Who are you (what do you write, what are your personal stats)?
I write YA novels involving danger, suspense, and hot make out sessions. I prefer the complexity of novels, which is my way of saying I don’t write short stories and novellas.
Where can we find you online (blog, twitter, facebook, etc.)?
My favorite forms of social media are blogging and tweeting. I’m on Facebook, but I don’t use it very often (for now).
I can be found on my blog, Seeing Creative (www.stinalindenblatt.com) and I’m a member of the Querytracker.net blog team (www.querytracker.blogspot.com).
I enjoy Twitter (www.twitter.com/stinall), but I’m a little lazy when it comes to using it. And it’s too easy to spend time on it instead of writing. I have to make sure I get my priorities straight.
When did you begin your online platform building?
I began blogging in 2008, after hearing that writers should blog. I knew nothing about doing it. I didn’t even follow any blogs at the time. But I borrowed Blogging for Dummies from the library, and read it on the loooooong car ride to visit my in laws that summer. When I got back home, I had a vague idea what I would do: photography tips for teens. It made sense since I wrote YA novels.
Eventually I began to write about other topics too—mostly things relating to writing. Then at some point, I ended up creating photography posts that show a connection between a photography tip and writing (for example, juxtaposition).
What is your message, if any (is your blog about anything specific, for example)?
Mostly I blog about writing, photography, books, and anything publishing related.
How have you built your followers? What have you done that has been the most successful?
At the beginning of last year, someone left a comment on my blog asking how she could follow me. At that point, I had fourteen followers (who occasionally left comments). Turns out when I had changed my blog design, the “follow” button had vanished, and since I didn’t have a follower widget, no one could follow me. So I added both that widget and the ‘subscribe via email’ widget to my blog. I actually have more people following me via email than through the follower widget.
The other thing I did was join forces with a fellow blogger and had a giveaway. It worked wonders. By the time the contest closed two weeks later, I had 200 new followers. This was achieved by checking out the blogs of those who left comments on blogs I followed. I then followed the blogs that interested me and commented on them. I’m now friends with a lot of the bloggers from those early days—including the winners of my blog giveaway.
What have you done that has failed?
I guess that would go back to when I started blogging. I didn’t check out other people’s blogs or leave comments. But this was when I didn’t have much time in my day (all my kids were young at the time), so what little time I did have was spent working on my novel. Otherwise, nothing has really failed. Even when I go away on vacation, I come back to new followers. It’s really cool. *grins*
How much time do you spend blogging? Reading blogs? Commenting on blogs?
This is the scary part. I read blogs and comment Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 am (before my kids get up for school). I then spend from 5:00 to 6:00 pm (and sometimes later in the evening) responding to the comments left on my blog during the day (I try to comment back on everyone’s blog). Because of all the blogging love I’m getting (between 30-60+ comments per post), I often have to catch up on comments left during the night. I don’t mind the time spent. I love getting to know everyone, and I find the greatest posts this way for my Cool Links Friday.
What else should we know about you?
I spent eight years as a pharmaceutical sale rep, so I understand the power of social networking. It also means I understand how business works, which makes the rejection side of publishing easier to handle. I have a Master’s of Science degree in exercise biological sciences (with a special interest in energy metabolism). Believe or not, this has been extremely useful when it comes to blogging and writing.
Any additional advice for our readers?
Be yourself. Check out blogs you love. Figure out why you love them. But at the end of the day, you still need to be true to yourself. If you aren’t, people will see it and won’t be interested in what you have to say.
What makes you unique?
I have an accent that most people struggle to place. I was born in England, but have lived in Texas, Canada, and Finland (my mother is Finnish). Most people guess I’m either from Australia or New Zealand. The closest I’ve come to New Zealand is watching Lord of the Rings, but I’d love to visit there someday. The other thing that makes me unique is I run to brainstorm and solve plot problems. I’ve even been known to run with a pen and write notes on my body so I don’t forget my ideas.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Laura. I’ve enjoyed it. And I especially enjoyed reading the previous interviews. Most of the individuals are already my blogging friends.
No, thank YOU, Stina. I really enjoyed reading your interview. It makes me remember I have to forgive myself for not being able to read and comment more on other blogs because my kids are still small. There is a time and season for everything, isn't there? And when my kidlets are older I can be cool and connected like you :) You are a shining example of savvy sensationalism. Thanks again!