Thursday, March 1, 2012

Want More People to Read Your Blog?


Alright, since I'm new around these parts, maybe I should start with an introduction. 

I'm Erin Shakespear, writer of humorous (I hope.) middle grade fantasy novels. I'm also a mom to five crazy fun kids (heavy on the crazy), lover of locking doors and parenthesis (that might be obvious) and a midnight crafter.  I have a blog Here.And you can learn more than you ever wanted to know about my writing journey Here.

Ok, moving on...

Let me ask you some questions. 

Do you have a blog? (I hope this answer is yes.)

Are you trying to build a following?

Are you filling your blog with killer content to lure readers your way?

Do you want to get the word out about your awesome posts, like your 100 Tips to Cornering an Agent in the Bathroom or Closet, but you just don't know how to go about it?

Are sick and tired of posting into the internet ether only to feel as though you're talking to yourself? 

Then have I got a solution for you! (Is it just me or are you all expecting me to roll out a 1-800 # at this point. Well, if you want to hand over your credit card number, I'm not going to stop you...)

There is a really great site called inkPageant and it was created by one of our own Utahns, Darren Hansen. Now you might be confused at this point. 

There is a Deren Hansen pictured there on the sidebar. Hey Deren! See how they spell their names differently? Yep. Different Darrens. I mean, Derens. Ok. You get it. 

So, what better way to learn more about this nifty site, inkPageant, than to shoot some questions Darren's way?

inkPageant logo

Hey there Darren. Welcome to the UCW blog! Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I studied graphic design in college, I married a wonderful woman named LaChelle (who also loves to write and runs a food blog), and I'm now a father to three little boys. I also like reading, writing, programming, drawing, painting, and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

(Everyone should now run off to take a look at LaChelle's food blog. How awesome are those inkPageant cookies?)

What do you like to write?

Epic fantasy was my reading of choice as a kid. Because of that, I started out with epic fantasy, but I bit off more than I could chew with my first book. I found my niche in urban fantasy and am now working on my third novel.

Are you an early morning writer or a night owl scribbler?

Mornings are my best time. I get up an hour early to get in a little hobby time each day, whether it's writing, programming, or something else. Writing at night sometimes turns me into a grumpy, groggy monster.

Alright, so what's the story behind What prompted you to create this site?

There's a popular website for food blogs called Food bloggers submit their posts and share their recipes there, as well as show off their mad food photography skills. When accepted one of LaChelle’s posts, her blog traffic spiked for a few days. Now, the writing world is very different from the food blogging world, but we were intrigued by the idea of putting together a similar website for the writing community.

I had a few business and writing contacts, so we reached out to them for advice. We then put together the website from scratch and had a lot of fun making it. David Powers King was excited about the idea and offered to help us moderate. We launched in October of last year. Since then, we've collected hundreds of posts.

What is the purpose of inkPageant?

We're here to help writers reach their goals. Our vision is to create a giant database where writers can find great advice on writing and publishing. When authors submit posts, we help push traffic and followers to their blogs. We also help writers with building their platforms and network with bloggers, editors, publishers and agents.

Can you tell us what makes the perfect submission for inkPageant?

We look for posts relevant to writing and publishing that are helpful, informative, or entertaining. Book reviews, tips on writing, events, news, opinions, and tips on publishing are all welcome submissions. Our favorite blog posts are those where the author is not focusing on just herself, but wants to give something to her readers.

Why should authors become involved with inkPageant?

- It's free advertising for your blog. We like to send traffic and followers your way.
- We have hundreds of posts about writing and a nifty search tool. If you want advice from someone who knows, you just might find it here.
- You can network on inkPageant, finding friends and professional contacts to help accomplish your goals.
- It's a way to serve others in the writing community. Someone out there may need to hear from you!

Is there anything else you'd like to share about

You don't need to be published or have a blog entirely dedicated to writing to submit posts to us.

Thanks for letting me pick your brain, Darren! Good luck with your site!


So, who's ready to start submitting to inkPageant

Submit in the next 5 minutes and we'll even throw in a *handy dandy chopping tool. 

*Ok. Not really. I'm totally lying.


Julie Daines said...

I've never heard of this before, so thanks!

David P. King said...

Thanks for hosting Darren, Erin (hey, that rhythms!), and for helping us spread the word on inkPageant. We look forward to future posts! :)

Deren Hansen said...

The similarities between Darren and I (Deren) run much deeper: we write fantasy, we live within a few miles of each other, we both married women whose names begin with, 'L,' and we're both bent on world domination. (At least I assume that last one is also true for Darren: inkPagent must be part of a cunning and intricate plan to conquer the Earth--what else could it be?)

Darren and I have discussed the matter at great length and we've concluded that one of us is the evil twin, though it's not yet clear which. I volunteered for the title, but Darren is too much of a gentleman to let me take it without outside confirmation.

Taffy said...

I think Deren should do a post on world domination...

I'm on inkPageant!
(I should probably send in a new post)

Kasey @ Mormon Mommy Writers said...

This is wonderful! We're trying to do something similar at Mormon Mommy Writers by hosting a blog party once a week. My crafting blog always got a spike in traffic when I submitted my links to blog parties, and I'm trying to help writers who are bloggers have the same opportunity. It's called Manuscript in Motion Mondays- you just come by on Monday, add your link to your writing blog with the Mr. Linky tool and everyone that visits our blog will see your link. The following Monday I'll choose a link to feature.

So glad we're all working together to get writers and their wonderful blogs connected to each other! I'm definitely going to check out inPageant.

Anji Sandage said...

Darn, I was totally into that chopping tool . . . and then I read the fine print. Always something isn't it? LOL

Becca said...

Great post, Erin! Thank you!

Joseph Ramirez said...

I think I'd like to submit to InkPageant. I've visited the site and I like it. Putting that on my to-do list.

Chad Morris said...

Great post, and I love ink pageant!

Scott said...

Great post! Welcome to the blog, Erin.

Erin Shakespear said...

Deren....I'll vouch for you in your efforts to be the evil twin.

Kasey...that's awesome. I'll have to check that out!


And thanks everyone else for the great comments. Oh my, it's sad just how much I love comments...

Melanie said...

Great post Erin. I've submitted a couple posts to Ink Pageant and love looking through the posts they have listed there. It's an awesome service.