Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How to Build Your Blog

Let it be known: I love blogging. I like reading and commenting on blogs. I enjoy the friendships I've made in the blogosphere.

With that disclaimer in mind, I'm going to give you some tips for how I've built my blog into something I like maintaining. You might apply these tips to your blogging and see if you can expand your blogging horizons.

Why am I doing this? I've received some emails from people that say things like, "I can only hope to get my blog to where yours is someday."

And I'm here to say: wrong!

I didn't hope for this and then one day it came true.

Like most things in life, it took a freaking lotta work. So dispel that myth that I haven't done anything to increase my readership.

Disclaimer #2: I'm not bragging. I'm simply saying what's worked for me, and what I think you might try to turn your dysfunctional beginning blog into a functional one.

Now that we've got all that out of the way, let's recap.

I started blogging in February 2008. Under an anonymous name. Even though my name was the name of the blog. Yeah, I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box. But whatev.

I didn't tell anyone I was blogging. I didn't read any other blogs (besides literary agents). I didn't comment on blogs.

No one read my blog. No one commented. Why would they?

Fast-forward a few months. I joined a blog chain. It was mandatory for the members of the chain to comment on the blog chain posts.

Yay! Comments.

I blogged irregularly, but at least (a very few) people knew about my blog now. Which leads me to my first two tips:

1. Tell people about your blog. Use a forum, your signature line in your emails, whatever.
2. Choose a regular blog schedule and stick to it. I blog daily now. And when I'm going to be gone, I tell my readers. Even once a week is fine. Set a schedule and stick to it.

When I started blogging for QueryTracker, I got smart. I started blogging daily.

My readership didn't do much though. I didn't have many followers. How to get more? How to get people to come back? How to get more comments than just my blog chain buddies?

I had a blog, but it wasn't
functioning.

Which leads me to:

3. Set goals. What do you want from your blog? 10 comments? 30? 100 visitors a day? New friendships? What's important to you? My goal was to increase my readership and get repeat readers. I didn't set specific numbers. I just knew I wanted people to come read and keep coming back.

Question: How in the world do you do that?

So I had a schedule. My blog was out of the bag. I knew what I wanted. Now, to do it.

Here's the greatest secret of all...

Are you ready?

4. Post meaningful content that relates to your goal. (Remember I blogged about how it's not all about you? It's really true.)

That's it. That's the key to turning your non-functioning blog into a functioning blog. Posting meaningful content that relates to your goal. Before, I was posting, well, weird stuff. Since I figured out what people want to read, my readership and comments increased.

Success, right?

Sort of.

But this post is getting long, so I'm going to save what I did next for later. I just wanted to say that just because I started posting meaningful content doesn't mean my blog became popular. I had to work to make it so. And I'll spill how I did that next time. I think these four things are a great place to start if you're considering how you can make your blog more functional.

What do you think? Have you announced your blog? Are you scheduled? Do you have a goal for your blog? Are you posting meaningful content for your readers? What would you add to this list?

And remember these are general guidelines for beginning bloggers. Building and maintaining a blog readership is not something you
hope for. It's something you work for. And there's a big difference.

So start with these few steps and join me next week for how to build your
now-functioning blog into an author brand.

106 comments:

Amie McCracken said...

Can't wait to read the rest. I've checked these four off.

Piedmont Writer said...

So far I'm good, I've done everything you said.

Jennifer Walkup said...

Great post and very informative. Must bookmark this for later!

Kay said...

a little secret... you entertain me and that's why I come back. No matter the topic, somewhere, you make me laugh. I also think you always ending with a question and opinions helps along in the interactive skills of which you have created for commenting and building. Blog on!

Christina Lee said...

This one is SO interesting to me Elena because I'm somewhere stuck in the middle. Here's why: I began blogging two years ago as an extension of my newspaper column--so I was a shopping/style blog focusing on budget and mommy stuff. So other style and mommy bloggers followed me. But quickly I realized I was unhappy. Even though I was writing and blogging daily, which I loved, I really wanting to be blogging about lots of things besides style (like lifestyle stuff and my writing). I hated feeling boxed in.
So I changed the name of my blog last year and announced I'd be expanding my content and yeah, some readers moved away from me (but I felt so much happier). But I got a lot of new followers too. So now I consider myself a lifestyle blog and blog about a mish mash of things, but still don't know if it feels totally "right". So your advice is meaningful for me...

