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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried to contact a hired hand for help putting a blog tour together, and one of the
things she said first was that I need a blog of my own.

Honestly, I really don't have anything to say--certainly not every day.  Thus, I have
no doubt that I'd try to hit up forums and boards like this for some easy kindle-related
content.

I guess I'm wondering two things--if there's a niche out there for Kindle a blog might
fulfill (it seems like every idea has been done) and also how much time authors here put into
their blogs on an average week.  How did you think of your blog's angle?  What worked and what didn't?
Would a blog (one of millions) from an unknown author be worth it?  It seems like I'd just be
posting for myself.

 

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The answer to this question is similar to the answer to "How much money does it cost to go cruising on a sailboat?"

That answer is, of course, as much money as you have.

The answer to your question is as much time as you want.  No rules, it's up to you how much you want to do with it.  


Probably not very helpful, but that's how I see it.
 

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What do you mean by:

Thus, I have no doubt that I'd try to hit up forums and boards like this for some easy kindle-related content.

?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What do you mean by:

Thus, I have no doubt that I'd try to hit up forums and boards like this for some easy kindle-related content.

?
I was throwing around the idea of having a blog where I (and hopefully, eventually, others)
would critique Kindle samples. Just one idea, but one that would entail me hitting up the boards
for said samples.
 

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I have a blog and try to post twice a week. Sometimes it's only once a week, every now and then a bit longer. I blog about writing and I blog about little things such as the squirrels who come begging at my kitchen window. I keep it light, not overly personal.

As others have said, it can be whatever you want it to be.
 

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Just blog about what interests you. That's what I do. It doesn't have to be about Kindle. Mine isn't, though the majority of my book links lead to the Kindle version. And blogging about what interests me actually means it points back to my WIP fairly regularly.

I spend anywhere from 15-45 minutes writing each blog, depending on how complex the topic is. At present I write a blog about 6 days out of the week, but I'm trying to build readership. I'll probably drop that to 3-4 times a week eventually.

Incidentally, this blog reviews Kindle samples: http://susanskindlesamples.com/. Wish I had thought of the idea. :)
 

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I guess it comes easier to some people. My husband, who does not consider himself a writer, can sit down and write a decent article / blog post in a matter of minutes. I, on the other hand, would kill at least an hour or two to do that. (That's why I don't blog.)

So it depends on your abilities. It sounds like you foresee difficulties - coming up with post ideas, etc. I would guess that it is going to be time-consuming for you, unless you come up with some brilliant idea that will make daily posts easy and fun.
 

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I used to have a personal blog where I would blog about anything and everything. At first I got a lot of hits. Then I stopped posting as frequently and my hits dropped off. Then I dropped to one post a week, and the hits really dropped off.

I decided it was too much trouble to keep up with and scrapped the personal blog. Instead, I am now a regular contributor to three group blogs:
1) Fictionistas, where I blog every other Wednesday. This is a group of 5 authors. We used to focus almost exclusively on YA, but over the past couple of years, some of us have started not writing exclusively for teens anymore, so now it's just a general blog. We often focus on teens, teen issues, and teen books, but not always. This is geared to readers, although admitedly probably more of our followers are writers. (At least the ones who comment.)

2) Killer Fiction, where I blog every other Friday. This is a group of 9 humorous mystery authors and one romantic comedy author. We blog about anything and everything, although we occasionally focus on mysteries, although not always. This is geared to readers, and we get a good reader/writer mix who comment.

3) Ruby Slippered Sisterhood, where I blog when I get around to signing up. There are 60-something members of the Sisterhood (the 2009 Golden Heart finalists), although probably only about 30 of us are active on the blog. Participation tends to wax and wane depending on whether you're promoting a book at the time or not. I probably blog about once a month there, although sometimes more frequently. The focus of this blog is on writing and the path to publication, and although we occasionally have some reader-readers, it's mostly writers who follow us.

So I guess my suggestion is that unless you can commit to a regular schedule (and I think it needs to be more than just once a week, since readers like to see new content when they visit, or they stop visiting), having your own personal blog is a LOT of work. Finding a good group blog to join might be a better call. And my best tip is to join a group blog with authors who have a bigger readership than you do. Not SO much bigger that you're totally riding their coattails and not brining anything to the table, but big enough that you actually can find a new audience this way.
 

