Aside from having our own blog, Writing NSW runs a variety of blogging workshops and courses. We have courses such as blogging for beginners as well as training for those who want to explore online writing in more depth.
William Kostakis is one of our tutors – another one of our writers teaching writing.
How did you become a professional blogger?
By accident – I started my own blog to shamelessly promote Loathing Lola – then I realised I loved it more than I should an advertising medium. My novel’s release window came and went, and I was still blogging. Before I knew it, I was interviewing other authors, writing reviews, ranting, and my posts eventually caught the eye of Boomerang Books Director, Clayton Wehner, who offered me a paid position. From that, I graduated to writing for Ninemsn and other online media outlets.
What advice do you have for new bloggers looking for readers?
Don’t SPAM for followers/readers – if all you do is advertise your blog, you’ll repel more than you attract. Make meaningful connections with other bloggers, engage in dialogues in their comments sections, don’t just link back to your blog. The book-blogging community in Australia is very welcoming to newcomers. Participate in that community, and the readers will come.
You say you set up your personal blog to shamelessly promote your own writing. Did it work?
Yes – while I can’t measure just how many viewers turned into book buyers, I know that some did. Most of them were overseas, which meant I’d expanded what was a limited Australian audience to a worldwide one. Also, people who found my blog invited me to speak at libraries and schools, so my personal blog resulted in promotional opportunities in the physical world.
What was your experience having your first novel published?
It’s been two and a half years, so I have enough distance to look at it objectively… and I’d still say the experience comes second to none. It isn’t all sunshine and roses, but even at its lowest points, publication is such a gratifying experience. I honestly still don’t believe it happened.
With your last three dollars you would … ?
Buy fries and a chocolate sundae from Maccas – to eat together. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.
William Kostakis is a blogger and the award-winning author of Loathing Lola (Pan Macmillan). In 2005 he won the Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year. Initially set up to shamelessly promote his writing, his personal blog has evolved into so much more, and he’s now a professional blogger for Australian online bookseller, Boomerang Books. His experience online is supplemented by his studies in Digital Cultures and Media and Communications. He has spent the past three years conducting creative writing workshops for a range of diverse audiences. Visit his blog at http://williamkostakis.wordpress.com/