blogging tips

Blogging Tip: 4 Ways to Attract More Followers

Hello fellow bloggers! Today we’re going to talk about followers, because as much as we all enjoy writing, sometimes blogging can feel like shouting into the void when we receive no response to our latest post. The best part of blogging is the community that comes with gaining and becoming a follower(s).

QUICK HINT: It is just as important to be a good follower as it is to find followers.

Here’s the thing. I do not have an astounding number of followers. I am still a relatively small blog compared to the people who do this for a living. I began this blog on October 8th, 2017 and since then I have gained 2,000+ followers (and some really great friends among those numbers). What I have going for me is consistency (at least most of the time because blogs, like life, have their valleys and hills).

In the past, I was asked, “How did you gain so many followers so quickly?”

Even now as I garner followers at a slower pace, I stick by my four ways to attract followers:

  • Hard work. No seriously, if you really want followers you are going to have to work hard. You cannot just come at it from one angle. Which leads to the next three points.


  • Post often. I do not think it is necessary to post every single day, although I applaud those of you who can. However, you should be blogging at least 3 times per week and not only should you be posting something, but it should be something of importance. Your content needs to be clear, interesting, helpful, engaging, etc. When creating a post consider what your intent is. Are you trying to entertain? Be encouraging? Give advice? Call for action? What will your reader gain from reading your post?


  • Engage OTHER blogs. This does not mean visiting random blogs and leaving a link to your blog. Do NOT go and spam someone’s blog with “support” and then comment “support back” or “follow back.” It becomes very clear that you are not actually interested in their site at all, you just want followers. Seriously, it’s frustrating and really, just rude. Instead, find blogs that are like yours or that interest you. I search for other blogs that relate to authors, books, writing, etc. Then I engage on the post and comment directly about what the other blogger has posted. I even ask questions. I engage in dialogue about THEIR blog, not mine. Now of course you can eventually bring up your blog if you think the other party would be interested, but don’t go into the conversation solely for your benefit. Go in to learn more about other blogs. Seriously, being a good follower is a key part to gaining followers yourself.


  • Engage with your FOLLOWERS. You’ve got followers! Great! Now, if their blogs interest you in the slightest, follow them back! You don’t need to subscribe to instant emails, but maybe just weekly emails or even just follow, but you should be engaging with them still. Just because you reached your goal and achieved your follower doesn’t mean that you move on from them. Be RECIPROCAL. When their posts come up in your “Reader” take some time to go through and like/comment on at least a few. When someone takes the time to comment on your latest post, click their name and check out what they have been up to.


  • HARD WORK. Are you understanding the hard part now? Maintaining a blog is hard enough, posting often is difficult, and engaging with new/old blogs is time-consuming. However, in my experience, this is a successful strategy that not only results in more followers, but also helps me to gain new insights from other blogs!


What about you? What are your blogging strategies?

Happy Writing & Blogging Everyone! 

Get out there and start engaging!



© KaylaAnn and, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

College Writing Tips

Dear Teachers: Welcome Back

Christmas Break is over and you’re somewhat devastated, am I right?

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The break was not long enough and all that grading/curriculum planning you told yourself you were going to get done is still sitting in the back of your car.

You’re not alone, but it is time to get back in the groove of things, so wake up! Here are some of my tips to help get you through this upcoming semester:

  1. Get Up Early and Prep for each day. (I can already hear the communal groan). This tip is especially helpful for college professors. I know it may sound tipping to wing your lecture if you’ve written it before, but get up 20 minutes earlier and refresh yourself on the content. Your students will thank you.
  2. Every Sunday night, make sure you are fully prepped for the upcoming week. While morning refreshers are nice, it is better to be fully prepared in case you do not have the time.
  3. Grade immediately! As soon as those essays (or tests) start coming in, start grading them! Do not, I repeat DO NOT, put off grading. It will severely bite you in the rear end at the end of the semester.
  4. Have a Clear and Concise Rubric that you share with the class. This will not only give them direction on what to aim for in their essays, but it will make grading easier on you. In my opinion, no teacher should grade off a “gut-feeling.” Essays can only be graded evenly when being graded against the same scale.
  5. Plan easier lessons during the semester where there is less assignments. This provides breaks for both your students and yourself. During these times, go have fun! (Or more realistically, catch up on the grading that you keep putting off).

