Why blog? And what the heck is a writer’s platform?

A few years ago, a friend made a comment which changed my life. “You really should write these stories down,” she said after laughing at one of my wild tales. This began a whole new adventure. The germ of an idea for a humorous non-fiction book about Boulder women was born. Editors suggested, I blog in order to build a writer’s platform. I had two problems. I didn’t know the definition of a blog or a writer’s platform.

When I first heard the word blog, I thought of McElligot’s Pool. Remember the dreamer who fished in a tiny pond and imagined an underwater world filled with sea creatures? I think one of the fish made the sound, “Blog.”

book_mcelligotspool

My only experience with blogging came from the movie Julie and Julia, but I hadn’t seen it. By the time I looked up Julie Powell‘s blog, she had taken down most of her posts.

According to Wikipedia, the word blog comes from the words, web and log.

web + log - we  = blog.

I prefer writer’s site. No one ever confuses it with fish sounds.

I created a blog on OpenSalon.com after I couldn’t figure out how to attract readers on Blogger. A few months later, I discovered WordPress.

Since my non-fiction book was set in Boulder, I blogged about my adventures in Colorado. This became my brand. After blogging for a few months, I abandoned my non-fiction book and wrote a paranormal suspense novel. My protagonist is young woman from Boulder, so the brand still worked. Believe me. She goes on a pretty wild ride!

At first, I was nervous about using my real name when blogging. Would I be stalked? Would people find out where I lived? Thousands of famous people live in un-gated communities. It’s pretty egotistical to think anyone would bother looking for me. I plan to author the book as Susie Lindau when published, so it was a no-brainer.

At Open Salon, most used pen names. I chose a blurry gravatar to give me some anonymity.

Susie Lindau Open Salon

When I discovered the meaning of a writer’s platform, I realized the importance of using my real name. *drum roll please*

My definition of a Writer’s Platform:

It is the connection and name recognition you develop with readers which results in engaging followers by marketing yourself as a writer. This can be accomplished through social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and your blog. It can also be attained by public speaking or simply having a conversation with someone and handing them a business card. In theory, when you publish a book a percentage of your community will support you by promoting, buying and reviewing it. I have no idea what the percentage is, but hope to find out in the next year when I publish my first.

Readers find blogs to which they can relate or enjoy reading. There’s quite a variety out there. When I started blogging on WordPress three years ago, there were around 350,000 blogs posted a day. Now there are around 40,000,000 posts a month or 1,333,333 posts per day. I still have a question. Is it blogs posted or posts blogged?

Each writer has a unique voice and writing style. Mine carries over into my book. When it is published, my followers should recognize my Wisconsin accent, (kidding), but should feel an instant familiarity. My readers know who I am. They know me better than my real life friends who have never read any of my posts since I reveal my inner thoughts and feelings on a broad range of subjects.

For me, blogging will never be confused with creating a site to attract a huge amount of hits. If that was my goal, I would spew away on a website where I could buy them. A loyal following comes from mutual respect, honesty, and reciprocating by reading other blogs. We all seek support. Our writer’s platform starts with basic construction. It’s about becoming acquainted with your reader and building a community.

I would imagine writers who find themselves on the New Times’ Bestseller List with a contract to produce two books a year or notable authors who are cranking out published work, don’t have time to blog much less reciprocate or comment on comments. I think everyone understands that. They continue to market and build their platform by making appearances, traveling to book signings, and speaking at writer’s conferences.

In the beginning, most people used blogs as an internet log or journal. It can be used to showcase photographs, artwork or your favorite recipes, to name a few. I use my site to hone my craft, to practice writing in different genres, and try out subject matter. Some hit while others missed my target by a mile or two. I still chronicle my adventures which keeps within the original weblog theme.

When I embarked on this new adventure three years ago, I had no idea where it would take me. Building a writer’s platform is a great marketing tool, but one small facet of my journey. What I have built are strong bonds and friendships which will last a lifetime.

I’ve been traveling. Here are some photographs of my super cool blogging friends. I plan to meet a whole lot more.

California friends

From left to right, Lynn Kelley, Kate Wood, Jenny Hanson, her husband, Steve,  August’s husband, Mike, August McLaughlin, me, and my daughter, Courtney. I met August and Lynn a year and a half ago. It’s always a pleasure to hang out with my modern-day pen pals.

The Guat

The Guat and I soaked up the incredible California sunshine. This surfer girl is as cute as her kids.

Ted and Me

I met up with blogger friend Ted Strutz in Boulder! What a super sweet guy! 

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Me, Kristen Lamb, Julie Hedlund, and Piper Bayard had a blast in Louisville where they pronounce the “s.” Meeting bloggers for the first time feels like getting together with old friends. 

RMFW 1

Me, Piper, and Susan Spann at the Colorado Gold Writer’s Conference. Susan is the queen of elevator pitches and helped me with mine. 

