Saturday, 9 June 2012

Roni Loren - Fearless Romantic

I am super excited to have Roni Loren on my blog! Here is a blogger who knows her stuff. She give tips on writing, blogging, and boyfriends. She has maintained her blog for a while now and we are lucky to be able to learn from her experience. So that's where I started.

You have been blogging for a while. What is the biggest change you've made to your blog?

When I started blogging, I had a blog called Fiction Groupie, and it was totally dedicated to blogging about writing. I built up a pretty big following and met a lot of great people through it. But after I got a book deal and knew I'd have books out there, I realized that I needed a broader blog. If all I talked about was writing, what was I offering to readers? My entire blog base was other writers, which is great in the sense that I heart other writers, but it was too narrow a focus. So I did the insane thing of keeping two blogs for a while, Fiction Groupie and an author blog, alternating days. I did that mainly because I was too chicken to leave that big following I'd built behind, afraid that no one would follow me over if I wasn't talking about writing anymore. But after my first book debuted, it all became too much. I had to consolidate. So I moved everything over to the author blog. I still blog about writing two days a week, but the rest of the days are for other things. And my number of visitors quadrupled, which was a huge shock. So I'm glad I made the switch.

I don't often mention that I'm a penname, but I'm familiar with maintaining two blogs. It is draining. And I'm not surprised! You added all those readers to your writing friends! (And probably a fair number of THEIR readers.) You have several recurring topics or features (Fill Me In Friday, Boyfriend of the Week). Did you stumble onto these in the process of blogging or have they been around since the beginning?

Fill Me In Friday, which is a links round-up has been around for a while. It's a nice break from blogging for me and also gives me a chance to promote others' posts. Boyfriend of the Week was a new one I added when I started the author blog, mainly because I wanted an outlet to drool over mancandy, lol. Those posts are by far the most popular, hits wise. I also play around with other theme days and see how they work. I like using themes because it gives me some framework. WIthout that, I flounder a bit for topics.

Who doesn't love a little eye candy now and then? I particularly enjoy Fill Me In Friday. You report on a diverse range of blogs. How many blogs do you follow? Do some of those recommendations come through twitter or Facebook?

I recently had to cull the list of blogs I follow. I was in like the 800 range >.< WAY too many. And that meant I never looked at my google reader. I'm trying to get better about using my reader now that I've cut down my list, but it still goes ignored a lot. So the vast majority of links I feature are ones I just stumbled upon while on Twitter. It's an imperfect system, but works for now.

I find so many interesting post just by clicking on lists on twitter. I'm happy to report that my reader subscription is still in double digits. I don't imagine it will stay there long... You have a definite presence on Twitter (where I tend to find myself). Do you use Google+ or Facebook as much? Do you find it difficult to divide your time between media? How do you find time for writing?

I'm a Twitter girl too. I am on Facebook under duress. I want to be on there because I know so many people are ONLY on facebook, so I want to give that option. But man, it's not my thing. I'm also on Google+ but I can't say that I really get it yet. I post my links on there, but that's about it. If I want to get any books written, I have to divide my time wisely and I think that means only being "all in" with one social network. So I tinker with things like Tumblr and Pinterest, but my main hangout is Twitter.

I've just stumbled onto a series of groups on Facebook, so my time is more equally split now, but it is still tiny steps for me. Do you have a schedule for the other posts on your blog, those that don't fit into one of your features? Where do you find your topics?

I do have a few features--Made of Win Monday (for things that are awesome), writer wednesday, and right now I'm running a series of Spice It Up Thursday posts to celebrate the release of my novella, STILL INTO YOU, which is about a married couple re-igniting the spark in their relationship. And topics come to me pretty organically. I don't plan ahead, so it's whatever is on my mind that day. I kind of use my blog as my morning pages before I get to my WIP. It clears my head for the fiction.

Is glad she has a theme/schedule. Organic in her case would likely be manure... Ahem. You have a large following on your blog and Twitter. How long did that take to build? Do you have any recommendations for building a following?

I've been blogging for 3 years come this July, and I'd say it took about a year before I hit my stride and really started getting solid follower numbers. I think the key is being genuine when engaging with others, providing consistently good content that has a takeaway for the reader, and cross-promoting on sites like Twitter so people know how to get to your blog. I have a few more detailed tips in this blog post as well:

Ooh! Source material. Yay! Thank you so much, Roni. And look, she even gave me a bio so I don't have to write one myself! How thoughtful.

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. Though she’ll forever be a New Orleans girl at heart, she now lives in Dallas with her husband and son.

If she’s not working on her latest sexy story, you can find her reading, watching reality television, or indulging in her unhealthy addiction to rockstars, er, rock concerts. Yeah, that's it. She is the National Bestselling Author of The Loving on the Edge series from Berkley Heat. Crash Into You is currently available with Still Into You and Melt Into You expected in June and July of 2012. Website: Twitter: @roniloren