As part of their Sweet n Steamy Blog Tour, Authors Sharon Kleve and Kara Leigh Miller have decided to share their writing wisdom here.
Take it away, Sharon and Kara!
Why You Should Have a Blog
By Sharon Kleve and Kara Leigh Miller
The Writing Nut asked Kara and I to write about some writing tips and techniques. We thought blogging would be a great topic.
It’s all the rage nowadays. Everyone is doing it. Are you?
Authors are encouraged, sometimes required by their publishers to have a blog. But, have you ever stopped and wondered, what’s the point? If you have a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Goodreads profile, Pinterest Account, Google+, Tumblr, and all those other time sucking social media outlets, why add another, right?
Why? Because it’s fun!
Okay, seriously, it is fun, but it’s more than that. For an author, it means exposure—which in today’s publishing world can make or break you. A blog is a place for you to express yourself creatively about things you might not write about in your books. It’s a place for you to share your knowledge and experiences and to promote your books. And it’s a place for you to connect with other authors and readers in a more in-depth, personal way than Facebook or Twitter allows.
So, have I convinced you yet? If not, check out the article below by Andrew Grant published on July 1st 2013 on why you should have a Blog.
Why You Should Have a Blog – 10 Great Reasons
1 – Everybody is interested in something
And doing that favorite something is the quickest path to happiness and fulfillment that I know of. Therefore, it’s logical to conclude that writing a blog about that something is probably the most accessible way to make money around your favorite way of spending time.
2 – A blog will make you friends
The very essence of a blog is that it will attract people who like the same things as you. They may see them very differently and they may well not agree with everything you say, but they will definitely share your interests. Isn’t that the very definition of friendships?
3 – Blogging encourages your creativity
Even if you don’t think of yourself as creative, I am willing to bet that if you set yourself the challenge of writing three short blog posts about something you love, you will be amazed at how creative you can be.
4 – Owning a blog gives you motivation.
Once you begin to see the fruits of your efforts and especially when you start to get positive feedback from people you have never met, you will find that what looked like an onerous task at the outset is suddenly a pleasure to do – you can’t wait to see what your loyal readers will think of your latest post.
5 – Blogging gives you self-discipline
Once you set yourself a schedule to regularly blog, you feel a responsibility to your readers to deliver on your commitment, but it’s a pleasure not a stress, because you know they are enthusiastically waiting for what you give them.
6 – Blogging keeps you sharp.
If you write a how-to blog, like mine, then you will be honing your skills of research and summation. If your blog is more opinion based, then you need to keep abreast of other views and the latest developments in your field so that you can comment on them with authority. You’ll find your thinking skills get keener and your ability to filter good information from bad gets a lot more efficient.
7 – Blogging is rewarding
I guarantee that the best thing you will get from blogging is the satisfaction of making a difference to someone else’s life no matter how minor that difference might be. From a grateful reader telling you how much they enjoyed following one of your patterns to the person making their first few dollars online. The moment when you read their heartfelt email will be one of the high-points of your week.
8 – A blog is a test-bed.
Once you start to build an audience, your blog will become the place where you can try stuff out. You can ask their opinion on your plans and projects, test different offers with them and best of all you can get them to tell you what they need so you can make a product that suits, safe in the knowledge that as soon as you do, they are going to be the first ones to buy it.
9 – You don’t need to be a good writer.
No matter how poor you think your writing skills are, I absolutely encourage you to just get stuck in and start writing immediately. There are some great blogs out there written by people who are nowhere near polished, but they write with an intensity that makes that meaningless. In fact if they improved their writing, their blogs probably wouldn’t be as good. Their passion shines through.
10 – Google loves bloggers
Every post you write, every picture you link and every comment you receive is another little building brick in the great structure of your credibility. The great bloggers out there have built their authority, their popularity and their credibility, by doing one thing well and doing it regularly. Creating stuff that people want to read, watch, listen to and act upon. Ike the movie said, “If you build it they will come,” and that was never more appropriate than when applied to blogging.
Quite simply, a blog is the best and most long-term profitable way to spend your time on the internet, bar none.
This YouTube video is a simple step-by-step instruction on how to set-up a Blog on Blogger.
Book Title: Jilted
Author: Kara Leigh Miller
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 9.15.2013
Heat Rating: Hot
Amy and Brett have been friends since they were kids; and their friendship has withstood the test of time. But can it withstand Brett’s fiancée, Vanessa?
Brett Hudson has often wondered what it would be like to be more than Amy’s friend, but when he’s chosen as the newest professional dancer on Dancing with the Stars, he meets Vanessa, one of the shows costume designers and it’s a whirlwind romance that ends in a wedding proposal. As the big day draws closer, Brett begins to think that marrying Vanessa might be a bad idea. She wants him to give up Amy. Completely. Will he give up his best friend for the woman he’s supposed to marry?