DSC03777

While in London, I had to meet up with the hysterical Jim O’Sullivan AKA Gingerfightback. My husband Danny couldn’t stop giggling.

After three years and posting 350 essays on my writer’s site, the rest is history. *blog*

Why do you blog?

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123 Comments

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123 responses to “Why blog? And what the heck is a writer’s platform?

  1. http://moldlook.wordpress.com

    kindly please follow this blog its all about today’s fashion…

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  2. Chaz DeSimone

    Why I blog is not why I started blogging.

    I started, on wordpress.com, because it was “the thing to do.” I’m opinionated and I have a few funny anecdotes, so I posted every week…then every month…then maybe once a year and a half.

    On the professional side, as a marketing campaign for my graphic design business, I created a few pieces called AmperArt, featuring “the ampersand as fun & fabulous art.” These were to be mailed (the old fashioned way) as postcards to my clients, once a month. Somehow they became email attachments instead, still one per month, to not just clients but anyone who I thought might be an ampersand fan.

    I realized AmperArt had become something I’d been wanting to do for decades: a person design project. (What commercial artist has time to do his own art? Well, it just happened.) I created a website and an email template to match the website. An anecdote or history or curiosity about the artwork’s topic accompanies each edition. (And usually an opinionated rant in the “chaz sez” column.)

    Now I blog to have a personal creative outlet (AmperArt); to do some creative writing (since I doubt I’ll ever get to writing my book since a recent tragedy happened); and to keep at least one persoanl project on track. (I haven’t missed a month since I began AmperArt–although many of the editions are posted on the 30th or 31st to just make the deadline.)

    Just like you, Susie, I have made some great friends and met some interesting people through posting my blogs or blogging my posts.

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  3. You get to hang with all the cool kids, don’t you, Susie?
    Good for you! I’m sooo jealous!

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  4. My publishers said ‘you gotta have an author platform’. I had my own website, which I’d had custom-built, and was already blogging in WordPress, so I joined Twitter – which built the blog audience. Has any of this translated to book sales? Not really. But blogging HAS got me in contact with some amazing people from NZ and from all over the world who I’d never have met any other way. Just the other week I was almost able to meet one of my US contacts-of-blog-contacts in person – our schedules didn’t quite gel. But the intent was there. To me, this interchange is what blogging is really about.

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    • Who did you miss meeting????? I missed Colin Falconer by two hours in Barcelona. He was flying out when we were flying in! I tried to get together with a bunch from London, but the timing was off for everyone, but Gingerfightback. He made up for the rest!
      I think blogging is a great support system for writers. The connections made in comments is what it’s all about for me! And to think I could barely type back when I started. I hated to delete a word since it took me so long to type. Now I am the slash and burn Queen! I have no problem taking out whole chapters from my book! Anything to improve the flow….
      Thanks Matt!

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      • It was a colleague of Caitlin Kelly. Someone who doesn’t blog but was in the direct circles of someone who did. Which to me underscores the dimensionality of the experience. Blogging isn’t just cyber – it intersects with the real world in pragmatic and positive ways.

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  5. I’m new to blogging (my blog is merely a month old this week, but took it up as a creative outlet. I am a “word person” who somehow found myself analyzing data for a living. After two decades of nothing but numbers, I have started blogging as an attempt to rediscover my creative side. Wish me luck.

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    • GOOD LUCK!!!!!
      I love blogging and making connections with other writers. You will meet people from all over the world. I have learned so much from and about others and a ton about myself! The cool thing is how much everyone shares. If you have a question, you can put it out there and someone will answer. I love created worlds with words.I was an artist, so it’s my new medium! Blogging allows me to practice for my book.
      I’m on a second vacation in as many weeks. When I get back home, I’ll have a Use Me and Abuse Me Day where you can meet my friends! You can find the last one on the left side of links. It’s never too late to click on a few and introduce yourself!

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  6. What an awesome 3 year ride! I guess I’ve started out for the same reasons. Though I find I’m not able to keep up with the level of activity that some of you do (still in awe!) it has been enormously rewarding, and it’s hard to imagine life before blogging. The good side of the ‘digital revolution’! :)

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    • Thanks Alarna! It has been a WILD three years. It is such a great place to connect! Who knew I’d make friends all over the world, like you! :)
      It’s hard to imagine life without writing now. It is one of my favorite things!

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  7. Hi Wild Thing! I feel like I haven’t “talked” to you in years! I have been crazy busy with my daughter’s prom (last night), last day of school, graduation party planning, etc! I posted some pics of her on my latest post in her prom dress. I was quite proud! :) My body is not cooperating with me so I have to take naps in between trying to get everything done.

    How fun to have met all these lovely people in real life. You are on the top of the list I have for people I have to meet! Thanks for all the tid bits about blogging, too. I am sure your book will be fab!

