Friday I wrote a post Is Facebook Dying? What’s Killing It? to relay what I strongly will be the next evolution of the Digital Age, a Web 3.0 if you will. Judging from the early success of augmented reality games (referencing Pokemon Go), I think we can expect to see more games and more variations.
And this is not necessarily a bad thing.
FB has been like a spoiled child garnering all the attention for far too long. Perhaps that is at least in part responsible for all the poor behavior. Thus, the new ARGs really are like that younger sibling that comes along.
Suddenly FB is no longer an “only” child and is going to have to learn to share attention. Does it mean we will never again pay attention to FB? No. But it certainly won’t have the monopoly on our affection it’s previously enjoyed.
What does this mean for writers creating a brand?
For any author who wants a stable brand, the focus must always be on people not on any particular social site. This was why I wrote my social media book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World the way that I did. I have been around long enough to watch what seemed like impenetrable giants topple…taking years of work and platform with them.
Thus, I wanted a way to trend-proof the author platform as much as I could because most of us are here for the long haul so we want our focus to be in the right place. A place that will be stable and has the ability to grow deep roots that are resilient to change, that can grow with us and is as dynamic as the Internet and the humans powering it.
We needed to grow roots where we would enjoy the most returns for our efforts. In short, authors must break their dependence on social media sites.
Sites like Facebook should always be servants of the greater brand…NEVER its master.
Some Things Never Change
Why is Shakespeare still relevant centuries later? Because as much as we’d like to believe we change, we really don’t. Humans don’t change. Humans still struggle with selfishness, greed, pride, ego, etc. We still crave love, attention, consideration, belonging, meaning and likely always will.
This means groups are also defined by the core realities of its component members. Any group of people will either evolve or devolve for the same reasons they have for thousands of years.
This means that all social sites are vulnerable. No matter how big a social site gets, it has critical nodes (areas of weakness) and it CAN go away. Our job is to understand this reality…then work around it.
I know I get groans every time I mention the blog. Sure the name alone conjures images of some oozing, alien creature that ingests then liquifies teenagers dumb enough to skinny dip late at night. But, in reality, the blog is actually a writer’s best friend.
Because first of all, the blog plays to a writer’s strengths.
Writers write. It makes us leaner, meaner, faster and cleaner at what we do. Writing. So it is never a waste of time.
Additionally, a blog capitalizes on the constants. People will always want stories and information, regardless the form—from interpretational dance to digital.
Humans still crave advice, opinions, information, stories and community.
For years I’ve chastised writers for using their best content on Facebook. The writer would refuse to have a blog and would wail, But it takes too much time!
Problem was, they were spending the time anyway. They were posting content that would have been fantastic as a blog…but then it was squandered in a place with limited reach and where that content would no longer be a seed for something greater (and also a seed the writer no longer owned 😉 ).
Search Engine Blindness
Sure we get the immediate feel-good of all our “friends” liking the content we post places like FB, but no search engine ever is going to direct new people who don’t yet know us to our clever observation. We are feeding all this great “bait” to “fish” we’ve already caught. Sure, good content on Facebook will lead to more people “liking” our page, but the shelf life is incredibly short.
On a blog?
It is forever.
Well it is for at least as long as we have an internet and if the internet goes away we have way bigger problems than book sales.
Daily I get new followers who randomly googled something and who happened across this blog. Initially they like the blog (YAY!) but then they also see I have archives, that I am still posting and posting consistently. BAM! New subscriber. Recently I garnered two passionate new fans from a post I wrote eight years ago.
That is never going to happen on Facebook ever.
Search engines can also be our friends. Why? Because search engines use human behavior as a constant.
What do humans like? Okay. Send them there.
Blogs are Benevolent Dictatorships
I have a degree in Political Science which means I did a lot of studying on governments. The word democracy might conjure up fluffy feelings of patriotism, but it’s a word misused. Pure democracy is actually a living nightmare and doesn’t work once a group becomes larger than like five people. It inevitably devolves into mob rule. The majority wins.
