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message 1: by Nancy (last edited Sep 27, 2012 08:49AM) (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Since I've finally taken the plunge into the Blogosphere, I was hoping to have a discussion about blogging and how you guys, as writers, use blogs. I joined a blog group here on "gr" but almost all of the blogs are dedicated to book reviews. I quickly un-joined. Those of you that have blogs, how do you use them? Is your main purpose marketing? What kind of thing do you blog about? Just curious.


message 2: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Richards | 47 comments Hi, Nancy

I've got several blogs; each has a different purpose or intention. My first blog

http://www.candletothesun.com/the-gif...

gives readers a chance to get to know me a little bit, and read updates about my book's publication. It reflects my interests in creativity and spirituality. My second blog

http://richmullins.candletothesun.com...

is more specific about my personal interpretations of Scripture (God knows exactly what it means, and like everyone else, I'm just guessing--paraphrasing Rich Mullins there). My third blog never really got off the ground because I had so much else going on. I began my fourth blog

http://www.seedsborntolight.candletot...

to support authors, because I knew how hard it is to get some buzz going about your book. Blogs offer a number of great tools: RSSfeeds allow you to keep in touch with people who are interested in your writing with instant updates.

Commenting on others' blogs gives their readers a chance to follow you back from your comment to your own blog or website. It's a great way to increase your blog traffic and SEO.

I've seen blog comments used for Q and A sessions with guest authors in real time to generate interest on specific books and topics.

I like the inner workings of memoir, so I'm glad I can contribute by giving authors a chance to show their expertise in constructing a memoir.

Is there a reason you aren't comfortable with book reviews on blogs? For myself, I hope reviews are as unbiased as possible. I feel this is very difficult to guarantee when "swapping" with another author.

A lot of authors seem to gravitate toward writing about writing, a subject that interests a surprising number of people.

Whart else do you guys use blogs for?


message 3: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Pam, thanks for the feedback. I thought about creating separate blogs for different topics but decided on clumping everything into one blog. I'm just getting started so... we'll see how that approach works out.

I still have no clue what RSS feed is even though I see it all the time. I need to take a minute to sit down and see what it is and what it does.

I don't mind book review blogs. It's just that when I went over to the blogger group on this site, I would guesstimate that 98% of them are dedicated solely to book reviews.

Currently, I follow about four blogs that are very diverse, like one is a doctor's blog and she blogs about lessons she learns from her patients, children... life. Another lady I follow has just sent her last child off to college, and she blogs about her grief of being an empty nester but also the joy of she and her husband rediscovering each other. I follow a young father who is enamored with his one-year-old daughter but is still trying to pull away from the party lifestyle. These are the things I look for in a blog, just the rich tapestry of human existence.

I read somewhere that if writers aren't using their blogs for marketing, then they're wasting their time. I think that's a bunch of hogwash. Anyway, I thought I'd investigate what my fellow memoirists blog about.

I will definitely check out your blogs; they sound super interesting. Thanks again for sharing.


message 4: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Lynn wrote: "I blog at http://beyondthetears.blogspot.com My blog contains many reviews I've written on books pertaining to child abuse, sexual abuse, suicide, and domestic violence. I use the blog to bring awa..."

Thanks, Lynn. I'll check out your blog as well. Since my memoir is about grief, I guess I could dedicate a separate blog that draws attention to the issues faced by grieving mothers. I currently just include those posts in my current blog, which consists of a hodge podge of various topics. Thanks again for sharing.


message 5: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments I think it is advisable to have just one blog and to rather post under different categories or pages - reason being, I've often had several blogs on the go, I still have 3, but I only get time to update the one and so the other 2 get neglected. From past experience, I suggest one with a few different topics that you decide on. Yours could be - my book - grief and loss - book reviews - the writing process - or something like that. On holiday and not much internet time, but just thought I'd quickly pop in :)


message 6: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Leila wrote: "I think it is advisable to have just one blog and to rather post under different categories or pages - reason being, I've often had several blogs on the go, I still have 3, but I only get time to u..."

Yep, I kinda like having my one blog for the main reason you indicated: It's all I can do to keep up with the one. Thanks for weighing in.


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindawis) | 6 comments I don't blog much, but I do like to guest post on memoir blogs. Here's my latest column, I think it helps build recognition for my name and my book, and besides, it's fun to talk about what we love to do: write memoirs! So it's win/win all the time.
http://krpooler.com/2012/10/08/the-pe...


message 8: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Rasley | 173 comments I read the post. Nicely done, Linda.


message 9: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Richards | 47 comments I just posted this blog entry with a link to an interview I recently contributed on Indie Book Spot:

http://www.candletothesun.com/the-gif...

