Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Misha Gericke


Today's Savvy Sensation comes from South Africa. Misha Gericke is very entertaining, very friendly, and an ambitious writer. Take it away Misha...

LB: Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?

Hi all! I'm Misha. It's been about four hours since I've last revised. Yep, I'm currently revising my main Work in Progress, a YA Fantasy epic called Doorways. I'm finally past 300/500 pages on the first round.

LB: Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?

You can find me at My First Book or follow my tweets @MishaMFB. In fact, I'd love you to. 

LB: When did you begin your online platform building?

I started on 2 August, 2010 after many months of contemplating the move. I put it off for months until one day I impulsively decided to start. After that, though, I always tried to blog as smart as possible. 

LB: What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?

My First Book is about my experiences with writing Doorways. Because of that it's a combination between a writing blog and my diary. As such, most of what I think or feel go into what I post, because if I'm not honest about who I am, what would be the point of "inviting" people into that part in my life? 

LB: How have you built your followers -
What have you done that has been the most successful?

Well, I can safely say that my ticket to success was putting myself out there. I have 616 followers right now, but I personally follow almost 1400 blogs. Most of the people who followed me were follow-backs, but others came from me making a point of reading their posts and making meaningful comments. Everyone (me included) loves feeling as if what they wrote is actually being read. 

LB: What have you done that has failed?

I was advised to share my blogs on all the social networks I had and at that time it was just Facebook. But I thought that heck, I have about 300 friends. Surely some of them would check out my blog if I posted the link. Uh... no. Unfortunately, Blogger had just released Blogger stats so I could see how few hits I was getting from South Africa (which is where I'm from). So after about two weeks I decided that I'd just have to do it without "friendly" support. One exception is my best friend Theresa, who was also my first follower. 

LB: What else should we know about you?

Ooh lots, but I think that I'll leave you in suspense. Anything you'll ever need to know about me goes up on my blog eventually. One thing I might mention is that I have another blog that isn't strictly about platform building, but rather a diary about me going after my other two big dreams. It's called Taking Charge of My Life.

LB: Any additional advice for our readers?

When it comes to blogging: 1) When people say that blogging is about platform building, they either don't have a clue or they're lying. Blogging is about building relationships with people. 2) Think about your reader. Make your lay-out flow naturally. Remove things like captcha codes that just annoy everyone and serve almost no other valid purpose. 3) Comment a lot, but meaningfully.  

LB: What makes you unique?

The fact that I'm me, of course. ;-) Thanks so much for this fun interview, Laura!

Misha, I truly admire your blog and your philosophies on building an online presence. You are sensationally savvy.  Enjoy your award and feel free to pass it on to others!

23 comments:

Joanna said...

I am in awe that you follow about 1400 blogs, Misha. I also naively expected al my friends to want to follow my blog and be supportive, well, NO, apart from one or two occasional exceptions, this just doesn't happen. Good luck with the rest of the revision, and thanks for the interview, Laura.

PS Misha I spent 6 wonderful months in Muizenberg several years ago!

Misha said...

Hehehe thanks Joanna. It's easy to follow so many blogs, but the relationship building becomes more challenging, because it's like seeing the thinking patterns of hundreds of people. I love Muizenberg and Simon's Town, and you were very close to where I live. I'm just on the other side of False Bay. :-)

Amy said...

Great review Misha! You definitely deserve a savvy sensation award. Your blog was a blessing to find, and I love all your advice and experience that you share. Thank you for being you! :)

Misha said...

Hehehe thanks Amy. I'm glad you enjoy my blog. :-)

Caitlin said...

I also thought that all my friends would jump on following my blog! Definitely not the case. And wow, 1,400 blogs! That's amazing, you manage your time so well, I'm in awe of you.

Misha said...

Hehehe I don't read all of them all the time. I first visit visitors to my blog, then I run through my follower list from first to last for a while. If I still have time after that, I go to the people I follow that don't fall in the about category. And only if I'm really looking for something new, I'll go looking for new blogs. :-)

Terry W. Ervin II said...

