Continuing my summary of my day at Somerset Celebration of Literature March 2018, it’s now June but I have fond memories of the day. The session after Jackie French was after a short break in the Great Hall and it was a stimulating panel session. I try to do a panel session as I usually only get the one day so try to get the most out of it by seeing as many authors as I can. There was a Literary Lunch at 12.30 but that wouldn’t allow me time for the next session I wanted to go to so I stuck with the panel session. A panel usually means several authors in one session, in this case, three – Megan Daley, Steph Bowe and Nikki Parkinson with a competent host asking the important questions to set up the Q&A.
The Panel Session was on Blogging
Summary of my day at Somerset 15th March 2018 – Part Three By Jill Smith©June 2018
11.15 to 12 PANEL – Story Telling in the Electronic World – Megan Daley, Steph Brown & Nikki Parkinson
Megan Daley is passionate about children’s literature and sharing it with young and old alike. She firmly believes that YA literature is far better than adult literature and that picture books are works of art which should adorn the walls of art galleries and libraries. Megan is a Teacher Librarian and was recently awarded the Qld Teacher Librarian of the Year by The School Library Association of Queensland.
Nikki Parkinson is a former journalist-turned blogger and author. She blogs at award-winning fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, Styling You. Her first book, Unlock Your Style, was published in 2014 by Hachette Australia. Styling You won the 2015 Queensland micro business Telstra Business Award.
Steph Bowe was born in Melbourne in 1994 and now lives in Queensland with her family. She is the author of Young Adult novels Night Swimming, Girl Saves Boy and All This Could End. She is a Stella Prize Schools Ambassador for Queensland and a 2016 May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Fellow.
The MC introduced herself and the session by asking the question – How do you make money from Blogging? How did you start?
STEPH – I started book blog at 14, doing interviews with writers, started as ‘Hey teenager of the year’ – now it’s just in her name.
NIKKI – is now ten years into blogging, journo for 20 years, had started a website for a business going to start but then went into blogging, she would write make comments and chat. She grew an audience – stylingyou.com.au
MEGAN – her blog was a grief gift to her brother who’d died, she’d just had a baby, she enjoyed the engagement with an audience, writing review and connecting, she has a UQP book soon to be released, a teacher librarian.
MC – Do you write for the audience or does the audience find you?
NIKKI – a bit of both
STEPH – Writing about what you’re passionate about
NIKKI – the weird little rambles tell the audience who you are
MEGAN – it’s a balance between reviews and rambles, share a part of yourself
MC – How do you establish your voice?
MEGAN – it starts about what you write about, blogging is a discipline
NIKKI – something you have to keep feeding, a blog is your home base to the social media, rules change
STEPH – not thinking much of the clutter, it’s still storytelling, it’s a way to develop and express your own ideas
NIKKI – Youtube, Twitter, Podcasts all link back to the blog as its the base
MEGAN – own the content on the blog, not social media
STEPH – Websites you may have posted on might have gone under but on your own blog you can reshare
MEGAN – my blog is a platform for a catalogue of my work
MC – Asks the audience – How many read a blog every day? How many use a blog as a base? (after an impressive show of hands to both questions) Asks the panel -The money side of things – What is the background of the commercial side of blogging?
NIKKI – Very few are persistent and consistent enough for many years. YouTube, Instagram link to the blog and build a community by building an engaged audience taking them back to buying your products. I was approached by earning from my blog with sponsorships, online store and affirmative market then wrote a book.
MEGAN – This is my experience also. I didn’t know about affiliate links. I get a small percentage of my income from freelance writing UQP. It’s all about increasing income streams and it takes time.
STEPH – I started at fourteen and never made money out of my blog. I used it as a stepping stone, writing book reviews, getting books from authors. I’d written a novel and authors online recommended an agent. The online community gave me a way to promote books engaged with book blogging. I didn’t directly make money from writing, mainly teaching, related to writing and speaking about writing.
MEGAN – other bloggers get affiliate sales, reviews on her page, Elliot Awesome, incoming books.
NIKKI – Blog about what you’re into.
MC – When can blogging go bad? As a Lawyer, she asked the panel about words and content issues.
STEPH – No, my tip when writing online – never put anything online that you don’t want your Nan to see. People really exist.
NIKKI – Yes, keep it clean, the internet is forever, even if you take down a post, you can still and will encounter criticism and it will affect you. Ask yourself, could I say that to someone’s face?
MEGAN – I taught social media online and met many friends online. She’d been Trolled badly, she thought it wouldn’t affect her but it did.
NIKKI – you don’t expect to have insults hurled at you. Set the tone, delete if not getting good comments with without being judged.
MEGAN – much the same with me, I’ve grown and learnt from being online.
MC – Blogging is fantastic, have friends, have a voice, you can moderate when your readers are giving feedback.
NIKKI – three strikes and your out.
MEGAN – blogging is a real discipline and an amazing platform.
NIKKI – showcase your case on your terms
MC – time for questions.
Q – Is it reliable?
A- Read blog but comment on FaceBook or another platform, be flexible and have good content.
Q – Whats the next best thing?
MEGAN – create your own niche, you bring to it your offer on your blog.
NIKKI – be yourself.
STEPH – write about your obsession. I always wanted to be a writer, that’s my passion.
MC – in summary, read many people’s blogs, try your own with professional settings, none of us knows where it can lead.