I’m very excited to be hosting my first Q&A today! Joining me is Lilian Brummet from Brummet Media Group. I wanted to do a mix of professional and personal questions, because she has a lot of wisdom to share, but also I’m nosey. So let’s get to it.
1. What inspires you?
I am inspired, honestly, all the time. I take care not to expose myself to negativity re: newspapers, TV, magazines, conversations, groups, or activities. I often fail at my own negative thought or speech, but I do work on it. When I ran a talk radio show (2007-2015) people from all over the world came in to talk about the things they were doing to create positive change. I also run a popular blog (2004-present) and through that blog I make a great effort to highlight amazing non-profits, various other organizations, businesses and individuals making positive changes.
Having been exposed to positive information like this, I became aware of the millions and millions of wonderful organizations who are working hard to better this world and are showing measurable results. I think when we are fed how awful everything is – we start thinking everything is poisoned and we are going to die an awful death and the world will be a desert. But when you are exposed to people who are making the desert green again, multiple organizations each planting millions of trees, back yard gardeners helping out the food bank, businesses that switch to greener in house policies and those modifying buildings to make them more sound and eco-friendly. This is all amazing stuff going on each and every single day.
On a small scale too – such as the gardener who shares seeds with a family who wants to try gardening – and in doing so now 2 families are growing food, reducing the fossil fuel and environmental impacts of their menu plan while greening the neighbourhood and creating habitat for butterflies and bees. Not to mention the billions of unsung volunteers quietly improving the world every day.
If I would change anything with a magic wand it would be to change the news media to focusing at least half their time on these things. Seeing this actually wakes people up out of their apathy, they realize one person can indeed have a measurable positive impact, and slowly, they become more proactive too.
2. How did you start your blog?
Brummet’s Conscious Blog began back in the day of MySpace – remember when that was the place to be? lol How things change. I was there for a number of years and then moved over to Blogspot.com in 2008. Like most authors, I was told by our traditional publisher to start a blog – so I did. It took some time to evolve into the powerful networking tool that it has become. I’ve also been able to make this blog something that will have a long-lasting, positive impact on the world. You’ll find articles on green living, reducing waste, saving money, writing and author advice, business and leadership advice, self-help articles and much more.
You’ll also find specific series, such as the Recommended Resources posts, which celebrate all kinds of wonderful organizations, highlighting their work and including their URL in hopes that readers will check them out. It is also a useful post for other organizations, in that they may find like-minded groups out there they can collaborate with. There’s the Just For Writer’s monthly post offering valuable, free resources for fellow writers to benefit from.
I tend to space author interviews out by at least 2-3 weeks, speckle the blog with poetry and quotes periodically, and there’s the Kudo’s posts too – where I highlight businesses who are involved in social or community causes or something else worthy of celebrating.
I have created numerous pages – too. One is geared to connect local volunteers with organizations, and to help local organizations collaborate. Another page lists our most recent media appearances, so people can click on the links to find our articles, interviews, etc. We have the About This Blog re: guidelines, etc. A page that lists positive quotes from members of the media after working with us. Another page offers random reviews from readers of our books. And I’ve utilized the sidebars, which are loaded with information. Hubby Dave created the background, images and banner header. While I took most of the photos that are used in the blog posts. Having all this there, allows me to network and interact in many different ways, while making a positive impact too.
3. What’s your dream vacation/holiday?
A staycation is my dream, but with the computer and TV off, and phone in a locked closet. (She laughs) I just look forward to deck time, lazy lounging in the sitting area we created in the yard, watching bees and butterflies and birds and dancing clouds. Ahhhh….
4. Do you have any writing tips?
I have enough tips to have written a book about it (ha ha) – but I’ll give your readers 2 valuable tips that believe it or not will help them stand out like a purple snowflake in a snowstorm of other authors.
* Express gratitude and appreciation of anyone’s / everyone’s time.
I close every communication with “in appreciation, Lillian… or …with sincere gratitude, Lillian.” and I mean every word. I AM very appreciative. Write after an event and tell them how the experience felt to you, share the responses or feedback you have received. Let them know how grateful you are they took the time out of their busy schedule for you, share links on social networking or social media platforms, get press coverage of the event, and tell them how you have promoted the project.
* Be organized.
Have draft communications written for various types of interactions that you commonly have going on. You can tweak these drafts to target the person you are connecting with, and having this draft will save you a great deal of time.
5. What is something every new blogger should know?
Blogging will take time and your blog will evolve as you discover the various interests of the readers you are attracting. You will need to schedule the time necessary in order to get the word out about your blog, discovering new ways of getting traffic to come your way. It should be looked at as a long-term commitment and so you need to pace yourself. Decide what is truly do-able on your blog and stick to it. Determine how you might use the blog and what you will or can possibly offer.
Consider questions like:
What is unique about your blog?
