Welcome to WANA Wednesday, based off my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. This is the day I dedicate to help you guys rock it hard when it comes to building your author platform and brand. This past week, while cruising the Twitterverse, I spotted a blog titled something akin to When Do Writers Need Multiple Blogs? So I am going to throw in my two cents here.
It is never necessary for a writer to have multiple blogs. Can we choose to have them? Sure. Is it a good use of time? Uh…perhaps not. See, here is the thing. When we step out and decide we want to be writers, most of us will not get paid for a while, which means that there will be a period of time where we will have to balance a day job along with social media, blogging and the writing of the actual book.
Additionally, most of us don’t have a house full of servants. Laundry, dishes and dust bunnies are not going to magically disappear because we have decided to follow our lifelong dream of being a career author. Spouses, children, friends and family will still need us, and, frankly, they should. It keeps us balanced. We need these multiple roles in order to be emotionally healthy.
Yet, too many of us, the second we discover social media, promptly develop a condition I call R.D.D.–or, Reality Deficit Disorder. R.D.D. can cause headaches, sleeplessness, heart palipitations, premature aging, hair loss, weight gain, a weird twitch in our left eye and a need to shout expletives. If left untreated. R.D.D. can be fatal…to our careers.
No one will stop us from having multiple blogs, but if we are spread so thinly we can barely remember our name, how useful is that to our career? We also have to look at what our real end goal is. Are we blogging to build our author platform–our BRAND which is our NAME–or do we have the goal of being professional bloggers? There is a big difference, and that is why it is critical to look at WHO is offering the advice.
This blogger (professional blogger and web developer, btw) recommended multiple blogs if:
A writer is blogging for pleasure and has multiple interests.
First of all, all of our blogging should be blogging for pleasure. There is no reason that a blog that supports our brand cannot be fun. Why are these activities assumed to be mutually exclusive? What is the point of churning out thousands of words a week if they aren’t serving to build our brand? Come on. Let’s work smarter, not harder.
When I coach writers how to blog to build a brand, it is their interests other than writing that are going to connect to readers. Blogging about our book and our writing process will wear us out quickly. And, to be blunt, since when is talking about ourselves non-stop ever been a good plan for connecting with others?
Ten years ago, who cared is an author could cook or garden? Now? Those hobbies are the very things that are going to help you reach out to readers. Readers don’t care about plotting or the future of publishing, so if we hope to extend our influence to persons who are not writers these interests become vital. Thus, to put them on a separate blog will actually undermine our ability to influence and convert blog readers to fans of us and our books.
Oh, and as far as needing separate blogs for different interests? Give the reader some credit. If we switch topics, it will not fracture their reality. Really. This is why blogs should always be branding YOU. Slap your name at the top and then you don’t have to strictly adhere to one subject. I do advise picking certain topics for certain days because that makes it easier to gain a following, but beyond that? Do we really think someone will short-circuit if they find out we blog about History on Mondays, Writing on Wednesdays and Friday is open?
If we have to maintain separate blogs for every interest, that is a formula to burn out and give up. Our plan for social media should not end with us curled in the fetal position in the closet clutching a bottle of scotch.
You might need more than one blog if you write under multiple names.
Again….why? Go to Bob Mayer’s site. We know he blogs, but he also has 5 other pen names. Would Bob have any time to write more books if he had a separate blog for every identity? Again, I think it is a tad insulting for us to assume that readers are morons. We “get” that Bob Mayer has sci-fi books under the name of Robert Doherty, and yet we live to tell the tale.
If you need a good plan for branding while managing multiple names, my books will show you how to do this and actually have time left to write more books. Having separate blogs all over the place is certainly one way to do it. Of course we also have the option of hand sewing all our clothes and growing our own food. Doesn’t mean that is the most efficient or best use of our time.
But what if I am writing YA, erotica, sci-fi, and cookbooks?
Invariably I get a question akin to this when I tackle this notion that we don’t need separate pen names and identitites for different audiences. First of all, if you are writing 6 different genres, blogging is the least of your worries.