This means if trolls are in the majority? They win.
Bizarrely enough the worst form of government is a dictatorship with the wrong person in power but ironically the best form of government is a dictatorship with the right person in power—aka the benevolent dictatorship. Of course the dictatorship can so easily go bad that it’s really no longer a preferred system of governing…unless we are talking blogs.
This blog is not a democracy. It has rules. MY rules.
Follow them and life is lovely. Fail to follow them and I trash the comment. I have no problem with commenters disagreeing with me or a fellow commenter, but we are to always be kind and respectful.
Lest the smiting commence.
I rule with an iron
fist delete button and there is peace, happiness and prosperity in the land.
Our ability to give others a fun and safe place to socialize should not be underestimated, especially when the other choices are a cesspool of bickering and bullying. The only way a blog can be overrun by trolls is if the blogger fails to maintain the peace.
Blogs Grow as WE Grow
I started following Chuck Wendig years ago when both of us were relatively new writers (he even blurbed my first book). Both of us have kept blogging and our voice and ability has evolved with us. I was unpublished when I started and now have three successful books under my belt. Chuck was traditionally published…but only just recently earned the coveted title New York Times Best Selling Author.
So we’ve grown in our profession and our voice, but we have also grown in our reach. Chuck, a liberal hipster, probably wasn’t looking for fans among the military and yet on Saturday I saw his post, An Open Letter to Tiny House Hunters being shared among my special forces friends…who were dying laughing and sharing his content everywhere they could.
A big reason writers like Chuck and I have managed to keep growing and have this kind of reach is we’ve fad-proofed our brands with our blogs. We’ve both weathered MySpace, G+ and all the ups and downs of Twitter and FB not because we didn’t use those sites, rather…
We never made them our master.
We didn’t have to keep starting from Ground Zero the second the siren’s song of some new shiny came along. Even a Pokemon Shiny. Thing is people can’t play Pokemon 24/7. They do have jobs and…
Pokemon Go is to a degree reliant on good weather and we are about to see much less of that. When the snow comes, reading blogs is probably going to be preferable to wandering in subzero temps or trying to drive through a blizzard to find a Pokemon Stop. Additionally, people still have jobs and it is easier to check in on a favorite blog than to risk getting fired for wandering around catching virtual creatures.
Anyone who says “the blog” is dead is either is a technophile or doesn’t know people. I’ve heard all the gurus claiming the blog is dead. Have heard it for almost nine years now and most of those “gurus” are gone but guess who’s still here? 😉
Blogs offer an intimacy with authors second only to the books they write.
Thing is a blog done badly IS a veritable hell, so to shorten your learning curve, I’m offering a couple classes this coming month to get you started. Hey, the school supplies are for sale! Ya’ll know you can’t resist buying new pens and a notebook. Put them to use!
Blogging for Authors (August 26th) will teach you all you need to know to start an author blog good for going the distance. Additionally I would also recommend the class offered earlier that same week (August 22nd) Branding for Authors to help you with the BIG picture. These classes will benefit you greatly because most blogs will fail because writers waste a lot of time with stuff that won’t work and never will and that wastes a lot of time.
I am here to help with that 😉 .
What are your thoughts? Are you getting tired of all the new social media fads? Does it feel like you are a leaf in a river sometimes? Have you put down some good roots and are happy you did? Are you addicted to new school supplies and secretly want a new lunch kit and backpack?
I LOVE hearing from you!
To prove it and show my love, for the month of JULY, 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. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).
Check out the other NEW classes below!
All W.A.N.A. classes are on-line and all you need is an internet connection. Recordings are included in the class price.
We are doing ANOTHER round of Battle of the First Pages!!! August 5th
The first time we did this we had some tech issues doing this new format and we’ve since worked those out, but for now I am still keeping the price low ($25) until we get this streamlined to my tastes.
LIMITED SEATS. This is an open workshop where each person will submit his or her first page of the manuscript for critique. I will read the page aloud and “gong” where I would have stopped reading and explain why. This is an interactive workshop designed to see what works or what doesn’t. Are you ready to test your page in the fire?