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    • Congrats to you and your daughter! Woohoo!
      I was out of town for a week, came back, packed, and flew out again! This will be the Wildest summer ever. That’s why it has taken so long to comment on wonderful comments like yours! I think the reason I don’t have sketchy internet today is Danny is reading a magazine instead of emails on his computer. Yesterday, I tried to post a comment 4 times! I finally resorted to my phone for a few.
      Thanks so much Maria! My book is due back from the editor today. I plan to read through and correct it for the 378th (final) time. Hopefully, it will get picked up by an agent. This is such a loooooong process. I think once this one is out, the next will be a breeze!
      I would LOVE to meet you! I don’t have plans to head east this year, but you never know!

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  8. Susie…..good question… it certainly has helped me as a writing teacher… it has also probably helped my mental state, too….. I’ve been at it for your years – my anniversary is 5/28/10 and I can;t imagine stopping… I am no where near a book or an idea for one… I just keep blogging and thinking. Have a great week….

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    • Thanks Clay!
      Blogging is great therapy. When I’ve been worried or down, it has swept me into another world! It is a great place to work on the craft. I keep on learning!
      Congrats on your blogiversary!!!

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  9. Intriguing post. I started blogging for many of the same reasons you did — to build a writer’s platform (per suggestion of a friend in the know), try out drafts, etc. The insight I gained from your post is that the content of the blog doesn’t have to be directly related to the content of whatever longer projects I am working on; it’s all about building up a community of readers who are likely to be interested in your work because they are interested in you, the writer, as a person.

    I feel like I’ve been a bit off-track, trying to build interest in content rather than interest in getting to know me, and have held back on more personal content in favor of information-ish content. I guess it’s time to “face the dragon” and take more risks with personal content! Thanks for the insight.

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    • I LOVE your comment and read it to Danny. I’m so glad you got that from this article! Getting to know the writer is the fun part for me. Several times, I have sat down and thought about my brand and questioned if I am writing the correct subject matter for my books. Then it struck me how so much of what I write about in my life is a Wild Ride, so that’s good enough. I am writing a paranormal suspense, but if I only wrote about ghosts and the crazy stuff that has happened to me, I think I’d lose readers. A small part of my book is a ghost story. I also am working on a romantic comedy and I hope to publish my rewritten Boob Reports in a year. That’s a broad range of subject matter!
      I am on vacation. (That’s why it is taking me so long to get to all of these fabulous comments!!!) I’ve met several people who were very excited to hear I was a writer. One lady said, “Wow! I’ve never met a writer before!” This group all wanted my card, even though one of them was blind and would have to wait for the audiobook to come out. Those are fans!
      Support comes in all forms. We just have to put yourself out there!
      Thanks Dianne!

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  10. Hey Susie, I think you hit the success ratio of building brand and followers correctly. Your recipe: mutual respect, honesty and reciprocating sum up much of what I’ve seen on successful bloggers sites.
    I’ve always wondered how you manage to immediately (or it seems that way to me) recognize someone when they leave a comment on one of your posts.
    As I’ve become more and more a full-time caregiver, my blogging friends have become real and honest. They don’t seem like virtual friends. We often talk on the phone or exchange books.
    When I took Kristin Lamb’s class on blogging and branding, I remember her talking about using your own name to brand and I took her to heart. For me, it’s far easier to remember someone if I’m following a name and then marry it with a brand than if I have to remember the name of the blog, the name of the individual plus their brand.
    Great post and lots to think about.
    Sheri

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    • Thanks Sheri! I was in between vacations when I wrote this and have very sketchy internet! I’ve given up commenting the last two days…
      Since I am a visual learner, I always recognize gravatars after I see them. I agree about names. I remember the name that comes up with the comment, but rarely remember the name of the blog if it’s totally different or doesn’t have their name included in it. That can be a problem if I check out blogs from email and don’t recognize the name. I am more likely to skip them.
      I’ve gotten to know hundreds of people through writing. I would love to take an afternoon, make a list and include where they are from and something about them. I bet it’s a huge number!
      I wish bloggers would be more trusting. I would love to know generally where everyone is blogging from, then I could initiate more meet-ups!!!

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  11. Love all your pictures! Great post, Susie. I saw this in my inbox a few days ago and was looking forward to reading it.

    I started blogging to build a writer platform. I don’t think it worked! But I continue to blog because of the friendships, the world it has opened up to me and because I discovered I like photography. I also think romance readers who become my romance readers, can find out tons about me by looking at my blog. Then the cart will be firmly before the horse, where it belongs. Also, I started a new genre and have received interest in that from my blogging world. So I think it’s kind of a case of having built a blogging world that includes people more interested in a different genre than romance. I’m excited people are interested in my Antonia Moran books.