Best,

Pam


message 10: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Gret posts, Linda & Pam. Thanks for sharing.


message 11: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Thanks, Natalie. My blog also is a combination of topics, whatever moves me on any given day, I blog about it. I'm heading over to check out your blog as well.

You would think since I started this thread I would've at least given my blog address. I'm absentminded sometimes. Anyway, here it is:

www.nancystephan.blogspot.com


message 12: by Judith (new)

Judith Hannan (judithhannan) | 11 comments Linda wrote: "I don't blog much, but I do like to guest post on memoir blogs. Here's my latest column, I think it helps build recognition for my name and my book, and besides, it's fun to talk about what we love..."

I like the ooncerns expressed by Cheryl Strayed that people would judge her book by whether or not they approved of her actions as opposed to the quality of her writing and the story of her book. I find this is a problem not only in writing memoir but in writing groups where the feedback becomes about the issue rather than how it is written about.


message 13: by Judith (new)

Judith Hannan (judithhannan) | 11 comments I keep a blog on Goodreads, although I am pretty erratic about keeping it current. My topics generally follow the themes of my book, Motherhood Exaggerated, the writing process, or my experiences bringing my book to others. What I find useful is that, as in any writing, I always start out thinking I am going to write about one thing and then, as I start to write, come to a moment of unexpected revelation. I have also used these blogs as the basis of a more expansive essay. My most recent post is about the emotional impact of reading my book on a program with a cellist and I have several ideas of how to turn this into a deeper analysis of music's impact on narrative. The link to my blog is: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5771736...


message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen Fisher-Alaniz (goodreadscomkarenfisheralaniz) | 5 comments I started with a simple Blogger blog. But when my book came out, I switched to a website with a blog feature. I love blogging. I'd like to just blog all day, every day. Darn book writing gets in the way.

What I've found is that other writers or seekers of "something more" in their lives, are my main audience. I get a lot of memoir writers or people who want to write their life story, or the story of a loved one.

I'm not terribly organized about what exactly I post. I post whatever pops into my head at that moment. But I do try to keep it focused on encouraging others to be seekers, learners, writers of truth.

Lately I've been shining up my website with things like a "My Story" video, and several other things. I try to do something on it every day. I don't think I'm very good at it, but I try anyway.

My blog is called Story Matters. You can check it out here; http://www.storymatters2.com . ~Karen


message 15: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Richards | 47 comments Here's a recent blog interview describing Jeffery Rasley's new book, Light in the Mountains! Thank you, Jeff


http://www.seedsborntolight.candletot...

Namaste!

Pam


message 16: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Rasley | 173 comments Thank you, Pam. You have a beautiful blog.
http://www.seedsborntolight.candletot...


message 17: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Richards | 47 comments I recently interviewed author Sunny Frazier on my blog.
She shares insights about creating a fictional character based on her own life:


http://www.seedsborntolight.candletot...


message 18: by Judith (new)

Judith Hannan (judithhannan) | 11 comments I'm loving reading all these blogs to see the different approaches everyone takes. I have a new post on my Goodreads blog today call "Gulping Words." Here's the link. http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...


message 19: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Richards | 47 comments Memoirist Kathleen Pooler has just contributed an interview to seedsborntothelight:

http://www.seedsborntolight.candletot...

She ended her interview with a kind invitation to memoirists to share their experiences. Memoirists, feel free to add a comment and connect with those who follow the blog!

Best,

Pam


message 20: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Richards | 47 comments Hi, Authors! Memoirist Ola Rhodes has just contributed an interview to seedsborntothelight:

http://tinyurl.com/99tfzwt

Her subject: "On Witches of Another Hemisphere"

Best blessings,

Pam


message 21: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Rasley | 173 comments I am interviewed for blog-radio & local radio shows at least once each month. I have yet to see any sales spikes resulting. Boo hoo! But, my primary reason for giving the interviews is to promote a nonprofit I run, Basa Village Foundation. Anyone else had any luck with book promo thru blog-radio or talk radio shows? Tips?

This is a link to the most recent interview: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/triangle...


message 22: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Jeffrey, I've never done an interview, and I don't listen to much radio except now and again on my computer, but I can tell you that on two occasions in the past year, I have bought a paperback after hearing the author interviewed on radio. I loved both books, reviewed them and told friends about them. So who knows... even if that one little person goes out and buys your book, that could lead to a review and eventually more sales. Keep on believing :)


message 23: by Joe (last edited May 16, 2013 12:23PM) (new)

Joe Pfeiler | 13 comments Nancy, back when I was going the traditional publishing route, most agents asked what a writer's "platform" was and one agent said this could be a blog.

I started mine because I had no other platform, and to provide writing samples on a regular basis for potential agents. The result is an online diary of my journey to publishing this ebook: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17...