Hooking the Reader—Your First Five Pages August 12th
The first five pages are the most essential part of the novel, your single most powerful selling tool. It’s how you will hook agents, editors and readers. This class will cover the most common blunders and also teach you how to hook hard and hook early. This class is 90 minutes long, 60 minutes of instruction and 30 minutes for Q&A.
Your First Five Pages Gold Level
This includes the webinar and a detailed critique your first five pages.
Your First Five Pages Platinum Level
This includes the webinar and a detailed critique of your first twenty pages.
Bullies & Baddies—Understanding the Antagonist August 19th
All fiction must have a core antagonist. The antagonist is the reason for the story problem, but the term “antagonist” can be highly confusing. Without a proper grasp of how to use antagonists, the plot can become a wandering nightmare for the author and the reader.
This class will help you understand how to create solid story problems (even those writing literary fiction) and then give you the skills to layer conflict internally and externally.
Bullies & Baddies—Understanding the Antagonist Gold
This is a personal workshop to make sure you have a clear story problem. And, if you don’t? I’ll help you create one and tell the story you want to tell. This is done by phone/virtual classroom and by appointment. Expect to block off at least a couple hours.
For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook.
Reblogged this on authorkdrose.
love your blog..simple
Another great post. I totally agree with you about blogging. It brings me closer to my readers. SM us no substutute for that.
Thanns fio keeping us thinking.
Smart, sexy suspense
Reblogged this on Jo-Ann Carson.
I was so good when I first started my blog – every week, every kind of subject, shooting for high concept… your book was what set me on the right path to building an author brand…. but when I let life get in the way I struggle, and now weeks can go by without me posting – I think I’ve put a bit too much pressure on posting something ‘good’ – because of the permanent, going down in posterity nature of it, as you say… which I never feel when I post a pic or status or comment on FB, so perhaps I labour over my posts too much and wait for inspiration to come to me now, rather than sitting down and writing to the deadline… sometimes that’s fine, and three posts pop out in a week… other times, it’s a monkey on my shoulder, nagging that I haven’t done anything for so long I might as well give up on it and making me feel guilty… It’s good to have the reminder about the value of the blog vs FB, Twitter, Instagram and all the others – because I find them easier to be active on… Think I just need to dig a bit deeper and recultivate the commitment I had when I started out on the journey…. It’s a long game after all…
You might need further narrowing on your brand. If you don’t have good boundaries your brain vapor locks 😀
That’s a good point – I do get a bit bunny in the headlights in a sea of possibility! I’ll try & streamline…
You’re so right that blogging isn’t dead, though it has changed with the rise of social media. Blogging is still an excellent way to build connections and relationships, have conversations and create content that will get you noticed in a way that social media alone can’t.
This is very timely for me. For the third time in a couple of years, I’m taking a few weeks’ break from Facebook (I deactivated my account the first two times–once for the entire summer–but did not this summer because of a couple of pages I manage) and a summer social media sabbatical in general. At the same time I’m rededicating myself to writing goals (at least 500 new words/day) and doing some needed blog clean-up with the goal of refocusing my content there by summer’s end.
It’s always tough for the few first days of Facebook withdrawal but then it is so FREEING! More time, fewer interruptions, better sense of my internal writing compass. Most of all, though, a lot of inner energy is redirected to both my own writing and more sustained reading.
An added benefit is that my day to day life somehow becomes my own again. If someone visits a National Park (or cooks a great meal or takes a walk with the god) and doesn’t post about it, did it happen? That perhaps is the philosophical question of our age, and the answer is a resounding yes.
Bravo for this and your previous post.
Ha! Should have read “takes a walk with the dog,” but somehow god works, too.
Today’s motto is: “Pictures, or it didn’t happen.” I don’t agree, but it’s enticingly simple.
