For those of us who are serious on this writing journey, we've probably realized by now that a blog is important to our platform. But the blogging waters can be murky, and jumping into them even murkier.
So today, I'm sharing a few things I've learned (sometimes the hard way) that have helped me build a stronger blogging platform.
1) Figure out the right pace for you. Whether it's once a week or five days a week, don't worry about what your fellow bloggers are doing. Understand your schedule and do what's reasonable. (Most blogging experts recommend a minimum of once a week.)
When I first started blogging, I jumped right in to five days a week. And learned very quickly it was too much. Before I landed my agent, I had scaled back to one day a week, listening to the advice of publishing professionals who say a fiction writer should focus on polishing their book more than their blog. In the current stage of my writing career, I've now gone up to three times a week and it works for me. But when circumstances demand it, I'll probably tweak again.
It doesn't matter if you have to tweak your schedule, as long as you communicate and stay consistent.
2) Don't be afraid to change your blog content over time. Study your site stats and figure out which posts are resonating with readers. And especially think about the topics that most fuel your passion.
Kristen Lamb, a social media expert for writers, says most writers should avoid blogging about writing. It's different advice than what we'd expect, isn't it? I found that once I freed myself from that trap, the blogging became fun. I now post about things I'm passionate about outside of writing, and it has drawn in dialogue with people other than fellow writers, which I love.
The more important thing here: Be yourself!
4) Build relationships with other bloggers. This is the most time-consuming part, but the most worthwhile! Reach out to other blogging friends and comment on their blogs. Consistently. Cultivate these online relationships as genuine friendships because that's what they are!
I try to view blogging as I would an in-person friendship. If someone talks to me, I respond. If someone invites me to their house for dinner, I accept the invitation. Now I'll be the first to admit that I can't always visit everyone who ever visits my blog. I have two kids under the age of five who tend to usurp my time when I least expect it. But the key is to do your best and make an effort to reach out.
So let's talk...What stage of the blogging journey are you in? How do you handle your blogging schedule and content? Do you have any examples of friendships that have grown from your blogging journey?
*Blog photo by digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
**Dialogue photo by Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net