Also, if you are writing YA, teenagers don’t read blogs. Sorry. They don’t. They text each other and hang out on You Tube. Blogging posing as a teenager is risky. If you are found out, you chance a massive backlash. We are in an age where people desire authenticity, so pretending we are something we aren’t is a huge risk.
If you want to blog to build a platform for YA, then your target audience will be adults. A lot of us buy and read YA. Blogging is not likely going to reach massive groups of teenagers, but it CAN reach massive groups of adults who want to relive the young and stupid years… *cough* Twilight.
If you need a separate pen name and identity to write erotica, again we need to look at time. How can we reasonably cook, clean, pay bills, go to work, write four different genres and build a solid separate platform for all? We can’t. Or we can, but not do any one of them all that well. If you write erotica and another genre, my recommendation is that you focus on building the platform that won’t cause problems with your employment. Pen names offer only a thin veneer of protection and the more content you post, the greater the odds your pen name won’t protect your privacy. Sorry. Wish I could tell you differently, but that is the truth.
But beyond the simple challenge of multiple names and blogs, we need to make sure we are addressing the REAL problem. We need to ask hard questions and make certain that this is not subconscious sabotage.
Are we setting ourselves up for failure out of fear? Fear of failure or even fear of success? Do I write YA and erotica because I fear success? Thus I hold back on both of them because success in either means answering a lot of uncomfortable questions and could create a backlash? Or do I fear failure? So if I spread myself too thinly, then I will have a reason other than lack of talent to account for my failure.
I had to face this choice, myself. I wanted to write every genre. I loved fantasy and women’s fiction and thrillers and NF. But eventually I had to choose if I hoped to enjoy any success. If I didn’t choose, then it would have been impossible for me to focus my energy. Lack of focus is a huge reason that too many talented writers never make it. They have chosen a plan that has very high odds of failure.
For instance, I can walk to the tip of South America wearing flip flops. It is possible. But, it takes so much energy and is so painful, that the odds are far higher that I will give up because I am so battered, bruised and exhausted. I am not telling anyone they must choose. Feel free to write 5 different genres and blogs to build platforms for each. Just make sure you ask the hard questions first. I, personally, had come from a very high-achieving family who was less than thrilled I wanted to be a writer. There finally came a day that I had to be honest and confess that I was terrified of failure, and THAT was the real reason I wanted to write 42 different genres.
At the end of the day, the same goes for blogs. We can have multiple blogs under different names writing on different subjects, but is that a good plan? I want all of you to enjoy success, and the fastest and easiest way to be successful is to embrace focus. Make every effort work together in perfect concert. A balanced writer who still has relationships, hobbies and time to sleep is a writer who can endure and turn out quality material for the long-term. R.D.D. is serious and not to be taken lightly. Focus, goal-setting and a group of friends willing to use tough love are the best cure.
Do you suffer from R.D.D.? How did you snap out of it? What are your greatest fears about choosing a genre? What ways do you recommend for being more efficient? Do you have any advice or tactics? Problems? Questions?
I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of May, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of May I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.
Leanne Shirtliffe is last week’s winner. Send your 1250 words in a Word document to kristen at kristen lamb dot org.
Tamara LeBlanc is May’s winner for 15 page critique. Please send your 3750 words in a Word document to kristen at kristen lamb dot org.
Make sure you join our LOVE REVOLUTION over on Twitter by following and participating in the #MyWANA Twibe. Read this post to understand how this #MyWANA will totally transform your life and your author platform.
Together Everyone Achieves More!!!! SUPPORT THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF AMERICA! Spread the word and save a life. Sigma Force saves puppies and kittens, too. Ahhhh.
In the meantime, I hope you pick up copies of my best-selling books We Are Not Alone–The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer . Both books are recommended by the hottest agents and biggest authors in th biz. My methods teach you how to make building your author platform FUN. Build a platform and still have time left over to write more great books! I am here to change your approach, not your personality.