There you have it, my five “Welcome Back” tips for professors and teachers alike!

I wish you all the best!


Blogs / Life, Writing Tips

Crash Course in Blogging 101

To any First Time Bloggers (or any bloggers looking for help on their site or gaining new followers),

When trying to set up your blog and gain followers, do you ever feel like this?

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Creating a new website can be frustrating as you navigate themes and customization options, but it does not have to be.

Finding blogs worth following and gaining followers in return can sometimes feel like the eternal mystery, but it does not have to be.

In my 5-day course, you and I will work together to tackle these enigmas and make your blog something special! In six months, I reached 1,000 followers and let me support that statement with this, “It was not easy and it was a LOT of hard work!”

If you’re willing to work for it, then you’ve come to the right place!

In this 5-day course, we will address blogging issues such as: site identity, the physicality of your blog, blogging schedules, content, how to follow and be followed, and how to thrive in the blogging world. Additionally, I’ll still be around after this course to answer questions that may come your way not only as your Blogging Mentor but as a Blogging Friend.

For my services, I require a one time payment of $40 (approximately $8 a day, which means I’m offering my services for under minimum wage).

Tiffany from BeUTifLee gives the course 5 stars!

I enjoyed the course, learning more than when I started the blog. Kayla Ann is full of knowledge, don’t hesitate to ask any question, big or small. The course is fun, inviting, and creative. It all depends on your motivation and determination. As I always say, Creativity takes courage.


If you are interested in this 5-day Crash Course in Blogging 101 with me, your go-to Blogging Mentor, head over to my home page. On my menu, you will see a tab that says “HOME.” Click that and in the drop-down menu, click “CONTACT.” Fill out that form to contact me about wanting to participate in this enlightening course.

Due to my schedule, I can only take on one client per week so keep that in mind! I only have a few openings left for this summer so don’t wait! I will get back to you within a few days at the latest with my next availability and further instructions.

I look forward to meeting and assisting new bloggers!

Disclaimer: This 5-day course is really designed for beginning bloggers (although veteran bloggers are welcome to apply for the course as well, though these will be more reminders than new insights).

College Writing Tips

College Writing Tip: Go to Class

This might seem a little redundant right?

Well let me tell you a story. When I was substituting at my local high school, one of my senior students told me, “I can’t wait to go to college, it’s gonna be so much better than this place!”

I responded, “You’re right, it will be better, but it is also going to be harder. No one is going to force you to go to class, no one is going to care if you show up or not.”

“Awesome! Then I’ll actually have freedom!”

“That’s true, you will have freedom. You’ll have the freedom to not take your classes seriously, you’ll have the freedom to skip, and you’ll have the freedom to fail subjects that you are more than capable of passing.”

Of course, in true senior fashion, this student shrugged off my warning, but I do hope that they will come to remember it. This semester, I had a student miss over 50% of my class. When it came to the end of the semester and he was failing, he could not understand why regardless of how much I stressed class attendance and participation.

According to CSION PR Newswire (read full article here) students skip class for the following reasons:

This data—consisting of nearly 1.1 million tweets—provided Class120 with an unprecedented look into why students skip class, with five primary reasons becoming clear:

  • Hanging with Friends: 37 percent of the Twitter posts referenced skipping class to spend more time with their friends.

  • Too Tired: 32 percent of students tweeted that they were sleeping or too tired to go to class.

  • Recreation: 17 percent of students indicated a specific recreational event or activity that took precedence over attending class. There were a vast number of specific events mentioned, including sports, watching television and playing video games.

