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Friday, December 21, 2007

BLOGGING Day Two With Tiffany Colter

Blogging: Part Two

Welcome back. If you missed yesterday’s post about who should blog and the basics, just scroll down and read what my guest Tiffany Colter, Writing Career Coach, had to say. Today, she will answer a few more questions.

You mentioned yesterday that you post blogs of note on Friday. What are the essential ingredients for writing a blog of note? One that draws readers?

Easy-offer useful content. I always ask myself the question “Would I be happy after reading this post?” I want to have a blog that someone like me would find useful. My goal is to be THE place on the internet for aspiring writers to go to learn how to fulfill their dream of publication.

Not only that, but I want established writers to be able to come to my blog and find valuable content that helps move their writing to the next level.

I offer products to help even more but when I started out as a writer I couldn’t afford ANYTHING for my writing. Finances were very tight. That’s why I strive to have a blog that will give substantial useful content for free. Money, or lack of money, should never block a person’s dreams.

A concern many people have is the amount of time it takes to write blog posts and visit other people’s blogs. What can a writer do to streamline this process so that it doesn’t dip into our real writing time?

This is a legitimate concern and one that blocked me from blogging for eight months. First, writers need to see this as a part of their marketing, not an interruption. Second, writers need to find a way to quickly do this.

I write all my blogs on one day, usually Monday or Saturdays. I save them in a file “This weeks blogs” or I date it “Blog for week of 12/23”. Then I type Monday, Tuesday’s blogs, I have my daughter write her blog for Wednesday, then I copy and paste the file for Thursday [or write Thursday’s]. The blogs of note are in a separate file that I add to when someone tells me of a great blog or I find one myself. This takes me about 30-60 minutes to do once a week. Then I copy and paste on my blog [which takes about 2 minutes] each day and spend 10-20 minutes visiting other blogs. That comes out of the hour I spend each day marketing my writing and business.

If someone is REALLY pressed for time and can only post to their blog [which I was when I started this blog], then you can write the blogs for the week on Saturday and post them during the week. That’s less than 1 hour a week. Not a huge sacrifice.

How can bloggers get more people to visit their blogs? Are contests beneficial to getting visitors?

I have not had luck with contests. They can be good but unless you’re a book reviewer who posts the review and then gives away that book I don’t think you’re getting meaningful visitors. I covered some ways to drive traffic to your blog a month ago. I’ve posted the link here:

In addition to that, make sure you’re giving valuable information and let friends know about it. Word of mouth is by far the best advertising.

Once an author is published, should he have a blog for published works or something that is genre specific for what he writes? Ex: suspense only, YA, romance.

That depends on how much time someone wants to commit to blogging. For the time being I’m only writing the one blog. If I find my readers want more, I’ll consider doing a second blog only if it won’t take too much time from writing.

As a Writing Career Coach, what other blogging advice could you give that we haven’t talked about?

The best advice I can give is to come to my blog. :-)

In addition to that, find 5 or 6 blogs that give good content that you trust. Visit subscribe to them and visit them when they post new content. This can be some of the most useful time you spend learning. Make sure these blogs offer content and not chatter. This is marketing and research time. The few minutes you spend each day visiting those blogs will pay big dividends when you’re marketing your book.

And don’t forget to make comments on those blogs. Blogs are a conversation, that’s what makes them so popular. Learn what you can from them.

I hope to see lots of you on my subscriber list.

Thank you so much, Tiffany, for your time and insights.

I hope all of you will follow Tiffany’s advice and leave a comment here. Questions? Please ask, and we’ll see if we can get Tiffany to answer. Starting a blog can be intimidating. Having a blog is not. Once you’re up and going, I’ve found that it’s a great way to meet people and share what’s going on in my writer’s head as well as sharing great news about books and the craft of writing. You never know until you try :-)


Myra Johnson said...

Very informative posts these past couple of days. Thanks for inviting Tiffany over, Carla! I learned a lot!

Sonjia Bradshaw said...

Thanks so much for posting such GREAT information. I love this kind of practical how-to guidance on topics pertinent to writers! Thanks again