Hope you're enjoying yours!


message 24: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Bogdanovic | 19 comments Hi, everyone.
I just started blogging on my author profile page here on goodreads.com. So far I've introduced myself and shared whatever is on my mind. In my most recent post, I reflect on a former Navy SEAL's decision to pen a new memoir called Warrior Princess. It's a timely issue, so check it out at: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/....


message 25: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Alexandra wrote: "Hi, everyone.
I just started blogging on my author profile page here on goodreads.com. So far I've introduced myself and shared whatever is on my mind. In my most recent post, I reflect on a former..."


Thanks, Alexandra. I'll check it out.


message 26: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Meyer | 17 comments Hi All

I started my blog originally to talk about my book, but found that there is only so much I can say about the writing process and as a new author, can hardly offer expert advice! So it has ended up being a once monthly blog on daily life in the Kruger National Park (which was the topic of my original book anyway). That I've found to be really fun, and it has attracted a number of followers.

My blog address is http://www.nikkimeyerbooks.com

Had I known it would end up being a 'bush blog' I might have named it differently! And now that I'm learning so much, I definitely would like to take Leila's advice and learn how to categorise my blogs to give me more opportunity to diversify. Happy blogging!


message 27: by Janet (new)

Janet Givens (authorjanetgivens) | 8 comments I just now discovered this conversation -- going on since before I began mine. And I've spent much of this rainy Sunday afternoon reading the Comments. Thanks for that.

I've been blogging since January, from my website, janetgivens.com. The blog, dubbed And So It Goes, is still a work in progress. I'm currently running a series of weekly Deleted Scenes from my Yet-to-be-published memoir, At Home on the Kazakh Steppe, in order to buy me some time to rethink content.

I originally planned to blog monthly, but was advised (in an online course on building my social media platform with Kristin Lamb) to blog three times a week for best results. Well, three times a week lasted about one week. Simply didn't work in my life.

My Author bio states that I write about midlife change, culture, travel, Kazakhstan, friendship, and grand parenthood "in no particular order" but still, I feel I don't have a grip on what my blog is about: what my "brand" is. I do better on Facebook, both Profile (givensj48) and Page (Janet Givens Author). There I feel more comfortable.

I can't imagine having more than one blog. Not just in the time to keep each one current, but in the confusion it would cause my readers. And, with each post, I end with questions to elicit comments -- some call it conversation; I'm not so sure -- from my reader. I don't get many. But, I keep hearing that it takes time, maybe years, to find our blog rhythm (and readership). And so I persevere.

And, finally, I hate the idea of using my blog to sell my book. I believe I am building community, not solely on my blog, but as part if a wider blogging world. I feel used each time a member of that world flaunts the opportunity to buy their new book. For me, selling is done from the larger website ("Click here to purchase") and from my FB Page. I use my FB Profile and Page and my Twitter to send people to my blog and build a readership. Once I have a book to sell, I'll use them to send people to my website alone.

For me, now, the purpose of my blog is to
meet people over topics of shared interest. I'm finding some fantastic mentors along the way.
Sharon Lippincott, Jerry Wexler, Linda Joy Meyers, and Linda Austin spring quickly to mind as the first generation muses, if you will. Sonia Marsh, Carol Bodensteiner, Shirley Showalter .... The list goes on. Kathy Pooler had been of particular help, I want to add. A few of her blogs are featured in this conversation.

Speaking of conversation, I'll stop my little monologue now. I do hope to hear back. I hate that feeling of posting something into a big, empty void. You know?


message 28: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Well put Janet. Even though I am in marketing and help others with their blogs, I still struggle with mine, or at least with the various ones I keep enthusiastically starting up and then losing momentum on. Yes, blogs should be posted weekly at least... but this depends on your goals and I don't think it applies to a writing blog. The one blog that I have kept going over the years is a personal blog on my writing journey, or rather on my story that caused me to write. This one seems to do well and I've made many friends here. I only post once a month or so and that seems to work. I still get several new people signing up a month.

One thing I have learned with all my marketing experience is this... It's not about the product, it's about the person behind the product. There are millions of books out there, millions of pieces are art etc. BUT there is only one YOU. I'm busy writing an article on this at the moment. When I read your post, some thoughts popped into my head... your www name is good, because it's your name, so it's about you. Not necessarily your book. You need to shine through. Your title, And So it Goes, is lovely and can be about anything. Your topics, midlife change, culture, travel, Kazakhstan, friendship, and grand parenthood are wide open. You could add in an old family recipe, some random thoughts about getting older, a cute story about your grandchildren, anything, because you see a writing blog should be a place where someone can read something, anything you wrote, and get a sense of your writing style. But more importantly, get a sense of YOU.

