Regarding Blogging & an Award.

There has been a fair amount of discussion lately regarding blogging.  I’ve been reading some of Kristen Lamb’s posts, including this one and through that post, I bought her book.  She believes that for fiction writers, our blogs should be based ‘on topic’ in order to gather our readers.  I understand this reasoning and it does make sense, yet I’m not too sure what to make of this.  I wonder if you write too much ‘on topic’ that it would eventually alienate readers, when after all, readers these days like to find out more about their favourite authors as a person.

Maybe because I am a writer, I like to learn how other authors deal with the writing process, rejections, etc.  Making friends with other writers would be in my own best interests, not only helping out in the writing process, but they would be my first port of call as readers.  If they thought my writing was good enough, this may then help spread the word about my books/work and therefore encourage my future (non-writing) readers.  I know I’d do the same for them.  As luck would have it, I read this post by fellow blogger, Molly Green, and was relieved to find that I was not the only one feeling this way lately.

Adding further to my blogging dilemmas, I had been reading this post by Meghan Ward regarding the expectations some agents have on the number of hits an author’s site should receive.  It is from reading such numbers as these, that one begins to feel a bit like Linda Blair in her head-spinning scene in the Exorcist!  Her post, along with this one from Jami Gold helps put blogging into perspective.  As someone pointed out in the comments, marketing should not be confused with platform.  In the end, I went back to a good old reliable source book, something tried and true – Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz.  This quote was the one that brought it all home for me:-

My opinion is that you should put the lion’s share of your energy into the work you do that earns you money and keep your blog growing slowly and steadily on the side.

So now, I’m not going to stress too much about blogging anymore.  I believe the best way to go is to find some sort of balance between being ‘on topic’ and what is happening with my writing.  I have seen published authors blog this way and it doesn’t seem to be doing them any harm.  I’ve been blogging for a little while now and I think it’s a case of blog whatever you feel comfortable with.  And by the way, if you don’t already have a copy of Christina’s book, I heartily recommend it.

Still on topic, but on a more happier note, many thanks this week to Jen at Jen’s Bookshelf for giving me the 7×7 Link Award.  Yes, my blog has been given another award! 🙂

Now for this award I need to list what I regard as some of my best within these categories:-

Most Beautiful:  This Spring I started putting up some photos for my Photo Friday posts, and this one Photo Friday – Rainforests seemed to have become the most popular, judging by the comments.
Most Helpful: Once again, judging by the comments, Conquer Your Fears seemed to create a healthy discussion.  It’s good to know that as writers we’re not alone.
Most Popular:  My first entry in the Writer’s Platform Building Campaign, My Sweet Imago – 2nd Campaigner Challenge not only generated some votes, but some wonderful comments.  To know that I had captivated my readers, and that they found it ‘entrancing’, ‘evil’, ‘vindictive’, ‘creepy’ and ‘disturbing’ makes me one happy camper!
Most Controversial: Well, I have to admit that this one Controversial Issues in YA Novels is the closest thing to a controversial post that I’ve written (at least that I know of).
Most Successful:  I would have to say that my post on the Writer’s Platform Building Campaign I regard as my most successful, only because by participating in this campaign, I have had more people visit my blog, comment and subscribe than ever before.  I have also met and made friends with some wonderful people I would never had done so otherwise.
Most Underrated: My post on The Business Side of Writing was created out of sheer frustration by a local business taking many months to fix our washing machine.  I decided to apply simple strategies on how to provide a top quality customer service when it comes to writing.
Most Prideworthy: To know that people do actually read my blog and appreciate what I have to say earned me My Very First Writing Award not once, but three times.  Thank you so much Elizabeth Anne, Lesann and Kerri – your kind thoughts, along with Jen for this award, has given me the incentive to stay within the blogosphere.
So now I hand over the 7×7 Link award baton to my fellow bloggers:- Lynda R. Young at W.I.P. It, Christy Farmer, Molly Green: Worth Becoming, Rebekah Loper, and of-course this goes without saying – Elizabeth Anne Stilborn, Lesann Berry and Kerri Cuevas!

20 thoughts on “Regarding Blogging & an Award.

  1. Aww shucks, thanks for the award Debbie! You are sweet! (((Hugs)))
    I think your blog is great! As long as you’re having fun with blogging, I think that’s all that counts 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 17/10/2011 — 5:32 am

      Hi Kerri. It’s my pleasure in giving you the award! 🙂 I have to agree with you that having fun while blogging is what counts. Otherwise it just becomes a burden which will reflect in the writing and as a result end up boring the reader. I’m so glad you like my blog – it means that I’m on the right track! Returning the hugs! 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for the link love! 🙂 I hope that post helps calm some of the pressure out there on writers. And congrats on your award!

    1. Debbie Johansson 17/10/2011 — 5:38 am

      Hi Jami. It’s my pleasure to return the link – I really enjoyed reading your post. I found it informative and helpful and I too, hope it will help calm other writers. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  3. As a writer who has yet to be published, I find there is enormous pressure for a first-time author to have a “platform” or an already built-in readership before an agent even begins to consider you. Personally, I write my blog for myself, and for the sense of discipline it gives me to do so on a regular basis — as opposed to the sporadic writing of my novel. I’ll be sure to check out the C. Katz book.