SuzanneWrites said...

Thank you for posting this. I can't wait for the rest!

Laura McMeeking said...

Great post! I think I struggle with my blog identity. My DH started it then completely stopped posting, and I took over one day. At first it was just my experiences as an Expat in the UK. Then I started writing, and I've combined the two arenas. Not sure it's working. I think I'm going to try your 4 things!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Kay is right. Interaction is definitely the key to blogging. If there's no question posed in a post you're less likey to get a response. I realised that yesterday, when suddenly afer posing a question, I got all these comments. I wonder, Elana, if this is what you are going to say next ... looking forward to it!

Your Favorite Neighbour said...

Hmmm let's see how I do:
Announcig my blog: check. Though I haven't exactly announced it to the whole world (incidently I hope you don't mind me posting another announcement here but if you wants to see it, it's lenscarbocchi.blogspot.com :) )
Schedule: check... ish... I try to blog at LEAST once a week and usually end up doing it twice a week but it's not really in my schedule per se and it's more like I just have an idea and blog. Workin' on it though ;)
Goal: check!
Meaningful comment: Ahhh I hope so! I try to but really I guess it's up to my redears to decide. I try to get feedback to see what they want. Sometimes it works :P

BTW thanks for posting this... my dad and I are trying to work on getting teenharvest.blogspot.com up in the blog world. at least we have a goal: reach lots of reader and help them with their family issues. We've got a long way to go though ;)

Cynthia Watson said...

Thanks for sharing Elana. I also think it's your voice - I can almost hear it (even though I have no idea what your voice really sounds like!).

I'd like to invite everyone over to my new blog, but be forewarned, it's not as good as Elana's, by a long shot!

http://cynthiawatson.blogspot.com/

Elana, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Candyland said...

Great, Elana! There's too many people who don't realize the "followers" won't just flock! It does take work. Everyday.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Wow that was very enlightening. Maintaining a blog is a lot of hard work. You do an amazing job, Elana. But seriously, the reason I keep coming back is 'cause you're so damn funny!

Dawn Hullender said...

I've only recently hit 50 followers and thought I was going to blow a gasket. I can only hope to reach the 100's one day.

Great advice.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Great tips. Blogging is a lotta HARD work.

I do most of the things you listed, but it's really hard to stick to my goal of posting meaningful content sometimes. Okay, all the time. LOL.

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

Good advice! I agree maintaining a "functioning" blog takes work. Kudos for doing it daily. I Look forward to my morning Elana visit lol!

Jemi Fraser said...

I started blogging at the advice of a good online buddy. Wasn't sure what that meant, so I read a grand total of 2 blog posts and created my own. Didn't tell a soul for several posts. :)

Same buddy made a few more suggestions that I followed & I'm having so much more fun than I expected. Can't wait to see your next tips!

Kristi said...

Just wanted to say that I actually think you're one sharp crayon! :)

Chasing the Moon said...

This is a great post! I've been a slacker lately when it comes to my own blog.

Thanks for the tips! Looking forward to the rest...:)

Jill Kemerer said...

I agree--great summary. The thing I liked the most about this is you say it's something you enjoy maintaining.

I love blogging, love maintaining my own blog, and I love commenting on other blogs.

Too many bloggers put enormous pressure to keep up with EVERY blog out there. Then I read complaints about lack of time. It's important to find a time commitment to blogs that works for our life. It should be enjoyable!

I have an award for you on my blog 3/17/2010.

Jewel/Pink Ink said...

I think it's cool how you've built your brand between this blog and querytracker. Kudos to you!

Funny how I don't mind strangers reading my blog, but I used to get worried when my family read it :-).

Lisa K. said...

