The Authors Blog
Author Sharita Lira
So much has been written and talked about when it comes to your blog. Whether it’s how often, how it should look, the do’s and don’ts as well as the content you should have and how it’s presented. In my opinion there’s no right or wrong way. Think what makes you happy first what you think is feasible to maintain.
Now, I’m not saying throw anything up there, meaning blogging about your visit to the vet or to the dentist, nor am I advocating filling the blog with, ahem, interesting pictures. Just keep in mind when you do make a blog, it’s is in a sense your home. What you but out there is visible to the world. You’re allowing your audience to visit you completely unannounced. Is it tidy? Is it a place where everyone can feel welcome?
Let me preface this by saying in no way shape or form am I an expert. I’m only stating my opinion so here it goes. Again, let’s use the analogy of your house since the blog is essentially an author’s home base.
Is it tidy? When you invite people into your home, you don’t like to leave clothes strewn about or empty food boxes, etc. In blogging sense what about the links on your blog. If they are images do they work? If they are covers to your books do they lead to the best place to purchase it? I know I‘ve done some cleaning on mine since one of my pubs recently updated their website. Tidiness can also mean is it updated? A lot of people say everyday it should have SOMETHING up there to tell the readers and our followers that you’re still writing. With the holiday just passing, I’m sure a lot of us didn’t update a whole hell of a lot. I know I didn’t. So I did that these last couple of days. Updated, said happy new year, welcomed a guest. In truth, I believe your blog should have something new up everyday even if you have nothing to say. How about a picture? A blog about your WIP? I have a schedule so even when I don’t have a guest, something is up from the previous day or two at least. This I something to think about when you create yours.
The appearance? In your home, you put very inviting things up. Vases full of flowers, pictures of your family, etc. Now this is touchy because I love a saucy blog. Pictures of love in its many forms, especially of the m/m variety are such turn on’s and on my blog Menspirations, I try updating everyday with some very saucy pics but I had to think, on my writer’s blogs, I might want to tone down the sidebars just a tad and even on my Wow Wednesday, I moved it to Menspirations and I have a pic that leads to it from Taboo on most days. When it comes to being an m/m writer we have to think about the people who visit. They might not be fans of gayporn. To some, this might be disturbing. Still, I’m all about free speech and when you want to showcase your favorite pics don’t let them dictate what you put up but just keep in mind, you might have some people who will either not come back or take it a step further and report you. I won’t because I love it all. Along with the pics, I wonder about promotion on the sidebars. At Michael’s, I have every cover Michael has been associated with so far. I think that will change since I’m sure Michael will have many more. Will I put up every single one? No. On BL’s I have hers up too. She has more books coming as well. I’ll keep hers up for now but when she gets past six, it might be time for it all to go. How about a blogroll which is a list of your fave blogs, some promo for your fellow authors? I have the book I’m reading now with a buylink. This leads me to my next point.
Guests? You like people to come to your house, right? When they come they stay awhile, they eat with you, etc. I hope you’re not a person who doesn’t like to have guests by. With blogging, in my opinion you should like to have guests on a regular basis. I try to have them come over twice a week. Michael and Rawiya are on a set schedule. BL has her own set of saucy questions but I also invite Cassandre Dayne over every other week. Rawiya has Xakara over twice a month for ménage Monday and Michael has a fan, Sheila G, do a monthly post, usually at the beginning and a monthly author spotlight. Some might say this is too much but I like paying it forward. So many people welcomed me into their “homes” when I first started even when I was a nobody. *laughs* I’m still fairly new but I’ve done the same to authors well known or not. How about blog tours? On the day I’m writing this, I’m part of a blog tour which has garnered about 50 comments so far. Wow, I’m floored. Surely the giveaway, a Kindle Fire, has something to do with it but just the contribution I made resulted in new followers and I don’t have the views but it has to be many. What about the wonderful things like Six Sentence, Weekend Dirty Dozen, Flash Fiction? All things that can draw traffic. Only a few things but hopefully they’ll help. I know they have for me.
Advertisement? Okay this is an odd one. When you have people over, do you have things about your books all over the place? Do you bombard the guests who come by with your news? Is that all you have to talk about? *laughs* Hopefully not. We don’t want to bombard our readers with our latest book on every post. Wip’s are good, free reads, yes they are good as well, something to look forward to. What about a topic related to your writing? Mine is the men I use in stories or the music I write to. Rawiya has the best one. Titillating Tuesday is her picture day and Wind Down Wednesday is her or the guests inspiration. Her blog is still new so I’m testing things to see if they work before I invite guests to do them as well. They get a lot of views so far so that tells me they might be good ideas to continue. As I stated earlier, I love pictures. Michael’s Wow leads to Menspirations where more saucier pictures are shown. Just pics, no words. I also occasionally do Thursday 13 when I have a topic and on Saturday’s all the muses do a Saturday Sip of a book or WIP if they aren’t doing WDD or FFF. On the flipside of that, I don’t get overly personal either. I don’t talk about my kids or family or even what I’ve done outside of writing too much unless it relates to the topic. Think about what you want out there on the web my friends. *smiles*
Those are only a few things I could think about. The color scheme, music on the blogs, the text, all things totally up to you as the author but just think about the message you’re sending as the writer to the world. I know with the pictures, I’ve been very stubborn. It’s my blog, don’t like it, leave. It’s still my attitude to an extent but I had to think about it. As much as I like the porn, others may not like it. Now, funny thing is, my Menspirations blog has more hits than all my writer’s blogs combined, so the Google stats say and it’s really risqué but I rarely promo there. There’s a blogroll, a link to my others, and that’s it. Really, if people knew who I am, they might not know I actually run it. LMAO but I do.
The bottom line is our blogs contribute to our brand. There are no numbers to support it but your blog will help your sales. People want to get to know you as an author, so open your home, keep it tidy and looking good. Most of all updated. Try for a weekly post, set a schedule of friends to come by or regular things just so something goes up. You might be surprised at how many will follow you. I know I’m floored by this when I show up at places like Goddess Fish and or TRS. They show up in the follow link and their names look familiar when I go to those other blogs.
Hate to blog? C’mon it’s not that bad. Learn to love it. It is a part of your writer’s life after all. Leave your thoughts.