  • Studying: 11 percent of students mentioned being too busy with other school work to attend class.

  • Weather: three percent of students’ posts cited the weather—whether too beautiful or too unpleasant—as the reason they skipped.

As a professor and a teacher, I really do get it. Sometimes going to class sucks, there are days when I would rather be at the beach, or Disneyland, or sleeping, or working on my books, but it is my job to teach and it is the student’s job to attend.

I encourage every student out there to attend classes regularly! You really have no idea what you miss when you miss repeatedly.

Attending is a HUGE part of Succeeding! – KaylaAnn


© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

College Writing Tips

College Writing Tip: Thesis Statement- What? How? Why? (Part Two)

Thesis Statements can be tricky, but they are not impossible!

This is Part Two of my three-post series talking all about those wonderful Thesis Statements. This mini-series contains three separate posts about how to craft a thesis statement for your main three essays in composition courses. Indeed, regardless of the type of essay, I have three questions that you can (and should) ask whenever you start formulating your thesis statement.

What? How? Why?

Today we are going to look at the Literary Essay Thesis Statement and how my three questions apply to its development.

Literary Essay

A Literary Essay looks at a piece of literature, either a short story, a poem, or a book and attempts to understand it in new ways. Often times, students will look at themes, symbolism, motifs, and other literary devices to help decode secret meanings. Think of it as you are the detective and you’re trying to solve the meaning of this piece of literature by putting together all the clues.

For our example, we are going to look at the Grimm’s fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel.”

First, we must ask: WHAT? In a literary analysis there are often all types of “what”. What symbols are present in the story? What is the overarching theme? What images are repeating? What is the author trying to say?

  • For “Hansel and Gretel” I chose this question. What is with the predominate symbol or image throughout the story? Then it hit me, FOOD! I mean, have you read “Hansel and Gretel” lately? Food is EVERYWHERE!
    • See what I did there? I made an observation (food is everywhere) and turned it into my first question (What are the Grimm Brothers doing with the food?)
  • So here is my answer to my first question: The Grimm Brothers use the imagery of food throughout their story.

Secondly, we must ask: HOW? In Literary Analysis, the how is often referring to how the author is incorporating imagery or symbols, how the author is supporting the overarching theme, etc.

  • So, my question is this: How are the Grimm Brothers using the image of food or the action of eating?
  • Answer: The stepmother’s own greediness concerning food. The witch’s house in intentionally created out of various sugary desserts. The witch herself greedily devours children.

Lastly, we must ask: WHY? Why are the authors using these specifics symbols, these particular images, this key theme throughout? What is their point?

  • So, my question is this: Why do the Grimm brothers associate food with these various characters or actions?
  • Answer: The repetitious insertion of food within the narrative serves as a cautionary warning to children to avoid gluttony and greed.

Finally, it is time to put together our WHAT, HOW, and WHY to form our thesis statement.

In “Hansel & Gretel,” written by the Grimm Brothers, food is a reoccurring motif used throughout the story to symbolize the dangers of gluttony and greed as seen through the step-mother’s abandonment of her children, the imagery of the witch’s house, and the witch herself.

And there you have it: a completed thesis statement for a Literary Analysis Essay! This thesis statement is clearly arguable (stating that the food is more than just food) and it provides the layout for the essay (first we will look at the step-mother, then the witch’s house, then the witch herself).

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Choose your favorite fairy tale, or a poem, or even a book and ask yourself WHAT, HOW, and WHY. Like before, I would love to read what you come up with!

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© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

College Writing Tips, Writing Tips

Organization & a New Category!

Hey Everyone!

So yesterday, I talked a lot about organization and how it is so important for your own blogs! This week, I am re-organizing the categories under the “Writing Tips” tab on my main menu to include: Writing Tips, Blogging Tips, and now . . .

College Writing Tips!