For me, this is a very timely post since I'm just entering the world of blogging. The last week or so has been quite a learning experience for me and I'm trying to soak up and process whatever advice on blogging I can find. Thank you for a great post.

Crystal Cook said...

Thanks for this Elana. I have been wondering how to build up my art blog. I started the writing one after my art one and actually have more followers and comments on the writing one. Hmmm. . I think the content thing is the key for me. I'm also going to set some goals for my blog, hadn't thought of that before. Thanks! You've given me much needed information!

And you are THE sharpest crayon, your blog is now one of my daily haunts. It's just so funny and real.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Elana, I love how this is the first post I read after my week on unplugging. The 'success' my blog has achieved still boggles my mind. It's been three months and I am still reeling at the fact that more than one person reads my writing. The biggest downside of my sudden 'success' is the fact that I feel more likely to burnout at any moment. I feel like my blog is bigger than me. I feel like my blog is better than me. But then I get these wonderful comments encouraging me to keep the reins in my hands. Essentially, I made my blog what it is, just as you did with yours.

I do have a question for you: when the heck do write?!

KarenG said...

I have nothing to add. High five on all of it. I started my blog 9 months ago, and it went nowhere until I gave it an identity. Then it got fun. Active. Vibrant. At least for me, and I hope for others, too. But what's a blogging chain? That sounds kinda cool.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

yes, what is a blogging chain? I forgot to ask ... thanks Karen!

Kara said...

Thanks for your advice. I am considering starting a blog. It's funny that you didn't tell anyone at first- I was planning on doing the same thing. I want a blog so I can connect with other writers and network and establish a web presence, but that will be impossible if I don't tell anyone about the blog! What chain did you join?

I'm dragging my feet on starting a blog because, truth be told, I'd rather spend my time writing my books than writing a blog. But I do feel the need to connect with other writers and learn from them. Maybe I will start one after all. I'm looking forward to reading your next post.

Christine Fonseca said...

looking forward to the rest....

Erica said...

Great post! You know what you're talking about - that's why I come back ;o) I found the whole "it's not about you" thing to be spot on. I think the blogs with the most readers, are ones that discuss other things besides themselves too.

I try to keep a nice balance. If what I'm saying/writing helps that one random writer/person then I did my job ;o)

Thanks for sharing!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I think you really do need a good balance. And I think you need to find a way to talk about yourself in a way that others can relate to. The 'it's not about you' idea, doesn't necessarily mean you can't write about yourself, in my opinion. To me it means that when someone reads a post, that is personal to the bloggeer in content, the reader will automatically associate what they're reading to themself first.

jhutcheson said...

Great post, Elana! What I'm wondering is, what do you blog about when you're still an unpublished, unagented writer?

Faith Pray said...

Very interesting. Thank you for the good advice! I will be tuning in for your next installments.

Karen said...

Very helpful post. I wanted to add a few observations about your blog, some of which you'll probably get to next week.

You've done a great job of setting yourself apart as the "girl who likes queries" AND sharing that love/knowledge. Invaluable!

Also, you have an incredible ability to make each of your readers feel connected to you. (My sister and I call this the magical hula hoop effect. I've always thought that hula hoop people were just born with it. It's refreshing to hear someone say that it takes hard work...okay, I think that you've just given me a blog post. Why, thank you!)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This is a great idea for a post, Elana! It's definitely something we can all benefit from - thanks for sharing your hard-earned wisdom. :-)

Laura Pauling said...

You mean I have to work at it? No, seriously. It's easy to tell when visiting a blog if someone has put thought into their blog. And I can tell that with yours. Good job.

Sarah Bromley said...

Interesting tips, Elana. Nice idea for a blog post, and I learned a few things. :-)

Southern Princess said...

Good Morning Elana! I love to see your update on my blogroll! ;o)

My trek is much like yours. I actually started blogging in 2007. I only told family members & really it was an experiment in "real life journaling & learning to be comfortable sharing my writing with others".