I am in the process of setting up my website, and am NOT looking forward to blogging, but you’ve helped a bit with the jitters. Signed up for the blogging class, but was disappointed that the branding class is already closed. Sigh. Hopefully you’ll have another one soon.
Your blog is simple, easy to read and humorous. Everything I hope mine will be, as much as monsters, murder and mayhem can be! 🙂
Keep on filling us newbies with inspiration and giving us something to strive for!
The title of this blog post caught my eye. I never really thought of being dependent on facebook in this way. I gave up on blogging as i thought it was too much work given everything else I had to do. I figured with Facebook I could reach the people I needed to. Since then I learned that I did need to blog if I wanted my fan base to grow. I started a new blog only a few weeks ago. it has started out slow, but i am confident that it will pick up. I have started to think of Facebook, G+, and twitter as tools. Tools I use to get my message across.
You mention Pokemon Go and how Facebook is no longer an only child. This got me thinking about the future of media and how we as writers can take advantage of it. Virtual reality has made a lot of strides in the last few years. It will not be long before someone makes a social media site in virtual reality. When that day comes, I hope as writers we learn to utilize it as a tool as we do Facebook now.
Any time I doubt my blog is worth the effort, I look at my WordPress stats. People find my site because they did a Google search for something I’ve blogged about, but once they arrive, they stay and look around at my static pages. Which is awesome, because now total strangers have heard of me – and that’s the first step on the path to total strangers buying my books.
Interesting view point. I’ve also heard that the blog is dead, but I’m inclined to agree with you on this one. 🙂 I’ll keep blogging.
I’m a romance novelist constantly trying to learn how to market my brand better. I LOVE your blog. Soaking it in like a sponge.
My publisher says I’m a social media rockstar – they love me. Yay me. But book sales aren’t skyrocketing. We’re working on it. But truth? I’m exhausted. My brain hurts from banging my head against the wall of social media.
And I hear advice like “Get readers to your newsletter! That’s your golden ticket.” But then give zero advice on how to do so.
Or that Facebook is your BEST FRIEND as an author. Hmm, if FB is my best friend, I really don’t want to meet my enemies.
I love your thoughts on blogs. My degree is in journalism and I love writing my blog. Love it. But I fear I’ve let the social media monster control my time and I don’t focus on the blog like I want to.
Any advice on getting traffic to your blog?
Jog, walk dog, log on, brain fog, mental cogs… eventual blog. Shock! Done…
Thanks for the reminder that I’m not wasting my time when I blog.
I have a problem in that no one comments ON MY BLOG, rather, they comment where I link to the blog, ie on my facebook page where I post the blog link. I can get a lot of conversation going there, but you cannot nag people, “Oh, please go put your comments on my blog, not on fb.” I know the goal is to get followers, but until everyone is following you and goes directly to the blog, is there any incentive for them to comment on the blog versus your fb post? If someone wants to see if my blog writing generates community, my blog itself will show almost no activity–but that is false–lot of comments and conversations about my blog posts occurred after they read it, but it’s recorded on fb.
I can’t even tell you how much I love this. LOVE.
I’m a romance novelist and always trying to learn more about how to get my brand out there. My publisher says I’m her social media rockstar – and yet, the bookstalls are not skyrocketing. Hmmm. And everyone says Facebook is where it’s at, which honestly makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. I’m a social person. I can be super social. But I’m weary from all the FB BS that makes me pay and pay and pay. And I’m exhausted from banging my head up against the brick wall of social media.
I also hear many, many authors say that your newsletter is where it’s at. Get readers to your newsletter! But they never seem to tell you how…
I have a degree in journalism so my blog is something I truly love. It gives me a place to write outside of fiction. And yet I feel as if I have no time for it because I’m, well, apparently wasting it banging my head against the social media wall.
What are you thoughts, advice on bringing readers to your blog?
So sorry this posted twice. Meh. Computer stuff today… :-/
LOL. It happens. *shrugs*
Reblogged this on Erotic Vampire and commented:
I love this blog – Kristen always nails it on the head.
