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Monday, August 5, 2013

Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog, Blog, and Blog Some More

By Terry Spear

Do you blog? Why?
This is just like creating your stories. Why do your characters do the things they do?
You have to have a good reason—a goal—for blogging. Just like you should have a good reason for anything you do.
Here are some reasons for blogging, good or otherwise:
  1. To promote your book
  2. To share something of your life with your readers
  3. To get stuff off your chest
  4. Have nothing better to do
  5. Like to write
  6. Easier than writing the book
  7. Addicted to blogging
  8. Hate to do it, but know editors and agents are looking to see how well you socially network
  9. To help others, ie-writing/cooking/cleaning/tips blog
  10. Rarely blog, but have one to say you have one—you know, like you have a blog addy, twitter addy, FB addy, website addy, etc.
Yes, some of these are not the best reasons to blog: Easier than writing the book is probably the worst! If we intend to be published or have more books published, we need to focus on the book.
Some at face value might sound like bad choices, such as: getting stuff off your chest. Sure you don't want to write about how your boss was so mean to you, or all about your divorce proceedings, or how your neighbor sued you for your dog chewing up his rubber duckie in the backyard wading pool.
But some blogs are fine—like I talked about the frustration of web browsers and why can't they all work for everything? I know there are techies out there who can give us a good reason, but the average person just knows that it doesn't work and how annoying it can be. Case in point, I can't use Blogger on Google Chrome, but I can use Firefox. I couldn't sign into my electric company's account with Firefox, I had to sign in using Google Chrome. I can't register for RWA Nationals on one of them. And I can't update my web page on two of them. And, no matter how many times I have this trouble, I never think of it before I'm ready to pull my hair out.
With a post like this, readers and writers alike can relate.
Which brings me to another point. If you gear your blogs to a self-help site, that's great. But if you're a writer/author, you might want to focus more on readers. Yes, writers are readers, which is why we want to make it general enough that everyone will be happy.
When I've written writer-specific posts, my readers let me know they're not writers. They feel left out. So I stick to general posts.
I write daily. I copy and post to another blog which has another distribution. I share the links on FB, Linked-In, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest (the picture on the blog, but it links to my blog post).
Why do I write daily?
  1. I'm goal oriented. It's my daily thing to accomplish first thing each morning.
  2. It jumpstarts my writing process like a writing prompt before I get starting on my novel writing or editing.
  3. It allows me to share stuff with readers. I don't think I have that many readers because I don't get that many comments, but occasionally, when the mood hits them, or I touch on a topic that they can really relate to, they comment. Recently, I was sharing what a mess my living room is with trying to paint it and we had fun sharing cleaning up when visitors come.
  4. I help to jumpstart some readers' days for them. Some readers say they like to pop in on a daily basis to see what I have to say before they start their day. Now how cool is that?
  5. I've had fans check my weather to see if I'm under severe thunderstorms if I'm not able to post, figuring I'm without satellite again. Who would ever have thought?
  6. I can share when a new book is out, audio book version, review copies, new cover is up.
  7. I share my voice with my readers in my blogs—like when I had commenters say they were laughing out loud when they read my post about how I was trying to upload a file to Createspace to create a print book and it kept telling me: You need Highspeed Internet. And then the commenters apologized for laughing but said it was just too funny. I meant it to be. It WAS funny. And that's my voice. In my blogs and in my books.
  8. I love connecting with readers. I post a link on FB and connect with my fans there. It's a daily shout out to wave and say, "Good morning!" I share a picture and a blog link and a question or comment.
  9. I enjoy blogging. It's not something I have to do, that I feel made to do. I have a really busy schedule with a blog tour coming up and 30 guest posts to write, another conference, edits, and deadlines on new books. But I still love to do it.
  10. Blogging allows me to leave my writer's world and connect with the rest of the world for a brief moment in time.
The best reason for blogging is that you love doing it. You don't have to do it. There are all kinds of other ways to reach out to readers and writers.
That said, I've had 1100-1400 visitors on my one blog per day the last couple of weeks. I blog daily there. I have NO comments. If you have regular readers, they give up on you if you go for a time and don't bother blogging. You want to consistently blog. It really helps to get consistent readers.
Be sure to have a catchy Title. Just like a news article that screams sensationalism, you want something that helps you to catch the reader's attention. And of course, relates to what you're writing about.
Hey, and if you've written a GREAT blog and no one came to the site that day, you can always recycle it. No one will ever be the wiser. :)
So blog to your heart's content. Or not. It's truly up to you.But if so, Happy Blogging!
Terry Spear

She's being pursued by everyone, in more ways than one.
Even in an exotic world of humans, jaguars, and tantalizing creatures who shift between the two, Maya Anderson stands out from the crowd. Interest from human suitors is bad enough, but when male shifters give chase, the real trouble starts.
Who's the hunter and who's the prey?

Investigating the black marketing trade of exotic animals keeps Wade Patterson more than busy. When he and Maya both get entangled in a steamy jungle mission, it becomes impossible to tell who is being hunted or who the hunters are. Wade is desperate to survive this deadly game of cat and mouse. But it's Maya's piercing eyes that keep him awake at night.  


USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over fifty paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 Heart of the Wolf was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas. For more information, please visit www.TerrySpear.com, follow her on Twitter, @TerrySpear, and like her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/terry.spear.


Stacy McKitrick said...

I started my blog because I thought it was the right thing to do, since I had become serious with my writing. What I didn't expect was enjoying it so much.

I usually just blog about me. While it helps me at year end when I'm writing my Christmas letter to remind me what I did all year, (haha!), I figure if a reader is looking for me, they want to see me, and what I'm doing.

One day I hope to have 1400 hits in a week. And WHEN that day comes (being positive here), I won't freak out, because blogging is my routine now (500+ posts).

Mary A said...

I started a blog because I really wanted to write. I tried to use it as a self starter for my stories. It didn't work. Then I wrote nonsense I wish I hadn't. Letting my past get in the way. I'm not sure what I really want to write so I have a blank page for now.
When I truly have something burning to put down that will inspire me myself and maybe others I will start writing. "Never give up never surrender." (Glaxy Quest)
and "Keep moving forward" Walt Disney, my favorite sayings.Truth is it's never to late to begin again.:)

Angela Adams said...

Hi, Terry,

I started my blog to connect with other romance readers and writers. I not only post about my stories, but happenings going on in the romance/publishing industry.

Nancy said...

I started a blog before I was published and now I enjoy adding things to the site as well as interviewing other authors. It is hard to talk about 'me', so I do that as a guest on other blogs. Coming up with unique ideas to write about is fun!

Terry Spear said...

Thumbs up, Stacy!!! Good for you! I wrote about the paranormal thing that was growing in my fridge. You know, most people can relate. And it's fun when that happens!!!

Mary, I so agree. Sometimes I have a time trying to figure out what to write. I've had about 35 guest posts to write for the new release of Jaguar Fever and I want to talk about other stuff. So I'll be at the grocery store and see two people together, both on their cell phones, or at a restaurant, and the same thing. And I'll think--got to write about that! What would a shifter do in a situation like that? LOL

Angela, that sounds great!! It's fun just thinking about normal everyday things to talk about too. Like... we have had a drought and then RAIN!! Yay! And then...my roof starts leaking. Ack! :) Just another paranormal day.

Nancy, it is, and sometimes I think it can be a way to ease you into writing your story. Blog, get it out of the way, and start anew. :)

Thanks to everyone for dropping by and commenting!!

Mirka Breen said...

"The best reason for blogging is that you love doing it. You don't have to do it. There are all kinds of other ways to reach out to readers and writers."

Perfect^. Best reason to do anything.