This Week’s Mash-Up of Awesomeness
Three Signs You’re Renovating a Condemned Novel
Katie Ganshert’s Are You Growing?
LOVE this blog. One of the best I have read this year. Why Movie Prequels are Bad by Terrell Mims
8 Worst Movie Sequels EVER. Do you agree? By the brilliant Clay Morgan
Bayard and Holmes chime on on James Bond. Who was the best Bond EVER? Yes, I have a movie theme going. Sue me :P.
Kind Acts, Evil Doers and Everything in Between by the HILARIOUS and wonderful Tawna Fenske.
What About the Readers? by literary agent Rachelle Gardner
Interesting article about self-publishing success. Conversation with Scott Sigler (guest post for J.A.Konrath)
JA Konrath has a WONDERFUL list of ways to succeed in self-publishing. It is at the bottom of his post about booksellers (also interesting).
Gilliad Stern posted a wonderful review of my new book, Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer
How Podcasting Can Benefit Writers by Ron Vitale
Do stories need a theme? by the talented Jami Gold
9 Tips for a Successful Twitter Party
What it really means when your book gets rejected. Best-selling author and former editor of the Big 6 Rith Harris speaks on Anne R. Allen’s blog.
How to Avoid the Trap of Creating Unlikable Characters by best-selling author Jody Hedlund
Another great post about self-publishing by the hilarious Word Pirate with Tourette’s Chuck Wendig. An added bonus? 12 Ways to Tell if You’re a Writer
This is by far one of my favorite posts you’ve ever written. You had me laughing out loud several times! And where do you find these bizarre photos you use? LOL
Great information here about time use and what’s best for a career in writing. You really got me thinking. At first I thought, oh I’m ok, I’m only working on 2 genres right now, paranormal YA and memoir. Yes, they are vastly different, but that’s what makes it easier for me. I can work on whichever I’m in the mood to work on. But then you got me thinking about how we can set ourselves up to fail with RDD, and I realized I started my paranormal story last November, and I don’t have many pages to show for it since I started over 4 times since then. I don’t want to be doomed as the never ending story writer. It’s a harsh wake up call, but one I’m very grateful you’ve given me. Enough procrastinating and honestly, maybe editing for awhile anyway, I need to get some more content down so I know what I’m working with. Scary and intimidating, yes. Beneficial and life changing, yes indeed! Thanks Kristen. I needed that slap in the face today. (careful though, I did already fracture my nose this weekend, so I don’t need another bruise please) LOL
Fantastic post…I was asking myself the question about more than one blog. The book I just finished is Sci-fi graphic romance…but I did start another series YA Sci-fi. I plan on useing the same blog for both as of now since I don’t post any parts of the first book that would require a caution tag for my blog. I guess because I will be using my real name for the YA series, I will just get a website for it to keep people up dated. These are the only two genres I ever plan on writing, I enjoy them both equally and would have a hard time giving up either of them.
I’ve experimented with different genres and different names, and now that I’m starting to have some *limited* success, I think I’d just like to use my real name. There’s about 40 people in my local chapter, and they watched the process unfold. I’m mostly embarrassed to say, “After much experimentation–I’ve decided to be ‘me.'” Then you’ve got followers to migrate. Plus, I just feel dumb, you know? I wish I could come to terms with that phase of experimentation, but I feel stuck. Mind you, I’m not even published. But when I started a few years ago, the prevailing wisdom said to establish your “identity” right away.
Don’t feel dumb at all! Platforms take time to build. Waiting until we have an agent to start branding is INSANE. The earlier we start, the better. Blog followings and platforms take time to get deep roots. No, you were wise to start early and I am glad you have decided to be you. I think you will find it far easier. Pen names are doable, but if we don’t plan properly we can have more personalities than Sybil running amok on the Web.
Thank you! It was your article on pseudonyms and the fact that search engines and the lack of brick and mortar stores have eliminated the need to make your name ‘spellable’ and start with a letter that will get you placed next to Jayne Ann Krentz.
