Blogging has been a journey that’s served as probably the greatest companion and outlet for my creativity. This Hall of Information blog began life as a plunge into the unknown to create a presence and a home for my writing online. It pulled me along when nothing else did and eventually over some years it became the central pillar of everything Lee Hall.
This post is a short reflection on reaching 1000 WordPress followers which is a huge number for a WordPress blog and a powerful thing that has kept me inspired to simply keep going. Over some years I found my creativity, my consistency and of course my content through this blog and eventually it began to turn the needle for me. There are so many lessons I have learned over the years on this journey and this blog has been there for all of them.
Like many of my successful moments, they are defined simply by the fact I have just kept going, kept chasing and kept learning. Along the way I gained you, a loyal follower and reader, someone who answers back from the void that I was seemingly shouting into all these years – the secret ingredient to all of this. I am living proof that blogging can be a success if you work for it and part of this journey would be nothing without this Hall of Information blog – a hub and account of my journey told in real time. And time is what it takes for anything good in this world along with good people to help me, you.
There are a plethora of influences who have shaped my blogging success, from those who nominated it for awards to those who might just be silently reading without ever engaging with me – both and everyone in between is fine for me and no matter who you are, as long as you are kind, you are welcome at the Hall of Information. From the day in day outer’s who I see blogging everyday to the occasional creator, the interactions I have had over the years with all of you have given reason and meaning to this sometimes hard journey.
From then, now and to the future, thank you for supporting me. I have learned so much from what you have given me.
Time. Our closest ally and perhaps most fickle of masters. Any creative will know that you need it for near enough everything and when it comes to books, time really is a friend.
This weekend will see the one year anniversary of Consistent Creative Content being released. The guide book that could and in that time has become the most successful first year for any of my releases. An ambition to create an honest guide for indie/self published authors and bloggers like me slowly burned inside over some years. I could go as far back as 2017 and recall sharing my book promotion results across social media to a positive response – and that is the basics in which this is all built upon. If something is well received, do more of it.
By the time 2020 rolled around, there came a realisation that perhaps some of the things I have learned could benefit others who are in different stages of their creative journey. What if I just wrote a guide that laid out everything I have done to publish books, promote them and of course everything I have learned as a blogger on social media? The concept above everything is a snapshot at providing some reassurance that fellow creatives are on a path to something representing improvement.
Being open and honest about my results, both good and bad has catapulted me to a following and success I’d never imagine. That might be what I am known for now and you’ll be surprised how being open and honest wins the day online these days and CCC represents that and much more. This book was the first project I’d written for others whereas everything else on my shelf was mainly just for me. At release, my Twitter following hit 10,000 and now a year later it is about to hit 30,000 which hopefully proves the methods in the guide book that I use daily actually work.
Initially the release was digital only and this was only because at the time my sales were mainly digital. Of course the pre-order run was kind of a revelation as it managed at least one order for every day of the run which was rather incredible. But after an outcry from readers, the paperback version arrived in December 2021 and then came the deluge of paperback sales – the lesson here is simple, if you don’t allow yourself to have the availability in the first place then nobody will buy what you are selling.
Through the challenges being a social media indie author represents, this book has succeeded in reaching some of those who could benefit from it. The reviews speak for themselves and are in a number that I’ve never seen in year one of a release. At the very core of Consistent Creative Content is a very important message and that is to be proud of your journey and achievements no matter the size or significance. You can find success you are happy with in both blogging and self/indie publishing as well as social media.
This generation of social media creatives is breaking barriers and carving their own path to success which is possible for anyone as long as you dedicate yourself and of course take the time.
You can expect some celebratory things this weekend including an exclusive narration of Consistent Creative Content over on my Patreon – this will be free to listen to. There will be a few other things too.
To all of those who have supported my guide book, thank you.
Time can be a rewarding thing. Give an author time and they’ll eventually give you the world or at least when they have stopped procrastinating. Give a Tweeter time and eventually they’ll figure out the platform because that’s exactly what I’ve done and that’s exactly what you need to succeed on Twitter. Succeeding on the platform takes many different forms from finding your crowd or community to eventually finding sales to some other awesome things. More importantly and to me its all about being content with your efforts and even though I am partially addicted to Twitter, what I’ve got from it makes me happy mostly.
The start of each year serves as not just my anniversary on Twitter but also the anniversary of when I announced myself as an author to the world. 22 year-old Lee Hall didn’t know much about being a writer back then, but he knew that he wanted to be one and he also knew even less about Twitter. Nine years later, that writing desire stands strong and for it I have seven books published, to me and probably just as importantly, I have thousands of Twitter followers. That following pushed me to be better and go further with my writing.
