Category Archives: Advice/Q&A

Advice: Social Media: 10 Tips To Use It To Your Advantage

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This is the age of self-promotion where likes, followers, retweets, favorites, pins, views, subscribers and whatever other terms have been coined by the birth of social media decides whether or not you and your work make it. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to utilize these tools to help them gain success, and a lot of times, social media is a way to self-sabotage. Facebook, twitter, Instagram or whatever site your into do not come with how-to manuals; I have been lucky enough to see success via social media, and I am going to share with you how I personally utilized today’s tech world to grow my own brand. I hope these 10 tips will help you see success.


  1. Be Social

I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but some people really don’t understand how to be social online. When someone comments on your work, messages you or compliments you in anyway, respond. Even if it is just a simple “thank you”, let your audience know that you value them, their opinions and their time. Don’t get labeled a snob, if your “fans” feel that you are cold with them, they will be less likely to care about what you’re trying to promote. Even some of the biggest celebrities try to maintain an open social dialogue with their fans. With sites like twitter and Instagram, copious amounts of followers is the main goal. Some people do follow back pretty much everyone that follows them, but you do not have to. Use your best judgement when returning a follow; some accounts are spam and some are just “follower collectors”.

2.  Be Active

Again, another no-brainer, but another step that is usually ignored. When you create a social media account, use it, don’t create it and forget about it. I’m not saying that you have to live your every waking moment on it, but try to post and update regularly. The less active you are, the more it’s going to look as though you don’t really care, so your followers aren’t really going to care either. Not to mention, it makes you look a little more professional.

3.  Be Courteous 

No matter how many friends or followers you obtain, don’t get the big head and don’t become an egotistical jerk. No matter if someone is complimenting you or being a total jerk to you, respond with the utmost courtesy. This is one of the hardest things to remember, it is easy to grow an ego with people constantly complimenting you and it is even easier to go blow for blow with an online bully, but maintain and be as sweet as can be.

  4.  Don’t Litter

With the lines of communication being as open as it is with celebrities, it is very easy to get carried away and post your every project on their pages or tweet it to them about a million times a day, DON’T! Where it is perfectly acceptable to send it to them once or twice in the span of a week or 2, don’t get nutty and litter their feeds with your projects. It will get you labeled a pest and chances are, they will block and or ignore you from then on out. Create your own outlet to share your project, you can litter that page as much as you’d like with your projects.

5.  Don’t Abuse DMs and Messages

This goes hand-in-hand with “don’t litter”. With the lines of communication so open and your favorite celebs at your fingertips, it is easy to get overzealous and get what I like to call, “DM Diarrhea”. It is totally fine to send the occasional private message or DM to a celebrity, but do not over do it. It is easy to become a pest, so when reaching out for a statement or collaboration of some sort, go the professional route and email or use an agent. This also applies to non-celebrities. Don’t so it to anyone, it’s a bad move, career suicide even.

6. Be Yourself

So many people create an online persona nowadays that are nothing like they truly are. Don’t get me wrong, it is OK to hide your personal identity, for example Bleedingcritic, he wears a mask and does not use his real name, there are weirdos out there, so it is fine to not disclose every bit of information about yourself and some people go by different names in their professional life. In that case it is fine to keep that persona, but if you are online as yourself and trying to brand yourself and not a character, don’t lie your ass off and try to be someone you are totally not. Even if you are trying to market your character, be true, don’t change things because you think it will be more “accepted”.

7.  Don’t Buy Friends, Followers, Likes ETC.

There are tons of services out there that will give you “social media fame” at a price, but it is desperate and wrong, not to mention, expensive. If you have the money to invest in social media followers, invest it into something a bit more lucrative like a new website, new computer or something that will truly help you achieve success in what you are trying to accomplish. The numbers may look good, but they aren’t real, spend the time and money into attracting legitimate followers and views. Every social media site offers sponsorship or sponsored posts, invest in a Facebook ad or a promotion on twitter if you really want to go that route. By doing this, you will target the correct audience and gain the views, likes and followers organically.

