ABOUT SUSAN BARTON:
Susan Barton is an author, book blogger, book reviewer, promoter, marketer and coach. Susan has written several non-fiction and fiction books with several more books in the works. Her coming of age novel, Emotional Paramedics, is her most recent book and is available in eBook and print formats via Amazon.
Susan currently resides in North Texas with her husband and their two dogs. She invites readers to connect with her via her website and on social media:
What inspired you to become a blogger and what do you wish to accomplish with your blog?
When I began blogging, almost fifteen years ago, I guess my primary reason was simply to have an outlet for my writing. I've always loved to write about a wide variety of topics. My first blog was very eclectic - I posted poetry, essays, opinion pieces, reviews, you name it. As varied as it was, the blog became popular and I was encouraged to keep going.
What is your blog mainly about, and do you enjoy what you do?
My main book blog, eBook Review Gal, started out as a book review blog. I LOVE to read and I usually have strong opinions about the books I read. It's still my main go-to site to post my book reviews. eBook Review Gal has revolved into so much more than a typical book blog. I offer many book marketing services for authors via the site. I also share author guest posts and interviews.
My favorite part of running this particular blog is that it gives me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and hardworking authors. It also gives me a chance to read and review books I might not ordinarily come across. Many, many talented authors get lost among the self-published masses. It's exciting for me when I come across a gem among them!
Have you written for any other websites or offline publications?
I guest post for other websites and blogs. I'm not only a blogger, I'm also an author and a book marketer, so I have the opportunity to contribute a variety of posts to other websites and publications. Sometimes I'm invited to guest post or interview and sometimes I contact the admin to offer my writing. It works out for everyone!
When did you start blogging?
I started blogging almost fifteen years ago with my Lovesleftovers WordPress blog. I started and never stopped. I guess I have a lot to say ;)
What have you learned through blogging?
I learned that you NEVER know which posts will become popular or what words will have the most impact on readers. I truly enjoy helping other people, so I try to post helpful information whenever possible. For example, as a reader I know how irritating it can be to purchase a book based solely on how "popular" it currently is, only to find that it was hyped up by the publisher or a few well-paid publicists. It takes time and money to read and review books. If I feel cheated by the hype you better believe I'm going to voice my opinion about why the book didn't live up to my expectations. I guess I learned that, above all else, it's important for me to be honest in my writing.
Is there anything you'd like to add about blogging?
Regardless of whether you have one follower or thousands of followers, first and foremost you should blog for yourself. Just like most things in life, you have to enjoy blogging to keep at it. Otherwise your writing will suffer and your blog will fall by the wayside. Try to blog everyday if at all possible. Fresh, unique daily content is the key to maintaining a successful blog. Blogging is a labor of love and an ongoing commitment.
What kind of obstacles or problems had you been through for your blog?
That's a good question! I think the one thing that comes to mind is that I've had people grab my graphics and use them for their own sites on occasion. I create my own graphics (except, of course, when I'm adding a book cover photo to go along with a book review) and several times I've had people come along and copy a graphic to use on their website. That's copyright infringement and it's a HUGE no-no. Therefore, I suggest that bloggers try to use their own photos or graphics whenever possible to avoid these problems.
How do you communicate with your followers? How much time do you usually spend on your blog?
I always invite my followers and readers to contact me via my onsite contact form. I also enjoy connecting with readers, authors and book lovers via social media.
As for how much time I spend on my blog - it's an ongoing process that I put daily energy into. Like I said previously, updating and adding fresh content all the time is key with blogging.
How would you describe your blogging style?
I always try to keep things conversational, which is my personal writing style. I know I tend to respond better when the writer makes it sound like we're having an informal chat together.
What tips would you give to blogger wannabes and young/new bloggers?
Don't give up. If at first it seems like no one is reading your blog don't get discouraged. Blog for yourself first and keep going. The readers will find you before you know it. Make sure you share every single post via social media. Always use tags and categories on your posts. Tags, in particular, allow readers to find you easily when conducting an online search.