Interview with Joan Edwards

How to build up a blog

See free giveaway details at the end of this post.
joanedwards

My interview with Joan Edwards

Joan has offered a free 1000 word edit to one person who commented on her interview. I will make a random selection on Friday 28th February, just before I leave home to run a workshop on “Moving the opinions of climate change deniers” http://mudsmith.net/workshops.html

So, you have until then to leave a comment.


Joan is a blogging phenomenon in the writing world. Not that long ago, she wanted to publicize her children’s book Flip Flap Floodle, so she started a blog Never Give Up, which is the theme of the little book.

In a matter of 4 years, she has built it up to more than 102,176 unique visits, and 176 subscribers.

Joan is generous with her advice and encouragement, and has helped many other writers.
She is the first person I am interviewing at Bobbing Around, ever.

Joan, welcome. Thank you for the honor of appearing on my blog.

Wow! What a wonderful introduction! You’re very welcome, Bob. It’s my pleasure. It’s a huge honor to be the very first person you’ve interviewed for your Bobbing Around newsletter! I bow humbly.

Many people start blogs with the aim of publicizing their books. Most of them fizzle out, or have a very small following. What makes yours so successful?

When I started my blog on October 9, 2009 I had no idea what I was going to write about except its purpose was going to be to help people to “Never Give Up.” I had a website: www.joanyedwards.com with over 30,000 unique visits to promote Flip Flap Floodle and my Gospel-related devotionals, puzzles, and skits. I read where writers needed an online presence to be considered for publication since publishers weren’t spending as much money to promote books themselves. I had an email list of 50 people for my devotionals, puzzles, and skits. As I understood it, I needed to have thousands of involved readers and/or followers on an email list to make an impression on a publisher. That I needed to be able to access thousands of people at one time… to promote my books. I now have 176 followers. That’s not a thousand yet, but growing every week. The highest number of readers in one day on my blog as of today is 421. So I’m getting closer to being able to say I can contact a thousand people in one day.

Find me on the web:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Linked in
Facebook Author Page

What makes my blog successful?

  1. I don’t blog every day, every week, or every month. I blog when I have something to say. My main purpose is to encourage, motivate, and inspire others. I strive to make it fun for me and for my readers…a time for us to celebrate.
  2. I respond to every comment. When I was taking care of Mother, I couldn’t get out as much. Therefore, interacting with others online has been a gift for me.
  3. I do in-depth research for the best and simplest way to do things. I use this information to explain or teach it to others with step-by-step directions. I love giving people ideas to encourage them to reach their goals. I like to spur them on to think and brainstorm to find that great idea that works for them.

I’ve noticed that you have new offerings practically every week. How much time does it take for you to prepare for each? How do you go about it?

Each blog post varies from one hour to three hours. Here’s how I do it:

  1. An idea grabs my attention — either from reading a blog, a book, something on the news, request from a reader, or something emotional going on within me.
  2. Research — While watching television with my husband, Carl, I’ll use my iPad to search the internet for links about the subject. I copy the links and email them to myself.
  3. Draft Blog — I copy and paste the links into a draft post. I choose a title.
  4. I write the blog. Edit the research links and put in who wrote them.
  5. I create an image to highlight the main emphasis for my blog. Only a few of my early posts had images. An image is not a necessity for a great blog post, but makes it pleasant on the eyes. I do these to use my illustrator skills.
  6. I revise the blog post.
  7. I put 3-15 subject tags for the post.
  8. I post it.

Do you also have any writing projects? Are there any other books besides Flip Flap Floodle?

I am currently working with an editor from 4RV Publishing on my non-fiction book, Joan’s Elder Care Guide. Its release date is 2014. It’s a resource for caregivers packed with practical day-to-day survival tips from my fourteen years of caring for Mother. It has activities and tips on how caregivers can maintain physical health, keep emotionally and spiritually stable and methods to assist the elder in doing the same.

I wrote Immigrant Heart, a young adult novel. Its plot line didn’t work, so I’m revising it. I wrote a screenplay Against the Odds about Lisa and Todd, teens rejected by their families when Lisa gets pregnant and push for her to get an abortion. I’m taking an online screenwriting course to add insights to help put the finishing touches on that screenplay and my other manuscripts. Then I’ll submit them again. I wrote many children’s books that I submitted and publishers turned down. I plan to self-publish a few of them. I may also self-publish a book about writing using my blog posts to guide me.

