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Blogging Question...

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Xaysai, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

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    So I think I already know the official answer to the question I am about to ask, but what I want to know is this: should I care?

    I currently host a blog where on the very seldom occasion I have something good and polished enough to post, I like to share my speculative fiction writing.

    However, I would also like to have a blog where I can share whatever I like, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, opinions, etc., and I have been toying with the idea of just turning my fiction blog into a person blog containing my fiction writing.

    I would separate posts category so someone could come to the website and click "Short Stories", "Dan's Blog" or whatever series I am writing, and be able to see posts solely from that category. The problem I have, is that it doesn't seem that I can make it so that the most recent post, regardless of category, doesn't show up on the front page of Wordpress.

    I know the general rule of blogging success is to specialize and stick to one subject, but I think the reality is that I'm not sure my goal is to build a following. I don't plan to write a book or make a living from writing, but I do enjoy writing about things I am excited about, and that's not always fiction.

    With that being said: should I really care about ruining the integrity of my fiction writing blog so I can enjoy writing whatever I want without having to manage more than one blog?

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. Weaver

    Weaver Sage

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    There's a rather well-known blog called Whatever, by author John Scalzi. No matter what anyone thinks of Mr. Scalzi himself, they cannot say that his blog is unsuccessful. He's got a huge following. And he blogs about... whatever. Sometimes it's about his writing; sometimes it's his views on a particular issue; sometimes it's about his own life.

    Blog about what interests you. It seems to me that most people like knowing more about an author than just their writing, and for most writers, everything they're interested in is related to their writing anyway.
     
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  3. danr62

    danr62 Sage

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    Dan, if you were trying to start a niche blog to sell affiliate products I would absolutely tell you to stick to a topic.

    An authors blog or a personal blog is an entirely different matter. Write what you want. Have fun with it. Whatever.

    Also, if you were to switch you blog over to the self hosted version of WP there are plugins that could do what you're asking.
     
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  4. Alexandra

    Alexandra Troubadour

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    You must follow the rules as laid down by the arbiters of good taste, profitability, commerce and blogging on pain of cyber-death (maybe even real death). Deviance will not be tolerated! If you cannot specialize, if you cannot sell, if you cannot create yet another boring cookie-cutter monetized blog what's the point. Get it!?!

    * * *​

    Write what you want.
     
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  5. adampjr

    adampjr Scribe

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    A blog should be whatever you want. You don't need to focus on a particular niche. As you blog, you will probably find that there are a limited number of things you blog about, and you can find some definition for the blog in that.

    Every person is different, and your blog can be interesting if you blog about the scope of things you are interested in, that scope is unique to you.
     
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  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    There's an "official" answer? I must have missed a memo. If your goal is to blog about whatever for no reason at all, then nothing else matters, right?

    Honestly, the people who are interested in hearing whatever thought pops out of your head are probably going to be interested in reading your book, if you ever come out with one. It's just going to take a loooong time and a lot of work for that portion of your blog to attract a following large enough to result in anything.

    ((edit))

    Taking a glance at what you've got, it's not bad. If you wanted a decent audience, I think there's a path there for you. I don't know why you would want to dilute what you have.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  7. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

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    I think it has more to do with the fact that I am fully incapable of putting out more than 1,000 words every month that I'm not terrified to share with potential readers.

    Nobody visits the blog because I rarely add anything, so I thought if I updated more often, I might draw more attention to my fiction by posting other material I enjoy writing which comes more easily to me.

    My goal with the blog was to try to make it a collection of what I felt was my best possible work so if readers were to happen across it they could see the body of work and think "this is something I wouldn't mind following"

    My biggest concern is that the quality and frequency is nowhere near where I want it.
     
  8. Weaver

    Weaver Sage

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    Um... I can honestly say, Dan, that you've got my attention, at least for the moment, with the selections from your Biomancer Chronicles. I wish to thank you for writing exactly the kind of thing -- and drawing my attention to it at exactly the right time -- to help me get myself back into writing the stuff I'm supposed to be working on. And no, my novel is nothing like yours. It's just... Well, the situation your protagonsist wakes up to at the very beginning of chapter 2 there. Now I feel that I can go forth and add stuff to my own chapters 7 and 8, having recaptured the emotions of my PoV in those scenes.

    So... Yeah, keep it up with posting your fiction, if that's what you want to do. If you also have things to say about where you get your ideas, how you feel about the writing process, or which famous author you want to be like when your own career takes off, that would be interesting to me as a reader, too. ('Cause I'm a nosey bastard and like to know the origin stories of stories, like if somebody got half their plot from the name of a rock band in the early 80s or whatever.)