In October of 2009, two years after only having family comment, I started searching for other blogs, writers I enjoy. Then it happened - I won a contest on Janette Rallison's blog - Shannon Messenger won also and she popped by my blog to leave a congrats...that is what started my true entry in the blogging world.
I realized that there were others like me (writers out there learning the trade, exploring the publishing world). I found kindred spirits in every blog I began to add to my blogroll. I learned blogging terms, I made friends and I began to build relationships with people all over the world. Then...slowly I began to share my writing in a more extensive manner, the feedback was amazing.

I just hit 100 followers and barely breathe when I type that number down. Of the 100, 4 are actual people I have met face to face. THAT BLOWS MY MIND, I am so blessed and I hope to meet many more people as I discover more blogs.

But more than that I realize that my goal is to learn more & more about the industry, to keep up with what is out there & to meet amazing people who can share their knowledge. I only hope to be able to help someone else if they stumble upon my blog. Everyday is a challenge to have a good post, even if it is just announcing a contest, that it is engaging for my readers. I just hope they continue to comment because it is there that I learn. The honesty we all share is amazing. I am grateful to have been welcomed into the blogosphere & I hope to impart anything I learn to those who read mine. It IS an ever growing animal that must be nurtured and watched over.

Sorry for the long comment! lol But this post really hit home today. ;o)

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Jen said...

I have two blogs, one is where I bear my soul and the other is a recipe blog with a catchy title, that I don't advertise, but it indexed on Google.

Guess what, the recipe blog gets 10x the hits per week, and it takes minimal effort. I realized that niche is important--people who come to my recipe blog know what they want to find, and can quickly see if I have it there. And they know its ALL food ALL the time there.

So I'm in the process of changing things up with my personal blog, making it private, and creating another space for my reviews & writing, so that hopefully the people who come there are people who are interested in reading about that niche. And my mommy-ramblings can be in a place where just those who are close to me can see them.

Tracy said...

Oh my goodness, I don't know if I could ever get to the point where I blog daily! I have a hard enough time blogging once or twice a week, and I definitely appreciate the effort that goes into all of the blogs I read. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience!

I sometimes blog...

Bish Denham said...

Thanks for the info and I'm looking forward to reading the rest.

shannywriter said...

Thanks, Elana! I'm a lazy blogger, and usually spend time I could be blogging or writing, reading others' blogs.

Mary McDonald said...

No fair leaving us hanging about what you did next! Or maybe that's a clever blog strategy to get us to come back tomorrow. ;-)

I just started my blog about three weeks ago, maybe less. I have been posting something almost every day. I've also made a point of trying to read other blogs and posting. It's helped. I'm up to double digits in followers. :D

My thing is, I'm not sure what people want to read. I'm not far along in the writing business, and I'm certainly no expert on writing, so that's out, except to post my frustrations. lol

Guess I'll get the hang of it.

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Great stuff to think about and work on. I'm now scheduling posts and *thinking* about my content. My goal? To narrow my blog focus (which I think is going to fall somewhere between writing mechanics/style (I'm a full-time copywriter/editor), and horror (which I write). Thanks for the tips!

lotusgirl said...

looking forward to the next installment. I think I'm pretty good with the first 4. (I could beef up the useful content though).

Michele Emrath said...

Great pointers for new bloggers--or old bloggers, I suppose! And you do have a successful blog, here. Looking forward to the next installation.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Great tips, Elena! I agree with you, it definitely takes work, doesn't just happen. And the meaningful content thing is key. As soon as I figured out what my focus was going to be, my comments and followers numbers started to grow exponentially.

And I treat it like a job. Like you said, if I'm going to take a week off, I let people know (and usually post "reruns" so there is still content each day). It's a commitment.

Lynnette Labelle said...

You're killing me! LOL

Lynnette Labelle
http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

Crimey said...

Elana, definitely good tips. I'm currently trying to post more meanful content on my blog so that I can network with my colleagues (writers.)

Lydia Kang said...

Great post Elana, and so timely since I started blogging three weeks ago! I blog about the other love of my life, writing, and I'm trying to put helpful content for readers. So I look forward to seeing the next post!

Krista said...