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You don't need to blog every day. I can't remember who it is, there's at least one novelist who blogs once a month-the first of the month or thereabouts, so her readers know when to check in.

Personally, I blog whenever, but I'm trying to make sure I post something each week.

Some folks spent a few minutes with Tumblr to post neat pictures and links they find online as their blog. Some spend an hour writing up their thoughts for a post. Some spend a few hours reading and critiquing to produce their post.

It all depends.

:)
 

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I view my blog as part of the marketing and promoting of my work.  I have a scheduled time on Mondays and Thursdays where I update the blog, browse and comment on other peoples blogs.  I have a set of rules or goals for it each time it is updated as well.  Things like finding new blogs to comment on, or people to follow.  I have not been blogging very long, about a month is all and in the first week I was lucky to get 10 views for the entire week.  Now I am sitting around 50 views a day.   Has it helped sales?  I cant say, but I know it hasn't hurt them.  I also watched my name "SBJones" go from the 4th page in a google search to the first page.  It was crazy that my World of Warcraft character sat on the first page but my web site did not.

As for topic ideas, take ideas from other peoples blog.  Talk about how your weekend went or something funny you heard a kid say.  Branch outside of the Writer, Author, Indie circles as well.  Sports fans, stay at home parents, and collage kids read books too.  
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Incidentally, this blog reviews Kindle samples: http://susanskindlesamples.com/. Wish I had thought of the idea.
Oh, well. That sounds like exactly what I had in mind, only done better.

I would guess that it is going to be time-consuming for you, unless you come up with some brilliant idea that will make daily posts easy and fun.
Odds are that "brilliant idea" is not going to happen, but I'll keep at it.

Finding a good group blog to join might be a better call. And my best tip is to join a group blog with authors who have a bigger readership than you do. Not SO much bigger that you're totally riding their coattails and not brining anything to the table, but big enough that you actually can find a new audience this way.
Great idea! Thanks for noting this!
 

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StormWorldSeriesGuy said:
I was throwing around the idea of having a blog where I (and hopefully, eventually, others)
would critique Kindle samples. Just one idea, but one that would entail me hitting up the boards
for said samples.
Ahhh! Okay. I had visions of you creating a blog out of links and article leads copyied and pasted from all over, which didn't seem like a very good idea to me. Critiquing Kindle samples is an okay idea - but I wouldn't make it the whole of your blog (unless you make a Kindle site and not an author blog, which is what I think you are looking for).

Maybe one review or Kindle sample review a week, and one other per week - an editorial, guest post, interview or a weekly update/excerpts from your current WIP or release. Book trailers are also nice to post, as you can embed them from YouTube.

I tried a daily blog for months and months and it nearly killed me. I now update about three or four times a week (twice at the very least), and that seems to work fine. It's not too time consuming, in my experience.
 

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I have two blogs under my different pens names. I have them both hooked into my website, Facebook, Amazon and on Goodreads.

As far as posts goes, I blog when I feel like it. I comment on other blogs (which I wish I could do more of cause there are some really AWESOME blog posts out there.) and I have guest bloggers on mine. Most of them are authors with new release. My theme for them is the story behind the story.

Does it work?

I opened my second blog in January and have already had almost 5k views. Which to me is great. And that's with the fact that I haven't posted but one post in the last 2 months. (Been busy promoting my two new releases and haven't had time to invite authors to my blogs) I make sure the blog is simple and doesn't take long to load. I really love some of the blogs out there but some are really, really busy and it takes a long time for them to load.

The blog is an extension of you as an author. It should say, Hey, I'm here and I would love for you to stop by and check out my work. Does it sell a lot of books? I don't see an influx of sales after a blog post, no, but it's still a means of putting yourself as an author out into public eye.

You can check out my blogs here:

www.judithleger.blogspot.com

and under my other pen name:

www.jadettepaige.blogspot.com
 

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I've had a blog for several years. I try to blog Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I go with a theme. Monday is Writers World. Something about writing, me, what I'm working, what is going on in my life this week. Wednesday is Blog the Writer where I highlight a specific writer; tell all about them. Friday is Blog the Book and is basically a book review of something I've read that week. I can do my blogs in 20 minutes the night before or take 90 minutes give or take on a Sunday and do a week's worth.
 