   8.  Don’t Be A Troll

We’ve all encountered an internet troll here and there, they are annoying, so don’t be one. What is an internet troll? 

 One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

Also referred to as an attention whore. Where it is fine to mention or write about “trending” topics, don’t do so for the sake of causing an argument, and don’t feel the need to comment on every single one. While trolling may bring you a lot of attention, most of that attention will be negative.

9. Network

There are sites like LinkedIn that were created for the sake of networking with others of similar professions and interests, but you do not have to rely on just those sites. You can use any social media platform to network yourself, services or products. Connect with those of similar interests, it will help you substantially, and most sites do the majority of the work for you, so capitalize on it.

10.  Ignore Bullies/Haters

The final and possibly most important bit of advice I have for you may be the hardest to follow. Ignore the hate you receive. If a negative comment is truly meant as constructive criticism, don’t ignore it, but if someone is coming a you on a fairly regular basis with nothing but nasty comments, it is time to ignore or hit the block button. Bullying has escalated with the birth of social media, and it isn’t going to go anywhere since the bullies can now hide behind a keyboard and can remain completely anonymous. It is impossible to ignore or block them all, but I started to view the hate as compliments. If that person(s) takes the time out of their day to comment, even if it is to tear you down, yo have affected them enough to get their attention. I have run into multiple occasions where negative comments have ended up getting me more views and positive praise. What is the first thing you do if someone posts something any makes comments like “OMG this is horrible” or something else along those lines? You click on it to see what the hoopla is, right? Bullying is never OK, but it is also hard to avoid these days, just do your best to ignore it or spin it. Don’t let it discourage you from being you and doing what you love, bullies are just miserable jerks that are going nowhere in a hurry, at least you are putting good into the world and doing what makes you happy.


I hope these above tips help you see the success that you deserve. What I forgot to mention in the previous paragraphs, be patient, the success won’t come right away, it will take time, and because of that, the success you do receive will feel that much more rewarding when you do achieve it. Hang in there, work your butt off and you will get where you want to be.

 

Advice: Professionalism

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The internet is a dark, hateful place, a bit like high school, everyone has an opinion and no matter how harsh it is they let it fly, and with convention season approaching, most of you will be out trying to market yourselves. This little tidbit of advice is aimed at a few different aspects of this business such as building business relationships, ending business relationships, handling bad deals, dealing with negativity, how to respond, late responses, asking for press passes and items for review, as well as how to conduct yourself when you’re out representing your brand. 

*Disclaimer: I am just a blogger/magazine columnist. I am in no way an ethics professor or anything of the sort. I am only speaking from experience.*

Building Relationships

Working in any form of entertainment or publication, it is important to establish lasting business relationships whether that be with other writers, companies, conventions etc.. These relationships are usually what helps you advance in your field and aide in deciding the longevity of your brand. When building these relationships, it is important to find people/companies in the same line as you (horror, fashion, comedy etc.), doing so will ensure that the two of you are on the same page and share similar interests. Sometimes, I enjoy finding writers in the same field as myself, but approach things with a different style, in a good business relationship, you will learn things from one another. How do you form these types of relationships?

  • Do your research. Get to know the person or company that you are reaching out to. Social media and Google are phenomenal tools, be sure to utilize them.
  • Have a resume ready. Some companies are willing to work with you no questions asked as long as they like the content you are putting out, but some are interested in your skill sets as well as past projects. Not to mention, having a resume ready to go adds to your professional appearance.
  • Do not badger. When you send that email or message, it’s a bit like asking someone to prom, be sure to include all questions and information about yourself in one email/message. You can send a followup message if you have not heard back, but be sure to wait about a week as the other party may be busy or still considering your offer.

