1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Author blog vs story blog

Discussion in 'Writers on the Web' started by Ryan_Crown, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. Ryan_Crown

    Ryan_Crown Troubadour

    179
    50
    28
    After a month of trying to keep myself motivated to maintain -- and post regularly to -- my author blog (since all the experts online seem to think you really need to have an author blog), I'm starting to feel like I'm spinning my wheels, so I started thinking about going in a different direction, and was interested in feedback from my fellow Scribes.

    What I was thinking of doing instead of trying to come up with writing-related (or other non-fiction topic) posts week after week, I wanted to turn my blog into a story blog, and publish a chapter of an on-going story every week. Part of my inspiration (and what I'm thinking of patterning the story after) are the old cliffhanger serial films from the early days of cinema -- so each week's chapter would end on a cliffhanger that would get resolved at the beginning of the next week's chapter.

    So my question is this -- does this sound like an interesting idea? Would this be something you'd tune into week after week? Really hoping to find a way to both maintain a level of excitement about my blog, and actually draw readers to my blog, and the blog posts I've been writing so far aren't accomplishing either.

    Thanks for any and all feedback!
     
  2. Pamela Scalf

    Pamela Scalf Acolyte

    9
    1
    3
    A story blog sounds like something I would be interested in reading and following provided it is well written. Having it become serialized like the old SF magazines would be an excellent idea. Go for it and see where it takes you. Please provide a link to your blog once you've started and I'll go along for the journey.
     
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    7,716
    3,235
    313
    I hope to do something similar, when I get to that point. I want to do it with 12 weeks seasons that run twice a year.

    The thing that can make it work is finding a storytelling style that really takes advantage of being in a blog format. That's more challenging than it sounds. There's a lot of good short story content out there. Why makes your content different than reading an ezine or a novel?

    I think the regular cliffhangers is a great start towards answering that question. It also lends itself to a formula that should make the regular deadline easier to meet. But I'm also reminded of the old Batman series, which was full of silly "Pow!" graphics and corny catch phrases like "Same bat time, same bat channel." I'm wondering if you might do well to find a few graphics that you can use that might sort of blend the tacky Batman graphics with the modern emoticons, or if there's some other way a simple (read: affordable) graphic set could be used inside the text.
     
    Ryan_Crown likes this.
  4. Ryan_Crown

    Ryan_Crown Troubadour

    179
    50
    28
    That's an interesting idea with the graphics. I hadn't thought of that. Of course, like you said, the trick is finding the right graphics that are either affordable, or have an open license so I can use them for free. I'll have to look into that. Of course, step one is to find the right story and see if I can come up with enough chapters to make it feasible to do at all. One step at a time, I guess. :)
     
  5. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    424
    242
    43
    The main point of having a website (blog or otherwise) is so that potential readers and existing fans have a go-to point to find out what you've published, what you're working on now, when the next book will be out, etc. What else you post there is entirely optional, but it should be something you enjoy writing. Once it becomes a chore, it's time to do something different. Publishing as you write sounds like a great idea.

    My writer's blog is a mixture of book reviews, author-oriented reports on the writing/publishing journey, reader-oriented extracts, character profiles, comments on topics that interest me as a reader, etc. But nothing personal.
     
  6. Ryan_Crown

    Ryan_Crown Troubadour

    179
    50
    28
    Thanks for the reply. Originally my thought was to have blog content very similar to a lot of what you've listed, but often it really feels like a chore to put out. It's also hard not to feel like any author-oriented posts I make have likely been done better elsewhere. We'll see where things go (need to get through NaNoWriMo before I worry too much about what to do with the blog).
     
  7. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    1,953
    960
    113
    You do not need to have a blog. The so-called experts are wrong. As Pauline says, all you really should have is some type of web presence, somewhere that readers looking up your name on google can find information about you and your books. The books are the most important. There should be an easy to find and use list of everything you've published. That's really all you need. And as much as social media is touted these days, you should only get into it if you really, really enjoy doing it. If it's a chore, if it's going to burn you out, then DON'T DO IT. No matter what. Only blog if you really enjoy blogging.

    Personally, I enjoy blogging, but only at my own pace. I enjoy having a place to put my many great thoughts ( ;) ) out there or just brainstorm in writing a bit. I don't expect much from my blog. Honestly, I expected to be talking into the void for a long time. But I've gotten some comments, some followers. It's fun for me, even if it's small.