    I have traveled to meet two people in person I met through blogging. You’ve inspired me to meet more!

    If I do become successful as an author, I will still blog. I keep my posts very low on word count, so they don’t take as much time.

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    • That is so great, Nia! It sounds like you have accomplished a lot through your blog. It is a place to experiment and play. I really got into photography too!
      I love how I already know the person before meeting up in real life. This is a place where I think most open themselves up and are honest. I know I am!!!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Clicking in with others who get the style, the storytelling and forge a connection makes blogging so worthwhile. It is certainly a great way to meet others, and a wonderful outlet. I can see how it naturally translates into a writer platform, too. On our page, the blogs are often raw and emotion-powered stories. Hopefully when others read them they can relate, and know they are not alone.

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  13. Pingback: Must Reads for the Weekend | Jess Witkins' Happiness Project

  14. That is so cool that you have met so many fellow bloggers! It does open up a whole new world and a chance to meet many different people.
    I use blogging as a way to reach out, talk about a variety of subjects, to entertain, to have a voice and share my life experiences.

    It is all one great big community and I love being a part of it now.

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    • Next time I’m in NYC, we’ll have to meet up. You’ll know all the greatest restaurants! It has been fun to meet up with other bloggers. We are a very cool breed!!!
      Thanks for being a part of my community, Phil!

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  15. I blog because I want to help keep the art of narrative strong and principled.
    It seems we’re in a slump right now with a lot of dreck in the pop media, and if people see it there, they start to think it’s OK be lazy. And then the lazy writing, plot-holes, and flat characters ooze into their own work.
    So anyway, I guess I’m the Morality Committee–no one asked for me, but I’m gonna tell you just what I think about everything!

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  16. In my case it was the platform where I caught the train to having published novels rather than manuscripts!
    Even my sideline as freelance editor has arisen from it.

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  17. The Lyceum Pub on The Strand! – CW et al! Great post Susie – I think the most important part you mention is being yourself and enjoy posting rather than seeing it purely as a career move.

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  18. Writing is an good idea for sharing our thoughts and life with friends

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  19. It’s amazing that you have met so many of our fellow bloggers. Wonderful and amazing.
    Blogging, for me, was a way of saying, “I was here”. I thought if I wrote down some of my stories they would remain there as proof.

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    • That is so true and we are published authors after writing blog posts!!!
      Meeting others is surreal in that I already know everyone!!!
      Thanks for being a part of my community!

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  20. My reason for blogging (I’m pretty much still a newbie) is just that I enjoy writing. Always have, and people tell me I write letters that they find enjoyable to read. I really have no aspirations about becoming a “writer.” I just like to put my thoughts about my life and experiences into story form. I like to pepper them with images and photos to make the blog a little more interesting. My interests are varied, and I’m a little bit of an activist and an advocate.

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    • This is my fifth attempt at leaving a comment!! I’m on vacation and the internet is terrible.
      That is a very cool reason for blogging. I think many people use it for journaling. WP has made
      It so easy to connect. I’m so glad you blog!

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  21. I love the community that your blog encourages. Being a commenter and a party goer makes me feel like part of the writers crowd. Fun to see the photos of you and fellow bloggers. To answer your question of why I blog, I’ve always written as a way to process my “stuff.” Over the past few years, I’ve shared my healing journey and journey raising a very special boy in hopes that it might help someone out there.

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    • That is such a great reason for writing. I feel the same way about my Boob Reports. Here I wrote about commenting, but I’m traveling again and am commenting on my phone from the cab!!!!
      It has been a blast to meet other bloggers! I plan to meet a lot more. The cool part is already knowing each other!

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  22. Why do I blog? I enjoy telling stories. I like tying stories and photos together to create an illustrated essay. I think I’m getting better at understanding how to write compelling fiction… and writing it. And, I like to see my name in print!

    A big plus to this blogging thing, is meeting and talking to people. Just look at how many friends we all have… some really good friends. And some we actually meet in person. I’ve met a woman with pink hair, who is writing a book. I met a man who works at the top of the world… literally. And of course I’ve now met the Wild Rider… she’s writing a book too.

    Looking forward to meeting many more… by the way, when’s your next Party? Always a good place to find new writers and meet hot women.

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    • Those are great reasons Ted!!! I just got back to town and I’m at the airport again!!! I couldn’t squeeze in a UMAAM day this month. It’s on the top of my list for June!!!!

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  23. I started my blog for some of the same reasons — to flex my writing muscles and to build a writer’s platform. I’m still not sure if I’ve done that. :) I don’t have a niche — I don’t blog on any specific topics. What’s your feeling about that? Does it help or hurt the writer’s platform?