Bad Relationships

Just like a romantic relationship, business relationships may start out all hearts and flowers, but they can turn bad. Here are a few signs that it may be time to end that relationship:

  • It becomes one-sided. When you are the only one contributing to the partnership, it may be time to end.
  • No response. When you send and email, message or depending on how close your relationship is, text message or phone call and you get no response. People get busy, but common courtesy would be to let you know that they are busy and that they received your message and will get back to you as soon as they can.
  • They begin to work more heavily with someone else or start looking for someone to replace you. This tends to happen mostly when there is no contract between the two parties. It is OK to work with others as long as it is fine with your partners, but when you start getting the cold shoulder and the new party is getting the better work, it is time for you to find someone else to work with

Ending Bad Relationships

If your business relationship has gone sour, it is time to walk away. This step is easier if there is no legally binding contract. 

  • Be courteous. No matter the reason for the bad deal, be professional, basically, don’t be a huge jerk.
  • Send a well structured, professional email detailing your side of the situation. Include your reasoning for wanting to end the partnership and be sure to wish them luck in their future endeavors whether the relationship is ending on positive or negative terms, it’s only polite.
  • If the other party apologizes and  wants to continue the relationship, you may. If you truly feel that they are being sincere, by all means, continue your relationship with them.

Now that the generic situations are covered, it is time to dive into the more detailed scenarios.

Email Etiquette

When doing business in the digital world, email is the main form of communication. This is where a lot of people mess up.

  • Respond in a timely manner. I have been guilty of this myself, sometimes I will check emails on my phone, but I respond on the computer and sometimes I forget about things or they get lost in the shuffle. If it is possible, respond to the email as soon as you see it.
  • Apologize for late responses. If for whatever reason you are late responding to an email, be sure to apologize and let them know that their message matters.
  • Receiving an offer you don’t like or do not have time to take on. Occasionally we all get an offer that we just don’t like or we are just too busy to take on a new task. Whatever your reason for not taking the offer, be truthful, don’t just ignore the email and many times if I can’t take the offer, I will offer someone that would like to or does have the time to take the task and I will forward the information to them.
  • Always show gratitude. Now don’t go all Hallmark, but be sure to let the other party know that you do sincerely appreciate their time and offer whether you accept it or not. A simple “thank you” will go a long way.

Asking For Products For Review

Sometimes companies will send you offers to review their products, but if you are newer to the game, you may have to reach out on your own. When it comes to asking for products to review, it is important how you do so.

  •    Be semi-formal. Remember that unit in English class where you learned how to compose a formal letter? Well, this is one of those few occasions where the “you’ll need to know this” lecture is true. You want to look as confident and professional as possible. No text message talk, no abbreviation and be sure to use structure. If you forget hoe to do this, Google it.
  • Be thorough. Start with the basics like your name. I know this sounds like common knowledge, but you’d be surprised how many forget it. Let them know that you are somewhat familiar with their company/products. Be sure to include links to your site, another key part many forget. If they don’t know what you or or site is about, chances are they won’t want to work with you.
  • Start small. Don’t reach out to huge, well known companies. Stay with smaller, newer business. There are a few reasons for this, small businesses need more help than well established companies, well established companies already have advertising agents that help them. Smaller companies are also more grateful for your contribution and it is much more rewarding to work with a real person and not some faceless corporation.

Asking For Press Passes

Convention season is a big time of year for bloggers, vloggers and magazine columnists, and most of them offer press passes to media outlets. I get asked a lot around this time of year how I acquire them, well it’s really not that difficult. A simple email to the convention coordinators is usually all that it takes.

  • Again, start with the basics. Start with a simple sentence like, “My name is ______ and I am a writer/blogger/vlogger for______, and I was wondering if there were press passes available for (name of convention.” It really is that simple.
  • Include a link to your site, and if you have done any kind of pre-convention coverage of the event, be sure to include links to it.
  • Don’t be greedy. Only request the amount of passes you need, don’t try to get passes for all of your friends. I get passes for myself and my husband (who also writes for the blog). Some conventions only allow a certain number of passes to an individual based on the type of media (internet, magazine, podcast etc.), and some like Horror Realm have a limit on the number that any one individual can request.
  • Be prepared for paperwork. Some conventions will respond with a yes or no based on your previous work or they will send you an application for consideration. These are typically a very short form where you tell them about yourself, your site and how many passes you are requesting.

