Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Starting And Running A Blog For Fiction Writers

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Fiction writing.
Could there be an undertaking in this field more difficult? Probably, but I don't know about it. Not sure I want too. If you're writing non-fiction, it's much easier; you have facts you can refer your audience too, sites you can re-direct too, and almost a built-in platform; you're writing on facts that're already established, and chances are that some of your audience already has a good grasp of your undertaking.

But fiction writing. Wow.
Not only are you introducing readers to new worlds and new characters, not only are you setting up your own lore and histories...but you have to make people care about it. You have to draw them in and keep them there.

You need a blog. And you need to be on it at least once a week. Fortunately, this is not as difficult as it sounds.

From here on, I'm assuming that you're fairly well-versed in social networking and have at least two of the following;

1). Facebook (A fan page would be ideal)
2). Google Plus
3). LinkedIn
4). Tumblr
5). Pinterest
6). Reddit

1). Choosing a Prodivder
The two biggest (free) providers in the game are Wordpress and Blogger. I've experienced both, and in the end I went with blogger because I already had an account set up through Google and didn't want the hassle of all the technical stuff necessary to get Wordpress up and running. In the end, I have to say that Wordpress is the better option because of the virtually limitless customization and stat-tracking options.

2). Subject Material
It's okay to talk about your book or project once in awhile, especially in the beginning when you're brand-new, but remember what I said about developing entire worlds and characters that no one has ever heard of? Unless you're crazy-persistent and ridiculously talented, chances are slim that you're going to draw in huge amounts of traffic on your book alone.
Talk about other things. Open up your world. Some basic ideas;

-What inspired your book?
-What're your favorite authors? Shows? Movies?
-What's your aim with this book?
-How're you doing what you're doing?
-Who have you learned from?

The point is, people need to be able to relate to, and understand you (to an extent. It's up to you to decide what you share online) and be invested in you in order to care about what you're doing.

3). Be Consistent
Welcome to the most difficult part of the endeavor, especially if you have other obligations like a job or family. The idea is to attract new visitors and retain them, and in order to do so, you have to be true to your word. If you say you're going to post once a week, do it, even if you have nothing to say (trust me on this). The more consistent you are, the more consistent your traffic becomes, and the more it grows.

If you're able to maintain these three ideas, I promise you should start to see results within eight weeks of your blog's birth. Good luck.

Thanks for reading.

1 comments:

Stephen Woodfin said...

Avery, it is indeed a tough endeavor. I've been at it a while and believe the key to blogging is simply to write about things that interest you. You can't shape your blogs to appeal to an unknown audience, so just have fun with them. Come see us at Venture Galleries some time. Regards, SW