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Blogging Help

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by teacup, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    I thought a thread devoted entirely to questions, tips and advice for blogging would be very helpful here. Just post any advice or past experiences with blogging you have, or questions for anyone else to answer.

    And on that note, I have a question myself:
    Though I am writing a novel, I'm thinking of starting up a blog reviewing/talking about movies and TV shows. I think I'd enjoy writing that, and I'm pretty sure it will get some followers if done right. Now the question is, is it recommended to write it like this mixed with writing about my story, writing, and life, or should I have a separate personal blog which includes me writing about my story? Also, any general advice for a beginner blogger would be much appreciated.


    And good luck with the blogging!
     
  2. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

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    Since I've never seen a blog like you describe, I'm not sure if that indicates that there are problems with the concept or just that no one's tried it yet.

    To my mind, you want to keep it as focused on one topic as possible, though the topic can be pretty broad. At Otherwhere Gazette we focus on reviews and news of things geeks might like. I don't post a lot there about my writing, I use a separate blog for that -- though, admittedly, OG isn't "mine," I'm just one of the contributors there, whereas my writing blog is all mine.

    It all comes down to confusing the reader. If they come for the reviews, are they going to get confused if you start talking about your book? I kinda think they will.

    Now, if you want to run two blogs, think of the time investment to regularly post on both. If you can do that, great. If not, then you might want to start with just one.

    As far as general advice, you read what I said to A. E. in the other thread... beyond that, I must strongly recommend WordPress. Most of the really big blogs out there are running WordPress or some modification of it, so learning the most popular format right off the bat isn't a bad thing. And it's really easy to use, but has a lot of strong features.
     
    teacup likes this.
  3. Asterisk

    Asterisk Troubadour

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    I think your idea is an excellent one, Teacup. You should probably have a separate blog, though, with prominently displayed links to it on your movie review blog. As GeekDavid already said, you should probably start with one. I run my blog/website on Blogger, and I personally believe it's the best free way to create a blog. If you have a gmail account, it's linked to that.

    Here is an amazing place to get free blogger templates that are professional and overflowing with widgets: Blogger Templates

    Hope this helps you!
     
    teacup likes this.
  4. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    Thanks, David and Asterisk.

    So writing the tv/movie blog, building a following, then somewhere down the line directing them to a new writing blog is the way to go you think?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  5. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

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    On my blog I mix writing topics, fantasy topics, personal writing and reviews. Seems to work okay.
     
    teacup likes this.
  6. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

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    If it works, it works. I had no experience with that kinda blog so I didn't know. :)
     
  7. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Yeah, I mix a lot of stuff as well under the banner of "fantasy." So anyone who likes fantasy can find something that interests them. I've gotten some views from people who want to see book reviews and some views from people interested in fantasy writing topics. So I don't think you need a separate blog altogether as long as you have a general "feel." I don't post personal things or topics about Japan like I did in my other blog. I keep that separate.
     
    teacup likes this.
  8. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

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    By the way, I've encouraged my editor at Otherwhere Gazette, Patrick Richardson, who has even more blogging experience than I do, to join us here and share his wisdom.

    However, between work, family, and other projects he's pretty darned busy, so I'm not sure if he'll show up or not.
     
  9. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    That's basically what my blog is.

    I would recommend that as an author you think of your blog as your online platform. In other words, your blog is your representation of you to the Internet.

    If you want to represent yourself as someone that writes and enjoys writing reviews and occasionally throws some other things into the mix, then that sounds like the kind of blog you want to write. On the other hand, if you want to be an elite blogger that has people come to you not for you, but for the kind of specialized content that you are going to create, then by all means make as many blogs as you deem necessary and that you can keep up with.
     
  10. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    A lot of the author blogs I follow do exactly that, mixing personal stuff with 'Hey! New book!' type posts. It depends whether you see your blog as a personal platform, where you mention the writing as just one of the multitude of things that interests you, or whether it's a vehicle for publicising the book. If it's the latter, then I would say stick to topics that will also appeal to potential purchasers of the book. For a fantasy book, you could write reviews of fantasy movies or books or TV shows, talk about your online gaming life, talk about books in general, ebooks, the state of modern publishing and so on, any conventions or big-name signings you've been to... Fantasy is a pretty broad field. You can also talk about yourself (readers love to know 'secret' things about authors), but avoid talking too much about close family members in personal terms, or posting pictures. It goes without saying that you should avoid contentious issues unless you actually like flamewars.

    To be honest, I enjoy the 'quirky' blogs that mix up lots of topics better than the more targeted ones. My favourite is Glenda Larke who as well as being an awesome fantasy author is also a very knowledgeable naturalist. Her blog is full of pictures of birds and beasties and interesting fungi and sunsets and the like. She very rarely mentions the writing at all.
     
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  11. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

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    Personally, I would say, steer clear of contentious issues if at all possible. The possibility -- or maybe probability -- of alienating a large portion of your potential readership is just too great.

    If you absolutely must tackle it and won't be dissuaded, at least do it with a modicum of grace and allow that the other side might actually not be the spawn of Satan.
     
  12. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    Huh, wonder if this thread is actually being helpful to anyone but me :p

    I think I'm going to make one talking about life and writing in general, with a focus on fantasy. Then I can also do reviews of films/tv shows/some games which are fantasy based.
    I think I might also stick to my persona here, and call the thing "The Tea Party" but I'm not sure.
    Any thoughts, guys?

    Also, thanks everyone for your comments :)
     
  13. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Where are you from? The tea party is a contentious political movement in the US right now and wouldn't make a good name for an author's blog at the moment.
     
  14. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

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    Tea Party is not a good title, sorry. That phrase has achieved a political connotation, and there are those that absolutely despise anything connected with it.
     
  15. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    Yeah, A.E Lowan mentioned as much. Well that's out.
    Damn yanks ruining our tea again. Boston wasn't enough, was it? :p


    I'm going to have to brainstorm a suitable title.

    (And England, Devor. I know little to nothing of the goings on in other countries, usually:p)
     
  16. GeekDavid

    GeekDavid Auror

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    Some people just use their name. :)
     
  17. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    If I can't think of anything I'll just go with my name then, probably. Or Teacup, maybe.
     
  18. Sanctified

    Sanctified Minstrel

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    There's nothing wrong with mixing a bit of personal stuff in there, and it's actually a good way to help your readers get to know you. Lots of novelists mix it up on their personal blogs -- one good example of Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, who posts about football, stuff he's reading, other projects he's working on, etc. as long as you keep it professional, it's all good.
     
    teacup likes this.
  19. Stevenmlong

    Stevenmlong Dreamer

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    I think that a lot of it depends on what you want to accomplish, long-term. In general, if you're trying to build a long-term platform, most advice says to stick to something that will interest readers of your work, i.e. rather than write about yourself, write about movies/T.V. that your readers might be interested in. As you gain followers, you might write more about yourself because you've generated goodwill and interest. George Takei, for example, allows himself a certain % of posts about issues, and keeps the majority of his FB posts about humor - of course, he's also famous already, so he's already got both interest and goodwill.

    I know for myself, I have two blogs I work on: foesofreality.com, and stevenmlong.com. At Foes, I write about stuff I enjoy, within a certain brand. I write about myself, my work, and so forth on my own site. People who come to Foes just need to be interested in science fiction and fantasy. People that come to my site come there because they have some interest in me (or so I hope!).

    The most important thing? Learn to really enjoy it! I know that sounds kind of smarmy, but it's absolutely necessary.
     
    teacup likes this.
  20. teacup

    teacup Auror

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    Oh, that's good, that's what I've been doing.
    Thanks, Steven.
     
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