Convention Etiquette

Now that you have your passes, it is important that you know how to use it and how to conduct yourself since you will be representing either your own brand or a brand you work for. 

  • A press pass is not a golden ticket to the chocolate factory Charlie. Some conventions do have media only events as well as other perks for press pass holders, but do not try to use it as the ring to control everyone Bilbo. OK, enough pop culture references, basically, use your head, don’t let it turn you into Gollum (I swear that was the last one).
  • No fangirling. If you are there as a media professional, conduct yourself as such. Get a grip and remember that you are there to work. Remember that no matter who you are talking to, they are just a person no matter how awesome they are. If you can’t conduct yourself in a professional manner around celebrities, maybe you should consider a different career path.
  • Don’t abuse it. If you ever want passes to that particular convention the next year or to any others, use it for what it is there for. Don’t use it to cut in line or to sneak into parties or to monopolize anyone’s time. If you have an interview scheduled during the convention, try to make it as brief as possible. If it is at all possible, try to get your interview either before the convention begins for the day or at the close of the show for the day.

Well that pretty much covers that, but here is a bonus section. I am asked a million times a day and have covered the topic a few times now, but I am more than happy to cover it for you once again.

Dealing With Negative Feedback/Criticism

Negative feedback and criticism is something that everyone in this line of work MUST learn to deal with in a professional manner. It is not as hard as everyone thinks it is. If I gave up every time someone tried to cut me down, I would have hung it up a long time ago. It takes practice, but you can master it. 

  • Read/listen no matter how painful. Some people lack that filter that tells them that maybe the way I’m saying this is a bit rude, and they will be nasty. Some people even post things to purposely hurt others. The best way to get used to negative feedback is to read it, reading it will only help you develop a thicker skin.
  • Depersonalize criticism. Going hand in hand with with the previous point, understand that most people are only talking about that particular piece and not you as a person. I write for Moviepilot as well, and I recently wrote a slasher article that irritated quite a few people, and some of those people where straight up, excuse my language, assholes, but they were talking about the article and not me as a person. Once you learn to do this, you will be able to handle anything.
  • Acknowledge good points from the other side. As long as the person is being somewhat respectful, if they are making good points, take the advice. 
  • Disagree without being disrespectful. Believe it or not, there is a way to disagree with someone and stand by your point without being disrespectful to the other party. 
  • No matter how rude someone is being to you, never resort to personal attacks or insults. In this field of work, sadly jerks come with the territory, but NEVER stoop to their level. If you see no way to politely address them, ignore them as hard as it may be.
  • Most of all, remember that anyone who has accomplished anything great has critics. Take the fact that people are even taking the time out to leave feedback on your work as a sign that you have produced a successful piece. Whether they liked it or not, it is still gaining reads. Sometimes the negative feedback is the best kind, I mean when someone shares something saying that it is horrible or offensive, the first thing I do is click on it, just saying. 

I hope you found this article helpful and put this advice to good use. Good luck!

Q&A: Where I Buy My Movies, Video Games, Comics and Collectibles

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I am back to answer another question I am asked frequently on the various social media sites I am on. That question being…

Where do you buy your movies, comics, video games and collectibles?

I buy these items from a selection of different places, so below I will break down each of these businesses, and give you a brief review of each place.


 

Movies/Video Games:

The obvious answer here would be Amazon. While I do make many film purchases a year from Amazon, it is not my main source. In the last year or so, I have been buying movies at Family Video and The Exchange. Both of these companies are “chain” businesses, so many of you will be able to find them. 

Family Video:

This is where I find most of my B horror films. Many of the films they offer are the cheesy horror films like the syfy originals, but they do also offer the newer films.

How does this company work? They are a lot like good old Blockbuster. They are a video rental store, but once they have had a title for so long, they will put it up for sale. My husband and I are in there at least once a week. There is always a huge selection of movies for sale. 

