Blogging 101

I have a blog site, but no one reads it. How do I attract an audience?

Read this post and all the comments.

Do you think it’s better to have a separate blog from your website or blog within your website? Or does it matter?

Whichever is easiest for you. But if your blog is separate from your website, make sure it has links back to your website that are obvious and easy to find.

Is there an advantage to blogging with others (i.e. Writers in Heels, Six LDS Writers and a Frog, etc.)?

Yes! More exposure. Their readers will read you on the group blog. If they like you, they’ll also start visiting your personal blog.

How do I [insert technical stuff here]?

With all the technical questions I’m getting, I’m starting to think maybe I should dump this blog and start one on blogging, etc. Oh, wait. That would make me a geek–a fate that should be avoided no matter what the cost. (sigh) Here are a few of the resource sites that I use:
Blogging Basics 101
Blogger Tips & Tricks
The Real Blogger Status

I’m fascinated that so many people can find time to not only write books/articles/stories, but also find the time to write consistently interesting and helpful blogs.

Priorities. It is Your Job as an author to promote yourself and your work.

I feel like I have nothing of interest to blog about. There are so many talented authors with so much more experience, why would anyone want to read something I’ve written on a blog? How can I offer anything of value to readers?

I’m sort of shocked by this question. The whole point of being a writer is that you have something burning inside, something to say. If you don’t have anything to say, then your novel won’t have much to offer either. If this is truly, truly how you feel, and not just a moment of discouragement, you shouldn’t be looking at writing as a career choice.

That’s all I have about blogs. On to the next question…

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I may not get all the blogging terminology correct here because I’m new to blogging myself. Also, I am not a geek—at least, not on Wednesdays. But you’ll be able to get the general concept behind these ideas.

The most important thing about having a blog is to get your name and writing style noticed. If people recognize your name on the cover of a book, they’re more likely to buy it. Also, because repeat visitors to your blog like you, when you announce your book, they’ll be very likely to run out and buy it. Or at least check it out from the library.

The blogging community is one of your biggest assets when it comes to driving traffic to your own blog site. Here are some ideas:

  1. Find bloggers you like and ask them to trade links with you. You put their link in your sidebar; they’ll put your link in their sidebar.
  2. Comment on blogs. Lots of them. And don’t do it anonymously! When you leave a comment, readers can click on your name to go to your profile and from there, they can click on your blog. That’s too many clicks for me, so I also suggest…
  3. Create a signature with a link to your blog and post it at the bottom of every comment you leave.
  4. Join blogging communities. There are gobs of things out there you can join. Some are referral blogs (what are these things called?) which are basically lists of blogs that focus on a particular topic or area, or whose writers fit a certain profile—like www.ldswomenblogs.blogspot.com which Josi so graciously told us about in her wise use of the comments section on this blog. Some blogs sponsor short term programs, like a book club or something, and will let you sign up and participate. Join as many of these as you can. Post comments to all the other member’s sites. (Please post your favorite blog communities in the comments section.)
  5. Join forums. There are gobs and gobs of online forums. Join them. Post comments. Use your signature with a link back to your blog. (Please post your favorite forums in the comments section.)
  6. Personal e-mail—use your signature here too. Every personal e-mail that you send out should have a link back to your blog. Your friends want to know about your blog. They like you. They’ll support you.

All of these ideas (and many others that I hope readers will suggest in the comments section of this post) will get people to visit your blog. Keeping them as regular readers is another thing altogether.

The most important factor in building a regular readership for your blog is GOOD WRITING! Interesting, unique, entertaining, informative.

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Blogging 101—Settings, Part 3

June 26, 2007

Before I start on today’s list, I forgot a setting from yesterday. It’s under “Publishing.” Send Pings—Yes. This notifies the web crawlers that you’ve added new stuff to your blog. The more often you add stuff, the higher you move in the search engines. Template: If you are new to blogging, stick with a standard […]

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Blogging 101—Settings, Part 2

June 25, 2007

I’m using Blogger as my resource for the order in which I talk about settings. I am only discussing the ones that directly effect using your blog as a marketing tool for your writing. In Blogger, many of these settings have a question mark beside them that you can click on for more info. If […]

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Blogging 101-Settings, Part 1

June 22, 2007

If you’re blogging for promotional reasons (and if you’re an author or wanna-be, that should be your #1 focus), there are a few settings and other things that will make this easier for you. Domain name: Choose your domain name carefully because you cannot change it later. Most people will come to your blog through […]

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Blogging 101-Getting Started

June 21, 2007

I’ve been inundated with questions about blogging, so I’ll be doing a short series of posts about where and when and how and all that jazz, with an emphasis on how best to use this to promote your writing career. This will be old hat for some of you who are experienced bloggers but I’m […]

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Blogging for Readers

June 15, 2007

When do you think it’s important to establish a web presence? Before you ever have hope of being published, after acceptance of your manuscript, or when the book comes out? Do you think a blog is sufficient for a web presence? When do I think wanna-be writers should establish a web presence? YESTERDAY. If your […]

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