Tuesday, 27 September 2016

BLOG TOUR | The Million Dollar Blog | My Blogging Journey

Hello readers, and happy Tuesday! Today I am delighted to be on blog tour to celebrate the launch of a fantastic, one-of-a-kind book which will be published this Thursday! As soon as I got an email asking whether I wanted to receive this book for review, and whether I wanted to be involved in the blog tour. The answer was an immediate yes - I have never come across a book like this before and I think it is such a fantastic step in the movement towards blogging and bloggers being taken more seriously with journalists and worldwide media!

Yes, you guessed right, this book is about BLOGGING <3

The Million Dollar Blog is a how-to guide for bloggers of all kinds, on how to make your blog stand out and be the best it can be. The book tackles the most confusing and most difficult of questions, such as: how do you make money from blogging? How can you make your blog a success? The author, entrepreneur and digital strategist Natasha Courtenay Smith shares all the best advice in this wonderfully distinctive book, with help from superstar bloggers Seth Godin, Lily Pebbles, Grant Cardone and Madeleine Shaw.

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...

In a world where everyone wants to blog and blog posts are ubiquitous, how do you stand out? How do you blog your way from nobody to somebody? How do you, as a business owner, use content to build your brand and drive your success?

Blogging has become the ‘it’ career of the modern world and every business knows that blogging should be an integral part of their marketing and success, but it’s actually never been tougher to be shine in the digital storytelling landscape.

No matter who are you – a mum at home, a budding fashion blogger or a small business owner –The Million Dollar Blog will be your ultimate guide to starting a successful blog or taking your existing blog to the next level.

Through a combination of practical advice and interviews with some of the world’s most famous and successful bloggers, vloggers and content strategists, including Seth Godin, Lily Pebbles, Grant Cardone and Madeleine Shaw, entrepreneur and digital strategist Natasha Courtenay Smith shows you how to build a blog that will increase your profile, create new opportunities, earn money and change your life.

I was kindly sent The Million Dollar Blog by the lovely Grace at Little Brown in exchange for an honest review :)

Across this blog tour bloggers like me are going to be sharing their own unique blogging journey - how we started, what motivates us, what we like about it. If you are a blogger or are thinking of starting a blog I hope you will find this interesting and perhaps feel a bit inspired <3

If I think about it, my blogging journey really started when, at 15 years old, I was spotted on the teen writing website Movellas and asked to write a series of articles for Huffington Post. At the time I didn't really know what I was doing - it didn't sink in at all that I was joining a crowd of talented young writers and that my writing was going to be seen by hundreds of readers every day. But after a while I got into the swing of things and enjoyed writing up an article (almost weekly) about topics ranging from my mother's complaints about my messy bedroom, to Michael Gove's prospected changes to GCSEs and UKIP, to Malala Yousafzai and why she is my inspiration. I continued writing for the Huffington Post until May of last year.

A few months after this I got the fantastic opportunity to attend a book launch of an author in the same agency as my uncle - Sara Grant, the fabulous author of YA novels such as Half Lives and Dark Parties. It was my first experience in a professional environment and at fifteen years old it was pretty unnerving! However, I felt so excited to be surrounded by so many 'book' people and felt at home in amidst of the conversations about books, new publications and my favourite fictional characters. Meeting Sara is still one of the stand-out moments of my blogging career. She not only gave me stellar writing advice but listened to what I had to say and then said 'I know what you should do'. And this, ladies and gentlemen, was book blogging

Sara Grant introduced me to the amazing Nina Douglas, then working for Indigo at Orion, who immediately inspired me and got me thinking about what I wanted to do. We chatted about books and reading trends and she told me about two fantastic new YA novels being published in the next couple of months. These were Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone and Emily Murdoch's If You Find Me - three years on, still two of my favourite novels. 

Aaaaaannnnnnddddd the rest of history! Since then I feel I have grown as a reader, a writer and a person. I have been exposed to books I would never have normally picked up in Waterstones, and had so many amazing opportunities I would never have received if I hadn't have been a book blogger. From meeting and interviewing authors such as  Marcus Sedgwick, Holly Black, Sarah Crossan and Sally Green (I also interviewed Martha Collison off the Bake Off! Just saying ;) ) to being able to attend Hay Festival, London Book Fair and YALC, these past three years have been an absolute blast. Sure, at times it has been stressful when I have had to balance school (and now uni!) work and blogging, but it all has been worth it. I am so, so fortunate that I now belong to this amazing community, with people who inspire me daily. I have made lifelong friendships and professional relationships. Not a lot of hobbies can give you that!

So I hope you have enjoyed reading about my blogging journey and that I haven't completely bored you! Please do check out the other spots on the blog tour, and also buy The Million Dollar Blog when it is released on Thursday - I am sure you will not regret it.

Check out Natasha Courtenay Smith here: http://natashacourtenaysmith.com/the-million-dollar-blog/

Until next time :)

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