As an English professor at a local university, it astounds me how many students come into my classroom woefully behind other students in their academic preparedness. There are a lot of basic writing tips and tricks that college students will find helpful in writing those essays and papers (for their English classes and beyond!).

Are you a student in high school or college right now? Do you want help on how to write the perfect paper? What topics are you interested in hearing me write about? What questions do you have for me?

Be sure to leave a comment below!

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Blogs / Life

Five Tips to Nail that Interview

Let’s just say that this season of my life has been a season of interviews: round after round of meeting new people and doing my best to put my best foot forward (instead of in my mouth). As authors, poets, or simply people, we will find it necessary from time to time to do our best to make a good impression. So here are my tips for your next interview, whether it be for a job or with an agent.

1. Do your Research

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Come on, listen to Benedict Cumberpatch, he knows what he’s talking about. When you are applying for a new job, learn everything you can about that position. What is expected of you? What will your responsibilities be? Not only is it a good thing to look prepared and knowledgeable about the position, but it gives you the chance to come up with your own questions. Interviewers may ask if you have any questions, and it’s not a bad thing if you do! Having questions doesn’t take away from your abilities, it shows your interest and your dedication to learning.

2. “Dress to Impress”

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Okay, okay, you do NOT have to “Suit Up.” Well, not normally, it really depends on the job that you are applying for. If you are applying for a corporate position, well then yes, break out that suit. If you are applying for a elementary teaching position, perhaps a button-down shirt and tie will do (skirt or nice pass for ladies). If you are applying for construction job, nice jeans and button-down shirt. No matter the position, the point is to dress nicely and look professional. It shows that you are taking this interview and their time seriously and it shows that you take yourself seriously too.

3. Breathe and Think Before Answering Questions

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Sometimes in an interview, you feel like you need to answer their questions rapid fire. You don’t want to look stupid so you say the first thing that comes to mind so that there won’t be a long, awkward pause. That can lead to blurting out things you wish you had not said. So instead, take your time. Before the interview, consider common questions asked in interviews and have your answer ahead of time. When you are in the interview and they ask a question that throws a curve just say, “Hm, let me think.” And take a breath and think. Give yourself 5-10 seconds (no longer) and then answer. Yes, there was a slight pause, but it is better to wait and give a good answer instead of blurting out something you wish you could take back.

4. Be Honest

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Don’t lie in an interview. Just repeat after me, “do not lie in an interview.” Do not suggest or hint that you are qualified for a job that you aren’t, or that you have more availability than you do, or that you have more experience than you do. It’s not fair to the people interviewing you, and it’s not fair to you. If you do this, you are only setting yourself up for complications and stress. Be honest with the interviewers, most the time they will appreciate the honesty. Maybe this tip won’t guarantee you the job, but it is the right move.

5. Be Patient

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Most jobs do NOT simply conduct one interview and hire you on the spot. There are usually rounds of interviews with different people, sometimes assessments and tests. So understand that you need to be patient. Keep moving forward and don’t get discouraged by the length. If you keep getting follow-up interviews, that probably means they like you! So show up, smile, be friendly, be honest, and just do your best.

And hopefully, once some time has passed . . .

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© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Five Essential Elements to Every Story

If you are a writer, you most likely have already hear of “The Story Arc” and have probably seen a similar picture to that below. However, it is always good to remember these five crucial elements to any story: Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
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Step One: Exposition

Every story begins with exposition of some sort. Think of it as your background, or the introduction to your story. Who are your major players in this game? What is their world like and how is everything about to change? Consider “The Hunger Games,” in the exposition we learn about Panem and the districts. We learn about the reaping and the relationship between Katniss and Prim, but nothing of huge significance has happened yet.
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Step Two: Rising Action

