Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Blogging Success

Laptop and working lunch. An outside table with a silver laptop, coffee and a sandwich on it.

Now, before I start on this article, please know I am not trying to brag or anything like that.  And I am not some blogger guru who knows all the answers.  All I am doing is trying to write an article to share some things that have helped me as I have been blogging over the last two years.  

When I began blogging, I just did it for fun--kind of seeing if I could do it.  I was always a good writer--though I always preferred fiction or literary writing.  So I figured I would give it a go.  And I was literally subscribed to and following thousands of blogs.  I still am, as a matter of fact, but I do not have near the amount of time to read them as I used to.  I have my facebook likes and twitter following normally maxed out.  But that is just a side note.

My goals were always to read quality blogs.  I wanted to know their "secrets."  I started out by entering my information in as many weekly blog hops as I could.  And I didn't just wait for people to follow me--I followed them, too.  

It was extremely disappointing to watch my numbers in the beginning.  I got so tired of seeing my numbers rise by one or two followers--or sometimes stagnate for a week or so.  And it was really tough when people "unfollowed" me.  In fact, that is one of the reasons I rarely ever unfollow anyone unless I absolutely have to. 

I financed my first few giveaways.  And honestly, I still finance several of mine.  I am a deal shopper, and I even shop in thrift stores and yard sales for things to give away.  Yes, my secrets are out.  You would be amazed at the stuff you can find!  

I began writing product reviews on everything I possibly could.  And then I would send the review to the company to see if they would offer a giveaway.  Most of the time, the answer was negative or not at all.  But the few times I got an answer in the affirmative made it all worthwhile.

Then I discovered giveaway blog hops.  These were the early days of giveaway blog hops.  Simply Stacie was the first one for me--she had a handmade giveaway blog hop.  And then I discovered I Am a Reader, Not a Writer..  Her book-related giveaway blog hops have almost always been successful for me.  

Since I am a book blog, I was very glad to have authors contacting me to review their books.  Before that happened, I made a point to still write reviews of books I had read.  That has been a downfall of mine.  I don't like to turn down an author who asks me to review his/her book (unless it is a genre I just will not read).  I discovered a lot of good book review companies that I will put at the end of this post.

My blog has continued to grow.  Tomoson has been a good find for me.  I always paid attention to buttons on various blogs I liked.  I even joined twitter!  I was not on twitter at first, but I have discovered that you just have to as a blogger!

Things really accelerated for me when I joined the following companies:

Charisma Media Network

Nifty Mom

Sublime Media Connection
Each of these various groups have plenty of strengths.  They have become my go-to groups.  I'll tell you briefly about each of them.

Karma Media is a paid group--but it is reasonable and worth every penny!  They take care of pitching loads of companies, and I have been able to participate in some great campaigns.  I have even earned some money with them.  They are a fantastic group, and I plan to be with them for many years to come.

Charisma Media is free, but the ladies still work hard for you!  They don't have always as many reviews, but they do a lot to help your numbers increase.  You just have to put the work into it, but it is well worth it.

Sublime Media is free also, and I have been amazed at the opportunities they have!  One of the best things about them is that they have a lot of giveaways that they invite you to participate for free.  They are very willing to share their PR information with you.  But you do have to work!

I do look for blogger opportunities on a regular basis.  I do not join every one of them, but I have found that even joining the big ones has been good for me.  Maybe your facebook page will be lost amongst others, but it it did not cost you anything anyway and you pick up a few followers, I would say it is worth it.

Being a blogger is not easy.  I sometimes wonder why I have gotten the success that I have.  I am a part-time worker during the school year, and that is when things are really crazy.  But do you want to know the real secrets to my success?

1.  First and foremost, this blog belongs to God.  He is responsible for my success, and I find myself talking to Him a lot about it.  When things are going well, I thank Him.  And when things aren't going well, I talk to Him about it.

2.  Be willing to take advantage of every opportunity.  If you have a chance to give away something as small as a Tide-To-Go package, go for it!  I have sometimes had more success giving away smaller things rather than bigger things.

3.  Meet your deadlines. I can't stress it enough.  Get a calendar.  Organize your inbox.  If you say you are going to do it, do it.  If you can't do it or something comes up, at least drop the company or person a line.  Communication is key!

4.  Reciprocate!  This is what those groups have taught me. If you ask for help, do something for that person.  If  person posts on your blog, try to post on theirs.  If you ask for help promoting, promote for them.

5.  Most importantly, enjoy the ride!  I can always tell when I am reading a blog if the person enjoys what he/she is doing or if that person is only blogging to get free stuff.  I have read book reviews by other bloggers that almost embarrass me.  I actually figure that maybe the person has not really read the book.  It comes through in product reviews, too.  Make it your own.  Have fun writing.

I'm going to end by leaving the links to the book tour companies I have found.  Some people have asked or wondered where I get the books I review.  I used to wonder, too, and I did not know where to turn.  Karma Media and Charisma Media both offer book tours.  But here are the others.!home/mainPage

There are more, but this is a good start.  And I promise, I could write a lot more, but this should be a good start.  Thank you so much, readers, for helping to make my blog a success.


  1. Hi Ruth!

    Thanks for sharing this post! I read it twice, because I was dashing about literally and wanted to make sure I had given myself enough time to process it. I recently became a follower of Charisma Media, but I wasn't sure what to do with the site. Now I'll look into it more carefully. I took the time to Tweet this and share it on Google+. God bless!

    Tina - mom of 4, author and blogger of 5 blogs

  2. Wow, good post! Happened to see you on a blog hop! Glad I found you! This was very informative. Love it!

  3. Ruth,
    Thank You for sharing this. As the founder of Sublime Media Connection, I must say, it is great to have you involved.

    You have a great blog, I love reading it. It means a lot to me that you took the time to mention us!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Your Ad Here