I’m planning to do an online workshop “Write a Novel with Me” after I complete the edits on Joan’s Elder Care Guide. I don’t know the exact date or cost yet. Several people have shown an interest in participating. That makes me smile.

I’ve presented several blogging workshops in person. One was for the SCBWI-Carolinas Fall Conference 2012. I’ve also done online workshops for Muse Writers Online Conference and the Catholic Writers Conference Online. They have been very successful.

Has your blogging success had an impact on book sales?

My book sales have increased since I started my blog. I am grateful for each person who bought a copy of Flip Flap Floodle in paperback and in Kindle eBook format. My blog helped me get more reviews for my book, too.

Or has the blog taken over so that the book has receded in importance for you? Do you now see yourself as a blogger about writing, or as an author, or both?

Flip Flap Floodle is my anchor. I’ve been singing his song since I made it up when I was 5 years old. We are inseparable. Whenever I am down, his song reminds me that “I can do it.”
flipflap

Here’s a link to Flip’s song. Flip Flap Floodle is a happy little duck who Never Gives Up.
Hear Flip’s Song

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Apart from “Never Give Up,” you also have “PubSub” on your web site. Tell us about it.

In 2009, after Mother died, I realized that I had 5 or 6 manuscripts that I had never submitted. While brainstorming how I could talk myself into submitting them, I said, “If others were submitting at the same time, it would get me going.” That’s when I started “PubSub3rdFri,” nickname Pub Sub, Pub Subbers. I designed a plan of how to submit, where to get the information you needed, and encouragement to actually submit a manuscript to a publisher, agent, contest, and/or for critique. I created a Yahoo group so that writers could encourage each other to take action on believing in themselves and submitting their work. Here’s a link to Subscribe to Pub Subbers Yahoo Group.
pubsub

Click a Week for Step by Step Directions.
Week 1 Choose an editor, agent, or contest.
Week 2 Follow their guidelines.
Week 3 Time to Submit to agent, editor, contest, critique group, or professional editor
Week 4 Write, Revise, Critique, Live, Educate, Motivate, and Celebrate

18 Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts

18 Literary Agents Who Are Looking for You

You drew the illustrations for Flip Flap Floodle, as well as writing the text. Is this a second profession for you? Do you seek work as an illustrator?

I enjoy drawing and manipulating images. I don’t seek work as an illustrator. I might be interested in a job to create images for a website, blog or workshop.

Is there life beyond blogging?

I love getting together with my family. It’s fun to pick up my grandchildren after school. We go on adventures: movies, restaurants, shopping, or places to jump on inflatables or play video games. I go to their soccer games, plays, and concerts.

I meet with friends for breakfast or lunch. My husband Carl and I enjoy going to church and eating out with friends afterward. I enjoy watching Football games. It is so much fun to watch the football sail through the air from the quarterback and land safely in the hands of the receiver.

Bob, thank you for having me as a guest in your newsletter Bobbing Around. It was fun being here with you. I admire the wealth of information you share with others and your love for our planet and its people.

Celebrate you today.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards

FREE GIVEAWAY

Joan is offering a free edit/critique for 1000 words of a manuscript to one person who leaves a comment. Make sure there is some way for me to be able to contact you. Also, I’ll post the name of the winner here, and in the next issue of Bobbing Around.

Do look around the rest of this site, and at my main web site.

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About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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47 Responses to Interview with Joan Edwards

  1. Pingback: Dr. Bob Rich Interviewed Me on His Bobbing Around Newsletter/Blog | Never Give Up by Joan Y. Edwards

  2. Joan,
    Providing us the steps you follow to put out a blog post was helpful. Clever to use your iPad to provide a way to spend time with your husband while researching. Way to go! I know you’ve gotten some good critiques on Immigrant Heart. Do you plan to return to it after completing other projects? I hope so. I know it is special to you. I am so impressed that you write screenplays. You tackle a wide variety of projects. Impressive! Thanks for sharing some of your writing journey with us.

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Hi Linda,
      Welcome to Bobbing Around. Yes, Joan is pretty versatile, isn’t she? I take it you and Joan are old friends?
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

      • Dear Linda,
        Thanks for writing. I’m glad you liked seeing the steps I use to create my blog posts. Using my iPad has really been a useful tool for combining hubby time and research, too. Yes, Immigrant Heart is calling me. I do plan to rewrite part and resubmit it. It’s a neat story about an immigrant teenager handling responsibility for caring for her grandfather and protecting her father, too. I appreciate you saying that it is impressive that I tackle a wide variety of projects. I love writing. I’ve written plays since I was a kid, so why not a movie? You make me smile. Thanks for coming to visit here on Dr. Bob’s Newsletter blog.

