Many writers are insecure, lonely animals. The publishing industry has changed drastically in recent years. Gone is the support system of old for writers when they had agents and editors who gave them courage to continue and help to shape their stories, where famous writers gathered at cafes or went abroad to write.
Most of today’s writers have full time careers and write on the side. We need to find our own support group. We need to swallow our fears—most times by ourselves—and search for the perfect critique partner or groups and pay for professional editing and more if we go Indie. In the old days, publishers nurtured their writers.
But as writers, we can’t cry over blotched ink! We need to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place. To do that, the authors of today need to find like-minded individuals and form true connections in order to share information on writing and options on publishing.
I have been blessed in 2017 to have connected with many wonderful writers online, mostly at IWSG and AuthorToolbox bloggers. I seek out your guidance, your experience in publishing and writing through reading your blogs. I also look to Writers Helping Writers, Jennie Nash, and Writers in the Storm blogposts for help in writing stories. I hunger for my local South Jersey Writers Group meetings and events and the camaraderie I share with them.
What would I have done differently in 2017? I would have liked to figure out this e-mail list building thing. How do I set it up on my blogspot blogs or is it only something you can do with a website?
Must you have a newsletter to send out to an e-mail list filled with information different from your blog posts? I assume the letter should be filled with tips like I try to do with my blogposts.
I don’t know how to have the popup appear for visitors to sign up for an e-mail list. Some of you have a box that pops up and I need to enter my name, email, and website in order to comment. Is that an e-mail list gathering tool and does it work with blogspot? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks so much for stopping by Adventures in Writing and offering your advice. Please follow my blog if you haven’t already. It’s greatly appreciated. Enjoy your holiday!
This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE.
43 thoughts on “If You could, What Would You Do Differently in 2017 Insecure Writers want to know”
Hi Victoria – I'll be back to see the answers … email list building seems to be the way to go … and yes there's lots of resources within our group of bloggers – the Insecure ones and those not participating (yet – me!) … we're lucky … we need to be consistent as well as being encouraging to others … cheers Hilary
I've still never done a newsletter for myself.
Don't worry about a popup box. Anne R. Allen blogged about that recently and it's not cool to have one.
The sign up to comments on most blogs is not an email gather list it is a security verification thing to help stop bots from commenting. That info is not readily available and most don't bother looking for it – it is part of the security steps.
I use MailerLite free version for now up to 1000 subscribers after that it will still be cheaper than some well known like Aweber and a bit cheaper than MailChimp with more subscribers allowed until the next level.
I use a sidebar form and a popup. It is listed in Mailerlite under Forms and gives a choice of creating a popup, a landing page or an embedded form.
The embedded form is use on my sidebar and I activate the popup after added WP Mailerlite plugin widget in my dashboard in the plugin area. I don't know about blogspot but I am sure it works similar with that.
Anyway I have 113 subscribers and have not worked at it yet. I get more sign ups with the popup.
They also offer a link I can put on FB on my fan page or anywhere similar using an HTML direct when added to a post or whatever or some place have a place you can just put the plain URL and they do the rest. All that is under the embedded one.
I started out with MailChimp, switched to Aweber and last year switched to MailerLite and it is my fave by far especially the free version as it includes free landing pages if I want to use them. MailChimp free now allows one, Aweber you have to pay for it in the subscription.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit
Hi, Victoria! I've been trying not to cry over botched ink ~ LOL It must have been fun to gather at a cafe in Spain or Singapore for a glass of wine after writing in some foreign garret! I don't have popups or mailing lists. I'm lucky to get a blog post up with a photo or two ~ No expertise for the fancy stuff. Enjoy your holidays!
The way to collect email addresses using your current website involves searching for widgets. I don't have blogspot, however, so I'm not super familiar with where to search.
Wish I had… too many to mention. Just popped in to wish you a very Happy Christmas 🎄 x
Good luck writing all the words this coming year. Can't cry over botched ink. Merry Christmas!
The email pop up boxes annoy me so much. I've actually unfollowed blogs due to them. There is a way to do the newsletter through blogger but I'm not sure how. I don't think I could maintain a newsletter and a blog. 🙂
Enjoy your holiday! 🙂
My newsletters have different info than my blog, but the announcements about my writing are shared in both places. I have the sign-up page for my newsletter as a page on my blog and newsletter. If you have a mailing list, like through MailChimp or VerticalResponse, they provide the link to the opt-in form and then you can use that to create a page on your blog. (See my blog for an example.) I'm not sure how people have the pop-ups but be aware that many people find those bothersome. I don't like them at all. I click the X button to get rid of it and don't bother signing up.