You also pointed out that a pseudonym really only gives a false sense of security. Actually using a real name forces automatic caution.
There’s no reason people can’t find Sherri Shackelford…
Great advice. I remember you telling me this when I asked you last year about two blogs, and you’ve saved me a great deal of heartache. Not only that, many of my readers appreciate the eclectic nature of my blog. Even though Holmes and I are always talking about some aspect of life, belly dancing, espionage, or apocalyptic annihilation, we have a great deal of latitude to entertain ourselves.
As far as genre goes, I decided on two genres, and only two for the forseeable future. Post-apocalyptic because my children were young and I didn’t have a lot of time to research for historical novels. Spy novels because Holmes is a national treasure, and I jumped at the chance to work with him.
Thanks for the shout out and for saving me years of headaches and failure.
Loved the pic. I’ve always thought…in my ameture mind…how can a person be an effective writer if they aren’t out living and having experiences? I strongly believe a writer needs the experience of relationships and fun and failure to know how write something believable. I guess I just adhere to the philosophy that art is an I imitation of life.
As always, you’re right on. I don’t really see the point. I find it difficult enough to keep up with one blog, why would I want to add a second? Writing is not different from music. You never see a Rock Star that sings country, rock, and R&B in one album. Also take notice how they first collaborate with a singer of a different genre before making a change like that.
Bought your book after our class and I’m loving it! For the first time, I’m not scrambling for topics to blog about. It’s like you gave me permission to be me. 🙂
Kristen, you’re making me think again. I have 3 blogs. One is my main one, two I co-created and contribute to. I’m hoping two lead to books.
And may I just jump up and down for a minute proclaiming, “I won”? Can I send you part of a NF book proposal instead? 🙂
June is a good month.
Sure. Send whatever section you think needs scrutiny the most :D.
Umm, well, what needs scrutiny the most is likely everything. 😉
But I’ll limit it to 1250 words. Promise!
Oh glorious day! Hooray hooray! I’m so happy for you! (Tell me everything she says. Everything! Understand!)
Seriously though, I think this blog was made for you and Chase. But mostly you, Mrs. I Have-Three-Blogs.
I agree with Jess that this post is one of your very best. I wish I’d read it a few months ago, when a mommy blogger-turned-thriller-writer asked if she should start a separate blog. I’m embarrassed to say I told her she should go ahead with the other one. I should have told her to polish up the one she has and add a page for her book. Sigh. Now I’ll send her a link to this. And RT. Every blogger needs to read this.
Oh, and thanks a bunch for the link to Ruth Harris’s fantastic post on my blog. It will make all writers feel better. And make you laugh.
I’m really struggling with whether I should resurrect my blog. When I was maintaining it, I’d obsess over every post, taking time away from my writing. Since my gut told me that teens don’t read blogs (which you confirm above), I questioned and still question whether it’s the best use of my time. Who needs another blog on the serpentine path toward getting a YA novel published?
Still, your post has me thinking. Although I don’t feel any juice about joining the gazillion blogs already out there on the writing process, I could envision doing one about my other passion: hoopdance. I’m just not sure how to merge the YA writer me with the hooper me in the social networking universe, since I’m speaking to two groups with very little overlap.
Seriously, get a copy of my new book. Are You There, Blog? Blogging is possible THE best way to build a brand, but most writers blog on all the wrong things. You would be shocked how those hobbies can build a VERY large following.
Just ordered a copy!
This post answered so many questions I’ve been tossing around, so thank you for your words of wisdom. Just started blogging 3 weeks ago and yesterday joined Twitter and the Twibe (love it!), so I will take precautions to avoid RDD. Great timing.
This was a great post and you bring up some very good and valid points. I have looked at a lot of authors that write on multiple blogs, sometimes 3 and 4 blogs and I just have to wonder why? I once upon a time thought of doing that, maybe it would help me reach other readers, but I don’t have the time for it, I don’t have the mental capacity to come up with so many different blog topics. I am writer because I want to write books, not blog 24/7.
