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

Starting a fantasy blog

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by amar654, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. amar654

    amar654 Acolyte

    What do you guys thing of a writer starting a blog were he posts free short stories and series on the side as he writes his novel in order to get a known name? Is this a smart idea?
  2. stephenspower

    stephenspower Inkling

    What drives people to the site?

    Why not just get the stories pubd to build an audience and credibility?
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    Depends on what you mean by smart Idea?

    If you're counting on the blog to jumpstart a career, well, I wouldn't bet the farm on it. It's like winning the lottery. For ever person who finds success because they started a blog, there are many-many more that don't.

    Also realize there are many-many people putting stuff up on blogs and for free. You'll be but one drop in an ocean.

    IMHO, the people who find success with blogging do it without expectation of return. They do it because they have a passion for sharing and talking about something they love, and what ever they get beyond that is icing.

    And lastly, what goes up on the internet stays there forever. If the stories you put up aren't up to snuff, then they can weigh you down instead of lift you up.
  4. Terry Greer

    Terry Greer Sage

    The big problem I've found with a blog is that it sucks you dry. Writing about something defuses the need to actually write it in the first place - and you get less done.
  5. e r i

    e r i Scribe

    Check out what Austin Kleon has to say about it. It's not just Kleon though; a lot of people suggest that sharing stuff is a good way to build yourself a reputation as a creative and cool person. What to share, though, is something to think about carefully. A good, short read :)

    Show Your Work! a book by Austin Kleon
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    I really believe people approach the task of blogging for a book all wrong. If your goal is to make your book successful, you shouldn't think of it as a blog. You should think of it as a sales page with a news and discussion feed.

    The reason I say that is because it helps reshape your view of your audience. The purpose of a sales page is to prep and lead people into buying a book. Most of your viewers only need to pop in once if it leads them to buy your book or sign up for an email announcement. And readers make that choice, mostly, with the standing elements on your page.

    But the purpose of the news and discussion feed is to network and make connections, and to offer a revolving door of content that can be reposted to bring new people to your page. But the people who repost each have their own audience that you have to appeal to. So your blog content has three audiences - your networkers, their audience, and your potential readers. That waters down the direct reader appeal a lot.

    Think about the Mythic Scribes blog for a moment. If you submit a guest post, or if you have an article you want Mythic Scribes to repost, it's got to appeal to Black Dragon, it's got to appeal to new authors, and it's got to make your work look good. A character profile? That might not cut it. A short story? Probably not. But maybe a profile that walks through the idea process could get some traction and appeal to all three audiences. Or something like a short story with editing and revision notes might make a new author go, "Hey, I just learned a bit about editing, and this person writes really well. Let me check out his site for a minute."

    The thing is, running a successful blog with regular content that targets readers directly is a difficult endeavor. Think about web comics, or ezines, because those are the sites that do it. If that's how you're conceiving your blog, you're thinking about a full-time endeavor. You're thinking of something bigger and more risky than your book.

    So if you have something readers like, stick it to your home page. Show it off. But don't bury it in the archive of a blog. And don't think of it as a substitute for networking. Because you'll spend hundreds of man hours hurting for traction on your blog if you try to skip that part.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  7. deilaitha

    deilaitha Sage

    I have seen a lot of comments around the interwebz regarding this topic, and opinions vary widely. Devor makes a very good point about blogs needing to be treated as a product.

    There are some people who suggest that an author provide short stories, etc. on their blogs to build their reputation and so on, and there's even a phenomenon where people have a blog BE their book, with the posts as chapters. I have a nasty tendency to read stuff and not bookmark it, so I can't tell you exactly where I saw that; I think J.A. Konrath has mentioned it once or twice, perhaps Hugh Howey and Barry Eisler, too. To be clear, they mentioned that; I don't think they actually did it. It's a way to get a feel for whether your book is marketable, and then you can clean it up and self-publish. The nice thing about self-pubbing services is that you can both write stories, and, since you own the rights, publish the stories in a collection. Derek Murphy of CreativIndie has a lot to say about how providing stuff for free is actually a good way to make money.

    The most important thing is creating traffic. I'm kind of new to the whole blogging thing, but you need to find a way to get people to your blog. You do this by making your site more searchable, which can be done by creating as many links to your site as possible. (Yes, the links to my blogs in my signature are a subtle form of blog pimping.) The key is not to be obnoxious, which I hopefully haven't been in my own promotion.

    Again: your blog is a product, even if you're providing it for free. Get people to 'buy' your product. Otherwise, your blog will become another one that languishes in obscurity.

    Just my two cents.
  8. Addison

    Addison Auror

    I had the same idea once when I started saving money for a blog site. Not long ago, before I found a site, my uncle, a magazine writer, and several sources say that the first thing you want to blog about is your niche.

    Something that makes you credible, something that says "I know what this is, this is my world, BEHOLD!". So if you know a lot about Russian Mythology then that can be your niche. If your niche is writing dialogue, that's your niche. That's your blog. As you gain followers you can post little snippets of longer works. I, personally, would only post snippets of dialogue or description from novels or novellas. Flash Fiction and poems are also good to show your talents in writing, the snippets keep them coming back for more while they wait for the final project.

    I hope this helps. Happy Writing! :)
    e r i and Legendary Sidekick like this.
  9. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    That's really good advice.

    It points to how much you need to start your blog having a clear picture of your strengths and what you want to do with the blog. Sure things change, but a clear strong focus can really make or break your brand.

Share This Page