Fellow writer Raven Black has tagged me for the blogger recognition award! Raven is a great inspiration for networking (which I generally suck at), so I appreciate her tagging me for this!
Why I started this blog
I’ve been blogging and running websites off and on for 20+ years, starting way back with Livejournal and Geocities. So when I got serious about writing and getting published, I created a website as a home base and included a blog. It’s a way to update readers on what I’m writing, pass along writing and publishing information and advice, and share whatever random stuff happens to pop into my head.
Over the years, it’s become more organized regarding the content I post. I always say I’m going to post more often, but of course that never happens.
Two pieces of advice for new bloggers
The first piece of advice I’d give to new bloggers is to only blog if you enjoy it. When I started this site eight years ago, the consensus in the writing community was that everyone had to have a website, and one of the components of that website was a blog. Don’t get me wrong; I agree that having a website as a home base, with at least contact info (including social media) and links to your works is important. But so many writers threw on a blog that they promptly abandoned, so that when people went to their site it appeared abandoned.
(Part of this was probably the website host itself; if you use the free Blogspot or WordPress.com, it defaults to having a blog as the main landing page. You can change this, of course, or disable the blog entirely, but not all writers are savvy enough to know to do this.)
So what’s the big deal about not updating your blog? The content’s still there, right? Yes, but you’re not going to attract new followers without new content. And as for your current followers, maybe they’ll check back periodically, or maybe they use a site like G2 Reader (which is what I use) to bookmark your blog and get updates when you have new posts, but chances are they’ll probably just move on and never come back. Building up views for your blog is tough; maintaining views without new content is damn near impossible.
So, if you’re going to have a blog on your site, make sure you’ll want to update it at least weekly or monthly. If you don’t think you’ll do that, then it’s probably best to skip the blog altogether.
The second piece of advice I’d give to new bloggers is to be consistent with your post topics. Before you start your blog, think of its purpose and who’ll be reading it. My blog, for example, is for my author persona. While I do share some personal stuff, it’s not a journal for me to pour out my heart and soul into. I knew a guy who was a city bus driver, and he told me he was “personable, but not personal,” and I this is how I try to be as well. I also share book reviews, author interviews, writing tips, and book updates because I want my blog readers to be book readers and authors. If someone isn’t interested in books, then my site probably won’t interest them – which is fine, because obviously as a writer I want to attract readers.
I’ve found that keeping to a certain schedule helps me stay on topic.
- Media Monday: book review paired with a song
- Tuesday Tournament: poll about a topic
- Tuesday Travels: essay about somewhere I’ve gone
- Whatever Wednesday: things that don’t fit other days, like this post, goal updates, new release announcements, etc
- Thursday Thing: the inspiration behind one of my stories or expanding on a detail (place, history, etc) from one of my stories
- Friday Five: interview with an author
- Sunday’s Weekend Writing Warrior: 8-10 sentence excerpt from one of my works as part of a blog hop
Not only does this help me stay focused, but it lets my readers know what to expect.
Bloggers I nominate
These bloggers are a mix of writers I know, blogs I follow, and people I think need to update their blogs more often.
For the record, I follow about 60 writer/blogger people, but only about a dozen are updated on anything resembling a regular basis. Many haven’t been updated for over a year. New bloggers: this is NOT how you get new readers!!
Rules For The Blogger Recognition Award
- Thank the blogger for nominating you and give the link to their blog
- Write a blog post on your website showing the award
- Describe the story of why you started your blog
- Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers
- Nominate 15 more bloggers
- Notify each of your nominees that you have nominated them
If you’re reading this and have a blog, please share a link in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for new people to follow.