News room: How to be 'Top of the Blogs': Emily Benet shares her tips

How to be 'Top of the Blogs': Emily Benet shares her tips by Anna Lewis

Creating a successful blog is no easy task. It takes a mixture of self-discipline and passion (in large measures) and a constant commitment to your readers.

However, as Emily Benet, winner of the Author Blog Awards tells us, blogging can really pay off. Not only can writing a blog help improve your skill as a writer, it can also help to get you published.

Emily tells us how she got started and offers her tips for becoming top of the blogs!
Here’s a Q&A from CompletelyNovel.

COMPLETELYNOVEL: Why did you start blogging?

EMILY: I’ve been writing ever since I was very young, and I used to think that as long as I completed a book it would be published. As I got older I realised it wasn’t going to be as easy as that! I started blogging because I wanted a readership and I didn’t want to rely on being published to get one. I put it off for a very long time because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep one going and only started when I realised my ‘Shop Girl’ subject was sustainable. Previous to my blog I wrote a novel three times (which I binned) and I sent off endless short stories to competitions hoping for a lucky break.

CN: Writing a blog isn’t like writing a private diary where no one knows if you haven’t made an entry in months. What keeps you motivated when you don’t feel like writing?

EMILY: I made a commitment to write my blog every week and I feel like I’ve failed if I don’t do it. It’s a mixture of self-discipline and passion. What’s made it easier this last year is having readers who comment and encourage me. At the beginning it was just my Mum and my brother!

CN: How long does it take you to write a blog post?

EMILY: I’m very slow. The quickest I’ve ever written a blog is an hour and the slowest, an evening and then the following morning to look it over. I’m not sure if I should admit I write this slowly but ah well.

CN: How much does blogging feed into your writing, and vice versa?

EMILY: Writing a blog each week for nearly 2 years has definitely improved my writing. I’ve learnt to be more economical with words and have developed a style of writing I enjoy. My blog led Salt Publishing to ask me to write my debut book Shop Girl Diaries’ so in that sense it’s been an essential part of my writing journey.

CN: Are you active on Facebook and Twitter? Which platform do you prefer?

EMILY: I am active on both. Facebook was great for initially promoting my blog and it’s what led me to Salt Publishing. Twitter is something I’ve only recently become familiar with and I’m already enjoying being part of its community. When it comes to networking I think Twitter might be a level up from Facebook, but Facebook is better for connecting with friends.

Emily Benet’s Top Tips for creating a successful blog

  1. A blog needs a focus. Choose a sustainable and interesting theme even if you know you’ll end up veering off into a different subject later on.
  2. Decide how often you can update it and stick to it.
  3. Edit. Then edit some more. Just because it’s published online doesn’t mean it should be of less quality than something in print.
  4. Once you’re pleased with it, tell everyone about it and embrace social networking sites even if you really don’t want to!

CN: How much do you think writing a blog has helped your career as an author?

EMILY: Massively. I wouldn’t have had Shop Girl Diaries published if Salt hadn’t read the blog. I wouldn’t have won the Author Blog Awards either, which feels like it could open doors.

CN: Tell us about the book you are writing now. It’s your second book…how different is the experience from writing your first?

EMILY: It’s going to be a very different experience and a much bigger challenge. My first book was based on real experiences in my shop and effectively much of the plot just walked in through the door each morning. This next book is a work of fiction and will be made up of two separate stories told by two different characters, one based in England and the other in South America. The lives of these two characters will overlap over a period of three decades. It’s an ambitious project and it will require a lot more plotting and research than my first book.

CN: Do you have any tips for authors who would like to get published?

EMILY: Get your work out there because it won’t get published if you keep it to yourself. Raise your profile by having a blog, giving readings, networking with like-minded people.
If you are working on a book I recommend having an encouraging writing group that will support you. Set aside time to write and value that time. Keep a pen and paper in your bag and enjoy scribbling about all and nothing. It’s one word at a time but at some point you’ll have whole book and it will feel amazing.

Thanks very much to Emily for the advice. You can find her blog at http://emilybenet.blogspot.com. will be more blogging advice coming soon!

4 Posts

Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Latest response Purple_arrow_down-0d1dfe1ae10f7ada403ca338a776f4e2 Most popular response
    David L Atkinson

    David L

    05 Oct 17:33

    Great advice in here. I have only just begun to blog http://david-latkinson.blogspot.com but it is quite a useful tool for relieving frustrations and sharing excitements. I have not found it that difficult because, although my theme is self-publishing in this case, I have maintained a personal diary for many years. Thanks for the article CN

    Joanna Gawn & Ron Dickerson

    Joanna Gawn &

    06 Feb 15:47

    Thanks for the post, CN/Anna. We blog weekly (http://lazuli-portals.com) but it can sometimes feel an effort! As with most writing, it comes together once we make a start on the post.

    It’s been an interesting discovery process as I can read back and see how my ‘blogging voice’ has changed over the few months that we’ve had the blog running.

    Cathy Macleod

    Cathy

    13 Aug 10:03

    I’ve ignored Facebook but now I’ll give it a try by uploading my weekly comments from http://www.booktaste.com

    milan joy

    milan

    06 Nov 12:01

    If you are a beginner in blog writing, the tips from Emily Benet really help you to make your blog in top position. Creating successful blogs needs some unknown facts. Emily Benet introduces it to her followers through this blog. Thank you so much for sharing this useful information.Babylon Amsterdam City Tours

Purple_arrow_up-53af132e228e5075307be4092eb6fda7 First Post

Your comment

Share

About

Written by
Anna Lewis
Published on
10/05/2010