Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sheesh; I was never this concerned with popularity in High School.

This blog is intended to be my official "writer's blog", and I'm still flailing around a bit, trying to figure out what it should be.

It needs to be well-written, and I'm making an effort to do that. It needs to focus on my writing, and bingo, bango, bongo, I'm also doing that.

It needs to be entertaining, but when I post about whatever brain-fluff happens to be accreting on the inside of my skull, I'm not necessarily accomplishing that. What makes a subject a riveting bunch of wiffle to me does not necessarily make it gripping for anyone else to read. Content is something I need to work on.

Someone in my daily roster of blog/LJ reading recently posted a list of useful publishing tips (can't find the link now, mind you) and one of them was that your website should have something on it that will keep people coming back.

I already know what I'd like to do in this regard is provide critiques on other people's writing samples, because holy Hugo Weaving, I love being opinionated. I also think I'm pretty decent at picking things apart in meaningful way and saying what works and what doesn't. (Feel free to decide for yourself: I comment on Evil Editor's blog as "Whitemouse" and on Elektra's Crapometer as "Goblin".)

However, until I'm published - who really cares about my opinion? I'm better off sticking to EE and Elektra's sites for now.

Next, I have to make my blog non-invisible. Currently my fan base (Hi Claud!) is very small. The way to fix that is to get visible myself - start posting on the blogs I've been frequenting, but do so under this name. If I connect my blog to my previous pseudonyms, then some people will pop by simply because they're curious. If they find something of interest here, they'll comment. If not, oh well; that's my fault.

The next tactic is getting whoever swings by interested in having discussion in my comments section. One thing I've noticed works well for this is not just to have posts that interest people, but also to ask those people their opinions. Y'know - make it about them instead of me. (Oh, look; my ego is having a temper tantrum. Isn't it cute? Poor li'l wounded ego. *kicks ego*)

The ever-effervescent Claud recently steered me toward Jaye's Blog, and I think Jaye does this very well. Most of (his? her?) posts end on a question: What do you think? Has this happened to you? What's your story? People jump right in to answer.

Likewise, literary agent Nathan Bransford has a weekly "You tell me" feature, where he starts a discussion and then encourages interested parties to rampage around his comments section. It's usually quite popular.

And lastlastlast!! Um. I probably should try to write shorter posts. Heh.

The internet dismissal "tl;dr" ("too long; didn't read") contains a hard truth - people read this stuff to fill in the little corners of their day; they aren't willing to spend twenty minutes perusing a blog post unless it's really of interest to them, personally.

So...let me finish off by starting a good habit. How do you promote your blog and do you think about how to generate more traffic? Do you think it's important to do so, or do you find self-pimping distasteful? Please comment; I'd love to learn what you've found to be true!

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