Versatile and Liebster Blog Awards

I was skeptical about these blogger awards at first, but after being nominated(twice!) on Sunday, I’ve come to the conclusion that they are great tools for connecting bloggers with each other.  I like the idea of sharing links with readers to blogs that I think might interest them.  Also, last week I was tagged for the Lucky Seven Meme, which I’ll be posting about soon, so keep a look out, because it’s a fun one!

As you guys know, I love getting responses from people on my blog.  I like to think of my blogging and twitter escapades as a great way of building a positive community around myself.  This is why I’ve chosen to accept and share these awards with all of you.  I hope you all enjoy browsing these fantastic blogs, and I encourage you to reach out and connect with fellow bloggers.

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A big thank you to Amy Keeley and Pete Denton for nominating me for this award.  Amy, I know you nominated me in January, but please forgive the time lapse!

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the award-givers and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself. 
3. Pass this award along 15 or 20. 
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award. 

Seven things about Aly:

  1. I have a love affair with baking. And  I just applied to a Pirate-themed Cupcake/Frozen Yogurt place opening in town.  Which quite possibly might be the best idea for a bakery ever.  Please wish me luck!
  2. When I get really excited about things, I start to sneeze.  Uncontrollably.
  3. I used to sport a red fauxhawk. (If I get enough requests, I’ll post pictures.)
  4. One of my older brothers and I have the same birthday.  Even though he’s two years older, we still act like twins.
  5. I was a closet writer for 10 years after my non-creative family picked apart a story idea that I made the mistake of sharing with them.  I still dislike talking about writing with them because they don’t understand.
  6. I have a habit of lighting candles before I sit down to write.
  7. Coffee makes me sleepy.  But sometimes I drink it anyways because it reminds me of when I worked as a Barista, which I absolutely loved.
Nominated Blogs, that I highly recommend you check out:
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Another tremendous thank you to Rebecca T. Dickinson of  A Word or More for this nomination!  She has an amazing blog that I’ve linked to before, and I’m sure I will again, so be sure to check it out.

Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging.

The rules are simply:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!

Side note: I don’t actually know how many followers these people have, but I love the encouraging aspect of this award.  

My Liebster Blog Award Nominees:

Crystal Wind Chimes
The Writing Engine
Jumping Ship
Cashmere Clouds
Writings and Musings of a Nerdfighter

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How Not to Play the Social Media Game

It has come to my attention that in the world of writing, it’s all the rage to hop on any and every social media bandwagon.  Every writer is constantly looking for an in.  A way to promote themselves and their writing, and hopefully to catch more than just a few straying eyes.

I understand that prospective editors/agents/publishers are looking for someone who already has a fan base.  Sure, your writing chops will always be looked at first, and given priority.  But it’s like brownie points all around if you can actively market yourself and your writing to the masses.

So we start a blog, we start an author’s page on Facebook, open a twitter account, throw in a dash of google+(even though we have no idea what we’re supposed to do with it), and start ritually gathering four leaf clovers and pennies.  The more, the better!

Except, well, not.

I’ve searched out other bloggers on WordPress that I enjoy, ones I can share comments with, talk with.  I’ve also been concentrating on blogging and producing(hopefully) interesting posts.  Oh, and there’s this little hobby of mine, called writing, that I’ve put a lot of effort into.  With all of this hubbub I’ve been neglecting the poor Twitter account I started along with this blog.

A few days ago after a particularly long period of neglect, I logged on to see that one of the bloggers I had connected with on WordPress had mentioned me in a Tweet.  I was so excited I immediately tweeted back, only to realize he had sent that five days before.  With how often some people are on Twitter, I had no idea if he’d even remember tweeting that, which left me thinking.

Is it bad form to wait so long?  Will it make people think that I’m lazy?  Or worse, that I don’t care enough to update them?  If I only post updates about my blog, and not about my life, will people think I’m just shamefully self-promoting?  Will they think I’m boring?  If people think I’m boring, will that affect how they read my writing? Am I expected to tweet and tag other people?  Will they think I’m just trying to con them in promoting me?  Am I shallow to think that that’s what I should be doing to get my name out there?

Don’t get me wrong, social media outlets are great…if you can use them.  But what if you’re terribly forgetfully, or just plain apathetic about them?  Is it worth it to have a Twitter or Facebook page if you only update it once a month?    I would say no, just because that’s one more loose string your name is attached to.  I think readers and the audience deserve something that is at least decently kept.  With how many connections we make online these days, I think that unless you’ve REALLY done well creating a platform, the more quiet you are, the less people will care to listen.

My advice?  Start slowly with one type of outlet until you’re comfortable with branching out to something else.

I’d like to hear what you guys think about it though.  Do you think it’s worth it to have an author Facebook page or a Twitter account even if you rarely use it?

Side note: Right after I wrote this, I realized a blog that I follow posted this: How to Effectively Use Twitter for Authors  Why didn’t this happen before my Twitter lapse?  In her post she has a link for 8 Twitter Tips for Authors, that she guest posted on another blog.  I’d recommend checking that article out for some great tips, if you’re struggling with it like me.  Also, feel free to post your own tips, as well as articles on this topic.  Any social medium tips are welcome, blogging, facebook, twitter, etc. 

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