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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Blogger Market

Okay, just remember, by not asking questions, this is what you signed up for.

:)

Blogging is a great way to market yourself, but are you doing it effectively? I think this boils down to what your goals are (doesn't everything?!) For the sake of simplicity, let's say your goal is to be searchable in search engines in relation to books, writing, and hopefully one day YOUR book.

You need to blog about the things you want to be associated with. Sounds simple enough, but it's not. For instance, when I started blogging I thought that meant I had to write about WRITING every time I blogged. While some of those posts were fairly informative and hopefully helpful to someone, I was new and there were lots of better writing blogs out there. I just rehashed what I was learning.

The bottom line--I was putting up mediocre posts that didn't feel like me. I was trying to sound all official and intelligent. (not that I'm stupid, but I'm a little more relaxed and conversational)

Your blog should really reflect YOU. Blogging will quickly drain you of all energy and desire to continue posting unless you make it about what's important to you. In my case that's more about building relationships and having conversations.

Here are some things I've found that keep me reading other blogs.

They share:
  • personal stories about their writing
  • story bits to entice me
  • what they are learning about writing and publishing
  • news about good things in other writer's lives (such as signing a contract)
  • fun pictures (often with no relation to writing)
  • Ask me questions that get me thinking
The point is they mix it up. Every day is a little different. 

Notice I didn't mention an amazing background and layout. These things are important, however a lot of people read in google reader and don't see those things anyway. My only suggestion for this area is pick something you like that's related to your theme. 

I write scifi and fantasy, so I picked a star background.
When I blog, I try and stay in my general area of interest. I review scifi and fantasy books. Yes, occasionally I wander off into other territories, and that's fine. However, I want the people who might eventually read my book to find my blog and invest themselves in my life. This makes it more likely they'll buy or at least read and review my book on Goodreads and Amazon. So I try to share science fiction related stuff. 

Such as these cool real science things. 

So, open your blog. Look at it and pretend you've never seen it before. 

Who does your blog say YOU are?

Jody Hedlund posted today about What fiction writers should blog about. Check it out!

13 comments:

Sean McLachlan said...

Variety is the key. When I first started my blog I stayed strictly to talking about Civil War history (the period of my novel) and occasional newsy bits about yours truly. I've since branched out. Now I include travel and the Wild West, since those are things I write about when I'm wearing my nonfiction hat. I also post news from readers.
My following isn't huge, but I've gone from about 100 hits a day to 300 a day over the past year, and I've had a lot of fun while doing it!

Patchi said...

Just for the record, I really like your ramblings ;)

As to your question, I think my blog is a fair snapshot of me and my life. I post sporadically, so I don't post random things. I think over the posts quite a bit. Could I post more often? Probably, but I have too many stories in my head that are not getting written. I write whatever nags me until I commit it to paper or screen--blog posts included.

Charity Bradford said...

I think this is great Patchi! Too often we feel me MUST post on some schedule and the writing always suffers. Good for you for seeing that early on.

Charity Bradford said...

YES! Variety is the key. And don't you feel more comfortable and more likely to post now that you've allowed yourself to include all the things you're interested in?

I bet you've made some great friends who like similar things as well.

mshatch said...

Definitely agree with all you said, Charity. Esp. re: variety. However, I do like having a schedule because I think it helps me to write even when I'm not sure if I have something to say. First off I can usually find something, or someone to promote. And second, it makes me write which keeps me practicing.

Charity Bradford said...

I like a schedule too for the reasons you said and it lets my readers know when to expect a post. It also gives me a break. As much as I like my schedule (MWF) I often post on other days or skip a day if I've participated in other day events, such as blogfests.

I guess the key there is flexibility?

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

That's good advice. I don't think I have the best kind of blog, because my ADHD makes me think of things that are really random. Mostly I just use my blog to stay connected with people and as a launching point for my online activities.

Charity Bradford said...

Yeah, but your blog reflects you. So I think that counts as a success!

Liz said...

Yeah, I've pretty much failed at doing that. I'd be more worried about it, but it's where I want to be at this moment.

Charity Bradford said...

Then it's not a fail! If you are where you want to be, you are in the right place.

Bill Shields said...

Interesting. I was actually thinking about starting my own blog sometime soon. My friend uses her blog to just describe her life, and get her emotions out from just being inside her. I think I should do the same, and after that, I can ring the bell of success. That I finally am able to somehow escape Rimrock, without leaving my job.

Tara Tyler said...

thanks for your list! its good to know what others like to read!

Carrie-Anne said...

I think mine reflects that I'm a very serious, literary writer with old-fashioned leanings. I'm using neutral, earth-like tones for my background colors, and have my pen name in my beloved Palatino and my two sub-heads under it in the banner in Edwardian Script and Chopin Script (calligraphic fonts). I mostly do my weekly bloghops where contributors share short excerpts from various books, and also write about writing topics. Sometimes I also write about silent film or classic rock.