        Never Give Up
        Joan

        Like

  3. Nice to see Joan featured here!

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Welcome Carol. First to comment! You didn’t waste any time. I posted the interview before going to bed (in Australia) and your words were here when I got up in the morning).

      Like

    • Dear Carol,
      Thank you for coming all the way to Australlia to say hello on Bobbing Around. You are so sweet. Thanks for being happy for me being featured here.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  4. Linda says:

    Hi Bob, What a great interview with a great person! I know Joan from the Writers on the Move blog. She is certainly inspirational. I’ve enjoyed learning more about her from your interview and hope to join her online workshop, “Write a Book with Me,” to write my third book! This interview is a keeper! Thanks!

    Like

    • Dear Linda Wilson,
      Thanks for writing. I am very excited that I have inspired you! Your good words about me give me encouragement. I hope you will be able to join my online workshops, “Write a Book with Me.”

      It’s a privilege to be on Bobbing Around with Dr. Bob. .I’ve enjoyed joining you and the other Writers on the Move. It’s a fun group of talented writers. I learn a bunch from you.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  5. jbiggar2013 says:

    Great interview Joan, lots of helpful advice. I’ve just recently started a blog myself and am working on a website so this is great. Now just to gain the courage to join your pubsub 🙂

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Jacquie, I just had a look at your blog. Excellent appearance, and I wish you a lot of luck with it.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

      • Thanks Bob, it’s actually more fun than I thought it would be, lol

        Like

      • bobrich18 says:

        That’s because you are wise enough to keep your post short. I am still trying to find a way of making WordPress as easy as writing a web page. It isn’t, because their software is being clever. Protect us from clever machines!
        🙂
        Bob

        Like

    • Dear Jacquie,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you found lots of helpful advice in my interview. Good luck with your blog. It’s lookin’ good. I hope you do join our Pub Subbers Yahoo Group. There are 18 people in it now. “Try us, you’ll like us.” One thing about it…you can always leave the group if it doesn’t jive for you.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

      • jbiggar2013 says:

        Thanks for looking at my blog Joan and I will join as soon as I get these dreaded revisions done, lol

        Like

      • Dear Jacquie,
        We’ll be happy to see you whenever you are ready. Good luck with your revisions. Revisions are the way to new heights in writing and clearer characterization. Go for it. You are on the way to meet your goals!

        Never Give Up
        Joan

        Like

  6. margtanner says:

    Hi Joan and Bob,
    Just picked this up from FB. Wonderful interview Joan, very informative.

    Regards

    Margaret

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Thanks for visiting, Margaret. You and I share an interest in history. Joan and I share an interest in being exact with line editing. She interviewed me about that some time ago.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

    • Dear Margaret,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. I like to share information. That’s the teacher in me. You make me smile. Thanks.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up
      Joan Y. Edwards

      Like

  7. Joan, you are a a model of efficiency! I could learn so much from mimicking your online behaviors.

    Thanks professional Grandfather for hosting her. I’m an avid grandparent myself. I love the title of your blog.

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Welcome, Joyce.
      I’ve been a committed environmentalist since 1972, because I had small kids at the time, and I wanted a future for them.
      If you go to http://bobswriting.com/ascending.com you can request a free little book, “You too can live in contentment,” which expresses some of my philosophy.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

    • Dear Joyce,
      Thanks for writing. I like hearing your compliment about being a model of efficiency. I bow humbly. I am not efficient in all things, not at all. I make mistakes like everyone else. I love interacting with people on the internet, especially on my blog. I love teaching. I taught school for 35 years. Blogging is a way for me to see the light bulb go off in someone’s eyes, by reading their comments about what helps clear things up for them.

      Celebrate you.
      You are so great at writing Historical Fiction that touches the hearts of readers
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  8. okwriter says:

    Great interview and thank you so much for sharing tips on how to increase traffic to your blog. I particularly liked how you do in-depth research to help explain or teach something to your readers.

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Thank you for visiting and commenting, OKWriter.

      Joan has just posted about an unfortunate experience on her blog — some unmentionable person stole a check out of her mailbox — and she even turned that into a learning experience, advising others on how to prevent this.

