--- On Fri, 2/27/09, sammael_n <sammael_ben_nephilim@...> wrote:
I am relatively new to the community in general, and I consistently
encounter the concept that blogging is an essential part of the modern
freelance writer. I will confess unabashedly that I never was one of
those people who kept a diary or journal, even as a child, and while I
can find subject matter in the strangest of places and most mundane
items, I still feel entirely clueless about the whole concept of
blogging. I have many questions, and frankly, I doubt I even know all
the questions I need to ask
Personal blogging would relate to a diary or journal, but that's not what professional blogging is about. For a writer, your blog is a tool to create a following. Get out there so that people can find you and see if they like what you have to say. Those who do, will keep coming back. They will remember your name. Then, when you have a book published, you have a ready-made list of people waiting to buy it.
It's all part of branding. In today's world, no matter who your publisher is, you have to market yourself. A traditional NY publisher will get your book into book stores, but you are still the one who has to get it sold. Branding your name and building a following are the best ways to do that.
*What kind of topics should I write my blog about?*
That depends on what you write about professionally. If you're writing fantasy fiction, that's what you need to talk about. Introduce your readers to the characters in your story, and the world they live in. Discuss other fantasy novels, including what is similar and different to yours. Once you get a following, posting an excerpt or a short story is a good idea. What you want to do is build a word-of-mouth following.
*What blogging site offers the most opportunity for compensation to the
new and clueless blogger?*
Clueless bloggers don't make money. They don't build a following either. Study, and get a clue first.
The best thing to do is become a voracious reader of blogs. Read the popular ones and figure out what makes them popular. Read some bad ones and figure out what makes people go away and not come back. Get to know the field before you jump into it.
There are a few paid bloggers, but that's a hard-to-find job. The main way to make money with a blog is to put ads on it, and build a lot of followers who will click the links and buy something. The bigger your following, the more chances that somebody will buy.
If you are starting a blog to make money from the blog itself, give up now. It's not going to happen. Making money from a blog is a hard job. Concentrate on using the blog to promote yourself, and consider any ad income an bonus.
*How much detail should I put into the graphical design of my blog?*
Don't get carried away. A blog should be easy to read. Too many novice bloggers concentrate on making the page fancy. Many times that makes the text unreadable. People don't come to see your pretty pictures. They come because you have something interesting to say.
*How frequently should I post?*
Some people post daily. Some post 2-3 times a week. Others post weekly. Some, (like my personal blog) post VERY weakly. lol
At least once a week is best. If you have something to say, more often is fine. But if you post less than once a week, your readers will forget about you. Once they come back a couple times and find nothing new, they're gone.
*How should a blogger deal with writer's block when he/she feels the
need to post something new?*
Writer's Block is a mental condition. It means you don't like what you're writing about. Find something else to write about, something that you find interesting. Or, for a blog, write about writer's block. "Why can't I think of anything interesting to write about? Has anything interesting happened in your life lately?" Your posts should draw people to comment. One of the best ways is to ask a question.
*How do I attract traffic to my blog?*
First thing is to make it interesting. Then get out there and leave comments on other blogs. Make sure your comment includes a link back to your blog. People who like what you say in the comments will click the link to see what else you have to say.
Again, word-of-mouth. When your blog is interesting, your readers will talk about it with other people. Many will post a blog of their own, with a link to yours. That exposes your blog to everyone who reads theirs.
*Any questions you can think of that I did not list, which you can
answer, please do. This blog stuff is completely foreign to me.*
A blog is just one piece of your marketing/branding plan. It needs to work together with the other parts like your website, your email signature, your participation in groups, your book, etc. It all has to work together.
*Thanks a billion!*
Why, you're very welcome! Can I have that in small bills? ;)
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