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Blogs can be time needy and time greedy.

I chose a compromise for my blog by making it a news/blog hybrid. One can also supplement blog updates by offering it to guest authors. Gives them free exposure and perhaps a few new readers so it's a win-win.

As for blogging about something Kindle-related? Hmm, if you are a Kindle owner there's a lot you could blog about. New books out on the Kindle, new Kindle apps, accessories. Sharing notes, quotes and highlighted passages with the Kindle. How you take care of the Kindle, Amazon Kindle news... and so on. You might set a Google alert for Kindle-related news and you'll end up with stories flowing through your inbox with Kindle-related news to blog about, check this out:
http://news.google.com/news/search?aq=f&pz=1&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&q=kindle&btnmeta_news_search=Search+News

The important thing about a blog is it must be updated on some sort of regular schedule whether it be daily/almost daily (best), weekly (ok) or monthly (functional) so subscribers know what and when to expect new content. You can't just post to it here and there and expect to build any significant subscriber/readership.

If you don't want to commit to regular updates then contributing to other blogs and writing articles will do more for gaining exposure for your work. And it will also unchain you from having to update something you aren't fully committed to.
 

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I personally find reviews too time consuming to use just for blog content. They are a lot more work than an editorial, that's for sure. I would only do reviews if I had a guest who wanted to contribute one, personally.

Also, the blog feed directly to FB is a handy thing, I find - it can make a bit of hay out of your blog so it's not just a post floating around out there.
 

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I had a blog.  I called it...  Why bother?  It's defunct now.  Anyways, I always tried to post something fresh and fully gestated.  Some folks blog about anything, maybe their latest BM, just to get something up there.  I only blogged about things that excited me, new things, noteworthy things, and tried to go deep.  And my blogs were always well written, over days, and edited, never just hastily thrown up.  But it was just too much time.  And where did that time come from, but my other writings and also the little bit of promotion I can do. 

Maybe I'll blog again.  Maybe by then it'll be called something else.  Probably 'flog.'  Yeah, sounds like something I can get into, the mood I'm in.
 
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Todd Russell said:
The important thing about a blog is it must be updated on some sort of regular schedule whether it be daily/almost daily (best), weekly (ok) or monthly (functional) so subscribers know what and when to expect new content. You can't just post to it here and there and expect to build any significant subscriber/readership.
I disagree. I've been blogging for four years, get about 1,000 hits per month (25 to 30 unique visitors per day), and I'm not very regular about posting. I usually don't let more than two or three days go without putting something up (and when I do, my stats take a huge dip), but I don't keep a regular schedule. Even when I do, some posts get more hits than others, and some hardly get any hits at all.

I think the most important thing in a blog is your voice. That's what makes you different from all the millions of other bloggers out there, and the only way to find it is to be genuine and honest in everything you write. Also, it takes a while for you to figure out your posting style (short and sweet vs. long and verbose, etc), so your first hundred posts probably aren't going to be that great.

Blogging is an art just like writing novels and short stories, but if you take the time to learn it it's not that hard to figure out. The most important thing, IMO, is to write honestly about things you care about--that's what allows your voice to really come out.
 

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StormWorldSeriesGuy said:
I tried to contact a hired hand for help putting a blog tour together, and one of the
things she said first was that I need a blog of my own.

Honestly, I really don't have anything to say--certainly not every day. Thus, I have
no doubt that I'd try to hit up forums and boards like this for some easy kindle-related
content.

I guess I'm wondering two things--if there's a niche out there for Kindle a blog might
fulfill (it seems like every idea has been done) and also how much time authors here put into
their blogs on an average week. How did you think of your blog's angle? What worked and what didn't?
Would a blog (one of millions) from an unknown author be worth it? It seems like I'd just be
posting for myself.
Provide a service. No one will type your name in as a google search because they don't know your name yet. So you need to provide a niche someone WOULD type in. Reviews, how to do something...whatever. This will allow you to generate traffic.
 
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