Friday, March 28, 2014

What I Learned about Blogging from Katniss Everdeen

by Edie Melson

Visiting Katniss Everdeen country.
This past fall I was in Katniss Everdeen country.

I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with my BCGE crit partners on a writing retreat. (Waving to Charity Tinnin, AmandaStevens, Jess Keller Koschnitzky, and Erynn Newman.) We were tucked away in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains where part of the Hunger Games was filmed.

The weather was brisk and beautiful as we took pictures of the mill village that served as the set of her home in District 12. While I clicked happily away, I got to thinking about Katniss and how she’d played the game.

I realized I could learn a lot by applying some of her principles. Today I want to share what I learned about blogging from Katniss Everdeen.
  • Use What You Know: We each have a knowledge base to work from. Instead of re-inventing yourself, start with what you know and work outward from there.
Things I learned about blogging from Katniss Everdeen.
  • Focus on Your Strengths: Again, we all have things we do well. Don’t discount something just because you can do it. Let those strengths become your foundation.
  • Never Stop Learning: My grandmother had a saying, when you’re green you’re growing, and when you’re ripe you rot. And she was right. Once we stop growing we die, especially in this industry. Things change day to day and sometimes minute to minute.
  • Look for Allies in Unexpected Places: I don’t know anyone who wasn’t thrilled when Katniss befriended little Rue. It was an alliance that didn’t appear to benefit Katniss at all, but that friendship saved her life. Don’t discount a blog ally just because they aren’t at your level. As I mentioned earlier, things change quickly in social media.
Play the game, but not by their rules.
  • Be Willing to Put Others Ahead of Yourself: This is the truth I’ve build my career on. People don’t follow me because I’m all that. They follow me because I’ll point you to the experts.
  • Play the Game, but NOT by Their Rules: There are certain things we need to do to get noticed in the blog world and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of them. But there are lots of things we can choose not to participate in and directions we can go to set ourselves out from the crowd.
  • Do What Your Heart Tells You, No Matter What: Follow your gut when it comes to every part of social media. Passion can be seen, especially in the world of blogging and writing about something that touches your heart will gain you more than a million well executed posts that lack that emotion.

I believe that when we apply these truths, the odds truly will be ever in our favor!

What insights have gained while blogging? Share them below and we'll add to the list!

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

2 comments:

Nicole said...

Haven't read or seen The Hunger Games, but you make some very good comparisons, Edie. I've learned the blog is yours, make it yours. When I think of the blogs I follow, it's because I enjoy the people for their unique voices and contributions to the cyber world and my life. Much like the authors I read, the individuals have what I like. Therefore with mine: what you see (and read) is what you get. I can't play "the game". It's all me. (And that's not to say "It's all about me". On the contrary.)

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Edie--I LOVE your grandma's saying! You need to make a pinnable of that and let me know so I can pin it: "When you're green you're growing, and when you're ripe you rot." I LOVE IT. Yes, I think as authors we have to keep adapting and changing and staying relevant, without compromising our integrity in the process. Tricky but it can be done!