My experience with blogs has been less than stellar. Only once have I have seen a blog post of mine generate sales, and that was one copy. I started blogging in 2008 (first book published 2009) and pretty much stopped blogging in 2014 because I got tired of spending time on something that wasn’t generating any sales. People still go and look at my older posts, but sales? Nope.
I blogged once a week for 6 years about a lot of things–fun stuff, writing, history (I write Regency romance), book reviews. Those posts took several hours apiece to write and never generated much in the way of traffic or sales.
I went to Facebook because I found I could get a sale or two with the FB groups. My sales have always been pathetic, and as rotten as selling a copy or two after posting on well over 100 FB groups by hand is, that was more than I sold before.
But now, even the sales from the FB groups have dried up, and I’ve had it with all the hatred and bad behavior there. Twitter is just as worthless and nasty. I want out.
While I agree that something I own is better than something FB or other social media own, blogging hasn’t done much for me, and I tried for a good six years.
I don’t know where to go from here. Maybe it’s time for me to cut my losses and leave writing.
I’m hesitant to reply because I’m afraid I’m going to hurt your feelings. I have a problem with being too blunt so if I offend in any way please understand it’s not my intention.
The purpose of a blog is not to sell your stories. It’s to sell you. I didn’t read back very far on your blog but what I did read came across more as sales copy than a blog. For instance, your latest post, date June 12th of this year tells us the story of how/why one of your stories was written. It doesn’t tell us about you. There is no emotion. It could have been a wikipedia entry for the story.
You don’t have to be as blunt as I am on my blog or as guru-tastic as Kristen is here. But a successful blog is one where the writer is having a conversation with the audience, not just trying to sell them something.
Read Kristen’s post again. Can’t you just imagine her sitting across from you over lunch saying it all to you? Sure, she drops a book plug in there but it’s not in your face. It’s just a casual mention as she makes the rest of her point.
The point of the blog is not to just sell your book, it’s to build an audience who will be happy to buy your book because you feel like an old friend or a wise teacher or that they’ve connected with you in some way other than just salesman/customer.
Well, you didn’t go back far enough. I wrote lots of posts like the kind you describe, but very few people came. Five years of that is long enough to know it didn’t work. Now I blog mainly when I have a new release.
Linda there are a lot of other factors that go into making a blog successful. For one understanding how search engines work and tricks that make them like your content. There are some small changes that can make HUGE differences.
Blogging is great for building your social network and your professional support. fb is just another way to connect, so I find them both useful and interesting. I enjoyed reading your post today. I’ll be back.
🙂 Thank you!! So a blog is actually not a limited pond at all similar to Facebook. It is as unlimited as the content you put into it?
I’ve never managed to get an author page on Facebook. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten much attention on Twitter. But I have a good time on both. I’ve made some great connections on FB and found some great writing resources on Twitter. I love my blog though. I have a lot of fun with it, and I’ve recently started looking at MailChimp, because despite what some say, I don’t think the newsletter is dead just yet. I think people are smart enough to know if they want a newsletter or not, and if not, they won’t get one. Anyway, that’s my two cents worth. Another fine post!
I adore blogging. It’s more of a commitment than FB or Twitter or whatever sure, but I like that you get to know the author/blogger better. I’ve learned from blogging as well as be entertained. I still connect with people who I first met. I don’t see that on the other platforms. Though I’ve never FB’ed, so I only know the rumors. 🙂
I just nipped over to your blog (I’ve found some great authors following comments) and I’m impressed! I’m heading back over there to take a closer look, because I’m interested in more than a few things on your blog. How awesome to have found you here!
That’s awesome. I’ve found the most interesting bloggers through comments.
I’ve never been one to overdue FB and blogging is a big commitment; seems bigger as I keep taking on more and more commitment trying to grow. The encouraging part is–the blog IS growing. I’ll keep it as my major focus and thanks for the positive words as there are so many social media platforms out there, difficult to figure out how to divide the time. Still, this one allows better communication. Thanks for the help!
