Monday, January 2, 2012

Discusson of Blogs by Linda Glaz

There's been a lot of discussion lately on the importance or lack thereof of blogs. How do you all feel about blogging? Do you see promotion of your work, your sites, your ability to reach out or is blogging simply another obstacle to your writing?

Obviously, you want others to go to your blog, comment, help you draw their readers from their blogs to yours. Do you go to the other blogs or do you get "blogged down" with all the sites you need to visit?

Does blogging distract you from the immediate issue at hand? Your writing time...

Have you done a professional blog site? Are the results worth the time? Are you concerned with numbers, or the level of bloggers who follow you? In other words, are you a blog "snob" crunching numbers and name dropping?

Just thought I'd throw this out there and see whether you do or don't put much emphasis on blogs. Be part of the discussion. Care to share any thoughts?


Valerie Comer said...

I've been blogging for 6 or 7 years, but only moved my blog to a self-hosted Wordpress site two years ago. I really do think it is important, though it's frustrating trying to build a readership (especially one that COMMENTS!)

Personally, I'm aiming my blog more at readers than writers. I don't know what I can really add to the great writers-on-writing blogs there are out there, so I'm not trying. However, finding readers when I don't yet have a book out is probing in the dark, too.

I'm trying to be focused and consistent in what I'm doing. I'm also paying attention to what google searches are bringing people to my site and planning specific future posts so people with those searches will find more than one post when they arrive.

That's my take. Today, at least.

Rose said...

Hi Linda,

I started a blog last year and kept it up pretty good until I had writing deadlines.

Since I work a full-time job too, I let the blog go to focus on my writing. I was posting every day and just couldn't keep up and/or keep it fresh.

So here's my question about often is often enough? Daily, three times a week? Anyone have thoughts on this?

I do agree with Valerie, I was posting with writer's in mind and maybe should be changing that to readers but then what subject matter do readers want to see in a blog?


Linda Glaz said...

I worked with a lady who sets up blogs, sites, etc. for folks, and teaches classes on blogging. She says 3-4 times a week is needed to increase traffic. I've found that when I blog that often, folks don't comment as much. I try for 2x a week, but often fail that when things are crazy here. More often than not, blogs about writing techniques, etc. tend to be the best ones. I just can't keep up with the 3-4x a week, but Patty does it well and maintains multiple blogs to boot!

Valerie Comer said...

Rose, I committed to blogging Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Monday I post according to my personal interests--the ones that keep showing up in my books, anyway. Key right now is local food/green living, so I'm often posting in-season recipes.

Wednesdays I post reviews for current Christian novels. Although I rarely get comments on these, probably a third of my traffic comes from people googling for reviews, so I'll keep it up.

Fridays are about writing, with forays into family and fun. I'm starting into some posts about marketing as I gear for my first release.

I'd suggest taking a look at your brand and your stories' common themes and start blogging around those interests. I, at least, am hoping that readers who like what I like will eventually find me!

As for time to blog, sometimes it's scarce, but I do try to set up the posts for the coming week on the weekends.

Joanne Sher said...

I LOVE blogging. NO idea if I'm reaching the right people (guessing I'm not, actually), but it is certainly building my recognition, if nothing else. This year I"m committed to three times a week minimum.

Patty Wysong said...

Oh Linda, my favorite topic. LoL

Blogging is... hmmm. Fun, frustrating, addicting (for some of us *oops*), and useful, among many other things. Blogging is what has built whatever platform I have and yes, I love it. It does distract me and is my favorite form of procrastination, but it also spurs me on and has become a ministry and a way for me to reach outside the four walls of my home and my world. It's been very worth my time and has saved my sanity many months. I even blog on blogging. *eye roll*

Blogging is one of those things in life that I really don't understand the why of it.

Yes, I do name drop. =] It's a way of connecting, giving credit where it's due, introducing people, and 'sharing the love'. LoL. I know it helps the stats or rankings or whatever, but that's not my purpose. *shrug* Stats are important but they aren't everything. If I had to choose between stats and sanity, I'd choose sanity. ;-)

I know blogging doesn't work for everyone but I'm so very thankful for my blog. Er, make that my blogs. LoL. I feel it's something God has given me to do and a way I can help others--readers and writers.

Davalyn Spencer said...

I blog biweekly - not much, I know. I aim for inspirational rather than instructional and receive many comments via email and Facebook. At one point I had two blogs, one a spin-off from a weekly column I wrote for a daily in California. I have suspended that blog and stick with the main one for brief inspirational thoughts. Already I've earned a writing contract from a major publisher who made the decision based on my online writing.

Sometimes I guest-blog, but for my own site, biweekly is enough. I need to give every minute of my writing time to a monthly column for a national nonprofit, another for the local paper, and primarily to my novel pursuits: creating, tightening, revising, etc.

Honestly, I hope the blog simply serves to show an interested editor/publisher that I am serious enough about my writing to stay at it over the long haul.

Robin Bayne said...

I also have a day job, and lack time to write at all. But I want to keep up my blog, so I use it to post links to writing articles and showcase other authors' work.

Kathryn Elliott said...

I’m having a giggle at your post today, Linda. I had been contemplating a blog for some time before my editor gave me the final push. Apparently, after 15 years of AP format writing I began sliding a bit too much snark into dry story assignments. Her quote: “For the love of all that’s holy, blog! There is no room for wit in politics and police blotters!” So to answer your question: I blog for the love of creative writing and the security of a weekly paycheck. Happy New Year!

Heather Marsten said...

I've kept a blog of notes from Bible studies I attend since November of 2004, it helps me remember the teachings I receive from my Pastor and others. Today I started a new blog with an eye to sharing ways that helped me heal from abuse. I will see how that goes. I'm writing a memoir on my healing from abuse and wanted to share with others what worked for me. I am giving the link to the Bible study blog. What is cool is that people from around the world check out the blog and there are some sites that people love. Have a blessed New Year

Linda Glaz said...

It's fun to hear from strangers, isn't it? Especially when you share a bond...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Valerie. It's important to write your blog for your target audience(reader). I post twice a week, Mondays are faith posts, after all I write Christian fiction, and Wednesday's are about country living, from how to's on canning, cooking, sewing, gardening, etc. I write historical fiction, so this ties in well with my research. For example, I shared a recipe last week from what my heroine was cooking.
It is fun to hear from strangers, especially when they then become our online friend. :)

Timothy Fish said...

I think that if writers enjoy blogging, then they should do it. If they don't, then what they gain isn't worth it. Blogging works well for some people and for other it doesn't. Often, it is just the luck of the draw whether a site has a lot of readers and many comments or if it has very few. Even when considering well known authors, most of us are going to fall into the very few category. In that case, the blog is for those who do actually read it, but it is also for Google. The more information and links we can put out in cyberspace that points back to us, the more likely it is that someone will find us and our books through a random search. Occassionally, lightning strikes and that results in significant hits and book sales.

Heather Marsten said...

One thing that I've learned is that when someone leaves a comment it is helpful to respond and maybe try to read at least one of their posts. Comments begat comments. Sometimes it isn't easy. Lately I haven't been visiting my subscriber's blogs and I notice the lack of response to my posts as a result.

Have a blessed day.

mindsinger said...

I've been blogging on Word Press for five or six years but it was not until I began posting on all three blogs for the Jingle Poetry site that I began to get more followers and subscribers.
Marketing is most difficult for me. The blogs help, but I'm hoping this site and others like it will help me go forward.

Linda Glaz said...

Don't quit trying. Patty, above, is the queen of blogging as she blogs on many sites. I do think the more visibility, eventually, the more sales. Keep at it.