What are their prices like? That is the beauty of Family Video, they are quite affordable. For example, I picked up See No Evil 2 on Blu-ray for $9.99 as opposed to the $24 that Walmart and other stores where charging for it. They also have a sticker system. Pink/green stickers are $1.99 or two for $3 and blue/red stickers are $2.99 or two for $5. These are on just bad or old titles either, I have picked up a few newer titles on these deals. 

Checkout FamilyVideo.com to find your local store.


The Exchange:

Aside from Amazon, this is where I find most of my “hard to find” and older titles as well as some of my video games.

What is it? The Exchange is a buy, sell and trade place. Most of their titles are used, but in great condition, and they do carry some new, unopened titles. This is also how I get rid of all of my unwanted movies, movies I don’t want anymore as well as collectibles I don’t have room for anymore.

You can either sell or trade in your unwanted stuff here. They accept movies, video games, comic books, sport’s jersey’s, collectibles, gaming consoles and pretty much anything else you can think of. They have always been pretty generous to me when it comes to trades. I always take the trade in credit. Why spend money when you can use store credit from things you don’t want anymore?

What are their prices like? Usually, they are pretty reasonable, but there have been occasions where I thought they were a bit high. Much like with other stores and sites, the harder the title is to find, the more you will pay. They’re also a bit high on new titles, but over all, they are pretty affordable.

Visit TheExchange.com to find your local store.


Comics and Collectibles:

I go local for my comics and most of my collectibles. I hit up my local comic shop, Bill’s Books and More, at least once a week. If you are in the Akron/Canton area of Ohio, Bill’s is located at 2215 6th Street SW, Canton. 

Nothing beats buying local. Bill and his staff are incredible. If he doesn’t have it, he will track it down for you. A lot of shops aren’t shy about “ripping people off”, but Bill will give you the best offer for your books and collectibles. 

Bill’s has the best prices around on back issues and collectibles. I have purchased countless amounts of pops and other items from him and have not paid over $25 for a single item (I have spent more than that collectively on multiple items at one time, but never a single item). He does have some more pricey items, but they are rare and hard to find. 

If you are not local to this area, Bill is at most of the comic book conventions throughout the year in many different states, and he does occasionally sell on ebay. 

Like the Bill’s Books and More Facebook page for more information and convention schedules. 


I think that pretty much covers it. Happy hunting!

*If you have any questions you would like me to answer here, feel free to comment your question below, send it to me on twitter @xMelissaThomasx or email it to me at littleblogofhorror@yahoo.com*

Advice: Being A Female Horror Blogger/Writer

Q&AThis little nugget of advice is going to be a tad bit different from the last. This piece will focus more on females writing in the horror genre. I am going to answer and give advice on two different questions I am asked quite frequently, “how do you make it as a female writer in the horror genre?” and “how do you deal with negative attention/comments from others?”.

How do you make it as a female writer in the horror genre?

  1.  Do what you want to do. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. 
  2. Work your ass off. Don’t let the fact that you’re a female make you think you can put out horrible articles/pieces and get by on a pretty face.
  3. Don’t use your body to advance your writing career. The biggest mistake I see a lot of female writers make, in any form, but a lot in this genre, is using their bodies and sex appeal to get ahead of the game. With conventions and the internet, it is easier to contact and encounter celebrities. This was a big issue with a certain female writer and a big time director (I am not going to name names). Avoid doing this at all cost. If you contact a celebrity about an interview or something whether it is in person or online, remain professional. Do not show up with your boobs hanging out all over the place and do not go there with the idea of sleeping your way to the top. Like the above mentioned situation, this girl was found plagiarizing, her relationship with this director fell apart and now, she’s back at the bottom. Just use your head.
  4. Don’t jump into this gig if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t do it because it’s the “cool” thing to do. If you’re passionate about it, you will have no problem producing great content that people will want to read. 
  5. Don’t give up. Not everyone is going to treat you horribly or not read your work just because you’re a female, but there will be a lot some negativity from your typical bullies. Don’t let those bullies force you to stop doing what you love.