I do my best to talk about my interests outside of writing because as you said, it connects the readers to me and me to my readers. I love the discussions that are had on different things. I don’t talk about the process of writing on my blog generally because unless they want to be writers themselves, my readers simply want to know when I’m going to have another book out and what I’ve been up to in my life. I would like a blog sometimes so I can talk about writing things, but I figure I can try to incorporate it into my regular blog on a specific day. I do like that idea.
Again, this was a great post. Thanks.
*sigh* You just took a load off my back.
I have four blogs now. One is completely defunct (My previous ‘me’ blog at blogger) one is the landing site for my game design, which may or may not become defunct for various reasons, a group blog I helped found, and of course, my current blog.
Each blog is a lot of work to build up, so I can’t imagine running more than one or two at a time on a regular basis, period. Besides it splinters any audience you might get amongst all of your online ‘identities’. What works for bloggers (Topic focus) might not work the best for writers. It’s been pretty interesting trying to create best practices between all the sources I use for building my blog.
I have already started implementing suggestions from WE ARE NOT ALONE and it is really helping me to let go of my preconceived notions of what I should blog about and how I twit. I haven’t finished it yet and I’m already benefiting. I do think there is a difficult gulf between concentrating on building a platform and building an image for agents. I know a lot of writers who would only blog in a very professional manner on topic with very little personal interaction and only twit useful professional tweets, and that looks lovely to a potential agent. But what you are saying is forget blogging about writing and concentrate on building relationships.
Luckily for me I write funny children’s stories so having a bit of fun on my blog rather than being strictly professional definitely attracts the numbers better but doesn’t do anything for looking professional. How casual can you be before you look unprofessional and how do you be more engaging with the public on twitter without looking like you spend all day on there? And i really don’t, I had a house full of kids today playing outside 🙂 I plan to blog about this when I’ve finished the book. Really advocate buying this by the way guys.
This couldn’t be timelier for me. I’ve been struggling with this issue for quite a while as I am a victim of AID (attention interest disorder). I blog about my dogs, horse, gardening, worm composting, being an adoptee, nature trails I go to, writing, my struggles since my divorce, and my most recent endeavor – mountain biking. I notice that most blogs are focused on one topic and figured I should do the same but that’s just not the way I roll. I write memoir and essays so it all relates to the journey. I like the suggestion for at least setting a pattern of days that you blog on certain topics. I’ve got your books on my Amazon Wishlist just waiting to move to my cart!
Luckily I applied your advice on this one a month ago. I had two blogs and I reverted back to my original (main) blog. Soon I will start integrating posts on writing from my second (now dead) blog onto my current blog which features my interests/hobbies. I’m slowly working on building my brand. I’m just thankful that I came across your advice and books early!
Loved this! Funny and right as always!
Thanks to your advice I only have one name and one blog. When I first thought about blogging and “exposing myself” to the world I seriously considered hiding behind a pseudonym, but in reality that would just have been building a brand for a fictional character. As for the blog, well, we can always add additional pages to cover alternate interests or blog on different topics during the week as you suggest. I know several authors/bloggers that are able to maintain 4-6 pages covering all their various interests and work on a single blog and do so quite well.
I absolutely agree – multiple blogs aren’t needed, and they’re only confusing for the readers. If a devoted friend/fan/reader wants to follow you everywhere, it will get frustrating to them if you spread yourself out far and wide and they need to remember to check all the different spaces for your updates.
Operating under the advice to have one platform for each topic/genre/business, I now have five blogs– only one of which I post to on a somewhat regular basis, sometimes. Focus is really hard for me, and not just in the aspect of finding one thing to do. Self-discipline and motivation are tough for me.