The Rising Action can begin immediately, it can coexist with the exposition, or it can wait until a few chapters in to occur. These are the events that occur that really get the story going. While we were already introduced to Katniss and her family, the Rising Action truly begins once Prim’s name is called at the reaping. After this moment, Katniss is thrown head first into the crazy, fashion-obsessed Capitol and then forced to survive the Games.
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The Rising Action can continue on for quite a long time and makes up a large chunk of any story. All of these events snowball onto one another and lead to the climax. For example:
Katniss does well in the events before the Games, gaining the title “Girl on Fire”
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Next, her popularity leads to sponsorship that aids her in the Games
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Because of the sponsorship, Katniss survives long enough to find Peeta
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Because she finds Peeta, Katniss and Peeta can gain even more sponsors through pretending to be star-crossed lovers which enacts the rule that more than one tribute can survive
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Peeta and Katniss are able to survive together which leaves them as the last pair to face off with Cato.
Every step, every action that happens within the rising action leads to the climax of the story.

Step Three: Climax

Next, we have our Climax. The Climax is the culmination of everything that you have been leading up to in your writing. It is the big event, usually toward the end of your story (however, it is NOT the end). Using “The Hunger Games,” the climax can be seen at the end of the Games when Peeta and Katniss must battle with the brutal, bloody Cato.
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Step Four: Falling Action

However, the climax, as I briefly mentioned, is not the end! Indeed, in the moments after Cato’s death, we have our Falling Action (these are events that often comes after and because of the climax). In this case, the Falling Action consists of the Gamemakers attempting to force Katniss and Peeta into killing one another. However, when they refuse, Seneca Crane is forced to allow them to live, which leads to our resolution.
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Step Five: Resolution

The Resolution does not have to be happy, it does not have to answer every question and it can leave readers on a cliffhanger. For instance, although Katniss and Peeta are allowed to live and the Games have concluded, Katniss is aware of the danger that still surrounds her. When they head home, Katniss and Peeta’s relationship is hanging on tethers. She survived the Games, but Katniss is still not safe.
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So there you have it, the five essential elements of a story! Have questions? Hit me up in the comments!

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you liked today’s writing tip be sure to check out my home page for more! Underneath the main menu there is a tab that says “Writing Tips,” be sure to take a look! Have questions? What would you like me to write about next time?


© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: Arthur Plotnik (Spotlight)

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” ~  Arthur Plotnik

Arthur Plotnik is a former publishing executive and author of the Book of the Month Club selections The Elements of Editing and The Elements of Expression: Putting Thoughts into Words. In other words, this man knows what he is talking about.

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Yesterday, I published the tip on editing/revising after writing the entire first draft. In this, I am encouraging you to let out what is burning inside of you. Where there is fire, there is smoke and the smoke is okay for that first draft. It’s in the revision and editing process that you clear away the smoke and strengthen your fire.

Happy Writing Everyone!

Writing Tips

Writing Tip: When should you be revising/editing your work?

Revise/Edit AFTER Your First Complete Draft
So often I hear this question: “When should I revise my work? Should I be focused on editing the grammar and syntax as I go along? Should I edit after I finish a chapter? A scene? A paragraph? Within the sentence?”
First, let me say that different writers write and edit differently. However, I highly suggest that you do not edit AT ALL until your first draft is completed.
Editing IS important and this cannot be emphasized enough. However, trying to edit as you write can often be detrimental to your creative processes. When you are first writing it is important to simply write, to let the words go, and get the sentences out. When you first write, you do not want to be encumbered by thoughts of grammatical error or plot holes.
I am not saying that grammar and consistency are not important, they are, but not when you first start drafting. The point of the first draft is simply to create. Once you have finished the first draft, then it is time to go back and edit.
Therefore, once you have finished, I suggest editing chapter by chapter. Check and make sure every chapter has a fully developed arc and correct your grammar. After that, do a second revision to check that all of your chapters flow into one another and that the story is complete with no gaps.

Happy Writing Everyone!

***If you enjoyed today’s Writing Tip, be sure to check out other tips under the “Writing Tips” section on my home page!


© KaylaAnn and, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.