Oh, way to leave me hangin'! I think I'm doing these four. I'm with Karen. What is a blog chain?
Watching and learning...

Aimee said...

Great information Elana--I can't wait to read the rest. I have a new blog and I just keep plugging along, but know I need to focus more and find some more meaningful content.

Jennie Englund said...

Do you think readers would rather see the success of a writer, or the real, true, up-and-down journey of pre-publication?

I'm trying to get the revision done. For my followers, of course!!!

bookaholic said...

Thank you so much for the tips! I have a new blog and as you say...it's barely 'functional'! I want to separate my reviews and do so much more with my blog but am a total amateur. Can't wait to read more...

Carolyn V. said...

Hey, that's great advice for those of us who have had blogs for a while. Thanks Elana! =)

Slamdunk said...

Great tips. I wish I would have read this a year ago before learning blogging through the school of hard knocks.

lbdiamond said...

Srsly, it IS a lot of work! But it's soooooooo fun!

I think your tips are helpful--posting on forums, other blogs, getting your http:// out there!

I also notice keeping posts "short" and to the point can be helpful in bringing readers back--of course, if it pertains to you goals (as you've said) and offers helpful information.

Of course, maybe that's your next post: Keep It Simple! ;) AND, Add Your Voice!

Jamie D. said...

LOL - Nice tease, Elana. Well played. And excellent advice all around, of course. :-)

Amalia T. said...

Looking forward to part two of this post! Thanks for writing on this!

Jen Chandler said...

Hi Elana!
Sorry I've been so lax in visiting lately (for shame, I know).
This is a great post! The only one I struggle with is sticking to a schedule. I had one, edited it, edited that. Now I've deleted the thing off my blog entirely because I'm so unsure of when I can post! Argh! Guess I need to get the old butt into gear, hmmm?

Happy St. Patrick's Day,
Jen

Stephanie Thornton said...

Great post! I have to say your blog is one of the most informative ones out there. And I always enjoy your posts at Querytracker too- I can usually spot them before I see your name and face at the bottom. :)

Happy St. Pat's!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Great post Elana. I can't wait for the next installment. This is so on my mind lately. It's like you are psychic.

I agree that maintaining a blog schedule is so important and telling readers when you'll be away so they know. There are a number of them--editors too--that just disappear for long periods of time.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

very helpful!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I read a few books on blogging/marketing before jumping in last year. As you have suggested, a specific focus is what works best.

I figured if I could keep to the things I know, reading, writing, and learning about the publishing process, I'd attract like-minded readers.

Amy Tate said...

Great advice, Elana! I've found that once or twice a week is all I can manage or the blog steals my few hours of writing time.

Krispy said...

Great, informative post! I have no doubt that a functioning blog takes a lot of work. I'm probably somewhere in there... Working on it!

Thanks! :D Looking forward to the rest.

Shannon Messenger said...

Great post Elena. Way to articulate something I haven't been able to articulate at all. My blog is nowhere near as successful as yours, but it has grown really fast (I've only been blogging since Mid-August '09) and when people have asked me what I'm doing my answer is usually...I DON'T KNOW! Maybe if I consciously apply some of the things you mention I can build even bigger. ;)
(Oh, and sorry I haven't been around for a few months. My revision/querying schedule killed all my blog hopping time. But I'm BACK! Dun dun dunnnnnn)

catwoods said...

Thanks for spilling the first half of your secret! I would add that your personality has a lot to do with your readership and success.

arlee bird said...

This is some top-notch information about blogging that I wish I had gotten when I first started 6 months ago. I think I've caught on pretty well and have focused on the right track. I had started posting about the topic of blogging back in December I think, and then I started seeing more informational posts starting to pop up. I think these are all of great help to beginners and those who have been underway for a while but have just not clicked yet.

I am going to link this post on my upcoming blog topic post this coming Monday. I've been trying to find as many related posts to the topic as I can and yours today is really good.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Solvang Sherrie said...

People read your blog because it's fun to read. You could write about kitty litter and we'd all read and comments because you do it with style. As Simon says, you've got that "it" factor :)

Kasie West said...

