Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Writing Tips

Hey everyone! Good to see you all here.

So there's been several blogs circulating the web these days on whether or not all authors need to blog.

First, let me just say that this is NOT a necessary thing for authors. Each of the blogs talking about this topic have asked publishers and agents if this is something they look for in an author.

Seems the stress of blogging (if you feel any and if you do, in fact, blog) is all on you.

Personally, I do not find blogging stressful. Hell, I have my own, plus I add to the blogs here on WW. What stress?

I do have a few tips for you, though, if you want to start a blog and maintain it. Mind you, these are things I learned from other bloggers, authors and lots of trial and error.

* Be consistent. If you want to blog, but don't have a lot of time, then figure out what you can commit to. Choose how often you want to post. Be it once a week, twice a week or every single day, you better figure that out now. Of the blogging sites I know of, Blogger and Word Press both allow you to schedule blogs in advance. Utilize this. Spend a day writing up some blog posts and scheduling them to appear throughout the week. It would also be a good idea to connect your blog with your Facebook and/or Twitter account. This way, the moment your blog is published, a link is automatically sent out. You have very little to do other than send out the link again every so often.

* Comment. Not only on other blogs you follow, but respond to comments left on your own blog! Be interactive. Even if you just check up on your blog once or twice a day, take a moment to respond to comments left.

* Be concise. Don't ramble on too much in your post. (I have a very bad habit of doing this sort of thing.) You want people to read your blog, leave a comment and possibly share the post. So be short and to the point.

* Help the reader. Okay, what I mean by this is simply: DON'T make them have to put in a Captcha code to leave a comment. I have a huge blog list I follow. When I leave a comment, I want to just hit one button and go. Having to leave a comment, type in the captcha and then wait... well, sometimes the captcha is wrong so you have to retype it. The frustration of doing such a thing will piss off your followers and they'll never comment. They also will skip over your blog, knowing this. Blog sites are pretty good about catching all the spam comments. I have to delete maybe one every three months.

Something else that helps the reader: Have share buttons handy. Want this posted to Facebook? Twitter? Have a button nearby.

Now, while blogging is not a necessary tool to get your book published, I will say this: it will help your reader connect to you if that is what you are looking for. If you don't want people to connect with you, then don't blog. I followed a couple of author blogs loyally for a short while. What irritated me was the fact that I would leave a comment and the author would ignore it. I watched for awhile and realized that people either didn't comment or they did, knowing they would not receive a response. Sorry, but if you are blogging, acknowledge the reader who took the time to leave a comment. It's a modern day version of fan mail. Don't be a jerk.

If you liked this topic, I do have more things I can share with you. Leave me your comments and you know I'll get back to you!

~ Mel

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