Also, I’m struggling with the advice to not stay focused on one thing. As in, I’ve always read that if you are a writer, for example, you should only tweet, blog, and Facebook about writing, and if you are a doctor, only tweet, blog and Facebook about medicine, etc., etc., etc. The advice is to not get too personal, not veer off topic, not bog down your followers with woes of the rabbits eating your geraniums; they don’t want to hear about it, they follow you because you’re a writer, or a doctor, or a gardener, or whatever.
On the other hand, I really love your wisdom, Kristen, about how platforms are about building relationships, and that it is through social connections that we reach our end goal of getting readers or buyers or whatever it is we’re selling (because after all, a writer cannot feed herself on words– she needs cash to buy the food).
I, personally, am going to have to get over my stupid, self-defeating fear of abandonment and put myself out there to be rejected over and over again. I know that if my friends and family find out who I really am, and what I really think, then they’re going to stop liking me, and leave me, and I’ll be abandoned AGAIN. But I’ve done enough writing and exploration of my creative side to know that if I do not write, if I do not create, I am one miserable, unlovable person.
Ok, so you’ve convinced me to ditch several of the blogs. I’ll probably keep two, maybe three of them. Not sure. Maybe I should buy your book and find out? 😉
That advice is crap and often given by people who don’t understand author branding. It is also traditional marketing which doesn’t work in social media. I hope you pick up a copy of my new book. I think it will help reenergize your love for blogging. Social media is about being authentic and human, which is something to celebrate :D.
I have a long-time friend who writes. She has multiple blogs largely because she blogs about radically different subjects. Who is going to be interested in both bipolar disorder and dealing with that AND the technical aspects of the computer life? Her tech blogs are, trust me, extremely techy. I avoid them like the cliché-ed plague. Not to mention her blog on writing.
I have a personal blog at LiveJournal which is not for public use. It’s just for a close circle of friends. Then I have a blog which is public and doesn’t have much on it yet. I’m getting there, slowly.
But I never did understand the need some people have to start a new blog every few months. Spreading yourself so thin can never be a good thing.
You are bang on about the challenges of running more than one blog effectively. That’s the key really. Anyone can start a 2nd or 3rd site but what’s that do? For many fields focus and specificity is important in terms of building a web presence, but as you always say this is about what’s best for writers and your post makes perfect sense.
Kristen, your post (like Mayer’s) bucks me up and helps me tweak, tweak, tweak my social media and really think about what the heck I’m doing.
I do enjoy my blog, which I’ve just launched. I love to write and read mystery and suspense, but I’m also somewhat of a curmudgeon and grammar freak, so I’ve put together a book review blog, one that I plan to grow over time, along with my platform (per Bob Mayer’s superb posts), that allows me to review the novels I love to read and write based on their use of literary tropes and schema. It’s not gonna rock the Web 2.0 world, but it’s rockin’ mine. It fits beautifully within my writing schedule, too.
Will my blog connect with readers? When I become published, I think so, but I’m open for criticism; in fact, I welcome it.
My next step will be to get your book, read it, and then based on what I learn, I’ll begin mapping out the next plank in my platform on WordPress, where I will integrate my blog and my present Web site (an “about me” blurb, mostly).
Thanks, Kristen. Love the straight talk.
I loved the paragraph speaking against multiple blogs for multiple pen names. What great advice!
as a matter of fact, I loved the entire post! WANA wednesday is as fabulous as Twitter Tuesday and every other blog day you offer!
And, can I just say…OHHHHH, MYYYYYY, GOSHHHHHHHH! I can’t beleive I won a critique from you. When I saw my name at the bottom of the post my heart shot out of my chest and hit the kitchen wall!!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for offering such a generous gift. YOU ROCK!!!!!
I’ll send my pages immediately:)
You’re the best Kristen!!!
Have a great evening,
Congratulations Tamara! You Go Girl! What a great year you’re having!
Oh, and I forgot to say, that picture of the cat with the rifle is hilarious!