How do you deal with the negative comments/attention from others?

We as females have to work just a little harder to prove ourselves and there is always that ever popular “you’re probably sleeping with that person to get where you are” or the “you’re using your feminine “charms” to get what you want”. Not everyone is going to treat you like crap or accuse you of being a hooker, but I have had those things happen to me, and here is how I have coped with it.

  1. Let it go in one ear and out the other.
  2. Don’t react. Internet bullies are going to try their hardest to break you. Don’t react to their negative comments.
  3. Develop a thick skin. If you don’t already have one, you need to develop one. If you are easily hurt or take everything to heart, you won’t last. You have to be able to read the negative comments and shrug them off.
  4. Delete, unfollow, block. Those are three words you need to become familiar with. If someone is talking trash on every post you make whether it be on the blog post/article or on any of the social media platforms, you need to follow that mantra. If the same people are repeatedly attacking you, cut them out.

I hope this helped you ladies, and guys,please don’t take this as an attack or a therapy session. If you have anymore questions on this topic or have another question/topic that you want me to cover, please feel free to comment below, tweet me (@xMelissaThomasx) or email me at littleblogofhorror@yahoo.com.

Advice: How To Start and Maintain A Blog/Vlog

Q&A

One question that I am asked on a fairly regular basis,“how do you start and run a successful blog/vlog?”. Instead of answering this question over and over on twitter, besides it takes way more than 140 characters to really help, I have decided to start a Q&A/Advice category. As previously mentioned, this piece of advice will cover the start up, maintenance and so on of a blog or vlog. It is a bit like Saw, “Do you want to play a game?”

Getting started:

  1. Come up with a generalized genre/topic that you want to cover (ie. horror, beauty, comedy, movies etc.). Choose something you are passionate and knowledgeable about (this will come into play later).
  2. Choose a blog/vlog name. It is important to make sure that the name is interesting, you want your name to be as interesting as your content. Another important piece of advice to keep in mind when choosing a name is to relate it to the genre/topics your blog/vlog will be covering.
  3. Choose a platform. The platform you use to host your blog/vlog is just as important as your name and content. I use WordPress. You want a platform that offers  professional appearance and allows you to purchase your domain name. Other platforms include tumblr, blogspot/blogger and YouTube. Do your research before choosing one. It is also imperative that you choose a platform that you find is easiest for you to navigate. If you don’t know how to use the tools available to you, it will be more difficult to produce a great blog/vlog.
  4. Purchase your domain name. Where this is not entirely necessary, it does add to the professional appearance of your blog/vlog. I pay $18 a year. It is not a huge expense, but this will help you in the long run. Not only will you look more professional, but this will also help potential sponsors find you via Google and other search methods.

Content: 

  1. Now that you’re all set up with your name, mission and site, it is time to start cranking out the content. You don’t have to be William Shakespeare or anything, but basic grammar is necessary if you want to be successful. Most platforms come equipped with spellchecker, so is you spelling isn’t your strong suit, it’s not that big of a deal. What is a fairly big deal is knowing the basics like the difference between your and you’re or there, their and they’re. Grammar Nazis will tear you apart if you don’t know those (I will get into dealing with the negative comments later).
  2. Perhaps even more important than the content of each article is the title of the article. Make sure the title gives a very brief description of what readers can expect in the article. This is pretty much common sense.
  3. Research your topic. Readers want material that is not only interesting, but accurate and well researched. Even if you think that you know a lot about what your article topic is, do the research anyway. You may find that you are wrong about something or best case scenario, find updated information on the topic. This is where things get a little tricky. Just like those dreaded high school reports, you have to do the research, but you have to put the information into your own words. It is easy, and illegal to copy and paste someone else’s work. Take notes while researching and twist your facts into your own words. While it is acceptable to quote the work of others, and when doing so, put it into quotes and make sure to indicate that you are quoting someone else. If you find a piece of information and do not want to quote it, it is acceptable to use specific words from someone else, but he majority of the sentence must be from your own brain.
  4. The most important thing to keep in mind when creating the content for your blog, keep in consistent. I am not just talking about staying consistent with the topic for your content, but post consistently. While you do not have to make a post everyday, it is important to post at least once a week, especially when you are first starting out and trying to build an audience.
  5. Above all else, choose something you are passionate about. Even if you aren’t that great of a writer, if you are writing about something you are passionate about, it will shine through above everything. Even the best writer will produce bad work if there is no passion behind the words they are producing.