Those are my random thoughts for the day :)

xx


message 29: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments Janet wrote: "I just now discovered this conversation -- going on since before I began mine. And I've spent much of this rainy Sunday afternoon reading the Comments. Thanks for that..."

Oh, if you'd like to see my writing blog it is here -
http://www.leilasummers.co.za/blog


message 30: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Janet wrote: "I just now discovered this conversation -- going on since before I began mine. And I've spent much of this rainy Sunday afternoon reading the Comments. Thanks for that.

I've been blogging since..."


Hi Janet,

I blog as often or as seldom as the mood strikes, and I blog about whatever I'm fancying at that particular moment. I don't blog about my books, and I only follow as many bloggers as I can actively engage with. I have fallen in with a community of bloggers (both domestic and international). We are educators, journalists, photographers, physicians, empty nesters, housewives, and house husbands, and we have become like family. We blog about life, we share our struggles and solutions to problems, our careers, victories, failures and disappointments. We discuss new puppies that chew up shoes and furniture, avocado plants that won't grow, single fatherhood, aging parents, and children with disabilities. I believe our blogs should be whatever nourishes and sustains us and helps us become better people... and writers.


message 31: by Berta (new)

Berta Dickerson | 6 comments Hi everybody. I post Christian devotions based on my life experiences on my blog twice a month. I've kept a journal for a few decades now and write about the changes in my faith-walk.
http://snapshots-bertad.blogspot.com


message 32: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Stephan (nancystephan) Joe wrote: "Nancy, back when I was going the traditional publishing route, most agents asked what a writer's "platform" was and one agent said this could be a blog.

I started mine because I had no other plat..."


Thanks, Joe. Sometimes it's good to just let our blogs evolve naturally instead of forcing them to do something. I'm enjoying my blog and the other bloggers I've met in the process. Congrats on your book, you half-Italian, you!


message 33: by Betty (new)

Betty Herbert (bettyherbert) | 2 comments I'm a blog flitter! I often start new blogs that I abandon after a few posts. It's a good way of trying out new ideas/voices/identities, I think. On the other hand, some blogs 'stick' and grow into wonderful things you could never have imagined when you set them up.

My second ever blog, http://52Seductions.com, was my most successful so far, and won me my agent and book deal. But after eighteen months, I found that I'd run out of interesting things to say on that one, so I moved on. I now have bettyherbert.com, on which I talk about sex, love and relationships, but with a wider focus than 52 Seductions.

My main piece of advice for a blog is to remember that it's your shop front, and to always be interesting. When you can't find anything else to say, move on deliberately rather than letting it die a slow death. That will allow you to take your readers with you, rather than watching them gradually lose interest. I tend to find that all blogs have a natural life-span (especially memoir ones), and it's good to work with that.


message 34: by Leila (new)

Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 770 comments That sounds a little like me Betty! I have a question for you, when you say you move on rather than letting it die a slow death... how do you move on and take your readers with you? Do you close down the blog? Or do you leave it up? I am loathe to delete a blog even if it just has a few posts. I'd appreciate your advice on how you move on. I think I am due to sort out my blogs and decide on my focus :)
Leila


message 35: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (ellenbesso) | 17 comments I've been blogging since 2007, for my coaching practice, then my books. Thought you might enjoy my latest blog: "Behind the Scenes, The making of 'An Indian Sojourn', Part 1".

http://ellenbesso.com/midlife-women/b...

I wrote it as a promotional tool & information for new writers. It was fun to do.

Warmly
Ellen Besso
ellenbesso.com
facebook.com/AuthorEllenBesso


message 36: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (ellenbesso) | 17 comments P.S. from Ellen: I forgot to mention that Google picked up my Behind the Scenes blog. I guess people are interested in what goes on behind.
Ellen


message 37: by D.G. (last edited Aug 12, 2013 04:57PM) (new)

D.G. Kaye (dgkaye) | 1 comments Hi everyone, my name is Debby and I just joined here. It is so inspiring to hear about all the different reasons we love to write. I only started blogging earlier this year and at the same time was in the midst of writing my first book, a memoir about emotional neglect through childhood and how I found my place in the world. I too found that I was juggling my writing time between the two as well as reading tons of books to educate myself on the journey of self publishing, which I am currently in the midst of. So glad to have found this group. I am trying to make it a point to write something worthwhile every week and in between I love to post inspirational things and helpful writing publications I come across. I look forward to being a part of this group. If you want to see my blog I'm at www.debbygies.wordpress.com


Kim at 24/7 in France | 2 comments I have one blog "24/7 in France" and have my books categorized and book covers/trailer links on the home page - best of luck with your blog and hope this helps!
httP://twentyfourseveninfrance.com


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