This is a post that will highlight some of my major learning curves on the platform with a hope it can help others.
Incentive is a word I use to describe what was missing in my Tweets during the many years of Twitter purgatory I found myself in. Specifically I’m talking about the odd link share and a random thought share routine I’d found myself in for the best part of five years. From 2013 to late 2018 I’ll happily admit my Twitter was nothing like it is today and rightly so because I hadn’t figured it out. From logging in every now and then to simply scrolling with a frown, like many newbies, I thought Twitter was a weird place, it might still be that but now I understand the platform, my view is little different. Twitter is something that requires no formal qualifications to figure out, spending time on the platform will eventually help.
Back to that word incentive because by the end of this purgatory era I finally realised the true power Twitter has if you can offer something to someone. From a simple question to advice, from a relatable experience to even a random conversational quip – If you give on Twitter, eventually you will find others that will embrace what you have to offer and more importantly engage with you for it. Late 2018 just happened to be when I began one of my most important endeavours as a social media personality and blogger and author, I started reviewing indie books. One fateful December evening I put out a tweet asking for indie book rec’s. The deluge that followed convinced me that reviews were in demand and my voice, even if it was a lot smaller back then had reach that could be amplified simply by offering to fulfil a need or have some level of incentive.
This tweet asking for indie book rec’s still serves as one of my most engaged, even now after reaching 20,000+ followers. It also paved the way for me to review 40 books in 2019 and connect with some wonderful creatives I still share my Tweeting experience with today. From then I have reviewed over a hundred indie books and that number continues to grow.
The next few years I spent on Twitter very aware of the potential it had and I simply got to work making a name for myself as an author and supporter of fellow creatives. Still a kind of post-purgatory loomed over me until April 2020 arrived and the gift of time was given to me. In an attempt to gain a readership for my still largely unknown Order of the Following Series I began to ramp up my presence online in both blogging and Twitter. Because the pandemic world had granted me more time at home, I could treat this career aspiration as an actual career and what started as a simple increase of presence, set me on the path to another realisation.
Presence is everything, being there regularly is everything and finding quality subjects to tweet aboutwas achieved by tweeting in quantity. Finding quality through quantity became my main aim even after this 4th book in my unknown series was released because the needle was moving. April 2020 saw around 3,500 followers and December 2020 would bring 5,000. During this important time I was marking in my mind what worked and what didn’t – I’d drop the stuff that didn’t and would do more of what worked, growth was constant and as long as my tweets inspired, informed, entertained or provided some level of value and incentive, I would succeed.
For my efforts, books began selling. In 2019 I would probably sell one book from Twitter every two weeks or so. By 2021 I would be selling a book or two every seven days. By 2022 I sell a book or two nearly every other day – this hopefully tells you that selling on social media is possible eventually and you can do the same.
From 2018 to now I’d spent a huge amount of time reading and reviewing indie books and it was earning trust from a constantly growing following. Plus and just as importantly, I was reading and enjoying these works. My Tweets focused predominantly supporting others on this author path and trying my best to find things we have in common – from sharing sales figures that would bring us closer to providing tips or promotional methods. All of this incentive focused content was earning the trust of so many others like me.
Earn a person’s trust and they will invest in you eventually. On Twitter the momentum will start swinging your way when you have something to offer and if you offer it regularly. That ‘something’ needs to be unlimited and never run out. It won’t be easy figuring out but it is possible. For me, authors will always need reviews, readers will always want new books to read and those like me in the industry will always appreciate experience based support. These three things are incentive based and pretty much limitless. Supporting others on Twitter is also free – there seems to be a consensus that supporting others involves a cost, even a simple retweet or a like is considered support from me and that costs nothing.
More importantly and probably above all I set out to make my Twitter a pleasant place to be online because you might do all of the above and still get pretty much zero interest because tone is everything or it might even be something else – nobody really knows how the algorithms really work. But get that tone just right and people will eventually want to engage with you – be open, be honest and be decent. Speak with others as if they were opposite you in the same room. Big opinions or anything that may stir passionate responses can very easily turn sour on Twitter so my advice is to keep it light. Just recently I saw someone express quite a strong opinion which proceeded to trend – that particular account lost half its following in a single day. While I strongly support free speech, I am also an advocate for using it responsibly. You’ll sometimes need a thick skin because people will approach you in all types of ways from the friendly to the less so.
