Blogging: Part OneThe holidays are coming at us fast and furious, but I know many of you have been toying with the idea of starting a blog in the new year. Others may be wanting to make their blogs more relevant and or less time-consuming. I’ve asked Tiffany Colter, Writing Career Coach, to answer a few questions for all of us.
Thank you, Tiffany, for being my guest today. I’m fairly new to blogging myself and know that it scares many people. How important is it for a writer to become one of millions who blog?
That really depends on what your goals are as a writer and who your target audience is. If you write books targeted to the over 50 group there may be less of a need than if you write chick-lit.
I have to admit, I really wasn’t big in to blogging. I started a blog a year ago and really didn’t do much with it. I’m a writing career coach, and as such, I spend a great deal of time researching marketing principles that help writers build their business. As I did this I kept coming back to needs that could be met by blogging.
Let me say, if you HATE to blog and you hate the idea of coming up with something relevant to say then you’ll do yourself more harm by having a blog that is never updated. But, if you’re committed to spending 15 minutes a few times a week to make it work-it’s worth your time.
I’ve heard that focus on a particular area is the primary thing to consider when starting a blog. Is it better for an unpublished author to have a general focus or concentrate on one or two areas? (ex: book reviews and author interviews or the craft of writing and professional tips or areas of expertise and your preferred genre).
Hmmm, another good question. If anyone’s been to my blog they know I don’t focus on one area exclusively. Monday I post marketing tips, on Tuesdays we apply what we’ve learned by taking a book idea and saying “How would you market this?” On Wednesdays my daughter does book reviews of kids books [she’s a 9 year old who is a voracious reader….proud mommy moment here.] Thursday I’ll either have people in the industry [Writers, Editors, Agents, Publishers] post or we cover more on marketing. Friday I post blogs of note. This is a list of blogs that I’ve read or my readers have read that have valuable content.
While this covers one basic topic-books-my blogs have shown up in blog carnivals that cover business, marketing, family, women in business and a host of different areas. So I’d say that you don’t need to cover only one or two areas but be consistent so your readers know what to expect.
What blog providers do you recommend for the faint at heart or those who are just starting out? Which ones seem more user friendly?
Wow, I wish I could help more on this. I use shoutlife and blogger and am happy with both of them. I try to only speak from experience so that’s the best I can answer for you there.
Can a blog take the place of a website? Why or why not?
Wow, tough question. I actually have both for my Writing Career Coach products. www.WritingCareerCoach.blogspot.com and www.WritingCareerCoach.com I suggest authors get their domain name so they can use it if they need to.
I will say this. It’s better to have a blog that you post to even 3 times a week rather than an outdated website that sits there and does nothing.
Thanks, this is all great advice.
I hope you’ll drop by the Café again tomorrow to find out what you can do to increase traffic to your blog and streamline the writing for more efficient use of your time. In the meantime, take a break from the holiday madness, have a cup of your favorite brew, and reflect on the joy of the season. Until then . . .