    But I enjoy the community of bloggers most of all. I’ve had the opportunity to meet a few bloggers and had a blast. (If you’re ever in the NYC area…)

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    • I will definitely let you know when I come to NYC. Not this summer. I just got back from Cali and am on another trip! This will be one wild summer!

      I questioned my brand not long ago and then realized that being a wild rider will work well for my projects. I understand the importance of attracting readers to your genre, but I’m not going to sweat it and start blogging tons of paranormal material. I picked humor as my main thread and stay away from politics and religion. Every once in awhile, I make a list of blog posts. It keeps me on track!
      Thanks Jackie

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  24. It’s been awesome to meet you, too, Susie! At this point, I can’t imagine how dreary life would be without my blogger friends, especially the ones who have become face-to-face friends, like you.

    I started blogging because Kristen Lamb told me I had to if I was ever going to build a platform. Now, it’s an end unto itself. Holmes and I love having the opportunity to share unbiased information with the world, and we enjoy the posts that others share, as well.

    Thank you for the shout out, and Happy Blogoversary!

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    • Thanks Piper! I am so amazed that I met you through Clay who lives in Phili!!! That sums up the whole blogging experience. It is exponential. Some day, I want to sit down and make a list of all the bloggers I’ve met and come to know online. It’s easily waaaaay into the hundreds.
      I’m so glad we met!!!

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  25. I blog to distract me from how much I miss The Girl Who Owns My Heart…

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  26. marcymckay

    I just started blogging because my beloved literary agent left the biz this fall before she submitted my novel for publication. I was DEVASTATED. I created Mudpie Writing to give writers a fun place to fight our creative monsters together. It’s helped pull me from my writer’s funk + I’ve loved making new friends like YOU!

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    • I loved meeting you too! Pike’s Peak was the BEST!!!!!
      I’m glad you landed on your feet and joined the crazy blogging world. Your life will never be the same!!!
      Thanks Marcy!

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  27. ” No one ever confuses it with fish sounds.” Stuff like this is what makes your writing so wonderful. Witty and real. Comfortable – an author you’d invite over – and have a hilarious time.
    (Not like some writer’s blogs that are all promote, promote, promote…that get tiresome and I wandered off)
    It’s great you’ve been able to meet bloggers. I recognize some in the pictures from their blogs….so these people actually do exist (Insert giggles) Jealous about that ginger – he’s one wild and crazy one, too.
    Basically I started blogging just to get back into writing and away from all the academic and research style used at work for ‘way toooo long. Blogging is much more fun.

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    • Hey Phil!!! Thanks so much! I would love to meet you some day. You know where I am!
      I agree about the promotion. It becomes a nag or like a annoying commercial that keeps popping up on TV.
      The bloggers I’ve met have all been amazing. I felt I knew them already! Jim was hilarious! We didn’t have much time, but I’m so glad he took the time after work to meet us.
      You have so much fun playing with words on your blog. I have a lot of fun reading them! I will never forget the one you wrote for #susiestrong day. Wow! I’ll never be able to put that feeling awe and gratitude into words….

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  28. I started writing because I had way too many thoughts in my head, and I quickly realised how close many people are. And you’re right; what keeps me coming back is the community. If I ever get discouraged about blogging, I’ll have to come back and re-read this post.

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    • DEFINITELY!!!! We all get discouraged, but there are people who enjoy reading your blog that would miss you if you quit. The blogging community is amazing. I always feel like I know the person before meeting them in real life! It is a very cool experience!

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  29. I blog because it gets me through life some days. if I could not have written down my thoughts when Ange died of cancer I don’t know what would have happen. It is also fellowship… and we almost met.. sigh..

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  30. Fabulous post, Susie. Thanks for the sweet mention! I loved seeing you here in Cali. :)

    I’m with you on blogging for pleasure and friendship, above all else. Quality relationships can’t be beat with numbers. The rest — exposure, additional opportunities, book sales, etc. — are all frosting, IMO.

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    • So true! I am so glad I met you August! It was a blast seeing you again. I can’t believe how the time flew! That’s how it always is between friends.
      I like your reference to frosting. It is all good, but I don’t think I would still be blogging without the contact with amazing people like you!

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  31. “What I have built are strong bonds and friendships which will last a lifetime.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Susie! I have only meet one blogger in person (the lovely Cecile of Trying to Be Conscious and The Clue Press) while I was in Zurich before she moved to New Zealand. It was a great time and I’m so glad to have met such a sweet person. In addition, I’ve made some great friends who live all over the world. I have come to value their friendships and thank WordPress for bringing us together. Without blogging, I never would have known any of them existed.

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    • Oh Wow! I know Cecile! She hasn’t blogged for a while. I hoped to meet her last summer, but she had already moved. I bet she was very dear!
      That is so true about friendships here. It has been such a pleasure to meet you too!

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  32. You have become the queen of blogging, Susie and I always look forward to your posts. I’m only sorry I didn’t live closer to that SoCal group. They’re all amazing women. Maybe someday we’ll share a camera lens.

