Monday, December 19, 2011

What do you Blog about?

This month I thought I’d touch on blogging topics. More often then not, I’ll look at the date for posting and scratch my head wondering what to write about, so I surfed around and put together a list of topics I thought might be of interest to you.

I think the first thing to consider is which audience your trying to attract. Is it someone who’s interested in learning to write? Is it for self-promotion, or just a casual topic that anyone would be interested in reading? I personally think first and foremost, make it interesting. Add a little of yourself. Don’t just type in the words to add filler on the page. Share a part of yourself, but don’t go overboard by telling the reader you’ve had a bologna sandwich for lunch. They won’t care. Does anyone even eat bologna anymore? That was my absolute favorite sandwich when I was a kid. But I digress . . .

Here are some suggestions.

-How you deal with writer’s block or mental exhaustion.

-Workshops you’re conducting or know about—I might be interested in taking that workshop.

-The ABC’s of me: Choose one letter for the post such as A and write top five things that begin with that letter.

-6 sentence Saturday or Sunday: Post 6 sentences of your book.

-Although Goodreads is a great place to add your opinions about books you’ve read, not everyone is a member, so posting your reviews on books you’ve read is an idea. And while it does promote another author, it still brings people that wouldn’t otherwise visit your blog. And look at what you’ve just done. You showed those people we’re all in this together.

-Changes in the industry might just draw in a new reader. Let’s face it, there’s no better time than right now to self-publish a book. I’ve said this many times, but it’s important to have a nice cover and look professional regardless of the price you list it for.

-Post a picture to use as a writing prompt for writers—not necessarily just for published authors.

-Post a picture of one of your characters and have people give you their thoughts on what type of character they might be.

You’re trying to get your name out there to attract new people to your blog, sell yourself. Most viewers won’t want to be the first to post something. It’s like a speaker asking the audience if they have any questions. Yeah, they have plenty, but they’re embarrassed to ask in front of everyone. So, write out a few sentences first and let them take it from there.
Offer a prize for the best 50-word paragraph, or tell them you’ll interview them on your blog.

I was recently at a Josh Groben concert and the audience was allowed to text him questions. One mother asked if her daughter could sing a duet with him. More often than not, performers have an ego larger than life, but Josh invited the young woman to center stage, allowed her to pick the song and they sang it together. That said volumes to me about him. And not only was that an exciting opportunity for the young woman, but it got her name out there too. Her voice was pretty darn good.

-Your top 5 or 10 writer’s resources. You can separate the categories such as one post for writing books, one post for writing websites, etc.

-Post excerpts of your book and ask for feedback.

-Friday Five: You list 5 things you want to share on that day.

-Where do you get your ideas?

- Do you write with music? Why or why not?

-What are your comfort books, books you can read again and again, that foster and rekindle your desire to write?

-What or who inspired you to write?

-Do you belong to a critique group? Writing organization? Tell us about it!

-What are your favorite writing blogs? Why?

-What are your favorite kinds of characters to write? To read?

-What are you doing to improve your craft?

-How do you stay motivated?

-Are you an outliner or a seat-of-your-pants writer? Why?

-Would you like to be a bestseller or have a smaller, more manageable following?

-What are your marketing plans? Are you working on your platform?

-Talk about your mistakes in the industry. One of my friends won a contract with Harlequin for a book she’d submitted. The way she tells the story, she made every single mistake in the book—no pun intended, and still she got her contract.

-Go out of the house and try something totally new. Write about it.

-Do a product review on an eReader and ask for suggestions.

-Discuss how you use Facebook or other social networking sites. This is huge with me. I’m very careful about what I post. I stay away from politics like the plague. I don’t diss on anyone, or swear, and I don’t discuss religion or comment on any of the above. I have friends who do all of the above and post it like they’re talking to a friend in an email and I know it does absolutely nothing for their career. The other day, a new author commented on Celine Dion and Andrea Bocceli’s singing of Christmas Carols and she lambasted them. While she may not think this is a big deal, every country represented on FB may have just read something negative about one of the entertainers they love. Granted, this may not affect her in the long-term, but for the present, I think it was a huge mistake. But maybe, that’s just me. What is your opinion?

In closing, I’d like to wish everyone a very happy, healthy, and prosperous holiday season. May the New Year fill us with love, light and laughter.


Sandy Cody said...

Nice post, Carolyn - full of good ideas. I'll save this one to come back to when I'm stuck about what to blog about.

Leigh Verrill-Rhys said...

Great ideas, Carolyn. I wish I'd read this yesterday!