LB: Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?
I write children’s books, mostly YA contemporary fantasy. I’ve been writing for about five years. I have a short story “Daisy” included in the 100 Stories for Queensland anthology. This October, my short story “My Moment” will be part of the Tiny Dancer anthology. I’m waiting for the release date of Fang Tales, which will include my vampire short story “Allured”.
LB: Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?
My blog “Substitute Teacher’s Saga” is at http://theresamilstein.blogspot.com
Find me on Facebook: Theresa Brown Milstein
I’m also on Google+: Theresa Milstein
LB: When did you begin your online platform building?
I began blogging in September 2009 because I was about to begin substitute teaching, and I figured the best way to get through it was to vent about each and every painful subbing day. At some point, I wrote more about writing than subbing, and the majority of my followers were writers. It took me a long time to understand platform. I’m slow.
LB: What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?
My blog is about writing, teaching, and life in general. If something happens to me and I think, I should write about this, I turn it into a blog post. I rarely do interviews of book reviews. Whether I’m being humorous or dealing with something hard, I try to write from the heart.
LB: How have you built your followers –
What have you done that has been the most successful?
My follower count was pretty low until Nicola Morgan had a Blog Birthday in January 2010. We were invited to link our blogs and tell a little about them. Then we were supposed to comment and follow at least 5 other blogs. Some of the followers I gained back then, I now count as friends.
I had my own version of the Blog Birthday with a Halloween Haunting, where I told people to haunt other blogs. There have been a few opportunities like that around the blogosphere. Rachael Harrie http://rachaelharrie.blogspot.com/ periodically has a Writer’s Platform-Building Campaign to get other bloggers together. I think I gained at least 50 more followers from being a part of her last one.
LB: What have you done that has failed?
When I first blogged, I didn’t focus on writers’ blogs. Often, those people didn’t follow me back. It also took me months before I realized my blog wasn’t linked to my profile, so when I followed other blogs, people couldn’t easily find my blog to follow back.
LB: What else should we know about you?
For me, blogging is more than platform. My posts let me express my humor, frustrations, anxieties and accomplishments. I try to maintain a certain amount of privacy, but every once in a while I cross the line. And when I do, the outpouring of support has been uplifting.
LB: Any additional advice for our readers?
Use your blog to build relationships. I’ve found beta readers and friends. I’ve met some of these friends in person. I’ve received invaluable advice. I’ve stumbled upon wonderful opportunities.
It’s a generous community out there, so give as much as you get.