Awesome advice. You definitely have a successful blog. Way to achieve your goal. :)

Charity Bradford said...

Great post! I'm waiting for more info on blog chains as well. I started my writing blog in Dec and feel blessed to have my 34 followers. They are awesome, but I want to find them some friends. ;)

I am also giving you a Prolific Blogger award over on my blog for this post. That's how much I needed it!

Thanks!

Candice said...

I like how you point out that successful blogs take work! I started my blog around the same time as yours, but haven't given it nearly as much loving care. Now I have almost a hundred followers and you have almost a thousand!! Way to go!

Amy Holder said...

Great advice! Thank you! I'm in awe of your blog stardom! Your hardwork has really paid off.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Awesome advice Elana!! I think I'm on the right track then =) yay!!

T. Anne said...

Your blog rocks! And trust me, I know this is because of the hard work you put into it. The number of followers you have is staggering. I can only hope to be you one day! :)

Bethany Wiggins said...

Brilliant advice.

Carrie said...

Great post. Wonderful advice.

Southpaw said...

Thanks for the info. I'dlove to know what you blog about when your brain shuts off and doesn't what to cooperate with you.

Carol Kilgore said...

Great post. It is a lot of work. I'm glad you highlighted that. The capcha color is green today - Happy St. Pat's!

Terresa said...

I like how you say that blogs are a lot of work. They are. At times, mine has felt like a part-time job. Srsly. But so worth it.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Elana -

I've been blogging almost two years, three times per week. I also link to my Facebook page, comment on other blogs, etc.

The problem: After reaching 110 Followers, I've hit a plateau. Any suggestions.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Joanne said...

Great advice, and yes, it is a lot of hard work, and the payoffs are wonderful. I've found too that giving my blog a strong focus really helps not only my readers to know what to expect, but it helps to generate post ideas too.

Lynda Young said...

I started my blog a month ago and I have a grand 18 followers. A few of my non-blogging friends are occasionally popping in also, but that's all I know of. Hard work is certainly the key. I post every day, but it's not about the post alone. It's about commenting on other's blogs and like you said, advertsing.

But my greatest difficulty was getting over the technical issues I keep having to deal with because I'm such a newb. For a while there I was making coments but I stuffed up my signature and no one knew who I was or even if I had a blog!

WritingNut said...

Uhh... I think I need to get to work! :)

Thanks Elana... great post!

Cheree said...

Great post, Elana. I think I've got a lot of work to do. Can't wait to read the next bit.

Nichole Giles said...

Okay, first, you know I was only teasing you last night, right? =)

Second, I read your blog for two reasons. One, you're my friend and want to support you. But second, your advice about posting meaningful content is true. At times when I only have a few minutes for blog reading, I pick and choose the titles that sound the most interesting, or the blogs I trust will give me something to take away. Just like with books.

Like this post. Besides, let's face it. You rock.

Liz H. Allen said...

Great advice. I really need to get on a better blogging schedule but I have a writing blog and a personal blog (which I update daily) so I need to work on writing more regularly in my writing blog.

Liz H Allen
www.writingmommy.com

Amber Lynae said...

I have come a long way when it comes to blogging but not as far as I could. I have noticed since I have a schedule--Every Wednesday I post about my thoughts with a picture of France and occassionally I will have other posts throughout the week-- my readership has grown.

Portia said...

Great post! So far I've been too shy to put my blog address in my signature--especially since I do a lot of freelance non-fiction work. Maybe that's silly. After all, I strive to be professional as well as personal in my blog. I'm gonna have to rethink this ...

Elana Johnson said...

Dude, Nichole, I would go anywhere with you. That was so much fun. Next time we get to take the sports car, though, 'kay? Okay.

Thanks to all for visiting today! I finally made it through all my email. Didn't get one from me??? Uh, check your profile settings. I'll rebuke you on Friday, though, so you could just wait till then...

Ha!

Em-Musing said...

