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Starting a Blog (Help)

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#1 JordanTheNinja

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Posted 26 October 2016 - 08:00 AM

Hello, hello, hello!

 

 

I hope all of you are doing well! I'm attempting to consider ways to build my writing platform, and blogging appears to be the most efficient way for a writer to do that. However, I've attempted blogging in the past, and I feel that I'm awful at it. Of course, I had no idea what I was doing, and still don't, which is why I'm asking for some advice as to really establishing a blog (which blogging sites are good or do you like working with) as well as how to diversify your posts and really raise awareness that you're more than just another writer in a sea of many others. I have a little blog here on this website, yet I feel blogging as a way of platforming might be different (and I could be wrong.)

 

Any advice/tips would be appreciated! Thank you!


I am Jordan the Ninja, pleased to meet ya.

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#2 Blueberry Tide

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 01:51 PM

We're in the same boat. I did notice that my book review got more views than anything else so far, so I'm sticking with the reviews. See what works and what doesn't - that is, what gets the most views - and play that aspect up. 

 

I might also be horrible at blogging, so...it's a crapshoot. 



#3 KitCampbell

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 06:32 PM

I think it's important to have some sort of theme to your blog. You can have occasional posts outside your theme, as long as you mostly stay on topic. That helps readers know what to expect. It also helps come up with post ideas if you know you should stick to certain topics.

 

I won't claim to be a blogging expert, but I've been running my own for six years now, updating two or three times a week, so it seems to be generally working for me.



#4 RSMellette

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Posted 21 November 2016 - 09:23 PM

What Kit said.

 

Building your platform is the wrong objective. What is it you want to say? Figure that out, and your blog should fall into place.

 

You might also consider a video blog (vlog) as those seem to have replaced written blogs in many ways.


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#5 mwsinclair

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 08:08 AM

All good advice you're receiving. I still struggle with my blogging. I'm working on reformatting my blog and doing what Kit was saying essentially: having a theme (or series of related themes). I've been looking at blogs by fellow AQCers like Mindy McGinnis (Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire), Michelle Hauck, and Amy Trueblood among others as a guide to how I want mine to look, but what it really comes down to is dedicating time to it. The platform aspect of things will emerge from there. To my mind, developing a platform is more important for a nonfiction writer, whose credibility as an author is tied to being seen and regarded as having expertise. In fiction, you're trying to develop an audience, a following. Write your blog in a voice your readers will like and you'll develop it with a dash of self-promotion and a few sprinkles of grit. You can even write the blog in a voice different from your novels and it'll be fine. (Look at Mindy's, for example; her novels aren't nearly as funny as her blog.)



#6 Pen

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 10:37 AM

Keep in mind that I am no expert. I'm still new to this. But I have learned a lot and willing to share the results of my tiny experience with you.

 

Yes themes are the biggest thing. You can write the best about page in the history of history. But for the most part people do not care. If they look at your blog and see that you're talking about World of Warcraft they'll assume it's a gaming blog. Despite the other topics you have already blogged about.

 

For instance take a glance at my project (a WIP really) but you'll see that may be clumsy, not entirely streamlined. But you get the idea of what's it about by looking at it. I'll be getting some reviews done here shortly and I'll even post their information here if you'd like. Maybe what can help me will help you too.

 

http://club1506.com/

 

Another thing. Content. Stock pile it like a squirrel getting ready for winter. If you think you have enough get more. Have a lot of content on your initial launch and then have some more that you can release a few times a week over several weeks. This keeps your blog current, and promotes more visitors and retains visitors. If they're is always something new and up to date. You'll keep people coming to you.

 

DO NOT OFFER COMMENTS if you're starting off. Zero comments= a dead site. Like my site listed above. No comments= death. No one is willing to say anything. If you have a lot of people chatting about something then that encourages others to come and chat and etc. You'll know when you're ready when you get a lot of messages asking for such a feature.

 

 

Oh and don't forget about your SEO and the rules involved with it. Master the SEO and you'll be good to go. Use some keywords and create SEO rich content. The higher the SEO rating the more people will come to you ...so they say.

 

About your contact page (if you're going to use one) have like an info@site.com or info@gmail.com along with your contact form. A reviewer of my site stated, quite emphatically, that she hated how people didn't have a contact email typed out. She wasn't sure if they forms ever worked, or if the message ever gets sent. So having the address simply typed out (no links) made her feel comfortable with the fact that her message was sent.

 

Another don't have people scroll too much. I've reduced the length of my home page because I found that people will only move the scroll wheel twice. Which put them at half of my home page. And they missed everything else. So short and simple.

 

Create a newsletter. I've read something like that helps keep people engaged over time, or you can people sign up for email notifications. 

 

Again I'm going to get more reviews and analysis surveys done on my site and I'll be more than happy to share those reports with you. 



#7 mwsinclair

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Posted 28 November 2016 - 10:07 AM

The newsletter comment is interesting. Frankly, I'm not sure whether they still work or not. They're vital if you want to create a mailing list, and that can be very important for developing the platform you'll require moving forward. But I'm not quite sure how many people really sign up for newsletters any more because everyone gets so bogged down by email. I'd love to hear what others think about this. I've been on the fence for a couple years about whether to start and maximize use of newsletters.



#8 Pen

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 05:05 PM

The newsletter comment is interesting. Frankly, I'm not sure whether they still work or not. They're vital if you want to create a mailing list, and that can be very important for developing the platform you'll require moving forward. But I'm not quite sure how many people really sign up for newsletters any more because everyone gets so bogged down by email. I'd love to hear what others think about this. I've been on the fence for a couple years about whether to start and maximize use of newsletters.

 

I'm not sure if you tried this or not... but for you I'd think something like constant contact might work but then again I don't know too much about it. It's just what I hear.

 

Good point about the newsletter though. I personally don't get them but that doesn't mean other people will follow suit.







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