Come listen in as we discuss blogging and its role in an author’s career and life.
Patricia Burroughs (Pooks): We’ve discussed blogging and how to make it work. I think the biggest problem with any advice on ‘how to build a platform’ is that it reads like a checklist that you tick off and then wait for people to read you, but as many have pointed out, you really have to find things to do that you actually enjoy doing, or you’re unlikely to be successful.
Sherwood Smith: Being passionate is not enough. There are plenty of passionate bloggers out there earnestly going on about themselves. Successful bloggers are interesting about what others are interested in. People have known for centuries (salonistes) that being interested in others and their interests is the first step in causing one to be interesting, then one either has to have interesting info or be clever.
Not two days ago I heard a highly regarded blogger talking about posts that begin with something shocking, like human trafficking and how to stop it, but then comes the deadly phrase, “In my science fiction novel . . .” And then the poster goes on and on about their book. Cue rolling eyes.
Someone else pointed out that that is classic bait and switch.
We have been dunned with commercial bait and switch so much that there is strong resistance: as soon as the switch happens, the channel changer clicks. Or in the case of blogs, as soon as the deadly phrase appears, we click to the next blog.
Very few can be interesting about their own work. Someone else has to do that. Being interesting all the way through about human trafficking and how to stop it is more likely to cause readers to finish the post thinking, “Hmmm, I need to check this blog out more often”—and maybe “check this person out, see what else they’ve written.”
The problem is, what if you aren’t interested in what the majority of others are interested in? 100 million Americans are interested in, say, sports. What if the very mention of football makes your brain shut down out of boredom? You have to work that much harder . . . and most writers would rather work that much harder at their fiction. Continue reading