Okay – this is the best one yet. There is so much in here that totally made sense to me and that I could relate to ( lots of cringing and wincing as I recognized myself..in all the DONTs LOL) I started a personal blog a few years ago, before i ‘became’ a published author. When strangers started reading the blog because they were looking for info on the bk ( “Pacific Tsunami Galu Afi” nf. narrative about 29/09 disaster) – i freaked out thinking of all these faceless people reading my rants about parenthood/family/work/children. I made the mistake of trying to compartmentalize my life/writing and start 2 other blogs. One for the serious and sad tsunami bk, one for the YA romance im working on, and the other for the stuff i love to write everyday…rants about parenthood/children etc! Im sure you can guess which blog is the strongest, the most regularly updated and the most read. So yes, I agree that multi blogs are derwit. And I agree that in some existential way, it does tie in with coming from a family of over-achievers…and feeling the slight edge of failure sometimes that I’m a writer. ( translation – NOT an overachiever)
Thank you for a great read today.
Um, no. I disagree. “Also, if you are writing YA, teenagers don’t read blogs. Sorry. They don’t.”
Totally not true.
Not only do I read around ten blogs on a weekly basis, several of which are daily posts, but I write a blog too. And I’m not the only one. I have friends who blog and read my blog and others, and I read theirs.
Teenagers do read blogs. The ones that are hanging out on YouTube probably aren’t the ones that are going to read your books. And by the way? I hang out on YouTube and text my friends and still find time to (a) read blogs (b) write a blog (c) write books (d) dance (e) play instruments …
So that’s totally not true. Just to say.
Oh, I am so sorry. Of course there is a segment who will read blogs, but blogging is one of the harder ways to reach typical teens and mobilize them in large groups. A majority of teenagers read blogs by their friends first and rarely beyond their age group. IF, however, they are the type who going to read blogs…then they just read them. We don’t have to specially tailor a “YA teenager feel” for the blog. We can still blog as if we are talking to adults since the teens most likely to read enjoy blogs that talk to them like adults. Make sense?
I run into many 30, 40, even 50 year old women who want to start a teenager blog for their YA. I personally believe that many teens–if they are the kind who would follow a blog–would find that weird or patronizing. You have been a loyal, long-time fan of this blog and I didn’t feel the need to throw in some “teenage issues or teen-speak.” Okay, well we all know I have the maturity of a 13 year old so that probably helped :D.
My point is that writers don’t have to go start a “teen” blog. Just blog and be interesting and if the stuff is good, the teens will find it ;).
Thanks for replying, Kristen – that makes me feel better. I probably overreacted, I’ve been reading so many people patronising teenagers recently! I don’t know if you saw that article about YA fiction but it made me so angry … it’s as though they don’t realise we choose our books, not our parents.
*sigh* Anyway, thanks for clearing that one up.
Well, that is why I, personally, HATE people trying to blog FOR YA (teenagers). I think that more often than not you are going to make your target audiencce feel patronized. Teenagers know what they like and if your blog is fun and has appeal, they will find it. But a thirty-something year old woman acting like a teeneager is always kind of … sad *tucks leg warmers and Gears of War under desk*
Thanks for including a link to my post! Much appreciated 🙂
Great post – thanks! I write YA, and I remember wondering about trying to target my blog to teens, but you’re so right: teens don’t read blogs! (Well, most teens don’t….) So I mostly blog for YA writers, and I love it. There’s a huge, wonderful community of YAlit lovers that I’m lucky to be a part of thanks to blogs and twitter, etc. 🙂
I love the fact that you’re supporting the Humane Society & animals in general. (I also wonder what will become of cats when the allergies cause the number of people who can live with them to shrink to “endangered” levels. I woke up worrying about this of all things.)
As usual, spot on. I’ve been trying to convince my friend about this multiple blog thing for a while now. She is driving herself nuts and, seriously, she never has clean underwear in her drawers or food in the fridge. I just gave your advice to my friend. Maybe you can talk some sense into her! I’m thinking maybe I just need to buy her a copy of your book, eh?
