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Blogging Advice

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Ankari, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Greetings all,

    Since we don't have a marketing forums (hint, hint) I'm posting here. I've decided to start blogging while writing my WIP. I want it to be as broad as possible, but always associated with fantasy. The primary focus is to share my experience of writing the novel with eventual fans.

    So, for those of you who have written a blog or have considered it, what subjects would you write about?

    How frequently would you add to your blog?

    What kind of feedback have you received from your blog?

    For those of you who read author's blogs, what subjects have you found to be the most engaging?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  2. Lawfire

    Lawfire Sage

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    As frequently as you can without burning out or running out of fresh material. You want to get a decent amount of content up quickly to build a base. However, you would not want to sacrifice quality for quantity. Blogs on other subjects may have some wiggle room, but if it is a writing blog by an aspiring writer, you want to put your best foot forward.
     
    Ankari likes this.
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I've done some blogging here and there. I tried to "theme" my blog by discussing Japan related info, writing stuff, and then just whatever I want to talk about. I don't post as regular as I should, but people have read my blog apparently. It hardly had any hits when I started, but I've since been linked a couple of places (Japan Blog List, here at Mythic Scribes), so I think that helps to build your readership. Post it on your social media as well, but don't overkill it.

    I'm by no means a pro blogger or anything, but some of these helped me. I'd also suggest posting something at least every week or even more. If not, people will find other blogs they enjoy more that have more content. But like Lawfire said, don't just throw something together just to post. There are tons of blogs that seem pretty thrown together. If you want people to take it seriously then just make sure you put a lot of thought into it.
     
    Ankari likes this.
  4. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Well, I'm hoping to hit an article a week. That's 4-5 each month depending on what day of the week I post on ;) This is also about the amount of articles that most "one person blogs" appear to strive for.

    In addition to this I do what I call "writing updates", where by I tell people what I've done the past month. Admittedly I usually spend the update saying "I've procrastinated but have this awesome new idea". At the end of the day it give me accountability. If I'm embarrassed by all the "procrastination talk" then all I have to do is either whimp out and remove the updates or ... you know ... actually write!

    An awful lot of bloggers do bookand film reviews. I started out my blog not wanting to do any. I hoped that it would differentiate the blog as an advice only blog. Of course, I was stupid. Soooo, I've change my mind haha All networking and promotion is grand!

    When asked how to blog effectively. well, i don't get many hits I'll just say that, but I usually see an increase when I've posted something or when I've made the blog "more findable" (aka put a link somewhere, gave someone a damn good reason to visit, etc.).

    So:

    1) Findability and
    2) Frequenct activity.
     
    Ankari likes this.
  5. Lorna

    Lorna Inkling

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    I considered starting a blog but realised with the novel, poetry and local history projects I wouldn't have time to do justice to it.

    I do blog for South Ribble Transition Towns, a local initiative to encourage people to live sustainably and get back in touch with the land. My blogs are on local history, the Friends group in my local valley run to promote awareness of environment and wildlife, and I also share my poetry here.

    Blog |
    Poetry |

    I ran a blog for a local creative group called Harvest Preston for a while but it's now deleted. To keep it alive I added something every week. I'm subscribed to a few blogs, but they barely ever seem to post anything.

    I've received brief comments from blogs and interesting links. They're good for networking.

    I tend to read more poetry and natural environment blogs than author's blogs. It's quite difficult to root out fantasy writers. But I'd be interested to hear about the world, races etc. look at character art and read excerpts from people's work.

    Your website looks like it will be cool when it's all up and working. I've noticed a couple of other people share the 'Call of Heroes' signature. Is it a joint project?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
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  6. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    One of the best ways to attract readers to your blog is to make comments on other people's blogs... assuming the subject matter is similar.
     
    Ankari likes this.
  7. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

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    First, there are a lot of blogs out there writing by writers, many working on the first novel and blogging about their progress and experience. Nothing wrong with that, just pointing it out. Of course, content, quality, frequency of blogging and endurance very greatly.

    I write about writing, my works including publications, events and reviews, interesting articles, books, and information I come across, some things that are happening in my life, author interivews, links to interviews I've done or come across...things like that. Basically what ever interests me and I think readers might find interesting.

    I shoot for at least 6 times a month. Usually I do better, but I'm not on a set schedule, like every Monday. Some bloggers do this.