Promotion/Networking:   

Now that you are producing content, it is important to grow an audience to read the material that you have worked so hard on. Much like film making, everyone has a cellphone and some type of social networking site. Use those to your advantage.

  1. Start off sharing your new work on your personal social networking pages. Never be afraid to self promote.
  2. Once your friends/followers start to take notice of your work and you build a base following, make a fan page or group on Facebook. Facebook is where I do the vast majority of my selfless self promotion. This helps others on a site like Facebook find your work.
  3. Branch out. Join other social platforms to promote your work. I am on other sites like twitter which is great for finding more readers, but sites like linkedin are even more important when it comes to making potential business partners (I will cover this more in depth in a bit).
  4. Utilize tags. Every platform offers a space to plug in keywords that are associated with the content of your article to aide potential reader/viewers in finding your work. This is where trolling often occurs. Trolling is where people add tags to their work that have nothing to do with the content they are about to watch or read. NEVER troll. Only use tags that are relevant your content. Trolling will lead to negative promotion and the loss of your audience.
  5. Learn SEO. Search Engine Optimization is important when it comes to getting your site and content noticed by search engines. I won’t go to in depth on this, just research it. You do not have to pay to learn SEO, there are plenty of help guides that can assist you in doing this. It will appear pretty intimidating at first, but once you learn the basics, it’s like riding a bike.

Dealing with attention, positive and negative:

Now that you are producing content and getting a little recognition, prepare for the attention that comes with the territory. Not everyone is going to be nice and everyone thinks they are an expert.

  • Positive attention:
  1. Don’t let it go to your head. Don’t think that you are the best just because you got a little bit of positive recognition.
  2. Respond. Always respond to positive comments. Let your readers know that you appreciate them because without them your work would just be a bunch of words on the internet.
  3. Dealing with the positive is always very simple, just use the basic manners that were instilled in you as a child and you will do just fine.
  • Negative attention:
  1. Not everything is going to be sunshine and rainbows, but don’t react. The most important thing is not to react to the asshole things that people are going to say. Not everyone is going to like you or your work. Don;t feed into them and absolutely do not jab back. Reacting to an internet bully will make you look less professional and only give that bully more satisfaction in knowing that they are getting attention.
  2. Do not take the negativity to heart. Excuse my language, but fuck what internet bullies have to say, 90% of the time they are just that, an insecure bully. You have to have a tough skin any time you post something to the billions on the internet. The negative comments sting at first, but they do get easier to deal with after time.
  3. Know the difference between a nasty comment and constructive criticism. Sometimes the line between these two is very blurred, but you do need to learn the difference. Constructive criticism: “your article was good, but you could have researched the topic more and your grammar was a bit off”. Negative/bully comment (I have received comments like this before): “That article was a total piece of shit. I don’t know why people are reading the garbage you are putting out.” I have even had people tell me to go kill myself before.
  4. Identify the bullies. Without being a narc, talk to some other bloggers/vloggers on the same site that cover similar topics. More times than not the bully trolls a specific site and searches specific keywords for the soul purpose of being a jerk. Usually, these bullies know nothing about the topic at hand anyway.
  5. This is more a problem with vloggers, but I will cover it anyway because everyone deals with this sort of thing on a day to day basis. This does not only apply to women anymore. The jerk that has to comment on your looks. One vlogger in particular that comes to mind with this subject is Trisha Paytas (blndsundoll4mj on YouTube). She is clearly a beautiful girl, but insecure bullies cut her down all the time calling her fat and ugly. Again, excuse my language, but fuck them. Who are they? They are usually the people that use cartoon pictures as their avatar or have no picture at all. Maintain your confidence, that gets to them more than if you actually told them to fuck off.

