Author Interview with Sacha Black: 13 Steps to Evil

Sacha Black

The lovely Sacha Black

Those of you who have been in the blogging world for some time will know the name Sacha Black. Creator of www.sachablack.co.uk and, of course, The Annual Bloggers Bash, Sacha has now written and published her first book: 13 Steps to Evil (and from all accounts this is the first of many that will be out within the next twelve months) and she’s kindly agreed to let me interview her about her new creation, her process and a little of what makes her… Sacha.

Tell us about your new book – 13 Steps to Evil.

13 Steps To Evil – How To Craft Superbad Villains is every writer’s comprehensive guide to creating kick-ass villains. It’s based on a commonly held misnomer by writers: that their hero is the most important character. Without the villain or antagonist within a story, there is no conflict. Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is. Continue reading

How to Use Facebook Groups to Increase Your Blog Traffic

How to use Facebook groups to increase your blog traffic

Facebook groups are a brilliant source of information, community and traffic. They differ in purpose and each have different rules, but essentially they can all be used for the same things: to meet new bloggers, ask questions to the community and to promote your posts.

As with many things in the blogging world – it took me a long time to discover the power of blogging focused Facebook groups. I joined one, run by a close blog friend when it had just a few hundred members last year and a very small targeted sharing group, but didn’t actively participate in either. My Facebook traffic was low at the time – I’d had a post go viral with 100,000 views in my first year of blogging, but since that point I averaged between 5-20 views a day, depending on whether I published to my blog Facebook page. Continue reading

Things I’ve Learned in Four Years of Blogging

Blogging advice

Today marks the four year anniversary of Suzie Speaks.

Four years, 838 posts (if you don’t count the hundreds that I’ve deleted), a collective following of nearly 19,000 people, nearly 780,000 views, the biggest blogging hashtag of the weekend, an amazing Facebook group and three awards.

Since starting the blog I have quit my job, got engaged, gained a brother-in-law and gorgeous squidgy niece, travelled, attended events, reviewed everything from restaurants and cocktail bars to theatre shows, hotels and products, made a whole bunch of new friends and experienced things that I could only have dreamed of in what I consider to be my previous life. What an unbelievable journey.

The blog began as a simple online journal – an outlet to try and calm the stress and anxieties I was experiencing at the time. There were no expectations or dreams, just a desire to write. However, as my blogging knowledge grew, I found a community, started to develop promotional strategies, learned a great deal about social media and, as a result, now have a whole list of things that, if I could go back and start again (not that I would want to, mind you), I would do differently. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Second Wind Leisure Perspectives

Meet Terri!

Terri is the creator of Second Wind Leisure Perspectives, a lifestyle blog that focuses predominantly on leisure, while including examples of her writing for various challenges and photography. She explains more in her About Page:

I am a leisure educator, self-published author, blogger, and retired recreation and parks practitioner living in Northern California. Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is my blog about living a leisure lifestyle. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Unfold and Begin

Unfold and BeginMeet Jenny!

Jenny is the creator of Unfold and Begin, a lifestyle blog. Her About page is one of the funniest I have read…

My name is Jennifer Koshak.  I’m a post 50 baby boomer, willing to enjoy chocolate, practice some yoga, have some fun and explore new places and new things in my next 50 years.

Some random things about me:

  • I met my husband on eHarmony.  Yes, it really works.
  • I started my first blog 4 years ago, wrote a couple of posts and then freaked that people might actually read it. So I deleted the whole thing.  (I’m trying to move past that fear of sharing myself!)
  • My favorite color is yellow, but it looks awful on me, so I painted my living room a sunset yellow instead.
  • I’m allergic to cats, which means I only have two.
  • My husband is a chef and a chocolatier.  This can be dangerous, but so, so delicious!
  • I’m a Yoga Teacher who feels that laughter is a necessity of life. I’ve been known to quote Mel Brooks movies in class—-the concept of Be Here Now can totally be found in Spaceballs!

Continue reading

Blog of the Day: Motivate Me!

shelley

Meet Shelley!

The opening statement almost seems a little silly to me, as so many within my blogging community already know and love Shelley, but it isn’t as widely known that Shelley has a second blog – Motivate Me!

Motivate Me began as a set of resolutions, as Shelley explains in her extremely eloquent ‘About Page.’

It all started with a New Year Resolution…

One New Year’s Eve I set herself a challenge; sick of setting resolutions and breaking them before the mince pies ran out, I decided to set my children and myself a better example and so I wrote a list of twelve resolutions (one for each month of the year). Continue reading

2016: A Year in Review

Image: Chris Barker (@christhebarker)

Image: Chris Barker (@christhebarker)

I sit here on New Year’s Eve, waiting for evening to start and the chimes of Big Ben to invite 2017 in. We have done the exact same thing as we did twelve months ago – we’ve had our own little buffet of snack foods, during which we have eaten far more than either of us should have done, I’m sitting in the exact same spot, watching The Bloke quietly snoozing on the other side of the couch, and judging by the photographs I took, I’m even wearing the same jammies as I did last year.

And yet, the world seems a very different place than it did a year ago. We’re no longer part of Europe. We have a new Prime Minister. The middle-eastern crisis is worse than ever. The daily news seems to have been filled with hatred, war, poverty and hardship. President Elect Donald Trump is getting ready to move into the White House. We have lost some of the greatest actors, musicians, sportspeople, comedians, writers and talented human beings that ever walked the earth. I did make a ridiculous attempt to document exactly who had passed away this year, but nothing that I could produce is more effective by the Sgt. Pepper inspired image, created by British artist Chris Barker (@christhebarker). And sadly, he’s had to add even more over the last few days with the loss of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Continue reading

More Than Words…

imageIt’s been a bit of a mixed week. I’ve been able to get myself and the house a little more organised in preparation for Christmas, I was in full Blogmas mode and I had plans for various different things to do that would be something to look forward to.

Unfortunately, I’ve also had to deal with a fair bit of negativity, ear bashing and downright rudeness from various areas of my life, and it really killed my blogging buzz. Hence, instead of blogging daily, as was my intention, I took more of a backseat and did more social media promo than writing until I had calmed down a bit – I never quite trust my own ability to censor myself when I’m cross. Continue reading

How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself

imageSelf-sabotage happens for a number of reasons: a lack of self belief and/or self worth, a fear of failure, feeling like the outsider, a consistent focus on perceived negative aspects of yourself. It usually appears in the form of what I refer to as ‘my demons’ – those pesky internal thoughts that creep in whenever a challenge, a plan or a deadline is presented:

You’re not good enough.

They don’t like you.

They’re not going to take you seriously.

That’s too difficult.

I’ll do it tomorrow – I’ll feel better about it then.

I’ve lost count of the amount of times I left something to the last minute, or avoided putting myself forward because of a constant fear of rejection or failure. My daily routine involved berating myself for not getting something done the day before, or wasting my money on something that I didn’t actually want or need, only to struggle to pay for something important later on. I hated the fact that I had put on a large amount of weight, and yet consistently gorged on junk food every night until I felt sick. Continue reading