    Until next post – – –

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    • Thanks so much Patricia and for being a part of my community!!! Oooopsy!!! I had to adjust my crown…. Hahaha!
      I think we’ll meet up sometime. Maybe we’ll come out skiing!

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  33. I use ‘posts published’.

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  34. I LOVE this post Susie! So many people discuss blogs as a “tool” for promotion when really they are about engagement – with readers, friends. You are one of the most authentic bloggers out there, and I have no doubt that the percentage of your readers who buy your books will be high.

    Blogging HAS evolved, but I still think they are fantastic for making connections in an organic way AND for sharing our gifts with others.

    I’m honored to be included in your photos. I love the serendipity of the blogosphere as well and how you truly are “not alone” in this community. :-)

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    • Thanks so much Julie!
      It is an amazing place! Many of my friends can’t believe real friendships can evolve through blogging. To me, it’s no different than a pen pal, but the letters are sent at a much faster pace! I’m glad you’re part of the community!

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  35. GREAT post, Susie! (And thanks for the mention!) I love the idea of posting your blogging friends all one one rogues’ gallery…er, that is, SHOWCASE!

    Can’t wait to see you again – are you coming to Colorado Gold this year? Also, we should do a re-do on the pre-signing dinner – I’ve got one on September 3 at Tattered Cover, so Piper and I will be doing dinner ahead of time, I think, if you’re going to be around to join us!

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    • I would love to print all of them out and start a collage. It would be so cool hung in my office.
      I would love to join you again! I’m so glad to hear you’ll be back! I will mark it in my calendar.
      Thanks Susan!

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  36. I started with the idea of building a platform because Kristen Lamb told me I needed to. My numbers say I haven’t built much of a platform, but I’ve made a number of cyber friends and even gotten to meet a few of them in person. Nowadays, half of my blogs are to spread the good news of Jesus Christ and half are about whatever pops into my head. I think I’d continue to blog if I learned that no one ever read them, but it does help to read comments from readers.

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    • Comments are so encouraging! Cyber friends like you are the best. I guess it all comes down to what you enjoy writing. You have a following! Just keep on writing and it will continue to grow!

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  37. I blog for the same reasons you do, Susie. I’m so glad I got to meet you in person and then meet up again. Your blog voice rings true to who you are. I’m excited for your book to come out! I think you’ll receive tremendous support from your blogger buddies when it’s published. I had my 3 year blogiversary for blogging in May, too, but it’s been such a whirlwind month, I didn’t give it much thought! This is a great post on blogging. Well done! Love the Dr. Seuss pic! Thank you for including me in your post. Cheers to you and all our wonderful blogging buddies!

    Like

    • You are the sweetest Lynn! I am so glad you came out with us! Your support has been unwavering from the very beginning! With so many blogs out there, I feel so blessed to have met you! I feel like I struck gold with these friendships.
      Thanks so much! As you know, it is such a long process. I will keep you posted! Hug those grandbabies for me!

      Like

  38. Dude! I love this post! I remember chatting with you about it and I totally feel the same. It’s funny I started blogging after a couple of friends had suggested I do it. I told them I was working on a writing project, but they insisted that my real life was too funny not to share. Some of the stories you just can’t believe. So I began with encouragement from friends, even though I didn’t know what a writer’s platform was either, but continue because of two things.

    First … I didn’t realize how amazing the community would be, met so many people that I’ve grown so close to and that know so much about me. It’s a trip because I haven’t seen any of them in person, except for you :) It’s a great source of encouragement and support, because the writer’s world is full of so many rejections :)

    Second I continue because I realized that it definitely helps me with my craft. I’m a better writer now than I was three years ago, because of blogging. I enjoy the creative outlet. It helps let my awesome out :)

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    • It sure does let your awesome out! I am such a different writer than I was three years ago. :) I never even wrote before then, unless you count emails and thank you notes! I had a ways to go to brush up on grammar and sentence structure and will continue to work on my craft until they put me in my grave!
      I love your comment about encouragement. I wrote a post called “Who’s in Your Corner?” a while back about the support I found through my family and blogging friends. Some of my real friends turned their backs when I started writing, but many people have trouble with those who change. This was a Humongous Change in my life!!!! I really depend on the support I receive through blogging, but I also love reading blogs and supporting others! It’s a blast! :) Thanks Guat! I really enjoyed meeting you! :)

      Like

      • Dude! I was so glad you were able to make it out. I was looking forward to meeting the Wild Rider. You’re definitely an awesome chick and so glad I was able to connect with you. I’m definitely in your corner :)

        Like

  39. What a fun read, Susie! I love that you’ve met so many fellow bloggers, too. I look forward to the day when I meet some I now consider friends, too.
    I started blogging to help me continue healing from the shame I experience my whole life, and trying to hide from the world. I felt if I told my story in this venue it would surely catapult me out of my hiding zone. Well, that is a fact! I just celebrated my 2nd anniversary blogging and can’t believe how much I’ve grown through blogging. To be accepted and acknowledged is quite stunning. (I had never even read a blog before I started, so can relate to the learning curve you described.)
    A wild ride, indeed!
    I look forward to reading your book when you’re done, Susie!