I don’t share your doom and gloom about FB’s fate but I agree with you about where original content should be, not on FB. Facebook, by design, almost immediately buries anything you write. A facebook post has a shelf life of maybe a week unless you hit the viral lotto. FB should be used to share links to your original content, whether it’s a blog or you go the John Green route and vlog.
It’s great to share it on FB, or twitter or any social network, but the content itself should be somewhere it can be found independent of these networks.
I’m excited to check out your book. Thank you for the useful post!
I’ve had my blog since 2009 and I love it 🙂 I actually started putting the principles from Rise of the Machines into practice a while back – I started participating in the Folklore Thursday hashtag on Twitter, and started blogging about folklore, or mythical creatures. I write dark fantasy and Gothic horror so it dovetails nicely. Sometimes I’d post stories inspired by my research and visitors might enjoy them and subscribe. It’s not really extra work as I’d be researching this stuff anyway and I enjoy blogging about it. I’ve shelved my writing advice posts because they weren’t getting a lot of love and I didn’t enjoy writing them. So I feel like my blog and brand are finally merging!
Fabulous and timely post. And ah yes, winter is coming. Most assuredly. As it does every year and we pray for no polar vortexes that make it even worse!
(On a side note, your class on Aug 22nd already appears to be full)
Ah crap. Lemme fix it. No it isn’t.
Kristin, Good reminder. I never understood the need for a blog where I can connect with those who are interested in making their relationships work now and forever. Its wonderful to know it will be there no matter what happens on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever. Thanks for your timely, interesting, and always funny posts and pictures. And thanks for the continuing content relevant to non-fiction writers like me.
I needed to hear this. I feel like a frustrated voyeur on Facebook. I am finding blogging more productive and fun though I am still finding my way.
Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.
I would love to take several of your classes. However the only time I did sign up for one of them I was unable to access it. Emailing you for help got no response so it was essentially $80 down the drain.
If we can get together on this I would really like to take your 2 blog classes.
There could be two reasons. First, you need to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I might not have gotten the message OR I did get the message but I had a recent death of the grandmother who raised me and frankly I have been brain dead and it could be all my fault. Either way, I would love to make it up to you so email me.
When I first started blogging, I was trying to find my voice as a writer. Also, I was working in hell 60 hours a week and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So, writing was cathartic as well.
Now, I see that I need to blog differently and for a different reason. It will be a lot of work, but I’m excited about it rather than intimidated. Mostly because you’re amazing and inspiring.
Perfect timing. I have no idea how to use Facebook as an author anyway.
I haven’t been blogging for that long but my blog gets much better interaction than my emerging writer’s FB page. Lots of my writer friends have been commenting lately how they struggle to crack the FB algorithms to get their posts seen, it seems like a lot of hard work with mixed success. Others seem to have more success with the ‘can you see my posts/facebook is hiding my posts’ approach, which doesn’t appeal so much to me (either to interact with or use myself).
I do like blogging though, especially the way it can vary so much from a beautiful photo to funny, useful and engaging blogs like yours and Chuck’s. WordPress is a good little community. Pokemon Go seems to be too, although I suspect it’s a bit of a passing fad, but if it inspires people to get out and about and actually socialising face-to-face with people again, and come up with other new ideas, it’s not a bad thing.
I’d say that the best way to get FB traffic is to interact with other FB members on their level, but I don’t have a writer’s page, just my own personal one. It just seems like the same thing would apply; the more you interact – and not just about your writing, but about your other activities and the lives and activities of others – the more traffic you’ll get on whichever social media page you are using.
Yeah I should probably be a bit more proactive with it. A writer’s page has some limitations compared to a personal one though, for example you can’t use it to join groups. I do see some people who are very successful with theirs, it’s interesting to see what works and what doesn’t.