Thanks for the perspective. I LOVE writing for my blog. But promoting it? Yes, that is the work part. Thanks for the advice. When I started writing my blog, I was so excited just to get my writing "out there." I had so many thoughts and nowhere to put them. I also wanted to make people smile and entertain them. Hope I do/have.
http://em-musing.blogspot.com/

Kelly said...

Good stuff. I go to some blogs to be entertained, others to get information. Yours is a good mixture of both. I strive to be a mix of entertainment and info.

Heather Zundel said...

Great breakdown, Elana. And obviously it's working since I had to scroll through 90+ comments to get down to this little box! :) By the way, your blog is great. I don't think I say that often enough.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Actually, I just think that you're amazing. Like, everyone wants to be your friend. You're the life of the party, and yet, you're not egotistical, you're real and full of humor and good sense. Thanks!

Theresa Milstein said...

I agree that a blog takes a lot of work. Just coming up with two pages of meaningful content means I must dedicate a couple of hours. And if I include my time checking other blogs and commenting, it's a lot more.

Sometimes I worry it's taking time from the other writing - the one that's very important. But the more of a community I become a part of, the more it sustains me during the periods of self-doubt.

I love getting followers, but it's not my only goal. Since I don't dish much advice, it may not appeal to everyone.

Your blog is impressive and shows the commitment you've made to it.

SB said...

very interesting. very. not sure how much i will be blogging and maintaining once i head back to work: it truly is high-maintenance to build and keep a readership - and i am not sure i have the focus or brain-staying power...
we'll see.
SB


not too serious i hope

Victoria Dixon said...

Great post, Elana. I look forward to the rest. I have had a problem scheduling regular posts, but now that I've figured out the scheduling device (I'm slow), I can get ahead of myself posting and be ok during my dryspell times. It's worked for me, but it is hard and it takes time away from the writing fiction part. Urgh.

GunDiva said...

I can't even tell you why I started my personal blog. Wait...I do remember. My horse and I were on Horse Master with Julie Goodnight and I'd kept a journal of our TV taping. The journal was too big to put into an email for all of my friends, so I started a blog and then sent the link to all of my friends.

My personal blog is just a mish-mash of what's going on in my life - there's not real rhyme or reason for it.

TALES FROM THE TRAIL on the other hand, I'd like to grow the readership and build it into an author brand. I've queried a publisher about my book of the same name and would like to tie the two together, so you can bet I'll be waiting for your future posts on the subject.

Julia Smith said...

I've noticed that I'm serene and joyful when I'm blogging, and the opposite when I'm writing my fiction. What gives? I thought I wanted to be a writer when I grew up - but maybe I really wanted to blog. I agree that a lot of work goes into a successful blog, but it doesn't feel like work at all when you enjoy it.

Kim said...

I'm still working on building my blog. I've made a lot of progress, and these words of advice are wonderful. I struggle with the contents of my blog. I'm a writer, but don't always write about writing. I'm still trying to work out what my blog is actually "about".

Emma Michaels said...

Looking forward to seeing the rest!

Julia said...

I'm new to the blogosphere. Add me to your long list of those who will bookmark your blog to find out "the rest of the story."

Maria I. Morgan said...

You're right...it's work! Still working on finding the balance between maintaining my blog and writing the WIP. Lots of prayer and perseverance are key! Have a great weekend & God bless!

Cynde L. Hammond said...

Thanks for letting me know about this, Elana. You're RIGHT! I am VERY interested, because I DO want to build my blog.

I can't wait to read the next part of this, but I already have a lot of changes to make, I can see that.

These are EXCELLENT points and I've got to some work to do. I better get busy RIGHT NOW...

Until next time,
Cynde
Cynde's Got The Write Stuff

Martina said...

Thanks for this. I have just started blogging this year, through my university Course. I have always want to carry this on. This post has help me alot. Thanks again.

loganeturner.com said...

I'm so glad I found this! Very helpful to new bloggers (like meee!). Congratulations on the feature at Badass Bookie!

Rhonda@laugh-quotes said...

Thanks, this was really helpful. I need to quantify my goals. I think I am on the other tracks.

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