    Like

    • Awwww! Thanks Denise! It may be a while. It is such a looooong process!
      That is so cool how “blogging therapy” worked! I remember when you distributed your rocks. I did a similar venting with my breast cancer. Ew! I still hate writing those two words. They just don’t define me and never will!!!!
      I am glad that I met you! :)

      Like

  40. My main reason for blogging is to write, and to have people read what I write. It’s a dream come true that there are such people in the world – those who want to hear what I have to say. The connection with other bloggers was something I didn’t foresee. I also couldn’t see how important it would become to me.

    I didn’t know about the writer’s platform part when I first started. Then it became apparent to me that with some bloggers, that’s all they want. To sell books. That kind of turns me off. But if somebody I already like writes a book, then that is super fantastic!

    Like

    • I remember the first time I blogged and saw the numbers rise. I was ecstatic.
      I didn’t get the writer’s platform AT ALL! I had messed around with a few sample chapters for that non-fiction book. It bored me. When I started blogging and could write anything I wanted, it was like discovering this huge playground. I wanted to try everything! I joined a Friday Fiction group and that really blew my mind. I found my passion.
      It’s been more than three years and I still don’t have a book published, but like you, I’ve made tons of friends here and have published lots of short stories. That is an accomplishment!
      Hopefully we’ll meet up someday! You don’t happen to be going to New Orleans next week? Thought I would ask! Hahaha!

      Like

      • Yeah, from now on we better check travel plans, just in case. No New Orleans for me, though,…drat! I’ve only been there once and would love to go again, this time with a companion. I went alone for a seminar. Hope you have a wild(ish) time.

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  41. Beautiful Share – love your story in how you got started blogging. For me it was about sharing my travels and could not completely do that with an online photo album with limited character space for captions, so I jumped into Word Press and created a blog. I love blogging as well as the community and friendships :) Happy Hump Day!

    Like

    • Happy Hump Day to you Renee! :)
      That’s wonderful how you started. I love reading your inspirational and travel posts. WP has the best and most respectful community. I have made so many friends online. Maybe someday, we’ll meet up!

      Like

  42. Great post, Susie! Thanks for the shoutout.

    I love blogging. I started with Writers In The Storm and discovered how much I adored the short format. Then came Kristen, the WANAs and More Cowbell. (Oh my!)

    Blogging is my “morning pages.” It keeps me grounded and sets my writing rhythm for the week. Best of all, blogging helped me discover my writing voice. For that, and the great friends, I will be forever grateful. :-)

    Like

    • OH MY GOD… I love More Cowbell! Susie mentioned she hung out with you when she was in town. Great to hear the evening rocked.

      Like

    • I think that is true about morning blogging. It gets me right into a routine! I thought I would write while vacationing. PAH!!!! No way. I was so out of my routine. I wrote a photo essay about downtown LA, but that’s all I could manage.
      I agree about your voice. My blog has to sound like me. In the beginning, I couldn’t even type! It took hours to write a simple post. I reworked the heck out of everything. Those early posts are waaaaaay too formal and don’t sound like me at all.
      Meeting bloggers like you is the BEST part!!!!

      Like

  43. At first I blogged to get my work out there, and as time passed, I realized it was more about building relationships and helping other writers along the way. My blog is mainly an outlet for my writing, but it’s also a means to meet new people, check out their blogs, and encourage them along the way. Just like you do!!

    Like

    • That is so cool! I had no idea what it was all about, but I have made some amazing friends, like you! :) It is a great place to come for support. I have learned so much from others too!

      Like

  44. It’s awesome how many online friends you’ve met. I’ve only met one lol. So cool to see Jim in the flesh too. I have noticed it has gone quiet in the blogging world. I think cutting back posts is way better than giving up. I’d hate not to have that friendly connection.

    Like

    • I’ve noticed that too! I was out of town last week and checked in periodically to see how many posts I was missing. There weren’t as many as I thought. It slows down every summer. I think you’re right that many stop blogging altogether. It is a big commitment!
      Thanks Catherine!

      Like

  45. Good post about why you blog Susie. I started because my friend, Milton, spent a year urging me to write one to build an audience. I had been writing humor essays but didn’t know what to do with them. I suppose they would have made good bird cage flooring. One thing I didn’t take into account was how time consuming blogging would be once I started to build my audience. Reading and commenting overwhelms me at times. It also takes me away from writing. Finding a balance while working fulltime is quite a challenge. Particularly when inspiration strikes, blogging can be a very satisfying creative outlet. That’s why I continue to partake in this insanity.

