Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Savvy Sensation: Lola Sharp

I'm getting this up a little late this morning so I'll be brief in my introduction. Today's Savvy Sensation is Lola Sharp of Sharp Pen/Dull Sword (awesome title, huh?). Her blog is beautiful and awesome and if you haven't ever stopped by there, I encourage you. Now, here's Lola:

Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?
I write for adults and YA. I'm currently working on a contemp. YA with magical realism. I generally write with a slant towards literary-style prose. 

Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)? Blog: Twitter: @LolaSharp GoodReads: LolaSharp.

When did you begin your online platform building? 
I've been blogging for about 18 months and on Twitter for about 8 months. Neither were to build a platform, but just to connect with other writers and readers. When I started I didn't even know what the term 'platform' meant. I've never been about the numbers. Honestly, it's about the friendships and connection. I wish I had more time to connect more often.

What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)? 
Hehe. 'Message', that is a good one. ;) I 'pants' my way through life, writing and blogging. I have never had a blog schedule, I've never had a topic plan. Sometimes I blog about what's going on in my life, sometimes I post an essay or short story, sometimes I talk about books I've read and loved recently, sometimes I talk about craft and writing or conferences or fellow writers. Sometimes I do all of the above in one post. I have no system and I don't pre-write posts. (I should, but I just don't have the time.) Basically, I'm a study in what not to do, but it works for me.

How have you built your followers? What have you done that has been the most successful? 
Honestly, I have no idea. I will say that I sincerely appreciate and adore every visitor, every follower and every comment and I try to visit them all back and follow back. Because, really, it is all about the connection, the relationships. I truly care about every writer, every person I've met in this amazing online community. I think what I've done best is to get out there and visit other blogs and leave comments about their posts, connect with them. Early on that was a lot easier. The more friends you make, the harder it is to get around. I try my best to get around to everyone else's blogs, because I love reading everyone's posts and catching up on their lives and their writing process and progress. But, it's an impossible task to visit everyone every week. (I think that's why I love Twitter so much...I can pop on, say hello to everyone, connect, and then pop off. It's more time effective. But, it's different.)

What have you done that has failed? 
Well, I don't blog or tweet for 'success', so I don't fully understand this question. BUT, I will say, I do feel like a failure because I never have enough time to visit everyone. *sigh* Also, if you're talking numbers, strangely, I get the least comments when I do author interviews/blog tours to support other authors. But I don't consider that a 'fail', because I love supporting my friends and their books.

How much time do you spend blogging? Reading blogs? Commenting on blogs? 
I spend very little time on my blog or my posts, but I try to spend an hour or two each day visiting everyone else's blogs. It really does eat into my writing and family time, but I miss everyone and want to know how they're doing, so I try my best. Sadly, some days I'm so busy I don't have time for more than one or two visits and those are on my phone while in line  or in a waiting room/lobby. Again, this is why I love Twitter, because I can say hello to so many and respond to my @mentions so much faster. And it's easier to tweet on my phone than leave comments on blogs (especially blogs with word verifications on their comments) 

Any additional advice for our readers? 
Make sure your Followers widget is near the top off your blog, thus making it easy and fast to find so we can click and follow.

Oh, yes, I agree: make it easy for people to follow you (but also have your profile up top so people know who you are, exactly the way your blog is). Thank you so much for sharing, Lola! You might not be a showgirl but you're showstopping (yes, I went there :) And you are ever savvy and sensational. Thanks, Lola!


Lola Sharp said...

Awww, thanks for being such a love bug. <3

I hope you're having a marvelous weekend. :)

Bonnie Way said...

I liked what Lola said about "it is all about the connection, the relationships. I truly care about every writer, every person I've met in this amazing online community." That's how I feel! I also got into blogging just to connect with other readers and writers, not to build a platform, and I'm just amazed at how many cool people I've met through my blog. :)

LauraBarnes said...

That's so true. I had no idea that would be the case when I started blogging, but it's the best part!

LauraBarnes said...

Thanks again, Lola! You're the best!

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