In the movie Julie and Julia, Julie has a friend who sold her blog to HBO as a series. Julie then creates her own blog The Julie/Julia Project as a way of showcasing her writing talents and as we all know, that became a book and now a movie. I understand that Diablo Cody-who wrote the movie Juno-was discovered when writing her stripper blog. It would seem that blogging is the way to fame and fortune... or is it?
There are millions of blogs out there now. The chances of being "discovered" blogging are the same as an actress being discovered working in a mall in middle America. So, why blog?
Blogging is a good way to meet readers, other writers, to create buzz, to showcase your work, and to build a community.
But all I want to do is write books, you say. Do I have to blog? Answer in a nutshell-blogging is smart marketing for you and your books, but only if it's done well. If you can't devote time and thought to your blog...updating it at least once a week. Don't blog. You're wasting your time and readers will lose interest.
If you want to blog, here are a few tips for good blogging:
1) Post at least once a week on the same day. Example: I update this blog every Sunday. Be consistent. Some people blog on M,W,F. Others blog T,Th. Set a schedule and keep it. This way you will become a part of your readers routine.
2) Create a theme for your blog and reflect it in your blog title. Example: In Julie and Julia she titled her blog- The Julie/Julia Project and created a blog with an over all goal in mind- cooking her way through Julia Child's cook book in one year. If you are a regular reader of this blog, hopefully you've noticed my theme is writing-craft, marketing, and reviews that I try to center around writing and story telling.
3)Think of your blog as a newsletter/magazine. Create a calendar, a schedule, have a plan for what you want to say up to a year in advance. That way you're never caught wondering what to talk about when your day comes around.
4)Most importantly-ensure that what you say has what marketers call "value added" content. It offers your readers something they can use. For Julie it was hints, tips and the ugly truth of a "servant-less housewife" attempting to prepare French cuisine.
Lastly, 5) Get involved in the blogging community. Take the time to visit other blogs and leave comments. A blog by itself- no matter how good- will be lost in the Internet unless you let people know its there. Here's how you do that: link your blog to other blogs, create a blog roll, follow other blogs. Leave comments with a link to your blog or website under your name. Create links inside your blog.
For example: this last week, the wonderful and talented Jane Kennedy Sutton of Jane's Ride blog awarded this blog a Superior Scribbler Award. Blog awards are a great way to link to other bloggers and bring in new readers. By giving me this award, Jane brought a number of new readers to my blog. (I have Google Analytics attached to this blog and check my reports once a week to see which of my blogs created the most interest for my readers and what sites send readers my way.)
It sounds like a lot of work. It is. A good blog offers no promise of a television, book or movie deals. But a good blog can offer in reward- new readers, interesting and fresh craft and market information and above all good friends.
Below are just a few of the great blogs I follow check them out for examples of what a blog does:
Spunk on a Stick's Tips
Jessica Nelson's Booking It
Ann Victor author
Marilyn Brant's Brant Flakes
Boxing the Octopus
Linda Kage Blog Page
Sia Mckye's Thoughts Over Coffee
Cindy Proctor-King's Muse Interrupted
Morgan Mandel's Double M