    Like

    • Duuuuuuuuuuude I’m totally struggling with balance too. I fall down constantly … both in life, with my writing and with blogging.

      Like

    • And I’m so glad you do!
      It is insane. I reach my limits too. This is going to be a summer full of travel, so I will do my best to keep up, but I know I’ll miss some posts along the way. We just got back and we’re leaving Saturday….
      I have a schedule for blogging. I have until 9:00 AM to engage in social media which includes reading blogs. I check in again at night. When I post a blog, (blog a post?), all hell breaks loose with my routine and I check in more often. You work full time, so that really cuts your time!
      I’m like you and really enjoy writing blog posts. I would love to get paid for an essay or two, but hey, there are all these fringe benefits like friends for life! You can’t beat that!

      Like

  46. I don’t write for anyone but myself.. I stopped for a few days and couldn’t bear another day.. I’m a writing addict.

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  47. I blog because I never shut up and need somewhere to put all those words and opinions, LOL. It keeps me grounded and adds structure which is important when one writes full time. Easy to get sucked into laundry or dishes. Blogging sets the tone and the operational tempo.

    LOVE YOU! Love the post!

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  48. I started blogging pretty much for the same reason as you—my editor said I needed a “platform”. Still flailing around trying to connect my blog to my platform to my life. But you’re my inspiration! (And I can’t wait to read that book. Let me know if you’re looking for reviewers.)

    Like

    • Thanks so much Barb! I will! I just so want to get it out there. Sheesh!
      If we write our books and blog in a similar way, we will have already attracted the right readers. At this point, I think of the connections as friendships. If I don’t see a blog post from someone for a while, I check up on them and ring their blogs doorbell!

      Like

  49. Wow, you’ve met a lot of other bloggers in real! I think for most of us who have been blogging a while, it has turned out to be something different than we thought it would, mostly in the personal relationships we’ve developed with fellow bloggers. I started my blog up because I do a bit of acting and writing on the side of my day job and my mothering, and I figured I needed a platform to showcase myself and what I did. So right from the start I didn’t hesitate about using my real name, and having photos of myself etc because I knew I was promoting myself as a brand. As time hasas gone on, I’ve seen it less as a platform to “showcase” myself as such, but just a lovely community that I’m so pleased to be part of. Like you say, it’s the proper solid relationships you build up that make it all so enjoyable, rather than just trying to get lots of hits.

    Like

    • That is so cool that you found your own unique way to use your blog. I thought I would just use it to practice. My mind was blown when I made all these friends! It really is about the connections.
      I have a lot of followers, but most follow and never come back! What is the point of that?? I think they follow like some use the Like button!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Like

      • Ha! After saying I don’t really use my blog to showcase myself, I’ve just done a post showcasing myself! (I just had to come back and mention that here in case anyone happened to see my comment here and then click over to my blog and they would think “What’s she talking about? She’s totally showcasing herself!”

        Yeah, I think some people follow just in the hope that we will automatically follow back.

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        • I think they confuse it with Tumblr, Instagram, or Twitter. Boy, do they get a surprise when their email notifications start piling up!
          That’s the power of suggestion! It happens to me all the time. :)
          Thanks Vanessa!

          Like

    • Isn’t that the truth, Vanessa-Jane? Blogging has turned out to be something different than I thought it would. I’ve met so many neat people who have encouraged me along the way. I hope to be involved with this “lovely community” for quite a while myself.

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  50. Man Susie! This was like meeting the GODS of the blogging world. My favorite was Jim O’Sullivan who I would also love to meet someday. Thanks for this. I blog to interact with some pretty creative people. So fa,r it has been a very rewarding experience and hope to do it for many years to come.

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    • Gods is right!!! I just found out Three Well Beings lives in LA too! Jim was just like his blog. Super funny and such a great guy!
      I never knew that I would make these kinds of connections. It’s been so much fun.
      Thanks John!

      Like

  51. You’ve done an excellent job of describing what blogging is now. I’ve been blogging for 10 years and have seen it evolve from a casual “for the fun of it” form of communication to a much more stylish + serious way to share your life with friends, family, whoever. While I adore blogging and am willing to go wherever it takes me next, I do miss the goofiness of the early bloggers. But then, time marches on, doesn’t it?

    Like

    • Thanks Ally!
      It was my 3 year blogiversary with WordPress on May 20th. Blogging has evolved. I remember my nephew’s wife started one to share her pregnancy foibles and new son’s antics with family and friends.
      Many of the bloggers I knew back when I started, quit. Several have become published authors and don’t have the time! Now anyone can use it as their own personal website!

      Like

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