Great post, as usual, Kristen! I sometimes have trouble keeping up with one blog and social media and writing! Not to mention grandkids, husband and reading! Multiple blogs is a crazy idea, unless maybe if you have multiple personalities…it might work, then.
Kristen, how do you always manage to say what I need most? “if we are spread so thinly we can barely remember our name, how useful is that to our career?” That’s going up on my wall!
I’m printing out the whole post.
Thanks for your words of wisdom ~ and the terrific links!
I considered having two writer “identities” for writing to different audiences (YA and adult), but decided it was just going to be too much work in the end. And my “adult” stuff definitely appeals to YA.
I just wanted to take a moment to say how useful I’m finding your advice. I took your author branding class on a whim, thinking it would be hit or miss. Boy, was it a hit. I never dreamed I’d learn so much from one person. I’m working my way through your books right now. You’re fulla the wow factor, Kristen!
This post made me laugh because I am so the girl with multiple blogs. I gave it a lot of thought before I did it, but here’s my rationale: My Fiction Groupie blog has grown to a good size following. I’ve blogged on that one for almost two years and I’ve stuck to writing-related topics. My following is a wide mix of people–including lots of more conservative readers and a ton of YA people.
However, my genre is erotic romance. I wanted to be able to talk about things a little more genre specific and not so much writing related, but if I did that one Fiction Groupie, I’d risk offending and losing a good chunk of my readership. That’s not what they signed up for. So when i set up my official author website, I decided to blog over there two days a week (days opposite I blog at my writing blog). But I keep it SUPER simple so that I don’t kill myself. One day a week, I just post pics of a celebrity for “Boyfriend of the week” and the other days is usually book recommendations or something. I’m trying to appeal more to readers at the author blog (since my book is releasing in a few months) and not be so writer-specific.
We’ll see if I work myself into a padded room though, lol. Hopefully I can keep all the balls in the air. 🙂
Gah! You got me thinking, Kristin! lol I have my “creativity” blog that I started soon after my daughter was born as an writing outlet/place to talk about squeezing in creativity as a new mom. (i.e. clueless and frustrated) It encompasses everything except my novel. Now that I’m going to publish it independently, I began a new blog as my author blog. But I’ve only posted two entries in a month. Should I give it up and go into more detail about my writing on the creativity blog? Will my crafting/sewing/cooking audience be that interested in the somewhat grueling and boring path to self publication? Now I’m off to buy your book…and think some more. Thank you for the thought-provoking post!
Don’t blog about your writing. That is not content that will connect with others. Blogs are to get others to connect with and like YOU, not your book. Only your book can do that. HIghly recommend you read my new book on blogging before you make any long-term content plans. 😀
Thanks, Kristen, for replying. I AM planning on reading your book, and after thinking more about the writing blog…I decided to trash it. You’re right, my current audience likes reading about my writing adventures and all the crazy stuff I write about. You’re the best! (And I truly appreciate the extremely diplomatic reply about the “long-term content plans.”) 🙂
I think I’ve blown it this month. I don’t enjoy the pro-blogging I’ve been doing for the last month, and this week I caught myself resurrecting an alter-ego blog about nothing so could vent. Please don’t shout at me.
Really helpful post. I especially liked the point about multiple interests. I think readers like to see that you are well-rounded. And if you can somehow connect your love of X to your writing in a creative way, even better. Thanks for sharing your expertise.
Need to find additional themes to post. What should I do? Post something about the benefits of hula hoop? Conduct interviews of successful people? How to kill your plants in a week? Will brainstorm this weekend.
Agreed about blogging. Teens might write blogs but they don’t read them so it’s a moot point.
I just hopped on over to your blog because I’m reading Are You There Blog? It’s Me, Writer and I’m reading the part about tags. I wanted to see how you tagged your posts. Then I came upon this post and saw that you linked to my blog! How cool! Thanks so much for the link, Kristen. Seriously, your two books are amazing. It’s like they are changing the actual chemistry of my brain.
Every day brings a new struggle for balance for me. 🙂