In an ever-changing social media frenzy, it is easy to feel overwhelmed when starting out on social media or as you continue to grow your Internet visibility. One of the topics I constantly see discussed in the numerous forums I lurk in is blogging. Do authors have to blog? (No.) How many times should I blog a week? (As often as you want to.) But the main question I see is almost always the same. What should I blog about?
It might sound strange for me—an avid blogger—to tell others that they shouldn’t blog if they don’t want to, but I am a firm believer in writing what you want to write, and I use that philosophy toward social media as well. Hate Facebook? Stay off of it. Love Twitter? Tweet all day long. As a reader myself, I can tell when a writer isn’t enjoying their story or their posts or if something is lazily thrown together, and I am no exception. I guarantee someone can tell if I am bored or half-interested in what I am doing. There is a connective energy behind words, and that energy will get through to the reader, positive or not.
Now that I have said that, I can admit I’ve had my moments where I didn’t want to blog. For those of you who are new to my website, I’ve been blogging on here since September of 2012. During my first two years, a post went up every other day—all of which were focused on reading and writing—but I’ve changed my blogging schedule almost every year. This year, for instance, I host guest articles or revamp popular past articles on Mondays (yes, I’ve covered this topic before, and you can read the original by clicking the link below this article), I discuss new writing/reading topics on Wednesdays, and I have fun on Saturdays by sharing what I’m writing, reading, publishing, baking, watching, etc.
I’ve allowed myself to morph my website as I grow and change, so I don’t lose that energy or love for blogging. Knowing when to change your focus and energy is going to help you keep your momentum up while also maintaining your voice. It’s always okay to try something new. In fact, I encourage it.
I encourage many things when it comes to blogging—one of which relies on planning ahead, writing posts in advance, and scheduling posts before necessary. That way, if you need to step away for a few days due to any reason, you can without disappearing completely and/or getting discouraged. In fact, I generally schedule posts about two weeks in advance. (As an example, this article was written and scheduled on April 5.) This helps me manage my life outside of blogging. I could write my entire week of blog posts in one day, which allows me to spend the rest of my week working on other things. If there happens to be a timely topic I want to post earlier, all I have to do is push all of my other articles back. Sometimes, before I know it, I have an entire month ready to go in one week.
But what do I write about?
Well…I write about what matters to me, and I encourage all bloggers to sit back and consider what matters to them. Do you love Pinterest? Talk about how images have helped you shape a character. Do you struggle with certain grammatical phrases? Discuss how someone can overcome writing faults. Did you just read a wonderful novel? Share your thoughts on the story. One topic I think helps beginning bloggers is to write a reaction piece to another blog post that inspired them and link back to that post. It helps connect you with other bloggers and readers while moving a discussion forward. And, of course, don’t worry about getting a ton of followers the minute you start. Blogging is about being genuine, having fun, and sharing your thoughts with others. It’s not about getting famous or a thousand reads in one afternoon. Worry about viewership later. For now, focus only on being you—your brand—and dedicating yourself to a schedule of topics you’ll enjoy discussing with others.
Topics are everywhere. Pay attention to what you discuss with your friends and family. Jot a note down when an article catches your eye, and write about it on your blog later.
Blogging—or any social media—doesn’t have to feel like marketing or work. It can be fun and uplifting. Simply let the words guide you toward discussions you care about, and more discussions will follow.
Original posted March 11, 2015
Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a #AskCTP Giveaway on Twitter April 27! I’m REALLY excited about this live author-reader Q&A, and I really hope you all can make it. You can even win a CTP Mystery Box, which includes 1 to 2 print books, swag, and more. And that’s not all.
If you love free stuff, Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE right now. Recommended to YA paranormal romance fans who want new creatures never seen or heard of before. One wonderful fan, Pau’s Digital Playground, created a fun cosplay as a member of the Light. In The Timely Death Trilogy, the Light and the Dark are supernatural, double identities that fight to the death. While members of the Dark have the powers to teleport, talk telepathically, and basically blow things up with magical bursts of energy, the members of the Light can create illusions, transport to another dimension, and transform at any point. (Members of the Dark are limited to the night.) Oh, and each sect has a descendent who wields a sword. Dun. Dun. Dun.
Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE:
Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:
Death Before Daylight: book 3: