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  1. [​IMG]

    Hello, my fellow weirdos!

    I know, it's been a while. I wanted to take a moment to update this blog, and well, I missed all of you. I've been working on WIP's and social media for other people. Your right, excuses are like... well you know what.

    Anyway, today's blog is about keeping in touch with your reader. *Ahem* Something I need to work on. Why's it important? Is it all that important? Does your reader base care if you do it?

    The answer to all of those questions is a resounding yes.

    If you weren't sure about that or your thinking "But Corbyn, nobody cares whether I'm keeping in touch or not..." You're wrong. Just admit it now, or if you don't want to stick with me a bit longer, and hopefully I can change your mind about that.

    Sometimes as writers (especially Indy ones) we have to stop thinking of ourselves as writers, and instead, consider what we're trying to do from a business perspective. In business terms, if a company or entity isn't connecting with its consumers, they're less likely to buy that companies product. The same is true for us.

    If you've followed this blog, we've discussed before how building a reader base is like building a relationship with people. Take you and me for example. If you're here reading this, it's because you have an interest in what I'm saying. You want to know how to do something specific, or you want advice on a specific topic. It's the same for your reader.

    Building a relationship with a reader is promising them something (i.e., information or entertainment) in exchange for their support (reading). And now you're wondering what that has to do with touching base, am I right?

    The ultimate goal for a writer in building a readership is to have a mass of people to which they can market (you guessed it) their material. By interacting with your readership, you're helping to foster and cultivate that relationship. Relationships take work, even if it's just the promise between an author and their readers.

    So, as you can see taking the time to touch base with your readers isn't just important, it can be vital to a writers survival and success.

    As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If there is something you'd like to see me cover in a future blog please leave me a comment below. If you like my content, please don't forget to follow me here on the forum.

    Also, I can be found more frequently on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/korbynblakeauthor/

    I've been toying with posting some Facebook live feeds on current authors I'm reading, and how they are influencing my writing. Specifically how that influence is helping me pepper in world building info without info dumping. If it's a topic you might be interested in be sure to leave a comment, or you know... leave a comment anyway. I love hearing from you all.

    -Corbyn
  2. [​IMG]

    Hello, my fellow weirdos!

    I know, it's been a while. I wanted to take a moment to update this blog, and well, I missed all of you. I've been working on WIP's and social media for other people. Your right, excuses are like... well you know what.

    Anyway, today's blog is about keeping in touch with your reader. *Ahem* Something I need to work on. Why's it important? Is it all that important? Does your reader base care if you do it?

    The answer to all of those questions is a resounding yes.

    If you weren't sure about that or your thinking "But Corbyn, nobody cares whether I'm keeping in touch or not..." You're wrong. Just admit it now, or if you don't want to stick with me a bit longer, and hopefully I can change your mind about that.

    Sometimes as writers (especially Indy ones) we have to stop thinking of ourselves as writers, and instead, consider what we're trying to do from a business perspective. In business terms, if a company or entity isn't connecting with its consumers, they're less likely to buy that companies product. The same is true for us.

    If you've followed this blog, we've discussed before how building a reader base is like building a relationship with people. Take you and me for example. If you're here reading this, it's because you have an interest in what I'm saying. You want to know how to do something specific, or you want advice on a specific topic. It's the same for your reader.

    Building a relationship with a reader is promising them something (i.e., information or entertainment) in exchange for their support (reading). And now you're wondering what that has to do with touching base, am I right?

    The ultimate goal for a writer in building a readership is to have a mass of people to which they can market (you guessed it) their material. By interacting with your readership, you're helping to foster and cultivate that relationship. Relationships take work, even if it's just the promise between an author and their readers.

    So, as you can see taking the time to touch base with your readers isn't just important, it can be vital to a writers survival and success.

    As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If there is something you'd like to see me cover in a future blog please leave me a comment below. If you like my content, please don't forget to follow me here on the forum.

    Also, I can be found more frequently on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/korbynblakeauthor/

    I've been toying with posting some Facebook live feeds on current authors I'm reading, and how they are influencing my writing. Specifically how that influence is helping me pepper in world building info without info dumping. If it's a topic you might be interested in be sure to leave a comment, or you know... leave a comment anyway. I love hearing from you all.

    -Corbyn
    CerebralEcstasy likes this.
  3. [​IMG]

    Hello minions! Did you miss me? No?!? Well, I missed all of you!

    Today's blog is something that hits close to home for me and on more than just one front. I bet you're wondering what the lovely stack of green stuff that most of us don't have has to do with knowing your worth right? Or better yet, why I felt the need to post the pic right?

    Self-worth and self-confidence are problems I've struggled with badly over the years.

    How does this matter or relate to writing Corbyn, and why do I care?

    You thought it, I know you did, and that's ok.

    If you follow this humble blog, then you know that I have periodically done some freelance ghostwriting. To date, I've written thirty-something articles that have found homes elsewhere, and about six shorts, and one full-length novel. I'm not bragging. This isn't that, though maybe I should brag... that's a different post altogether. My point is, I've become experienced in dealing with certain people where these type of assignments are brokered and let me tell you, it ain't pretty.

    Which brings me to the topic today. As a writer, it's important that you know your worth. Even if you're a novice like me, and don't feel like you can (or should) top bill people. Know your worth! It's not ok to let people low ball you or try to get away with not paying you for the services you offer.

    I had a potential client try this with me today. I'm proud to say that I stood up for myself. The client wanted me to write between 40,000 and 60,000 words on a novel, had no idea what the premise of the work should be, and the kicker... only wanted to pay me $250.00 for the work, and needed it in three weeks.

    Ummm. No. Not happening.

    If any of you have tried your hand at Nanowrimo, you know how difficult it can be to write 50,000 words in thirty days. It's doable, but it isn't pretty either.

    Last time I checked, I'm not a miracle worker. I could've tried it, but the whole thing was just laughably crazy. I politely told the client that I couldn't help her, and that I hoped she could locate a freelancer who would.

    Moral of the story, even though I want to write full time, and get paid for my writing, somethings are just better left undone.


    As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If there is something you'd like to see me cover in a future blog please leave me a comment below. If you like my content, please don't forget to follow me here on the forum.

    Also, I can be found more frequently on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/korbynblakeauthor/

    Where I post far funnier photos of all manner of interesting things like, you know, cats 'n stuff. Who doesn't love cats? This is the internet. Just sayin'.


    Happy writing!

    -Corbyn
    Magus, Cave Troll and Foxxx like this.
  4. Happy Hump Day Minions!! (Yes calling you few people who read this minion is growing on me.)

    Last week we talked about how and why using the CRAVE strategy can help you in your endeavors of worldly social media and marketing dominance. If you missed that blog, here's a handy link:

    https://www.writingforums.org/entry/c-r-a-v-e-and-why-its-a-great-strategy-for-social-media.64334/#comment-11486

    Today's blog post is brought to you by forum member @Magus who kindly asked last week if I had ever done posts on Narrative specifics. I hadn't... so here we go!

    Narrative What the heck is it, and why does it matter to us as authors? Well, for those of you like me who aren't really in the know about spiffy writing terms, a narrative is your story. Easy right? Well, if it were, I wouldn't be doing a blog post about it, and none of us would be struggling to write.

    The narrative is made up of many (and I do mean MANY) different components like voice, point of view, style and devices to name a few. I've briefly touched on points of view in the past; style is also relatively straightforward. So today we'll be talking about voice.

    Voice is unique to each author. No two people think alike, and no two people see situations or events in the same way. This is why police have a hard time with multiple witnesses to a crime. You've probably seen this in your writing groups if you've ever participated in a group write in with a prompt or as a part of a themed compilation.

    So why is that important? Well, if you're ghostwriting for someone else, it can be a pain in the neck, especially if they already have parts of the story written. Sometimes as writers we are required to match someone else's voice, like in a collaborative effort. But beyond that, as a writer, it can be challenging to find your voice.

    But Corbyn, you just said everyone has their own unique voice.

    I did. But that doesn't mean that an author doesn't have to cultivate it. Everyone speaks and writes a certain way, but your voice is more than that, especially when telling the story of a character. This is something that I struggle with. Sometimes my characters come off to well spoken. I mean them to be, but not overly polished. Just a little bit better than a common thug. I tend to go excessively formal. I don't think of myself that way, but I realize that most of it is me coming off too loud when it should be the characters personality driving the story instead. Your voice also has to do with your willingness to use dialect, tone, and even how much violence or swearing you put into your writing. Cooler people call this edgy writing. (I'm not that cool.)

    It takes work in the form of editing and revision to dial these issues down, or change them. A retraining of your brain if you will. Sometimes I find that to be the hardest part. Retraining myself not to get in the way as I see the story section play out in my head. (I know that sounds a little weird, but I'm not mental... promise :p) I'd almost rather see the scenes play out because I know then that the character is driving the story, and it's coming naturally, not me forcing the writing.

    The bottom line when it comes to voice is that you have to practice the things that work for you until it becomes a habit. If it's a habit, then you'll have fewer issues in the long run with pesky problems like writer's block.

    And on that note minions, you'll be happy to know that our world domination plans are kicking into high gear. I'll be posting more frequently both here on the blog and to the novel workshop as I pluck away at my latest novel. I've gotta pay for your cookies and DSL somehow!

    As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you feel like there is something you’d like to see me cover, or I haven’t covered correctly, please leave a comment below. Happy writing!

    -Corbyn

    Magus and awkwarddragon like this.
  5. In yesterdays post I went over how to ID and why you need a target audience. If you missed the piece, here's a handy link:

    https://www.writingforums.org/entry/identifying-your-target-audience-reader.64327/

    So, you've got your target audience, now what? Yeah, they're essential, but how does that help you in marketing your latest endeavor? Today we'll be taking what we've learned a step further by discussing the CRAVE method and how it can help you take your social media to that next level.

    CRAVE is an acronym used for a set of five elements which can help you build and engage your social media audience, get around pesky algorithms, and make your platform all that it needs to be. These five strategies revolve around content, reliability, asking questions, providing value, and audience engagement.

    Content- As many of us know, not all content is created equal. It's evident everywhere you look online these days. Here in the forum, the endless sea of blog posts available, and so on. With so much information available online, it can become easy to fall through the cracks with your platform. The solution? Provide and become a source of quality content. The type of content that your reader actively seeks out. A few examples of this might be The Bangor Main Police Facebook page, their Sgt TC posts hilarious pieces that have become a staple online, and garner attention all over the country. The point is people actively seek out the page and don't necessarily wait to receive updates via their feeds for this page. TC achieved this by brandishing a razor-sharp wit while reciting overly fictionalized events, and by promoting the departments Duck of Justice. Twitter has many equally funny examples like Ryan Reynolds, and the list goes on.

    Reliability- I know this isn't my strong suit, but that's why it's on this list (which I didn't create btw). The problem for many of us is that to get to the point where people crave our posts/interaction we have to provide reliable content. It may not always be funny, but it should be consistent, and it should be on average good content. Everyone has a bad day, but you still need to post and stick to whatever your posting schedule is.

    Ask Questions- So much of social media marketing anymore is driven toward engagement, which we'll talk about later, but equally important is drawing your audience in. That goes hand in hand with feedback. It can make or break a platform if you don't have feedback from your audience. They also need to know that you care what they think. Asking questions starts a dialogue that will benefit both you and your audience innumerably.

    Value- Even in our digital world readers/audiences need a sense of value. They're giving you their time and attention in exchange for something that they hope will be of equal or greater value, usually knowledge of some kind. Know your audience, and always offer them something of value. This will also drive them to seek out your platform over others, and keep them coming back for more even if you aren't necessarily toppling their news feeds.

    Engagement- This is another biggie that I struggle with. Engaging people has been hard for me. But I'm learning that to engage a platform it means more than just trying to get a dialogue going. Sometimes it means letting your audience know that you're there for them. How do you do that? As we talked about yesterday, this step involves being active in the places where you are finding your readers to haunt most frequently. It could mean being more involved in a forum, local events, or in online groups. Where ever your target audience is, so should you be.

    As always, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. If you feel like there is something you’d like to see me cover, or I haven’t covered correctly, please leave a comment below. Happy writing!

    -Corbyn





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