You can check this post I did for more info: http://writewithfey.blogspot.com/2016/08/how-to-create-newsletter.html
Those are some valid questions, that I would like the answers to as well. On the writer support part, I was hoping to have my first memoir published traditionally and get the help I crave. Am I naive to think that this is still possible? Im glad to read that you have found a network of support. IWSG is an amazing group, but when it comes to critique partners and writing groups, I have some research and involvement to do. Happy holidays to you, Victoria!!
Yes, Hilary, I'm hoping to learn lots from our devoted IWSG friends as well about list building and newsletters.
Thanks so much for your comment on Adventures in Writing. Enjoy you holiday!
And you, Captain, have hundreds of followers to your blog. You are amazing. Thanks for the note about the popup box. I'll see if I can find Anne's blog post. If you have the link, it would be appreciated.
As always, thanks for your note here on Adventures in Writing. All best to you, Alex. Enjoy your holiday!
Thank you so much for this info, Juneta. I didn't know the sign-up for comments was for bot control. Still, I wouldn't know how to load or make that a part of my blogspot account anyway.
A 1000 subscribers. I’d be happy with ten…says the lady who constantly begs people to “follow” her blog and still only has 82 followers. I’ll research online the MailerLite free version for a newsletter. Do you have a link where I sign up? I see the Newsletter slot on your homepage. Is that because you have a website? I only have 2 blogs. Can I or should I still have a newsletter?
Bravo, Juneta! 113 subscribers. Again…I’m having trouble getting 100 followers on my blog. Good for you!
Who offers a link you put on FB, Mailerlite or WP? I have an author page on FB, but not a fan page. Is the “HTML direct” a link for a blog or website that you’re posting on facebook? So sorry I’m tech-challenged, Juneta.
Maybe I should consider switching to WordPress in 2018. Would my followers transfer over or do I need to start again?
Your informative comment here on Adventures in Writing is greatly appreciated. Have a wonderful holiday, my dear!
I'm with you. Just look at my comment to Juneta to see it. Oh, and I think it would be wonderful to gather at a cafe in some foreign port with nothing else to do but discuss story or writing. Ah, well…
Enjoy your holidays as well, my dear. Thanks for your comment on Adventures in Writing.
Oh! I can look online for a widget to collect e-mail addresses? Thanks, Raimey! I'll try that as soon as I finish two short stories that need to go out.
I truly appreciate your sharing knowledge with us here at Adventures in Writing, Raimey. Have a great holiday!
And a wonderful Christmas to you too, Carole. I always appreciate seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, my dear.
It's true! Crying doesn't help. Merry Christmas to you too, Jennifer. It's a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing.
See, that's what I think too, Morgan. How can we write our WIP, blog posts, AND a newsletter? There are better writers than I who can do this. And you are one of them, Morgan. I have trouble finding time to write posts to maintain 2 blogs. My children tell me I overthink everything. And they're right. I just don't know how to stop it.
Thanks for your note on Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your holiday, Morgan!
Hi–good questions. Wish I could answer them, but it appears you've gotten quite a bit of help already. I'm new to IWSG, so it's great to meet you.
I know newsletters are "the thing," however I get a ton of them that I never even open. So, they might be effective to a point. But I think we're reaching a point where they're being overdone.
Oh! The sign-up for a newsletter is a separate page on your blog. How do you get people to click on the page and sign up? I still need to get that all important "mailing list."
Thanks so much for this info, Chrys. As I've said above, better writers than I can maintain a blog, a newsletter, and their WIP. I will definitely check out your blogpost and study your beautiful blog/page.
It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Have a great holiday!
Lots of information offered here by our fellow IWSG on list gathering. Now I just need time to move forward on it.
Liesbet, I, too, wish to publish my memoir traditionally. And yes, we all crave help and support with our WIP. I'm in the middle of a few short stories that need to go out right now.
But I want to return to my memoir in 2018. I have readers I trust for my short stories, but no one for the memoir. Would you like to exchange about 10 pages to see if we can help each other in the New Year with our memoirs?
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Cathy! Thanks so much for following my blog. It is appreciated more than you realize.
It is easy to be inundated with newsletters, I agree, Cathy. I need to find a happy medium, like many writers. And time. It's all about time. Time to write. Time to read. And time to promote yourself and/or your platform.
And welcome to IWSG, Cathy! They are a great group of writers who truly try to help each other. And thanks again for visiting Adventures in Writing and leaving a note. I'll be sure to connect with you online as well. Enjoy your holidays!
