Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling book We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media. Every Wednesday I dedicate this blog to help improve your social marketing skills. If you are a verteran reader of this blog, feel free to scan down to the next header. But, for the newbies…
For the past month we have been talking about blogging. Everyone seems to be telling writers they need to blog (um…you do), but few people are telling writers what to blog about or how to get started. Each of these lessons builds upon the previous lesson so I recommend that, if you are new, go back and read the other posts. They will save you a ton of time.
Blogging Part I—Meet the Bright Idea Fairy then Shoot Her teaches how to know the difference between a really good idea, versus a total time-waster in disguise.
Blogging Part 2—Don’t Feed the Trolls is an exploration into how to find good blog topics that will connect you to future READERS.
Blogging Part 3—Tearing Up the SEO in 2011 explains how to use search engines to your advantage. What good is a rocking blog if no one can FIND it?
Blogging Part 4—The Future is Now discussed the shifts in the publishing paradigm and why blogging will give you a distinctive edge ahead of the non-blogging or half-ass blogging competition.
Blogging Part 5—The Counterintuitive Nature of Social Media Influence debated how effective blogging is for the fiction author. Can your blogs reach readers? I also gave tips for increasing blog traffic.
Blogging Part 6—Maintaining Your Sanity and Your Blog
Okay, I know a lot of you are fired up about starting a new blog or even just buckling down and breathing new life into that old blog that’s been invaded by dust bunnies and spam bots in your comments.
I so lick your blog. Is beste infermentation ever. My blog same. See you like. http://www.sportszanexhussycoedsluts.com
If you are anything like me, you heard about blogging and took off like a shot. I opened an account, chose a wicked-cool background, posted a blog…then three weeks later ran out of something to say.
True story about how I ended up on WordPress.
I started on Blogger. I loaded my blogs then kept going to my link to look at my page, in awe that I had created something. Kind of like giving birth, but no drugs. I would pop over to ooh and aaah over my awesome turquoise…no, black background with red letters…no, flowers and babbling brook background with italics text. I would get misty-eyed at the sheer beauty and genius of my widgets (I had just learned what those were).
My blog is sooo pretty. She is the prettiest blog ever. I think I will call her Tiffany.
What was even better was that, even though no one knew me, I already had 15 hits on my first day of blogging. Proof I was brilliant and that soon the world would be dying to hear what I had to say. I was a blogging genius. I knew this every time I visited my page.
35 views! OMG!!!!
Hmmmmm. No one has left a comment.
Let me go check my page again.
36 views. What????? Wait a minute. Click.
37 views. WTH? Click.
Are you kidding me???? Great, the 38 visitors was ME. Moron. I changed over to WordPress because, at the time, the analytics kept me honest. Clicking on my own site didn’t count.
Okay, yeah maybe I shouldn’t have told you guys that story.
I be an expert :D.
The thing is, I didn’t go into blogging understanding what I was doing. I had a lot of trial and error and have had 4 years to throw noodles against the wall and see what sticks. Blogging can be the best experience ever, or it can make you hate your life, your computer, and your dog. Even if you already started your blog, these tips should help you as well.
Before you start writing blogs, brainstorm. We have talked about blogging on topic or by demographic. Sit down and pick a subject and see how many possible topics you can generate. Go for at least 100. Here is an example.
A writer of paranormal romance wants to start blogging.
Readers of these types of books would generally like to hear about romance, the paranormal or even writing. Many writers are readers and vice versa. 78% of Americans say they are interested in writing a book, so blogging on writing is a good way to reach a lot of people. But let’s pick paranormal.
It is safe to say that an author who writes paranormal romance likes the paranormal. I think it is also safe to say that readers who eat up paranormal romance probably like MysteryQuest, X-Files, Ghosthunters, etc. So a paranormal romance author could sit down and just start writing a list of topics that would interest people who dig spooks, spirits and stuff that goes bump in the night. Heck, blogging on topic is a great way to recycle the research information used in writing the novel.
