I have a standing date with my computer on Monday night for the last five years. During the previous week, I take notes, compile thoughts and research. I spend at least two hours crafting a cohesive essay. Once finished, the piece is uploaded to Female in Motion’s Blogger site and Networked Blogs sees that it makes its way to my Facebook fan page, Twitter feed and BlogFrog community.
Why keep a blog? Some of the reasons could be to educate the public on a subject you are an authority on, to earn money, to create a platform for a cause or mission, to share a hobby or interest, to express yourself, or to advertise a business. Writers in today’s competitive market are finding agents and publishers encouraging them to blog in order to create interest in their books.
- Design a blog. According to TechGainer, the top five blog hosts are Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, LiveJournal and Xanga. For most users, it takes around thirty minutes to build.
- Determine the look of your blog. Do you want sleek, sophisticated images, or a warm, homey background? Templates are available on the blog sites, or you can drop in your own visuals.
- Decide what purpose and content your blog will contain. Do you want it to be directed at your readers, or other writers?
Do not keep a blog:
If you have to force yourself on a daily or weekly basis to blog.
If you routinely complain, “I don’t have anything to write about!”
If you’re using it as a dodge not to write your book…or another book.
I have learned some things about blogging in the last five years. It’s vital to write well. No shortcuts. No sloppiness. Use good, concise prose…with proper grammar. Keep a schedule. Post every day, week, or month. You may run the risk of losing readers’ interest if you post seldom or sporadically.
Make sure your blog’s focus is something you are passionate about. If not, it won’t keep you motivated to write every day, week, and month. I keep a file with ideas and notes for future blog posts. It also contains links to interesting articles I have found. I’m never out of ideas. I just keep replenishing the well. It takes discipline at first, and then it becomes muscle memory.
Link your blog to Hootsuite or Networked Blogs to manage the frequency and content of your postings. Never stop tweaking the look of your site. It’s refreshing. If you want to do any add-ons or gadgets, you can refer to help features on the site or just Google it.
A blog is a long-term commitment to share your writing with the general public, or at least your corner of the worldwide Web. The environment you create in your books should be recreated in your blog. It’s a great way to stay connected and current with your readers. If they see you care about them, they will respond in kind.
“A blogger is constantly looking over his shoulder, for fear that he is not being followed.” –Robert Brault, American writer