I wish I knew, but I don't. I hope you can get your questions answered.
Hi, Michelle. I've received much good info from my fellow IWSG gang. Now…I just need to make sense of it. Wish me luck!
It's always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing, my dear. Enjoy your Christmas!
That's a great idea, Victoria. I'll send you a private message about this somehow… 🙂
Excellent! Thank you for this. Don't forget I'm up to my eyebrows right now. Let's start in 2018! Are you on facebook? I could provide my e-mail address through messenger.
My author page is at:
My head hurts at the thought of all I don't know and should learn ~ LOL!
The writing community is wonderful, isn't it? Don't know where I'd be without it. And I'm always learning something, that's for sure. I do appreciate your support over at my blog. 🙂 Hope your holidays are merry and bright! Take care.
Hi Victoria! Ah, the dreaded newsletter. And please don't go with pop ups. Like music on blogs, I go running. I need to get an author newsletter happening, but you have to have something free to give away usually to get sign ups. But how would I know, LOL! That's what I'm told by my awesome crit partners. Through a newsletter you can tell people when you have a book coming out and post stuff related to an upcoming release etc. I'm not that far along yet and am dragging my feet.
I think a FB fan page is the same as an author page???
Anyway, I'm going to look into MailerLite as I hate paying for stuff…
Have a glorious 2018!
And 20 books to 50K is the best ever FB group if you're planning to go indie!
Me either, Karen. I'd be lost without all of you to "talk" to and learn from. It is a pleasure reading your blog. Thank you for your good wishes here at Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your holidays as well!
Yes, Denise, I'm not a fan of pop-ups either. I'm just trying to figure this e-mail list thing out. I've heard you need to give something away, too; however, sometimes I see e-list requests on the sides of blogs with no [apparent] give-away. I'm not sure either if FB fan page is the same as an author page. Maybe you could be a "fan" of an author instead of something concrete like a book. I give local writing workshops and presentations. I write short story, mostly YA adventure. I don't have a book–yet!
And, yikes–newsletters?? Something else to need to write?? I have 2 blogs, Adventures in Writing and http://campingwithfivekids.blogspot.com that I can barely keep posting on.
Where would I find the time? I so admire all the writers who have their act together and find time to write many things at once, and still have time to cook dinner.
I'll look into MailerLite, too. I also hate paying for stuff. Please feel free to let me know what you learn. And thanks so much for the tip of 20 books to 50K FB group. If I can ever finish my memoir, I'm over there!
Merry Christmas, Denise! And may you have all the luck in 2018.
When I decided to write, I didn't have a clue about what that really meant. I had no idea that I'd have to become a marketing "expert" or that I'd be creating as much non-fiction as fiction–at times more. Here's to finding the time to be a WRITER!
Seriously, Lee! I don't know how you all do it. I realize I'm no marketing expert. I sure hope I can make this writing platform/marketing thing work for li'l ol me. I truly appreciate all your comments and insight here at Adventures in Writing. It means a lot to me. Enjoy your holidays!
thanks so much for all your encouraging words and support, Victoria! You are definitely one of my best connections!
And if you'd like to participate in our Really Real Housewives blog, shoot me an email taratylertalks@gmail
thanks again! and merry xmas!
It's my pleasure, Tara! I feel the same about you. I will contact you about the Really Real Housewives blog to see what exactly you need and if I can fit it into my schedule.
Merry Christmas, my dear! Thanks for stopping by Adventures in Writing.
Often it's good to coax sign-ups by giving something away for free as an incentive. MailChimp is a great newsletter/email system that's free for your first couple of thousand signups. What you want to do is offer something your readers (your audience, not so much your blog friends) would be interested in. And the true trick to make it work is make it consistent. That's something I haven't been able to do.
Thank you so much for this, Lynda! I just googled MailChimp and found a tutorial. As soon as I get time, I’ll watch it and try desperately to move forward on this non-existent e-mail list of mine.
I truly appreciate your insight shared here on Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your holiday!
So does mine, believe me. Thanks so much for your comment here at Adventures in Writing. Merry Christmas!
I love your blog! I've heard MailChimp is one of the best, but I haven't yet done an email/newsletter list yet either. Maybe something for 2018! Happy Holidays!!
Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, Kathryn! Thank you so much for your comment.
Yes, MailChimp is what I hear. Now to truly consider if I have time for creating more content. One more thing to need to do. Who knows. I'm thinking maybe 2018, too, Kathryn. Thanks again for your note on Adventures in Writing. Enjoy your holidays!
And happy new year!
Happy New Year to you, too, Raimey! I wish you every success in 2018.