    There are regular readers who sometimes comment. There are occasional one-time commenters that show up. I sometimes get emails from readers of my blog. One fellow showed up at a signing event that regularly read my blog. I had no idea. So there are likely a lot of lurkers out there. Nothing wrong with that.

    People might agree that something I posted was indeed funny, or add their thoughts on a topic, or congrats. It's all over the board.

    When there is a bit of variety. Also, I have only so much time, so I don't generally read blog posts that are thousands and thousands of words in length.



    Just a few other observations:

    I think including a picture or two in a blog post never hurts and actually helps, break up the text and bring the blog post to life. I try to do this with at least 3/4th of my posts.

    I try to make sure the posts are not littered with typos and grammar gaffs. Nobody is perfect, but a solid effort is important.

    If people regularly comment on your blog, it's proper to visit and comment on theirs. Not every blog post they make, but when you have something to say, or congrats are in order, etc.

    Getting readers, and followers? I don't know if there is one silver bullet method. I can say if the content isn't of interest, things won't grow. But it really depends on your purpose. You indicated informing and building a fan base, Ankari, so growth is part of it. So, quality, interesting posts will be important, as would consistent posting. In other words, going a month or two without blogging will hurt your momentum, and readers will get out of the habit of checking or popping in when you do post an article to your blog.

    To attract readers? Maybe adding links to your emails and signatures of forums, where allowed. Let folks you know on Facebook or twitter, if you do that. Sometimes commenting on a blog post elsewhere, if interesting will have readers of that blog track back to yours.

    Pick an appropriate or good name for your blog. It's sort of like the title of a novel. It forms an initial image.

    I'm not an expert. I don't have tons of followers, but my visits (most blogs have stats you can check) have slowly but pretty steadily increased from month to month.

    A final thought. Blogs take time--time away from writing novels. Some writers also say it drains some of their creative energy. In any case, nothing wrong with giving it a shot. If it doesn't work out, you can always cease and close the blog. Maybe you'll disappoint some readers, but if blogging interferes, would they enjoy your novels and short stories more?

    If you're interested, you can take a look at my blog and find what's worked for me (but there are literally tens of thousands out there that might be better)
    Blog Link: Up Around the Corner

    That's my two cents. Good luck moving foward.
     
    Devor and Ankari like this.
  8. yachtcaptcolby

    yachtcaptcolby Minstrel

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    I spend a lot of time blogging about things that had absolutely nothing to do about my writing. Honestly, I don't know what the heck I would write about my writing that people would find interesting. My process isn't particularly involved, and you can only write "I got stuck so I poured myself some bourbon and that fixed things" so many times before people start to become concerned. So I blog about my interests and any random thing I notice on the street or in the media that gets me thinking in a creative direction.

    I really think blogging helps me write better. Taking a little break to crank out four or five paragraphs about something silly loosens me up for working on bigger things. I've had a few people tweet or email me that they bought my novel because they thought my blog was funny and they enjoyed the book just as much. I also caught on with another, bigger blog that liked what I was doing.

    I think what it comes down to is just getting your writing out there--in any form--so people can familiarize themselves with it, and blogging is a cheap and relatively easy way to do that.
     
  9. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    yachtcaptcolby... how about a link to that blog of yours? i'd like to have a look.
     
  10. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Sounds like a blog I would dig!
     
  11. yachtcaptcolby

    yachtcaptcolby Minstrel

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    robertbevan...I actually just put my old blog/site into mothballs and set up a new one. There isn't much on it yet, but this'll give you an idea of the kind of things I've been doing. I suppose I should warn you that there's some foul language and an obscure professional wrestling reference that might make you think less of me:

    Scott Colby Writes | Fiction, writing and editing services, and dumb musings about dumb crap

    I've got an archive of my old blog entries, but I haven't decided what I want to do with them yet. I kind of like the idea of starting fresh. In the past I've compared the four sections of the local subway system to the four horsemen of the apocalypse, written Major League Baseball previews that compare each team to a different brand of beer, and announced that I was running for President of the United States with Tim Tebow as my running mate. If your "serious" writing is a little off-beat and silly like mine, writing a blog that showcases that voice is probably a good way to attract readers. Local topics generated the best traffic on my old site, so I plan to write about Boston as much as I can.
     
  12. robertbevan

    robertbevan Troubadour

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    ha! foul language and obscure references are the tools of my trade.
     