I agree that blogging isn't about platform building but interacting and getting to know other folks a bit as they get to know a bit about me. Good post.

Michelle Fayard said...

What a wonderful opportunity to learn more about one of my favorite bloggers. Thank you so much, Misha and Laura.

Misha said...

Thanks Terry. Glad you agree. :-)

Aw thanks Michelle. You're so sweet. Thanks for stopping by!

L'Aussie said...

Hi Misha, long time since you visited me, lol. It's so easy to lose touch isn't it? Well here I am, coming to learn some more about you. Congrats on building so many followers. Not sure all the campaigners would like your 'platform-building' comment but I get you. I like to leave meaningful comments too and I get a thrill when I feel someone has actually read what I've said and not just checked out a few keywords, ha ha.

Now one question - what are 'captcha codes'? Maybe I've got them on my blog and they annoy people?? Now dang it, I'll have to come back here for the answer and I don't usually return once I've left a comment.

All the very best Misha...

Denise

L'Aussie said...

Bad manners, thank you Laura for hosting Misha! D

The Golden Eagle said...

Great interview! :)

I can see your point about platform building. I don't blog to see my follower count go up (though I can't deny I love it when people DO follow), but to interact with other bloggers.

Laura Barnes said...

Thank you all for commenting, and again to Misha for the interview.

L'Aussie - I will also email this to you so you don't have to return (lol!): A captcha is the annoying thing that pops up after you post a comment that says "Enter the words as you see them" and then you have to copy a hard to read word so the computer knows you are a person instead of a spambot. There is a setting on your blog that lets you include it or not. I don't have it and I don't find I get spam so if you can keep it off, I agree with Misha, keep it off! But if you're getting lots of spam, I understand your hesitancy to leave the captcha code on.

Misha said...

Hahaha sorry about that, Denise. I'm a bit naughty about visiting people these days. Still busy with my last subject before my degree. Economics takes a huge chunk out of my blogging and visiting time. But I definitely will stop by soon. :-)

Thanks Golden. Same here, I'm always thrilled when I see a new person followed my blog, but I still enjoy getting to know them more than I do seeing the numbers. :-)

Thanks for having me, Laura!

Laura Barnes said...

LMAO, funny story: I DID have word verification turned on (captcha codes) and didn't know until Misha told me! Thanks so much Misha for telling us all to get rid of it and for making me realize I needed to do it too. I hate those!!!

Rosalind Adam said...

I know how easy it is to get hung up on blog stats [It's the first thing I look at when I log on] but they don't tell us the whole story. I once found a link showing that someone had come to my blog looking for matching toothbrushes and I'd once blogged about children's songs, pink and blue toothbrush being one of them. I have lots of followers who don't visit and lots of visitors who don't comment. It's a strange world that we live in but I wouldn't want to be without it now.

Al said...

Great interview.

Thanks to both of you!

Angela Felsted said...

Misha, this is a wonderful interview. I like that you build your relationships on line, especially when it takes so much time. :)

Good luck with editing your first book.

Libby said...

You follow 1400 blogs! Whoa! :) I think the meaningful comments are very helpful. I don't mind if people don't comment, but I do hate "nice post!". Isn't it weird how few facebook friends ever read your blog? :)

Danyelle L. said...

I *love* what you said about blogging. I think sometimes we get caught up and forget that social networking is about forming relationships first and foremost. :)

M Pax said...

Yes, blogging is more about networking. No one I know in real life reads my blog either. Funny how that works out. :)

Look forward to reading the revised Doorways. It's such a great story.

Samantha Vérant said...

Misha- Same here! Not even my family follows my blog! They should. I write about them! Anyway, you've really gotten yourself out there! Kudos to you!

Samantha Vérant said...

p.s. Hi, Laura! Nice to meet you!

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