    (Following your blog now, by the way.)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
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  9. MFreako

    MFreako Troubadour

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    Like the posters before me, I think you should do whatever you feel like doing. There aren't any rules, after all.

    Most authors' blogs I've read have just a little bit of everything. Rants, movie/game/novel reviews, advice on writing, interviews... you name it.
     
  10. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I have a wiki where I put up things I write.

    It's dedicated to my WIP and the stories/articles I write for it, but with something like wikia.com you can make a wiki for yourself and your writing and it can be about whatever you want.
    Whenever I write something new and put it up I also update the front page to reflect I've done something and add a link to it. As I recall it's more work per update than the blog I started out with, but it's easier to maintain in the long run I think.

    Just remember to protect any stories you put up so that no pesky trolls comes and eats your billygoats. Jokes aside, I've done this for two years and still haven't had anyone vandalizing my articles - even though most of them are unprotected. Still, better safe than sorry...
     
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  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Dan,

    It sounds like your goal is to have a blog moreso than to achieve any specific purpose with that blog.

    If you told us, "Hey, I want to achieve this," we could tell you, "Try this content."

    As it is, you've already achieved your goal of having a blog, so write what you want.

    BTW, I've found the off topic posts are a great way to bring in new traffic, especially if you link to it at the proper places. I just try not to dilute my content too much by doing such too often.
     
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  12. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I'm conflicted about what to tell you. It sounds like you want to publish stories and gain a following, but that you don't think you can post enough stuff that way to keep it going.

    Normally I would bite my tongue and tell you to put out a monthly schedule where you publish 1,000 words every first week of the month, and something else the other three weeks. But I'm just going to say what I really want to say.

    I think you should take your blog down.

    There's a lot of people here doing blogs who would love to host your writing as a feature. If I were you, I would click those signature links, look around, find one you like, and ask what it would take for them to be willing to host your 1,000 words on a regular monthly basis. I think you'll get further, faster, doing it that way.
     
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  13. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    In terms of having an author platform, your blog can be about whatever (and probably SHOULD be). As long as you're having fun with it, then keep at it. My blog doesn't get too many followers, but when I started doing reviews and writing the occasional article on academia or education, I started getting people finding the blog via search engines.

    I'm not sure how Wordpress handles it, but Blogger has labels for all your posts which can immediately categorize and sort all your posts.
     
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  14. Weaver

    Weaver Sage

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    Wordpress does allow posts to be categorized. I don't know how this works -- I've never used that feature myself -- but I know it's there.
     
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  15. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

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    Yes, I can categorize them so that someone can click a heading for "Short Stories" and it will bring them to page will all of my short stories.

    My main concern is that the non-self hosted Wordpress does not allow me to sort the front page, which basically means that if someone comes to my blog, the first thing they will see at the top of the page is my most recent post, which may or may not be indicative of my fiction writing.

    You guys bring up an interesting point about book reviews. I do a lot of reading, so perhaps that would allow me to write something which isn't fiction, but that I still enjoy writing about.
     
  16. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

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    Yes.

    If I'm not posting regularly, then I would never expect people to check it frequently.

    This is an interesting idea.

    So let's say someone comes across my work, likes it and wants to find more of my work.

    Where would they? Just on that one blog, I suppose?
     
  17. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

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    But I think the difference between you and I, is that you have enough of a handle on the subject of writing to compose some terrific "how-to" blogs, which helps establish you as an authority and allows you to build a following of people who want to learn.

    BTW, I appreciate you all taking the time give me advice, as usual. I feel like I am always here complaining and being emo about writing.
     
  18. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I gotta say: This seems like a really great idea. In fact, why don't a bunch of us get together and do something like this?

    We could each pledge 1000 words a month as production and pledge to beta read one other writer's 1000 words. That way, we'd keep the quality good and the personal work volume low. Shoot for 8 to 10 people, and we'd have a pretty good product.
     
  19. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    No reason you couldn't maintain an archive. Double post everything you do at other sites and what you do on your on. On the other sites, you can link to your archive so that, if someone's really interested, they'd be able to find all your stuff.

    The difference being that, with a blog, the reader expects regular updates. With an archive, they will understand it's a repository for all your stories. It's pretty easy to set up a blog where the front page is static and you just add a link to each new post.
     
  20. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I'd be interested in joining something like that.
    I'm not sure I'm the one to get a project like that off the ground, but I'll be happy to help flap the wings once it's airborne.
     
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