Amy King is heartbroken to learn that Brett is marrying another woman. But, when Brett is jilted at the altar, he begs Amy to go on his honeymoon with him. A week on a tropical island with her best friend, the man she’s fantasized about for years is a dream come true for Amy. But when Brett suggest crossing the line from friends to lovers, Amy is reluctant. Will she risk years of friendship for one night of passion?
“It’s because you go for the wrong type of guy,” Brett said matter-of-factly, pouring a third shot down his throat. “Those muscle bound jocks are all bark and no bite. They look good on the outside, but they’re a mess on the inside.”
Amy threw a piece of ice at him and laughed. “And the goody two shoes, school teacher types you date are much better?”
“Nope.” He grinned. “Which is why we’re both still single.”
She sighed. “Yeah, so much for my dream of having kids.”
“You’re young. I’m sure you’ll find someone.” He drank his last shot and chased it with his beer.
“I’m thirty, Brett. By the time I find a man, date him, and get married, I’ll be an old hag with no viable eggs.”
The thought of Amy finding a man to marry and have kids with didn’t sit well with him. He couldn’t stomach the thought of losing her. “I’ll tell you what.” He leaned across the table and pointed at her. “Three years from now, if neither of us are married, I’ll marry you and give you as many babies as you want.” Brett’s words were slurred. Yup. He was definitely drunk. He wouldn’t have made that proposition otherwise.
“Yeah right.” Amy rolled her eyes. “You and me? That would be like fucking my brother. Thanks, but no thanks.”
He flinched at her words. “You think of me as your brother?” That bothered him a lot more than it should, especially considering he’d never once thought of her as a sister.
She shrugged. “We’re best friends. How else would I think of you?” Amy glanced away, and then set her gaze on him again. “Why? How do you think of me?”
Oh shit! He hadn’t expected the conversation to backfire on him like that. What was he supposed to tell her? That he thought of her as a best friend that he wanted to fuck? No, he definitely couldn’t tell her that. “As a friend, I guess. I don’t know. It’s not like I sit around and think about how I should think of you. You’re Amy.”
“And you’re drunk.”
“Maybe a little.” He grinned. “So, do we have a deal or what?”
Kara is a multi-published romance author who dabbles in young adult, new adult, paranormal, and contemporary romances. However, her genre of choice will always be erotic romance. She’s a member of the CNY Writers Haven and the Romance Writers of America. Writing is her passion and she loves to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with her fellow authors and her fans.
Today, Kara resides in Upstate New York with her husband, five kids, three cats, and two dogs. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends.
Nothing excites Kara more than hearing from her fans. So, send her a note. She’ll go total fan girl over it!
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Book Title: Halo’s Wish
Author: Sharon Kleve
Publisher: Books to Go Now
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Christmas Romance
Release Date: 9.15.2013
Heat Rating: Sweet
Halo Ann Carlyle wishes for a home, family, and a boat-load of pets. What she gets is a bruised hip, a lump on the head, a broken ankle, and her new yellow Honda Civic is demolished.
Rich McFarland, a sexy veterinarian, keeps showing up in the most unexpected places, promising everything she’s ever wanted.
Halo believes she only has time to pursue her career as a pet detective and must ignore her growing attraction to achieve her dreams.
Will Halo trust her heart, and find a way to get both for Christmas?
She’d just placed another call through to Pemsky’s office, which went straight to his voicemail, when the office door opened. Halo smiled and looked up into dreamy, gold-flecked green eyes, short sandy brown hair, a slight cleft chin, and full lips set in a hard line. Even with the stern look he had on his face, my hormones jumped into overdrive.
Mr. Dreamy cleared his throat—she must’ve been staring. In her most professional voice she said, “Good morning. How may I help you?”
He removed a piece of paper from his shirt pocket and unfolded the sheet.
“I was parked in front of the Beacon Hill Ale House and my driver’s side mirror was sideswiped by one of Pemsky’s Security’s SUV’s Friday night.”
Halo loved the Beacon Hill Ale House. Every Saturday night the Ale House allowed local bands to jam together. That’s where she’d met her last loser boyfriend. She’d had a lot of loser boyfriends. She’s currently on a hiatus from dating, but she wouldn’t mind jumping back into the dating game for this dream-boat.
He handed her the piece of paper.
“I wasn’t able to get a look at the driver, but I got the license plate number of the vehicle that hit my car and drove away.”
He emphasized the last part.
“I’m very sorry about your car. I’m sure Mr. Pemsky will be happy to cover the damage.” Halo checked the company log and Pemsky’s name popped up as the driver—she gulped.
Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.
Sharon is a writer of paranormal and contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.
One of her favorite things to do is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.
When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.
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