    1. Debbie Johansson 17/10/2011 — 5:53 am

      Hi Tiffany. I completely agree with you that there is just too much pressure on writers these days and judging by these ‘so called’ stats, it appears unnecessary. I know of one writer who had their book published to critical acclaim, and followed their publishers advice to blog and join social networks after she was published. It just goes to show that as writers, the writing comes first.

      I’m like you in that I blog because I enjoy it and it disciplines me to write on a regular basis to get used to writing with deadlines in mind. I hope you do get to read Christina’s book. I’m currently re-reading it and it is certainly helping to ease some of the pressure. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting Tiffany. 🙂

  4. Hi Debbie-I am happy to see that you are keeping the focus on writing first and doing what makes you happy. I do not think the numbers are realistic to begin with, then there is no one size fits all. Writing must come first. Blogging and social networking should be fun. I am enjoying it immensely! Thanks so much for the twitter follow and for the award too 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 18/10/2011 — 11:36 pm

      Hi Christy. I have to agree with your comments about those figures and blogging. Blogging and social networks should be fun and I’m glad you’re also enjoying it. It’s my pleasure to give you the award – you’re doing a great job! 🙂

  5. I found the blogosphere more contradictory last year or maybe I just don’t care this year, I don’t know. Agree with all your points and congrats on the award.

    1. Debbie Johansson 18/10/2011 — 11:56 pm

      Hi Catherine. I think I’d be better off like you and not caring about the blogosphere too sometimes! Thanks for your comments. 🙂

  6. Thank you Debbie!

    I think you’re right about hitting a nice balance between what interests us as writers (craft, publishing, writing, reading) and us as people. I love meeting writers (y’know, like the ones who’s books I buy at airports and stuff) but I also luv luv luv knowing little tidbits about them…like does so-n-so have some quirky writing habit (toothbrush stuck in his mouth while he listens to Christmas carols…it could happen!). Mostly I think blogging should be about what matters to us at that time.

    Really, the people who read and comment on our blogs may never read anything else we’ve written, so hopefully they have a good time while they’re visiting our little corner of cyberspace. I’d like to think all my twitter followers will madly race out and buy my book (should I ever manage to get one published), but…sadly I haven’t done that for any of them.

    I love the blog award, thanks!

    1. Debbie Johansson 19/10/2011 — 12:06 am

      Hi Lesann. I think it can be a bit of a balancing act between blogging on topic and blogging on writing; we don’t want to bore our readers, we want to keep them interested enough that they’d like us and our work. I guess practice makes perfect! I’m glad you like the award. 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for the award!

    I’m with you on what ‘on topic’ means, though I have been trying to implement much of everything else that Kristen Lamb talks about.

    When you write fantasy, and everything is made up, how do you talk about ‘on topic’ things that don’t exist in the real world?

    I’ve pretty much been doing what you are – blogging what I’m comfortable with 🙂

    1. Debbie Johansson 19/10/2011 — 12:16 am

      Hi Rebekah. It’s my pleasure giving you the award. 🙂 I have also begun to implement what Kristen Lamb says after I’ve read her book. I’ve thought about possible ‘on topic’ pieces and I’m finding it rather fun. As long as you’re having fun with blogging, I think that’s the main thing!

  8. Thank so much for the award!

    Writing ‘on topic’ is a difficult thing. I generally stick to writing and social media tips. Occasionally I’ll veer off topic and it’s not a problem.

  9. Debbie – I think you’re doing the right thing by blogging both on topic and about whatever you feel like blogging about. I thought Kristen Lamb’s posts on this topic suggested that, too. And thanks for linking!

    1. Debbie Johansson 18/10/2011 — 11:26 pm

      Hi Meghan. Kristen’s post did also suggest to blog both on topic and whatever you feel like – I guess I’m just trying to work out some kind of balance between the two. As she says, blogging is an art and a skill that needs to be learned. Thanks for your comments.

  10. Thanks for the great post and insights. I have a YA paranormal romance coming out in 2012 and am just getting my platform established from ground zero. It’s pretty daunting. I’ve only posted on my blog twice so far. I have a separate one that talks about the grandkids and whatnot, but wanted a more professional blog for the book. So now the big question is what does my target audience want to know more about? That is the million dollar question. But I think, like you say, an author’s biggest concern needs to be producing a quality product (ie. book), with the blog growing a little at time. That’s the plan anyway!

    1. Debbie Johansson 19/10/2011 — 12:56 am

      Hi Suze. I agree with you that all this discussion lately about blogging can be pretty daunting. I’d recommend getting hold of Christina Katz’s book ‘Get Known Before the Book Deal’ and ‘We Are Not Alone: The Writer’s Guide to Social Media’ by Kristen Lamb. Both are very helpful and informative and above all helps make blogging fun! Congratulations with your book coming out next year – exciting times! Best of luck with your book and your blog. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and I appreciate your comments.

  11. Debbie Johansson 19/10/2011 — 12:40 am

    Hi Lynda. I’m finding the idea of writing ‘on topic’ a bit daunting, but I think it can also be fun. It’s all a bit of trial and error, finding out what works and what doesn’t. I think you’re doing a great job with your blog – I’m glad you like the award. 🙂

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