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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started a writing blog last month.  It came about after I decided to get serious about making a career out of writing fiction.  I can't say that I'm a terribly witty writer but I do write about what's important to me about writing well and selling one's work.  I have several posts in draft form and, now that my book is finally out, I plan to post roughly once a week.

Does anyone else keep a blog?  What's it about?  How often do you update it?  Do you do "blog tours" when your new book comes out?  And the big one I'd love see answered: how do you make the time?
 

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John Y. Jones said:
Does anyone else keep a blog? What's it about? How often do you update it? Do you do "blog tours" when your new book comes out? And the big one I'd love see answered: how do you make the time?
I keep a blog. I feature the short story genre (reviews, guest authors, talking about writing short stories, etc.). It's updated every day. I don't do blog tours every time I write a new story. But I do go through phases of sending my work out to be reviewed.

Much like anything else, you have to make the time to blog. It becomes easier the more you blog. It's like playing scrabble or something. The first game is rough, but as you play it more your brain starts to "think" scrabble. As you're going about your daily business interesting article ideas will pop into your head more and more.

I highly recommend scheduled posting. It's a blogger's best friend. Write three or four articles at a time and then schedule them to post at certain dates/times. That way your life does not have to revolve around your blog.
 

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Ditto on the scheduled posting - it's especially useful when you are feeling a blogging rush and you want to spread your verbosity over several days/weeks.

I do blog, and guest blog around. It's not that difficult, and inviting guests to your own blog helps cut down the labour a bit. Often, I just free style editorialize about news items in the book world, or make casual updates on my work. I like to post excerpts on Sundays, and, of course, promos and trailers.

I have yet to do a blog tour, though I would love to do one. Many blog tours cost money, if you can believe it. I was trying to start up one for July for other writers of Christmas/winter fiction, but no one took me up on it, so I have no idea what they are like or how they work.

ETA: And blogging can be really handy, as you can set it to feed to your Facebook - thus keeping more than one PR platform alive on busy weeks.
 

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I schedule review posts on my Book Review blog, but I don't on my writer's blog unless I'm going somewhere for longer than a week. But my writer's blog is not a "hub of information" for other writers, it's just me rambling about my journey as an Indie, so there is no pressure to post anything. I'd say it takes time for each individual to work out what posting pattern works for them.

I've only ever done 3 guest posts on other blogs. One for wattpad.com, The Vandalism of Words blog, and one on TNBBB (the last two were done on the same day a few days ago. I've been an Indie for 9 months now, so not a lot.

Blog tours. Hmm. I am openly undecided about them. I've seen little evidence to suggest they actually boost sales significantly if you do a time cost/benefit analysis (it's a bit like Amazon Tagging, a wonderfully time consuming practice that will work for a small percentage of those who do it).

You could simply do one because it might be fun, and great way to get your name Out There. But as someone has mentioned, to be booked on blogs which have enough active subscribers to give you a shot at making the time and energy worth it, it will cost you (unless you approach all the book bloggers separately and try to schedule it in, which would be the equivalent of trying to get your book released on the same day across all eStores, near impossible).

Posting to my blog once a week is what I aim for (and consistently fail to achieve, lol). But then I am ruthless when it comes to my writing time. Nothing detracts from it. I don't make time for my blog. It's updated in my free time.

I had a look at yours. You're more clued up then I was when I started :)
 

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I have 3 blogs - one for each name I write under and one for the 'real me'! It's probably a big mistake to have so many, since I hardly have time for one. Each of the blogs for my writing names has a theme and I try to stick to the style of the relevant novel(s) in each case and to stay on topic. For the 'real' one I tend to ramble a bit about things that are happening.
I am not good at self-promotion so I often feel that my blogs are quite closely-guarded secrets!! ;D
However, I have a long-term strategy with my writing and I don't mind writing in a void for a while to build up a background of good posts.
I don't guest blog etc but I do leave quite a lot of comments so I suppose this is one possible way of working up to being a blog networker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Miss_Fletcher said:
I had a look at yours. You're more clued up then I was when I started :)
That's very kind of you. Thank you.

The suggestions about scheduling blog posts match my own thoughts on the matter. I have no idea what Amazon Tagging is, though, so if anyone could enlighten me, I'd appreciate it. Then again, if the return on investment is as low Miss-Fletcher suggests, I may not bother.

anne_holly said:
I do blog, and guest blog around. It's not that difficult, and inviting guests to your own blog helps cut down the labour a bit. Often, I just free style editorialize about news items in the book world, or make casual updates on my work. I like to post excerpts on Sundays, and, of course, promos and trailers.

I have yet to do a blog tour, though I would love to do one. Many blog tours cost money, if you can believe it. I was trying to start up one for July for other writers of Christmas/winter fiction, but no one took me up on it, so I have no idea what they are like or how they work.
Well, if anyone here would like to exchange guest blogs - even if all we do it re-post some of our own blog stuff onto someone else's - I'm certainly willing to trade. :)

anne_holly said:
ETA: And blogging can be really handy, as you can set it to feed to your Facebook - thus keeping more than one PR platform alive on busy weeks.
I need to figure out how to do this. I post the links to my Facebook profiles manually.
 

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My first blog post was about ten years ago now, so I've been at it awhile. I'm probably pretty jaded by now. I also don't subscribe to the Pavlovian model of audience building that dictates a kind of operant conditioning of readership to get them used to visiting your site on a regular basis - so, yeah. I'm rather a contrarian there. I blog when I have something to say.

I have blogs for each of my audiences and most of my readers read The Trader's Diary.

I have built up pretty good traffic over the years (about 500 hits a day there).

My view of the author-blog is probably backwards. My works send people to the blog, not the other way around. When I podcast a novel, I always put the link in the closing credits so people who are interested can find me. A lot of people listen in cars or while working out and don't have the inclination to jump ahead in order to skip a 60 second closing credit. My books all have the link in them so people can find the blog and find all the extra stuff that didn't make it into the book -- maps, rosters, etc -- or what I'm doing next so they know where (and when) to look.

Next month I'll be teaching again and I'll use my "teaching blog" to connect with my students. That's a different blog for a different audience and serves a different purpose.

I don't have a "writing blog" at all - unless you count the posts I put on amwriting.org occasionally.

A few times a year, people ask me to do a guest post for them. I usually will but it's not something I seek out. I just did a guest post for fellow podiobook author John Mierau (and have a standing invite to do one more on the topic of multimedia promotion). A few weeks back I did one for Allison Duncan about internet marketing and the Cluetrain Manifesto.

I've never done a blog tour and don't invite guests to post on my blog. I'm not willing to risk alienating my audience by adding content that's not directly related to the stuff they come to me for -- information about science fiction and fantasy books that I have written, or have read and like. In the past, I've helped out fellow authors by letting them write to my audience and, while it didn't really cause any damage, it also didn't really help them much.

 

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Yes to both the OP's questions.  I have a blog, although I don't update it as often as I should.  It's mostly updates about my writing stuff, and it double-functions as my website (it has all the links on it to my published short stories and Kindle books, and a little "About Me" section.)  I'll probably get a website once I start making real money at writing.

I did a guest post at a blog (you can see it on the "Nonfiction" part of my blog/site) and I got a really good discussion going. 

Overall, I think having a web presence is essential, whether it's a blog or a website.
 
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