      Like

    • Dear OKWriter,
      Thanks for writing. You’re welcome for my sharing tips on how to increase traffic to your blog. I wish you good luck with your blog. Share things you are passionate about. This will bring readers who are interested in the same things your way!

      I hope you’ll check out my blog. According to my readers, it’s jam-packed full of inspiration and helpful information for writers and others on ways to keep on going so you don’t give up on yourself.

      Celebrate you,
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  9. mona861 says:

    Nice interview. Joan is such a motivator. Keep up the forever encouraging posts- I love your signature-” Celebrate You. Never Give Up.” Sometimes I think we forget that “I” need attention too! Thanks.

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Hi Mona, thanks for coming around. I hope you and the other visitors look around my very new blog. I only managed to get it started with Joan’s help.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

      • Dear Mona,
        Dr. Bob is being modest. He bought my directions and did it all himself.

        Dr. Bob,
        I think your blog looks great . You did a good job.

        Celebrate you
        Never Give Up
        Joan

        Like

    • Dear Mona,
      Thanks for writing. I appreciate you saying I am a great motivator. You are right. I believe that many people forget to celebrate themselves. I hope you realize what a wonderful person you are! Do something fun.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  10. karencv says:

    Wonderful interview. Joan, you’re an inspiration of giving and helping others.

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Hi Karen, welcome to Bobbing Around.
      Glad you enjoyed Joan’s interview.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

    • Dear Karen,
      Thanks for writing. I appreciate your good words. I love to be able to help others find ways to build their self confidence in life and build skills in writing, too. I admire your savvy about marketing and inviting me to join Writers on the Move.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  11. sandra214 says:

    Great interview, Bob! We writers here in NC are lucky to know Joan personally. She is a whirlwind of information for us all. Thanks for letting her show us how she does it. It’s nice to see HER work get some attention for a change. She’s always helping others.

    Like

  12. Thanks, Bob, for featuring my friend and critique pal on your blog! She is truly a woman of many, many talents. Not only is she a wonderful writer – and exceptional blogger – she is a source of inspiration and encouragement for all who know her, learn from her teaching, and follow her blog. Bravo, Joan! Great interview!

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Thank you for visiting, Ann.
      I’ve never met Joan because she (and I presume you) lives on the wrong side of the world. 🙂
      But it’s wonderful we can “meet” like this.
      I am continually amazed at how many different things Joan is involved in.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

      • Dear Dr. Bob,
        Isn’t it amazing how sometimes when you meet people online, you feel close in spirit, although you are miles and miles apart. Thank you for the vote of confidence you give me. I do love many different things. It keeps me flexible and ready for change, when it is necessary.

        Celebrate you and the compassion you show others in your comments with them,
        Never Give Up
        Joan

        Like

    • Dear Ann,
      Thanks for writing. Thanks for going all the way to Australia to read about me. I am privileged that Dr. Bob not only interviewed me but put it on his newsletter/blog! Thank you for saying I am a woman of many talents. It is an honor to know you and to help you when I can. If people want to learn excellent dialogue, you are one I tell them to study, Ann.

      Celebrate you
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  13. Janis says:

    Joan, this is a wonderful interview. As a writing friend and editing buddy, I can attest that Joan is highly creative, resourceful and a hard-working writer. She has lots of good advice and loves to share with others. Thank you SO much for all that you give back, Joan.

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Thank you for visiting, Janis. You’re just in time: we are thinking of making the draw for the free giveaway edit. I hope you looked around the rest of my sites as well.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

    • Dear Janis,
      How sweet of you to travel all the way to Australia to visit with us here on Bobbing Around. You are highly creative, resourceful, and hard-working, too Janis Silverman. I do love to share with others. It’s fun, fun, fun.

      Thanks for all you, Judith Aplin, and the others in our critique group did to help me with Flip Flap Floodle.

      Celebrate you.
      Never Give Up
      Joan

      Like

  14. bobrich18 says:

    Joan has offered a free 1000 word edit to one person who commented on her interview. I will make a random selection on Friday 28th February, just before I leave home to run a workshop on “Moving the opinions of climate change deniers” http://mudsmith.net/workshops.html

    So, you have until then to leave a comment.

    Like

  15. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your
    blog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?

    A number of my blog readers have complained about my blog not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Chrome.
    Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?

    Like

    • bobrich18 says:

      Thanks for visiting. Your comment was flagged as spam, so I only read it now.
      No one has ever complained about problems in Explorer. Try out the 2010 theme.
      🙂
      Bob

      Like

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