Brainstorm possible topics ahead of time. You don’t have to write about them right now, but that list will percolate in your subconscious. Your subconscious mind will become more in tune to the topics and will pick up on articles, shows, etc. that you can blog about. Sort of like, I never noticed red Honda Civics until I bought one.
Pick the Top 15
Pick your favorite 15 off that list, then take a day or three and write nothing but blogs. Load them into the queue. If your goal is to post 3X a week, you are already….
Crap. Need paper. Hold on. Carry the one. Multiply by pi. Why does it smell like something is burning?
You are already 5 weeks ahead! Now when you launch your blog (start telling people about it on FB, Twitter, etc.) your blog will look more professional and established. It is easier to be confident to send someone to our blog when we at least give the impression we’ve been at this a while and know what we’re doing. I say fake it until you make it ;).
I try to always have a week of posts loaded in the queue. I pick a day and just write blogs. Then I am free to do the other writer stuff the rest of the week…drinking, prank calling my parole officer,bathing my sea monkeys, testing the viscosity of low-fat buttercream icing. You know, research!
Tag, Tag, then Tag Some More
Make sure you tag all of your blogs with your name. The goal of blogging is to build YOU. I see too many writers who have killer blogs…but their names are nowhere in the tags. Go read Blogging Part 3. Google the Codependent Genie needs a hand in finding you.
After you tag with your name, go and add as many tags as you can think of that could be used in a search. In the blogosphere, the best way to find blogs, like anything, is word of mouth. But sometimes we just want to know about something, so we google it. We will use this blog as an example.
Blogging Part 6—Maintaining Your Sanity and Your Blog
Tags: blog, blogging, writers
Yeah, I see a lot of that. Three tags. Um, I want you to picture the Internet as one big carnival and doing a search is like being at the ring-toss booth and our goal is the big pink unicorn (the loyal, subscribing readers).
Do you seriously want to belly up to the bar with three freaking rings?
Noooooo. Man up and bring in the real firepower.
Tags: Kristen Lamb, marketing, promotion, promoting, blog, blogger, blogging, write, writer, writing, fiction, author, We Are Not Alone, organization, time-management, success, platform, readers, publishing, google, brainstorm….
You know you want it.
Okay, you get the point. Be a Tagging FREAK! Own the Ring-Toss. Claim that Pink Unicorn! You are allowed more than three tags. They are free. No one is going to auto-debit from your account. Help your future fans find you.
More next week on constructing a killer blog. I am working to make mine shorter-blech. Michael Hyatt had some good points, but he made me all self-conscious about my long blogs. His blogs are short, but mine are way funnier :P.
What are some of the biggest challenges you guys face when it comes to blogging? What helps you? Any advice?
Until next time…..
Give yourself the gift of success so you can ROCK 2011. My best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.
Also, I highly recommend the Write It Forward Workshops. Learn all about plotting, how to write great characters, and even how to self-publish successfully…all from the best in the industry. I will be teaching on social media and building a brand in March. For $20 a workshop, you can change your destiny….all from the comfort of home. It is not too late to sign up for the workshop Selling Your Book taught by USA Today Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer. This workshop is for all authors, but any self-pubbed writers would stand to gain amazing benefit.
Mash-Up of Awesomeness
Fave Blog of the Week Why Your Novel Won’t Get Published by Chuck Wendig
To Book Trailer or Not? Do they really work? Are trailers worth the time and expense? Bob Mayer
How You Decide on Your Author Brand Part II by Paranormal Author Jami Gold
Why I Stopped Reading Your Blog by Michael Hyatt. Funny, I didn’t know he was reading my blog. Kidding! He makes some good points.
The Left Brain, The Right Brain and Everything In Between by Jenni Holbrook
3 Tips to Writing a Better Book Proposal by @BubbleCow
Is the Query System Dying? by Jodi Hedlund
How to Dish Out Backstory in Digestable Bites by Roni Loren
Mother, She’s Just a False Protagonist by Peter St. Clair
Get Your Nerd On:
Manon Eileen’s Affective Neuroscience