I’m completely fed up of Facebook. I deleted my account early last month and I don’t miss it at all. Too much bickering, hatred and poor argumentation from armchair revolutionaries and I was wasting my time writing magnificent political exegesis on a platform where you can get more likes for posting a picture of your backside. I don’t even want to think of all the hours I spent on Facebook that could have been better spent writing. I will obviously have to ease back into social media sometime, but right now, I can’t imagine it. Blogging will be the first port of call before that happens.
I’ve been blogging for … maybe four years and it was difficult at first, wondering what I’d write or who would even want to read anything from there. Since my first novella was published in May of this year I’ve noticed that if I keep the content fresh my reach grows. I get over one hundred hits a day now, but if I miss a weekly post my numbers fall dramatically. I love that I own the content there. (right?) Thanks for another post full of gold nuggets. 🙂
I recently went back on FB after an 18 month hiatus so I could reconnect with family and friends and make new ones as I develop my author “brand”. I bought your books “Rise of the Machines” and “We are not alone” and am trying to follow the great advice in them. I want to use FB(and Twitter) to eventually direct people to my (not yet created) blog but I am struggling with what I should blog about and who would care anyway? It’s a real stumbling block for me. I am also trying to revise my manuscript while at the same time!
Great post, thank you! I am currently ‘re-branding’ my blog, so this post was really encouraging. Hopefully all the hard work will be worth it. Reblogging
Reblogged this on The Glorious Outsiders and commented:
Great post for anyone starting an author blog or wanting to put more work into theirs!
Being the Queen of My Blog makes me very, very happy. Isn’t that what writing fiction is all about? Creating something where you make all the rules? (Hmmm…in retrospect maybe that’s why humility and writing don’t mix well…). Anyways, THANK YOU for saying what needs to be said: that the FB straight jacket is becoming a bit cumbersome!
Thanks for putting into words how I’ve been feeling of late! I agree with your points. I use Social Media, but my blog is the backbone of my posts. Everyday I notice people finding my blog through search engines, as well as Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook. These are people not already connected to me on SM. And that should be our goal. And they usually find me through older published blogs. I do take a lot of time on each blog because I work to make them timeless (they are out ‘there’ forever). I’ve been building my audience for a year now, in preparation for my first novel release. But after the book is out there to the world, I’ll continue blogging on my topics. I think the secret is finding a topic(s) that your are passionate about, won’t tire of writing about it—which shows you are authentic in your writings. I picked a topic that is truly who I am AND will appeal to the type of readers who might also like my future novels. Thanks again for a great blog, Kristen!
Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog.
Question (and you probably have addressed it in a class/book/discussion group or somewhere else, but give me a break; you write a lot): You write abovethat people put things into Facebook that would have been good for a blog. I’m trying to apply that to my own life and see if I do the same thing, but it makes me wonder about length in a blog post. Do you have an idea of how long a blog post should be? I mean, if a facebook post could have been a blog post, then that’s a rather small blog post. Unless they went absolutely insane in Facebook and even then I think it does have a finite number of characters that can be used.
Writers have a mistaken assumption that all blog posts must be long pieces worthy of a Pulitzer and that isn’t the case. A blog can be something as simple as an image and then ask others to caption it. It can be a collection of funny memes or a cat video. Especially in the beginning when you don’t yet have a lot of subscribers, the trick is to garner favor with the search engines which means the more often you post the better. But writers over think it and assume all the blog posts must be articles. Then since they only post once a week the blog never gains any traction.
Sometimes I feel like I’m one of the few writers who doesn’t have a Facebook page. I have a FB profile, but it’s like family, friends. I’m not trying to use it for anything except enjoyment and finding occasional topics for my blog. I could never figure out how to do Twitter well, and it was so high maintenance that it quickly fell at the wayside. But blogging — I’ve always liked blogging over any other any other form of social media. It only requires me to do one thing, and I’m good at that one thing. I currently post every day, in part as a way to boost my writing, and even did a book out of a series of blog posts.
WOW! I love your content. I am a novice blogger, held back by the imagined anxiety of creating posts to a time scale. In fact I’ve taken to it well. I started my platform a year ago but have felt as though I wasn’t committing enough (all day, everyday). Thanks to you, I now believe I do precisely the right amount.