Social media gets a negative light sometimes for being a troll heavy, mental health draining waste of time but to me I have converted all of those negatives into positives by doing my best to make my Twitter a nice place to be. People are drawn to pleasant experiences and genuine people who are real. I want the book industry and self publishing to be a place where story-tellers can succeed no matter who they are, my efforts have rewarded me with thousands of Twitter followers, regular book sales and a boat load of supporters I call friends.
It took a while, but the journey and time was worth it. Social media does have a long way to go in order to be better at stopping abuse and trolls but for the most part, social media is one of the greatest feats of social engineering we’ve ever created. When its good it is incredible and generally most people want it to be good. That desire can stamp out the bad eventually and through being pleasant.
All of the things mentioned worked for me and Twitter is sometimes an individual journey of figuring out what works for you. Its okay to experiment and try new things on the platform, in that sense variety is sometimes key.
I do hope these words will guide you towards your own Twitter success and thanks for reading!
For some further listening, you can hear me laying out my author Twitter journey through a series of audio coaching sessions via Patreon. The first 2 sessions are free and for those who then sign up will access the rest of the series and receive regular shout-outs for them and their work on my Twitter.
For those who do follow me and support me on here and of course anywhere else including Twitter. Thank you. For those on that Twitter/social media journey like me, good luck and if you ever have a question about anything to do with it, I’m here.
Announcement Alert. Coming this December and due to popular demand I am proud to say Consistent Creative Content will be coming to paperback!
Perhaps it was an oversight for me to offer this book in just digital format to begin with butin that time I have learned many of my readers still appreciate that feeling of holding a real book in their hands. Due to that demand I have taken the plunge of converting my guide book into paperback and it will be available from mid December – just in time for gift season!
Do you know a budding author looking for a guiding light in the daunting industry of self publishing? Is the blogger in you ready to dive in but not sure where to start? Do you want to learn how to leverage your social media following into sales?
Consistent Creative Content would make the perfect gift for any writer at any stage because it is packed full of modern resources for the modern writer. Below you will find various snippets and other cool things about the book. Rock and roll man!
Tomorrow everything culminates. It has been a journey and an experience like nothing else I have faced in writing. My belief has been galvanised by good people who have continually supported me through so much. Right now we are facing the concept of a perfect pre-order run with at least one order every day since launch – a truly incredible feat that not only inspires me but tells me that I must be doing the right things to get them. I need just one more pre-order for this run to be perfect – something I’d never imagine happening but also proof I have the tools for it.
Those who have been around a while will know this journey has not been easy. The reverting to zero – something that still happens now to even seemingly shouting into an empty void. There are so many reasons for a creative to just give up and walk away but now I can give you hundreds of reasons to keep going, to keep creating and keep chasing because that is all I have ever done. Not once in the past few years have I given up or stopped. This journey has become part of me and I am the journey in some senses. I’m invested now, in helping others, shining a light through the dark of the unknown for others and not just to look like some hero. There’s no cape or crown in my story, just a pair of sleeves rolled up and an attitude that is ready to work hard. Anything worthwhile takes time and hard work.
Anything worthwhile in writing or blogging takes Consistent Creative Content. How do I know that? Because I have lived it and that’s the title of the book I have written on it. That book arrives tomorrow. Just one more pre-order would be amazing but we have already achieved with this book has been exceptional. Thank you for the support always.
As creators who release our work into the public domain we’re always told to prepare for good and bad reactions but it seems none of us are ever told to prepare for the effects of almost instant and explosive success. The truth is and since my book got thrown in front of a huge main stream audience of 10,000 plus, I haven’t been the same and then this weekend just gone I broke more sales records. Things are growing in a short space of time. My mind is still processing how monumental an achievement it was to get that many people download something that’s mostly unknownand then even more awesome things happened.
Recently I’ve found it difficult to think of new ideas and create new works. The sheer level of attention, reviews and continuing aftermath has been distracting and ultimately foreign to me. I’m just not used to the numbers and this is something nobody has ever talked about or given fair warning of. One day, if your work is out there, it might take off without fair warning. All success comes at a price and while recent times have been hard to adjust to, I’m still sitting in a rather good place. My mind is slowly gathering itself and learning to live with this new normal.
This entry might have started out looking like a complaint but I’m truly loving the fruits of this long journey right now. Its just taking time to adjust to what was a major corner turned. I firmly believe that if you keep going, eventually good things happen and this seems to be my year. What did I do? Nothing special, I just kept going because that’s all I know how to do.
