You Asked, I Answered – Part 3

This is the continuation of the Q&A with me. If you’d like to check out parts 1 and 2, you can do so here and here.

Melissa asks:

I completely agree that the person behind the blog is what really makes it click (or not click) with each reader. I’m curious, because of your “strange unbringing” do you feel drawn to books that deal with similar situations or do you try to avoid them?

I don’t think I am drawn to them, but I can certainly relate to them and when other bloggers can’t read a book because it’s just too depressing, I tend to not have any problems with it. What I do end up having problems with is if the story is not believable or the characters are not written in a realistic way. I tend to feel very strongly about this when it comes to books about dysfunctional families because I know what it was like to be in a family like that and the unrealistic parts stick out for me, whereas they may not for another reader.

Lisa asks:

So I know you like musicals. What’s your favorite?

I do love musicals!! The Boy did several musicals and each time he did them, I’d buy the soundtrack and sing those songs for months. I loved Wicked when it came to town but my fave would be Annie. I just love that spunky kid and her dog. The Sound of Music is right up there too.

Softdrink asks:

Have you ever travelled outside of CA, and if so, where?

Some cities I’ve visited: Chicago, New York, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Denver, Boulder parts of Oregon including (Lake Oswego, Portland, Astoria, Beaverton, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Tillamook, Tualatin), Washington, DC, Seattle, Bellevue, Mercer Island,  and Orlando.

Staci asks:

Do you secretly read books that you are too embarrassed to post about?

Every now and then I read popular fiction and I tend to not want to post reviews of those books. However, sometimes I have and then I always wonder why I even bothered so I created a separate tab at the top of my blog just to list the books I’ve read. That way I can still keep track of them but not feel obligated to review them.

Erica asks:

I love knowing the answer to this question about people–how did you meet your husband?

I already answered the question in this post, but the corny line he used on me was, “It’s raining out, wouldn’t it be nice to start a fire and watch a movie?” The thing was, I was at work so no, I wouldn’t be starting a fire unless it was in the fireproof vault and no, I won’t be watching a movie unless you get your jollies from watching surveillance tapes (worked in a bank). To this day, we still laugh over it.

Bonnie asks:

Do you have family and friends reading your blog and does that affect what you blog about?

I have family members who know about my blog, but I don’t think they read it. They might since the posts are published on Facebook too but they’ve never commented or said anything to me about it. I know that some “in real life” friends do read it, because they’ve posted comments before. Does it change how I post? Not really, but there was one time I said something about work and didn’t know that a colleague was a subscriber. Hello! Awkward!

Lakeshia asks:

I’m an avid reader myself and for awhile I’ve been interested in starting a book blog. How did you go about it and also how do you promote it so that people will come to your site?

I started my blog without doing any research first. I created it through Blogger for free and then fought with it for a year trying to get it to do what I wanted it to do. If you want to make it easier for yourself, I’d suggest looking at other blogs, deciding what you want it to do and how you want it to look and then seek out a publishing platform that offers similar features. In the end, I purchased my own domain and went with WordPress but you don’t have to purchase your own domain to have a good-looking, functional blog.

For months, I talked to myself. No traffic. The traffic came when I started to visit and comment on other blogs. Often, they would pay me a return visit and put me in their blog rolls. I did the same for them. It was slow going. It really picked up when I created a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I post all of my reviews on Library Thing, Goodreads, FB, Twitter and Barnes and Noble and lately I have been playing with StumbleUpon. I also host giveaways every now and then. People love to win things!

Content can drive traffic too. Having a regular posting schedule helps. For me though, I think a lot of the traffic I get comes from repeat visitors. I really like to know who I am interacting with so I will often respond to comments individually. I think readers like to know that their comments are being read, so they come back.

There’s so much more I could say but for me, this pretty much sums it up.

That’s it! I don’t think I forgot anyone, but if I did, let me know.

19 thoughts on “You Asked, I Answered – Part 3”

  1. Two comments this week 🙂

    I like dark family stories too…. interesting.

    My Mother and Dad read my blog everyday so YES, I am careful with what I post. My mom complains alot about the content and if I mention something about family my Dad calls to apologize all the time. So I avoid posts for Mother’s Day and stuff like that… crazy ha? Family, we can’t escape them! 🙂

    Love the questions.

    1. I know I had a few “in real life” friends who used to follow but they are not readers and were doing it only to support me (I’m pretty sure) because they never really commented on anything. I think they just thought I needed the stats. LOL. You know, cause I just talk to myself all day on here.

    1. Well, Colorado was sort of in the middle, I’d like to visit Louisiana or Minnesota (they are in the middle) but most of what I’d like to visit is back East (NC, SC, RI, ME, VT, NH, CT). Someday.

  2. I love your answers and like you more and more as you answer everyone’s questions, which is very brave of you. I love The Sound of Music and could watch it anytime, as a matter of fact I think it’s in my DVD player right now.

    1. I like the Sound of Music so much that I took it on vacation and lost one of the CDs. I just noticed it the other day 😦 My coworker went to Austria for vacation last year on a “Sound of Music” tour and I was soooo envious. I like Annie for completely different reasons. Mainly, because my son played Wacky, the wooden dummy. He’ll never live that role down.

  3. Hey! You’ve visited Orlando! You need to come back. I’ve never seen Wicked (really want to), but I love Fiddler on the Roof.

    I think I must have missed Part 1 and Part 2. Shame on me. I am a bad friend…

    1. Everyone I follow has an authentic, true voice, too. It’s not always about the books they read. I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you through blogging 🙂
      Sent from my BlackBerry

  4. I love that you did this…I wish I would have talked to you first before starting to blog…you give great tips!!! Thank you for the hugs…

  5. Now I have a question prompted by one of the questions you answered in this post: Which books about dysfunctional families do you think got it right and which ones did you think were off the mark? Just curious…though I know it might be hard to remember.

    And great advice for a new blogger! I think that the best way to grow a blog is to visit other blogs and engage with your readers in a way that makes them want to come back. That and good content.

  6. I totally agree with you about the characters being relateable! I have a hard time reading books about people I can’t relate to.

  7. i love the ‘getting to know you’ thing but tend to shy away from it for fear my students will uncover my website. 🙂 i really enjoyed reading the 3 segments of this series and while i’ve always enjoyed your blog, now feel like i have more of a connection with you.

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