I am thrilled to have Dana, AKA Dragynally, from The Dragyn's Lair here for our first Mentoring Mondays of 2012. I first met Dana through her tweets. After following her on Twitter, I knew I had to check out her blog. I was not disappointed!! You can feel her bubbly personality, and wonderful sense of humor jumping at you from the screen. She has fabulous taste in clothes, shoes and accessories, which you can read all about every week on Fashion Friday. Now I will step away and turn things over to Dana...
Website: The Dragyn's Lair
Facebook: The Dragyn's Lair
Hi Dana!! I am so happy to have you here. First of all, introduce yourself and describe your blog, The Dragyn's Lair.
Out of the Lair and on Mentoring Mondays! Hi Guys and Dolls and thanks to Donna for having me! My name is Dana aka DragynAlly (Which is a combo of Dragons which are very special to me and my middle name Allyn). My blog is the Dragyn’s Lair. I just recently created a description for my blog that I like which is “A site about Disney, life, adventure and the other crazy things that make happy!” That pretty much sums it up.
What inspired you to start blogging?
Other bloggers. Not just Disney but in all fields that interest me (coffee, tech, film). I was such a fan and loved reading them. The more I read the more I started thinking “I can write. I can totally do this!” And I did.
In screenwriting you have to be very clear and concise. Why describe in 10 words what you can in 5? I try to keep my blog the same way. As much as I want to wax poetic sometime if you ramble on you can lose people.
What are your best tips for creating a following?
Good question! (Can I skip it?) Ok creating a following. Make friends first off. Find other blogs you enjoy and read them and comment on them. Some of my first readers were other bloggers. Secondly I am not above shameless bribery (terrible I know). But when you hold contests or giveaways it helps spread the word and gets you new readers. Some of my most loyal readers came from my contests. Keep writing. Or more specifically write consistently. If your readers know that every Monday you do a Mentoring Monday post they will be waiting for it to show and looking forward to reading it.
If you could give a new blogger one piece of advice what would it be?
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose”- Dolly Parton. I don’t think I can stress this enough (that phrase was cliché but I don’t take it back!) Find out who you are as a blogger or writer. If you take fabulous pictures make sure to highlight them in your posts. If you like fashion talk about that. If you try to write about things you don’t enjoy your readers will pick up on that and they won’t enjoy your posts.
Also if you are a blogger who is heavy on the writing (ME!) then come up with your own style of writing. I have a style that I call the interrupting narrator. It means I say one thing in the main text and usually use parenthesis to say what I might actually be thinking (wow that was wordy.) I’d love to tell you that it took me year to develop but no I always have written this way (wait I am coming back to the point I swear!) You need to come up with your own voice and your own way of using words.
How important is social networking (Twitter/Facebook) to blogging? Any advice on getting followers/likes?
I think Twitter, Facebook, etc. are very important to blogging. It goes back to making friends. Follow the blogs and people who fascinate you and RT the information you enjoy. They are also a great source of free advertising. I’m on twitter all the time tweeting about my blog (to the chagrin of my followers).
My advice for getting more like or follows: Be annoying (That sounds like terrible advice!) You know the expression about the squeaky wheel? (squeak squeak) If you don’t let people know you are there they won’t know to follow you. Now as I say this I do think you should refrain from “follow back” tweets but tweeting “I am 20 away from 100 please help me out.” is fine.
Also shameless bribery works here too. “My 100th follower will get a small prize!”
But most importantly you should follow and like others. Be engaging. (MAKE FRIENDS!)
How often do you post, and how important is it to post frequently?
I post daily (crazy crazy did I mention crazy?). But I don’t post daily for my readers. I selfishly post daily for myself. Like anything in life being a good blogger takes practice. I am still learning what works and what doesn’t (and what fails miserably). Posting daily keeps me on my toes. Now I don’t always write (yay wordless Wednesdays). But I try to make sure there is always something up.
I reiterate, consistency is key.
If you could live inside a Disney movie for a day which would it be, and why?
Only one?! I think I’d love to live in Beauty and the Beast. France is beautiful and to have Belle’s library (The one in the castle) would make my life!
Do you have a Disney Vacation tip you would like to share with our readers?
Don’t take things too seriously! You’re on vacation. Enjoy it, relax, and spend time with the people you came with (family, friends, etc). Also most ADRs can be edited last minute.
Anything you would like to add?
Thanks so much for the wonderful advice Dana!! Everyone needs to hurry over and check out her blog and be sure to say HI! to her on Twitter and Facebook!!
Have a Magical Day!!