  13. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Originally I set up a blog on Goodreads to talk about my writing. But that ran into technical difficulties and I ended up creating a new blog on blogspot. But then I went somewhat off topic, and stopped talking about my writing, and started chatting about time travel paradoxes. I aim to do a new blog every two weeks, but as is so often the case, fall short.

    Greg's Books

    I'm not sure that increasing the frequency of my blogs would help as much as finding content that matches people's interests. I'm seriously thinking about writing about Justin Bebe? Bibber? Babble? Or whatever the heck his name is, just to get readers! I'm sure no one would ever guess that I've never listened to any of his songs and don't know anything about him! Really!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    OMG, if you really want to collect readers, all you have to do is mention kinky sex. You would not *BELIEVE* some of the search terms on my stats every week. And I don't even TALK about kinky sex; I mostly talk about martial arts training and self defense- but if I use the words "woman" and "leg" in the same post, I get a slew of search hits from people looking up the freakiest things you ever heard. There are a lot of depraved sickos out there! :eek2:
     
  15. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Kit, please provide a link to your kinky sex blog :)

    Seriously, Ankari and I have been discussing blogs lately. He seems to want to do basically a blog of his random musings regarding fantasy writing. I tend to think that a blog focused on providing a particular set of information would be more successful.

    What do y'all think? Which of these would attract more readers:

    a) Blogger posts about his WIP and his musings about the publishing industry.
    b) Blogger posts how to tips on writing and marketing

    or would a blended approach be better?
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    So no matter what your Fantasy story is actually about, entitle your book "The kinky woman with the sexy leg" and then blog about it incessantly.
     
  17. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    LOL, if you really want to know, you can Google "Savage Kitsune Blogspot" and find it. I'm afraid that you're not likely to see any kinky sex in the forseeable future (damn:(), but I do sometimes share those far-out search terms, just for giggles.

    I think if you want to attract readers, a blend of the personal and the professional is good. Some people want article-like offerings, and as writers, we have the skills to do that (as many random bloggers don't- there's an amazing amount of drek out there). I know that most of my regular readers are female martial artists who like the personal sharings- knowing that we are all dealing with similar challenges; and newbie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu artists who want the same, plus the hints of wisdom that an intermediate practitioner can offer about the process. I also post the blog on two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu forums (set as accessible to registered members of those forums only) as well as Blogspot. I do not publicize/advertise it on Blogspot or anywhere else. Most of my classmates don't even know about it- although every once in a while someone will say, "I saw on your blog that...." and I'll do a double-take, because I still find it a little surreal that people are actually reading my blog.

    If my goal was to attract a high readership and/or make money off my blog, I dare say I could tailor it to serve those functions if I wanted to, but it's not my goal. It's for my personal growth process, and a lot of the purpose it serves is to let me kvetch about my frustrations so that I can clear that crap out of my head and get back to work. At first I didn't even have it set as accessible to anyone but me.. but multiple people (not just one or two, but multiple) on martial arts forums were specifically and repeatedly asking me to blog about my experiences. They think I writes good. ;)

    Two cheap and easy tricks that I think help are to 1)include a picture with each posting, and 2)come up with an intriguing title for each posting. Sometimes I'm too lazy to title my posts with anything but "Tuesday" or whatever, but I notice that the hits go up if I make an effort to come up with a title.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  18. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Good tips. Thanks.
     
  19. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I too have been considering starting a blog. One thing I think is interesting is that people should be aware of "free" websites. One of my friends looked into some companies I was thinking about working with and they have strange rules sometimes, like "They own the copyright to anything you post on the free website!"

    So please, people, read the fine print because I would hate for one of the great folks here to get burned like that.
     
  20. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

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    Good point Caged. Like Mythic Scribes, I'm paying for my own web hosting and domain. Also, I bought my own blogging software. Now I just need to spend a couple hours setting it up and learning the tricks.

    To expand on what BWFoster78 has written, I want to:

    • Share with my (hopeful) audience the experience of creating a universe and writing a novel.
    • I want to give my opinion on any fantasy media (games, books, movies, etc).
    • I want to give more information on certain aspects of my universe (the dialogue in my thread under World Building made me see the need for this).
    • I want to weigh in on publishing. The discussions in the Publishing Forums is a great example of what I would write about.


    So, is this too much? To varied?
     
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