    And personally, when I look for an author's blog, I'm hoping to get a glimpse of what they are like as a person, outside of their fiction. I don't follow blogs that post only fiction. What I really want is to connect to the author themselves. That doesn't mean you shouldn't post fiction. But maybe vary it a bit with personal posts as well, for people like me.
     
    Incanus and Ryan_Crown like this.
  8. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,658
    213
    My blog is similar to Pauline's. It's more of an amalgamation of things fantasy related, but I rarely post anything about my personal life. I feel like one way people connect with blogs is finding people that talk about topics they're interested in. If people use their blogs to talk about what they ate for dinner, that doesn't really interest me.

    I've taken using Tablo (something I keep harping on about) for posting stories or novels. It's essentially a social media site for writers, but I imagine readers can trickle in or find links that the authors post from their various social media (I have Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ and I like each of them for different reasons on different days). For some reason I prefer using something like that rather than using a story blog because it's already a built in community. A blog requires you to do more link-sharing and blog-hopping in order to develop a community more slowly. Of course it works out well if you find loyal readers, but that takes a long time and usually requires you to visit other blogs a ton.
     
  9. Ryan_Crown

    Ryan_Crown Troubadour

    179
    50
    28
    I haven't looked at Tablo yet. I did sign up for an account on Wattpad (which seems like a similar sort of site), and figured I'd post my stories there as well as on my blog -- naturally making sure to link back to my site. As much as social media continues to be a bit of a struggle for me, I do still believe that having a solid author platform is the way to go, so I'm trying to cover all my bases on that front.
     
  10. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    5,997
    1,658
    213
    I find that the key to social media is finding people who post things you like and interacting with them. If you just expect people to flock to you, that's not as likely. Also find communties and groups you can join and try to become an active member. Sometimes I have people who I really like and interact with a lot and sometimes there are people on my social media I've never talked to once (I don't normally follow people, but I follow back people if they follow me if they seem like cool people and not bots).

    Tablo seems very similar to Wattpad (although I've never used Wattpad, I've just heard things about it). So far I like it, but it's still a relatively new site so things may change over time. Plus, from what I understand, you can publish directly from there. Although I don't know much about how that works, I think the site gets a percentage of your sales. Overall, I think it's worth a look to see if it may be something you see as valuable.

    P.S. I'm now following you on Twitter!
     
    Ryan_Crown likes this.
  11. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    @ Ryan Crown, I blogged for a bit and then gave up on it. Not because I didn't have any followers, but because it distracted me from my writing. At the time I started blogging, my word counts were in the low numbers and it took me hours to get anywhere. So with work and life, blogging got in the way of that.

    Now, things are different. I have more structure and a writing schedule that works for me. I'm ready to give blogging another shot. My suggestion to you is to blog in the amount that fits with your schedule...but the writing should come first. Not everyone has to blog either, like Mythopoet said. If you don't like it, then try other social media outlets.

    And correct, you just need something to display your work on, so that readers can find you, and so that you can direct inquiries to your place online. Do you have a website? This is probably the least amount of hassle. Websites are fun to do and require little effort to maintain. There, you can have an online home for your work that doesn't suck up a lot of time.


    I ended up getting an account on Wattpad, tried it out for a hot minute, then deleted the account. It seemed too distracting for me. Although the idea of building a fan base is nice but I suppose that can wait until my books are ready.


    Ok, this gave me a bright idea. Thank you, Mythopoet! I do agree that blogs should have some personal presence. I've tried blogging in the past and it was okay. I'd like to do more of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2014
    Ryan_Crown likes this.
  12. Ryan_Crown

    Ryan_Crown Troubadour

    179
    50
    28
    For me, blogging isn't really a big distraction from my writing -- on the contrary, there are times it's a nice break from my WIP to spend an hour or so on a quick blog post. My bigger frustration/concern is posting regular blog posts that no one else reads. As much as anything I think I just need to do the blog just to do it, and not be too focused on how many readers (if any) that it has. I'm slowly learning that patience really is required when it comes to the whole "author platform".

    I think Mythopoet called it -- likely the best route forward is to do the personal/behind-the-scenes posts about what's going on with my writing, along with posting fiction (this way I've got something for everybody). As far as Wattpad/Tablo go, I don't know that I'd use those sites to post works I planned to publish, but I do like the idea of using them to post short stories/other works just to try and build my audience for when I do finally publish my first novel.

    Thanks to everyone for their feedback. Trying to build my author platform has been a somewhat stressful challenge (as so much of it involves things outside my comfort zone, like being active on social media), so getting feedback from the great people here really helps.
     
Loading...

Share This Page