In 2011, I set up the website Crime Fiction Lover and since then it’s grown to become one of the foremost online resources for people who love reading crime novels. We cover film and television a little bit as well.
What’s so exciting about it is that I’ve been able to turn one of my interests into a job, I work with a team of fantastic contributors, and we’re part of a community that really appreciates what we do and benefits from it. That’s not to say it isn’t hard work. In addition to liaising with Crime Fiction Lover’s 10 writers, I sub all the copy and manage our ongoing social media to bring traffic to the site. I review books, write features, and drum up ideas that’ll bring new crime fiction lovers to our treasure trove of content on the subject.
All the commercial work is on my shoulders as well such as selling advertising, finding sponsors for our special events, and arranging deals with publishers and authors out there in the market. And then there’s the admin…
Challenges and rewards
Highlights include the special theme months that we run. In Classics in September, for instance, we devote about half the site’s new articles to covering classic crime novels. We’ve been running New Talent November since 2011, and this celebrates new authors, indie presses and self-published authors. We pride ourselves on discovering new blood. My personal highlights include covering Iceland Noir in 2014; interviewing top authors like Jo Nesbo, Charles Ardai and Mark Billingham; writing about the classic Gorky Park; and redesigning the site in 2015 for maximum visibility across desktops, laptops and mobile devices. (The complex coding work was done by OneTenEleven Media.)
Creating a website from scratch, I’ve learned so many new skills – from handling the key features of WordPress through to the effective use of social media to build engagement and promote the content. The site has grown from nothing to over 60,000 page views per month – but there’s still a way to go.
I want to use the skills, knowledge and expertise I’ve developed working on Crime Fiction Lover to create engaging websites and blogs for clients in other industries too, so if you’re interested please get in touch.