Finding sponsors and making money: 

Everyone wants to make money doing what they love. It does take time and will not be too easy.

  1. Promotion and SEO is the fastest way to find potential sponsors and paying contributors.
  2. Don’t expect a huge amount of money especially starting out. I am going to be 100% real with you, the pay is not going to buy you a shiny new BMW or anything, but it is great to see income for what you love.
  3. Offer advertising packages. If you own your domain, utilize the sidebar for paid advertisers.
  4. Join an affiliate site. Sites like Commission Junction and Share A Sale offer businesses that cover just about every topic you can dream of. Join the site an apply to be an affiliate. Most of the time, a purchase is required by the person that clicks on the banner for you to make money, but there are some programs that pay for the traffic, or by clicks. Some companies offer independent affiliate programs as well.
  5. Finding sponsors is where sites like linkedin come into play. Join linkedin and find others with similar interests and connect with companies that offer products or services that coincide with your site.
  6. Don’t be afraid to say no. If a company that has no relation to your field approaches you, it is completely acceptable to turn them down. Stay consistent with your theme. It is also just fine to turn down a company for being too pushy or demanding. Don’t let anyone bully you into accepting an offer, there will be others. You should also never feel bad for turning down an offer you feel is unfair. Look into the appropriate amount to charge for a specific type of work, there are countless sites that can help you do this.
  7. Don’t rip people off. While it is ok to turn down an unfair offer, it is unacceptable to turn down a fair offer because you want more money. Word does travel and if word gets out that you are being unfair yourself, the offers will stop.
  8. To help with the confusion, supply a price list on your site. Set prices, but always be open to negotiation. Most of the offers will be from companies that are just starting out, so they do not have a large amount of funds to offer, and many companies have designated amounts to spend on advertising and promotion.
  9. It is also important to know that more times than not, the offers will not be regular, especially at first. They may become more regular as you get more notoriety.
  10. Establish good relationships with the companies you work for, if you build a good relationship, they are more likely to come back and work with you again.
  11. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make the first move. Just like dating, don’t be afraid to reach out and make the first move. It is completely acceptable to email companies about reviews and sponsorship. Just do not nag and be professional about it.

Getting interviews and other perks: 

I have somehow managed to go from writing movie reviews about awesome people to interviewing these awesome people. Most of mine are through sheer dumb luck, but I will share with you proactive ways to help this happen for you.

  1. Always be professional. I can not stress this enough. There is a protocol to contacting someone about an interview no matter how well known they are. Send a professional email. DO NOT tweet them. If you do not know how to conduct yourself professionally in trying to get the interview, they are going to assume that you will not conduct yourself professionally during the interview.
  2. I get other perks like movie screeners and other promotional materials. Much like everything else, I started receiving these mostly through dumb luck. A good way to get connected with companies like this is to attend conventions. That’s right, it can be that simple. Without acting like a jerk and in your most professional manner, approach companies that interest you and tell them about what you do. If they are interested, exchange information.

Conventions and press passes:

This is probably the easiest thing to accomplish, but I am asked all the time how I get press passes for conventions and events.

  1. Go to the convention or event’s site. Typically there is a place to apply for a press pass under the ticket section. Just fill out the form and wait on the reply. If you feel you have waited a long time and have not heard back, email the head of the convention or event and ask about it, again be professional.
  2. If there is not link to apply for a press pass, email the head of the convention or staff and ask if they are available for that event.

I think that about covers the basics of starting, running and maintaining a blog/vlog. If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment below or email me at littleblogofhorror@yahoo.com and I will do my best to answer your questions. Good luck!