In between reading, blogging and having a constantly demanding social media presence I’ve reached a creative plateau but ultimately that’s okay. I’m celebrating books that came out a few years ago and are now finding their success. It’s more than okay to embrace the stuff you currently have published and not worry so much about what’s to come. I have a backlist that I can lean back on and even if I’m not creating anything new right now, the pipeline still has a few more projects. Of course the self help book is just over a month away but right now and probably for the near future I’m just going to enjoy the journey. Truthfully I’m very much enjoying the social element of what has become an engaged social media following. To hear from and speak with so many folks from all over the world has brought so much joy to this journey. Reverting to zero seems like a lifetime away now.
To everyone who has interacted with me recently and those who did buy one or more of my books over the past weekend. Thank you.
Okay so things are actually looking really good right now which is both weird and oddly satisfying. With everything I have thrown at this year in authoring and blogging just short of the kitchen sink, it might have worked. Seeing plans come to fruition albeit successfully is a somewhat liberating feeling both personally and for the wider world. Its also rather new territory. We’re not there yet, but just days from this year’s epic conclusion for me…
Authors and creators have a place in this world, even if said world does appear to be falling to shit, rising back to better and then down to shit again. Riding that wave has presented those who want it with an opportunity and a learning curve. That opportunity is something I fell ass first into and since dusting myself off and trying to get back up, several hands of several truly wonderful supportive people were there to pull me towards somewhere I’d never imagine; satisfaction in this constant battle to get your work read as an independently published author.
People have actually taken on my work, they have responded to those efforts, there are even those, although just a handful that have pre ordered a book that represents all of my story telling efforts up to this moment. This is such a far cry from efforts previous feeling like they fell on deaf ears. People are out there and they have my back, this is both heart warming and emotionally gratifying. From the dramatic ride of high’s, lows, reversions to zeros and everything in between this next book resonates that journey and reflects everything I’ve ever been through. The characters who are a diverse range of souls are going to have to band together in order to find some kind of resolve, like me finding you, loyal reader, a supporter and ally in this deal whom I am nothing without. It’s complicated, fun, surprising and now satisfying – all words that I use to describe this wider journey, the latter only really appearing recently.
Of course I’m not done yet, and perhaps I never will be, maybe that’s the secret. Marathon runners are always looking to better their PB and maybe that’s what I will always look to do, except I’m chasing the words, trying to get better, trying to get home. Either way recent times as an author in 2020 are worth smiling about, there isn’t much to be happy about these days, perhaps I’m lucky and the satisfaction will wear off, until then wish me luck, although that’s only a portion of the path to success. Consistent, creative content is what has really driven it, along with my work being accepted into open arms of those who have supported me. Thank you and bring on next week, the most important book release of my life.
‘I know every mile will be worth my while. When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong… ‘
The bravest people amongst us are the ones who realise that they need to reach out for help. To seek a solution for whatever problem you face means deep down you care. And self care is so damn important in this life.
It’s okay to not be okay sometimes and admitting that is a victory in it’s own right. The truth is I have the highest regard and respect to those who talk about it in any way, shape or form. It’s alright to express your emotion in whatever way that helps process feeling. By all means cry, laugh, growl, sit in silence or even blog about it; hell I’ve processed stuff by writing whole novels (my poor readers…).
I can only speak from experience when times have been tough in life and although it may appear you are falling down branch by branch landing between your own legs each time, trust me when I say eventually life does give you a break (from the nut shots).
Some things aren’t forever and this includes the suffering our minds can go through; just think of it as another stage in this journey called life. As much as it’s easier said than done coming from a guy in a ‘good’ place currently, these days we’re all not far from spiraling.
You could feel like that one in one thousand kid roaming the school hallway knowing and feeling that this place isn’t where you fit in; I’ve been there and some day soon that sensation of not belonging, much like school will fade. You’ll find those who are like-minded, that’s a human instinct to find others like yourself and school; it’s a public place, you have to do it for now but not forever.
You could be working a shitty job for a shitty boss just trying day in day out to prove your worth; some folks will never understand or appreciate that worth; by all means work hard and gain experience but not everyone deserves your energy and graft.
Remember that your own mind well being comes first and there are numerous ways to overcome rough patches; take a social media break, binge watch an entire series on Netflix , and personal favourite; keep a diary of how you feel and then look back on those days gone by to see how strong you’ve become. Lean on your friends, those who are true friends will be there when you are in need.
Life has a funny way of getting better eventually and whatever storm your in now, will blow over, trust me, even though I don’t know everything…
Do what you have to do to take care of yourself in this life.
What quote gets you through life?
I shall close with my go to quote from one of my true heroes…