My writing is targeted to tweens and teens. How does an adult over 50 create a following on a blog that will reach potential youth readers? I love the ideas you present in this and other posts. I keep trying to think of ways to put your ideas to work for me.
Does Blogging for Authors and Branding for Authors include ideas to reach tween and teen readers? Are there blogs by MG and YA authors that work well?
You are going to cultivate a following of adults–parents, teachers, grandparents and librarians. And yes I would help you craft an appropriate blog for that audience. But tweens really aren’t on any of the social sites for very long so it’s like chasing goldfish with severe ADD and a crack problem. The blog is far more stable and precocious teens just like being talked to as if they are adults anyway.
Excellent characterization of my target readers. The types of blog readers makes sense – particularly given the ideas from this post on stability. Thanks! Now I get it!
Reblogged this on Cindy M. Jones and commented:
Note to self ~ Stop wasting valuable time on non-essential marketing.
I LOVE it when those in the know are enthusiastic about blogs!!! I love my blog. I love blogging 🙂 Been doing it for 8 years now. I have a FB author page and I only post on there once a week with a quote, only because I feel I have to. My blog, on the other hand, I post on three times a week – writing stuff on Wed, fun stuff on Fri, and research on Sun. Did I say I love blogging??
The pic of you and Chuck is so adorable – probably not the look either of you are going for but hey! It’s adorable!!! 🙂
hey joy, your comment struck a note since my goal was also weds., my “freaky friday” post, and Sunday serious, research stuff. seems my FB page has been sadly neglected, tho I feel better about it now knowing it’s not REALLY where it’s at. also trying for quotes on pinterest, but life keeps taking these turns and interruptions occur. since I have everything linked so one post seems to end up everywhere, I’ve quit worrying about posting to FB, but I really need to try and stick to my schedule.
Are agree with the concept. My issue is, after sitting at the computer working on my novel, the last thing I want to do is write some more. Know what I mean? My novels are about animal rights issues and many of my readers are of like mind. I would really like to create a community board where people can post their positive animals stories(shelter rescues, wildlife encounters) and pics to share with others. What do you think?
Not all blogs are writing. Some are images 😉 .
Reblogged this on Writer's Treasure Chest and commented:
Kristen Lamb brings us an article about how to create an enduring author brand, which I think is very helpful and important to many of us beginners. Thank you, Kristen Lamb!
Thank you for a truth that may be harsh for some to take. This actually shakes my foundation up because there are a lot of long Facebook statuses I’ve written before I even had a blog that could have been blog posts, but I can’t find them. I have to rely on Facebook’s Memories function to possibly show me some that I’ve written.
Next time I feel a nice long rant on Facebook about something, or have some kind of inspirational advice to give, I will make it a blog post so it’s not selfishly tucked away for just my friends and family to see.
reblogged this post on rosepointpublishing.com
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
Some wise advice about blogs.
Blog images question for you here. 🙂 You’ve said elsewhere that you tend to pick up images that are CC licensed on flickr or somewhere and then meme them up on picmonkey or somewhere similar. But I keep seeing images that are screenshots from movies or celebrities (Britney Spears, SpongeBob, Loki, etc.). Where are you finding those, and what are the licensing issues with those? I keep looking at them thinking how awesome your memes from them are but thinking they can’t possibly be royalty free images, and I’m pretty sure they aren’t from flickr. I have tons of similar things I’d like to do because they definitely add a lot of personality to a blog and make the reading very fun, so if you could point me in the right direction here, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!
My advice might be bad advice. While I work hard to harvest images from Commons sources, my opinion on memes is they are shared images of pop culture. Most of the memes I use are standard templates from meme-creating sites that have been redone countless times. Sure Dos Equis might have issue with us using an image of the Most Interesting Man in the World, but why would they? It is because of memes that the brand is forever solidified in our culture. I also make a lot of my own memes using meme-maker sites and my own images.
Perfect, thanks so much!