Our Three-Year Anniversary

We’re happy to announce RevPub celebrated its three-year anniversary in March 2015! Thank you to everyone who has supported us through following, comments, or merchandise. Thank you to everyone who shares and relates to our sometimes crazy posts.

Revenant Publications
Your RevPub team!

I’ve been asked several times why I post to RevPub? I’ve had people ask, “if you don’t get paid for it, why bother?” And my answer is always the same: Because it’s fun, and to me, that is enough.

Why Do We Blog?

When James and I first started the site, it was to store our creative projects. And if you have followed us from the beginning, you know we have evolved to have hundreds of posts covering everything from lost pets to movies and personal art.

It eventually became a place where we could share our opinions, projects, reviews, and even our first digital comic book, created from a story James wrote when he was a teenager. We could have something happen that triggered a post idea, and there it was. Blogging is about being able to be yourself, and that’s what we do. We’re just us.

Another great thing about blogging is that you can go back and reminisce about the posts. I remember posting about our first comic con and International Tabletop Game Day. Blogging is similar to Facebook in the social aspect, but blogging really lets you express yourself, and it’s more intimate. I love talking with our readers, and reading what they post, too. It’s the one social platform I’m never annoyed with.

Our Start

James and I have been friends for 17 or so years. In 2011, when we first created the site, his first post was Remakes and Reboots – Part 1, where he discusses the perfect remake. It’s interesting his post three years later was Remakes and Reboots Redux: Part 1, when he was once again inspired by the film industry. My first post was a scarf I knitted for a friend’s mom. It’s still one of my favorites.

I remember being a little nervous about posting it and wondered if people would like it. And looking back, I had no idea what I was doing – the pic is tiny! (But you can click on it if you’d like to see the details.) Even though I was nervous, it felt good to get it out there. After a year hiatus, we picked it back up regularly, and that’s when it really became something. Everything became a post idea and still is. And neither of us are afraid to put something out there. We’ve come a long way.

I encourage anyone considering starting a blog to do so. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or work. It can and should always be fun. If you’re afraid to put it something out there, then just write a draft and publish when you’re ready. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Just be you!

Thanks again to all our readers, and we look forward to another three years with you! We have much more coming, including top three posts, so watch out world!

Writing for Web: Blogging — Time and Readership

Last week I discussed how to start your blog or website. This week I want to talk about how to keep it going and build a fan base who will follow your content. There’s one thing you must be in order for your site to succeed: loyal.

Loyal: adj., (3) faithful to a cause, ideal, custom, institution, or product

(Source: Merriam-Webster.com)

In order for a blog or site to succeed, contributors must be loyal to their content, fans, and themselves. If you decide to write, you must commit to the cause – whether it’s to make a name for yourself or share your creativity with the world – writers must put in the time and effort.

Felder recommends challenging yourself to stick to a schedule. When RevPub started, we decided we would each do a post a week, make it the best we could, and have fun. Whether it’s a post a week or a post a day, a schedule will help you find and make time to add content.

Building a Fan Base

One you’ve created a topic list and set a schedule, how do you build a fan base? Here are some tips from the book and a few others we recommend:

  • Be a credible source. One new tip: don’t overload your writing with keywords. If you write naturally, your keywords will be there.
  • Keep content fresh. Don’t reuse your content. If you run out of ideas, try writing exercises or guest bloggers.
  • Include a bio with photos. Your readers want to know who you are, so tailor your bios and photos to the type of page you want.
  • Have an About page. What is your site about and what are you trying to accomplish?
  • Encourage feedback and comments. Negative or positive, comments help you gauge your readers, make improvements, and get people talking.
  • Be passionate. Give 100 percent every time you post. Use your passions to fuel your creativity, or keep an open mind so you find new ones. The results are up to you.
  • Use social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pintrest, etc.; it doesn’t matter. I suggest starting with one, and as your site grows and you make more time, take on more social media platforms. You may even find people who will help you push out your content.
  • Talk about your site with peers, coworkers, and family. The support we receive is overwhelming, and I learned this is just as effective as social media. People can see your excitement and thrive off of it.
  • And most importantly, commit. Make a commitment to yourself and your readers to make each post as awesome as it can be. The Avengers grossed $1.5 billion this year, and at one point, that was just an idea. Loyalty can go a long way.

I learned a lot from chapter 12, and I look forward improving our site and adding a new category, which will premier this month. What do you think? Is there anything you would like to see on RevenantPublications.com?

Writing for Web: Blogging – Getting Started

“Everyone who’s ever taken a shower has had an idea. It’s the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.” – Nolan Bushnell

So, you’re in the shower and you think, “Wouldn’t it be cool to start a blog or website?” The answer is yes. It is very cool and totally doable with the tools and technology available.

This week’s chapter is all about blogging, but I would like to add a little spin. Let’s talk muse, too.

Felder gives some great ideas for getting started. The first decision to make is what to write about? Some questions you can ask yourself are:

What makes you mad?

What makes you smile?

What hobbies do you enjoy?

What is your passion?

Is there a topic you can talk about for hours?

What do you want to learn more about?

Now take those questions and pick a topic. Then decide if you can write a lot of content about it. If not, expand your topic. For example, if you like haunted houses you may want to extend that to all places haunted, which may include lighthouses, castles, asylums, prisons, etc.

Make a list of topics (these will later be blog posts). Write them down for as long as you can, and always keep a pen and paper handy. A friend gave out a tiny composition book during a blog session a couple of years ago, and it is still in my purse just in case.

We at RevPub like to have a stockpile of ideas too because sometimes you just don’t feel creative or want to work a lot on something. In those instances, what should you do? Here’s where the muse comes in.

 The Muse

Muse: The source of your inspiration that gives you new ideas and topics.

Most people have something that inspires them. It can be a child, job, lifelong dream or goal, best friend, or successful people in the world. It doesn’t matter what your muse is or how you find it; the important thing is to find it, hold onto it, and let it guide you.

If you feel your muse has abandoned you, don’t worry. Felder suggests taking a walk, listening to music, aromatherapy, and even eating chocolate. Other strategies I found are TV shows like Shark Tank and Supernatural, yoga, and hanging out with people who have similar interests. In fact, most of my Writing for Web posts are done with a horror movie in the background. All of these can get your mind moving in the right direction, so just pick what works for you and go with it!

Now that you have a category and topics, it’s time to research a little. Felder advises looking at other sites and blogs about similar topics, making notes about what you like and don’t like, and deciding how to make yours better. This is an interesting exercise and allows you to improve your writing and style before you write your first post.

With all those in mind, get started. Pick a site to blog on – WordPress and Blogger are both free and very popular. Be sure to check in next week when we’ll discuss scheduling, content, and readership.

In the meantime, tell us this: what is your muse? Do you have tips for others on how to find inspiration?