they are the life and soul of my—and any—blog. I also try to have blog content that will attract and retain bloggers I haven’t gotten a chance to meet yet. So far, both methods have been equally successful.
LBW: What else should we know about you?
I am grateful for all the years I spent in the newsroom working with incredibly gifted writers and editors who challenged me to ask questions and love listening to the answers then sharing what I learned with others in an inspirational way.
LBW: Any additional advice for our readers?
From adversity comes strength. Never stop believing in yourself. If you’ve ever asked whether you should keep on keeping on, ask yourself which would hurt worse: The pain of rejection or the pain from denying your muse? And, as my mom says, housework done properly will kill you. Get out there and be creative instead; it’s cheaper than paying a psychiatrist. Amen to that!