Why should people even drop by?
And don’t just fly out and get a blog and start promoting it. Really think about it first. Design it well, using colours and themes that work with your topic. Have a few months worth of content scheduled for publication, and let the blog simmer in the sphere for a while before promoting it. This way you can learn the system, update and improve it and have some published content on there before you put out the effort of attracting readers.
That said, your blog does not have to be perfect. A few glitches or areas where you see may need work – that might never be noticed by readers. So while you want to have an established, good-looking blog to promote – you also want to balance how much time you are spending on this particular project. Allow extra time in your schedule for the first few months of blogging – so that you can do the initial blog awareness genre of promotional activities more effectively and figure out an organized way of managing the blog.
6. What’s your dessert of choice?
While I do not have much of a sweet tooth – I do love frozen vanilla yogurt, home made chocolate-toasted almond brownies, dark chocolate bars… hot chocolate… did I mention chocolate? My leisure drink of choice would be a wine-spritzer or Corona beer – ice cold – or ginger ale and white rum. num num.
7. Are you a reader? If so what’s your favorite book?
I have 4 bookshelves loaded with favourite books. 😉 I have a shelf dedicated to garden books; Dave has a section on photography… lots of education books from courses we have taken, music genre books, garden books (of course), also health and nutrition books. For fiction: Star Tide Rising (Brin) comes to mind. Also Shibumi (Trevanian) and of course Tolken’s books. Without looking at our shelves, still, I can think of Second Innocence (non-fiction, self-help) and Ovum Factor (Zimmerman; fiction) as other books that jump out at me.
8. How long have you been in your field?
I began writing in 1999 after taking a writer’s business course (how to be a writer, how to query, find a publisher, etc.). Initially I did freelance work, then some staff writing and moved on to the column and assignment work … and then in 2004 (I think) we began our journey as authors and bloggers. In 2007 I started hosting a talk radio show that aired 3 times per week, a brand new one hour broadcast every time.
That was a busy time for sure. I did that for about 8 years. I also did another podcast (Authors’ Read) for a couple of years, featuring authors reading from their published work. I kept up on a newsletter (Brummet’s Muse) for about 6 years before deciding to let that go. As a professional reviewer I worked both assignment projects but also projects accepted for the blog and for a book review company I once collaborated with. I rarely do these activities now, however I sometimes get queries sent our way. For instance just yesterday a cycling company connected asking if I would review their products and another eco-conscious company wants some reviews… I may take those on if my schedule allows it – I haven’t decided just yet.
To date we have 6 published books. Currently I spend my days managing our 2 popular blogs, marketing, cleaning, gardening and cooking, dog-parenting and vast amounts of networking.
9. Tell me about yourself and your company.
Well, I am 5’2″ in my 50’s and getting a bit chunky (shut up – lol), auburn hair and flushed face. I am shy but confident in my abilities. I love gardening and have a passion for most living creatures and plants of all shapes and sizes. I loathe coming in contact with spiders or their nests or their webs. I’m not a fan of mice or rats, due to the disease, stink, damage and fleas that comes with them. I absolutely hate flies, especially biting flies, and also mosquitoes. I would consider myself to be gracious and kind, organized and dedicated. I have ample self-discipline for most things, and I’m tenacious – I don’t like letting things go, I stress out a lot and I battle an anxiety disorder. I also fall in love with every dog I see. I’m lucky enough to still be deeply in love with Dave, my business and life partner 🙂 – we’ve been together for 31 + years
Dave and I run Brummet Media Group – which acts like an umbrella for all the services, products, books etc. that we produce. Dave runs a section of the business called Angle Hill studios, where he teaches drums and percussion and offers repair services. He also runs the Drum-it Forward project – where he drops into school music rooms and refurbishes bits and parts they may have, combined with what he may have on hand, to create playable instruments. Dave manages our website and blog from a technological point of view. He designs all our ads, images, book covers, etc. We have 2 blogs and 6 books, as we already talked about. We have many projects that we are working on for the future, including a book trilogy, an ecommerce store, and more that we’ll be releasing as they are completed. All of this is under the umbrella: Brummet Media Group.
A Little More about Lillian
Lillian and her husband Dave are the team behind Brummet Media Group, high-fiving cheerfully as they pass each other on the way from checking off one item or other from their long to-do list. Their business includes Dave’s music studio and percussion accessory products and graphic design work as well as numerous award-winning non-fiction books and popular blogs. Today we help them celebrate their latest book release – From One Small Garden, with over 300 delicious, nutritious recipes! Visit the Brummets @: www.BrummetMedia.ca
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/lillianbrummet
Brummet’s Website: http://BrummetMedia.ca
Brummet’s Conscious Blog: https://consciousdiscussions.blogspot.com
Drum It With Brummet Blog: https://drumitwithbrummet.blogspot.com