Monday, February 20, 2012

To Blog or Not to Blog. . .That Is The Question

Blogging is only going to help you if you do it well. No blog is better than a bad blog. This is not the place to rant, wax poetic, or otherwise indulge yourself. Use our guidelines to help you build a better blog.

Know Your Theme


Before you build a blog, you must decide what your purpose is. Ask yourself these questions:

1.      Do I want to be funny and pithy?
2.      Do I have enough energy and time to write daily, or at least every other day? (Remember, a blog without fresh content is as stagnant as a mosquito pond)
3.      Do I have friends to guest blog?
4.      Will I be able to sustain my blog with consistent content?
5.      Would I prefer to blog alone, or blog with buddies?
6.      If I blog with others, will I be a leader or a follower?
7.      If I blog with others, will I be able to set boundaries and resolve problems?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you can move forward. Remember, you have to decide what your blog is going to be about—the writing life, genre specific content, book reviews, some element of craft, etc.
When I decided to start this blog, I structured it to be a destination site for writers seeking information on marketing and promoting. I started The Naked Hero with author Misa Ramirez and Lee Lopez to appeal to readers.



There is no shortage of blogs out there for readers to choose from, so make sure your blog or grog stays focused so readers know exactly what to expect when they stop by. This means you need to know your audience.

Once you have your theme dialed in, you will know who your audience is. On the flipside, if you know who you want your audience to be, that can help you hone in on an appropriate theme.
Ask the simple question: Who do you want to be reading your blog/grog? Mystery readers? Agents and editors? Romance writers? Men? Women? Mothers? Sci-fi fans? Self-published authors?
Whoever it is, identify them, then gear your site to them. Write about ideas and topics related to your theme that your audience will also be interested in. Blogging/grogging requires commitment. A following is not born overnight. It takes time. Be cognizant of your readers so they know you care about them.

Do you have a blog? What is your audience?


International Bestselling author Tonya Kappes believes that targeted and smart promotion and marketing can take a book from lackluster sales to the world of bestseller. She pooled her resources and knowledge to write The Tricked Out Toolbox: Promotion and Marketing Tools Every Writer Needs. When not touting marketing and promotion through her workshops, she write cozy mysteries, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. I'm addicted to coffee, McDonald's Diet Coke, and Red Hots Candy!

16 comments:

  1. Tonya, very interesting "take" on this blog process. How it began almost three years ago, is not exactly where I am today. Like any other good WIP the blog has evolved, grown and now has a life of its own.

    Since my writing crosses genre lines, my snarky persona needs an escape, and because I am above all a NYC Gal, I enjoy a variety of posts, guest, and features.

    This is great advice for anyone interested in learning what all the fuss is about blogs. Also read Anne R. Allen. She posts very sensible ideas for how to grow and manage the blog of it all. Thanks. See you on GIAM Facebook :)

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    1. HI! fOIS, it's great seeing you here too! Anne's blog is great. She's so fun!! I agree that your blog changes are you realize your career, begin to figure out what your voice really is. This is my third personal blog in five years, but this time I've taken it a lot more serious as my career has taken off. I really want to help other authors. I just LOVE it!

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  2. Well-organized thoughts and planning for blogs.
    One day, I'm sure I'll have to have my own blog and site. Right now, as you know, I'm with the Four Foxes One Hound. That didn't involve any of the steps you outline here --- I was invited to participate and I figured, "I can't pass up this opportunity." It's been a very good experience so far.

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    1. Jeff, your grog is great. I'm going to be posting on that tomorrow. I know a thing or two about who those work and would love for you to give your insight in a comment on how it's worked for you! Especially since you are a guy:)) with four gals:)

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    2. Thanks, Tonya.
      Eager to see your new posting tomorrow.

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  3. Tonya, my blog has evolved since it's inception and will be evolving more this year.

    However, I feature authors and books two days a week. My theme remains the same: SHARING THE LAUGHTER AND THE TEARS, THE GLITCHES AND THE TRIUMPHS, AUTHORS FACE IN THE PURSUIT OF THEIR AMBITION TO WRITE.

    Monday is my day to write and while it's usually something to do with writing, there is also commentary on my life.

    You give some good pointers, Ma'am.

    Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

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    1. I love your blog, Sia! I'm always spreading the word. I think you have a great balance for writers and readers. I visit your blog every day!

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  4. Lots of good points here, Tonya! My audience - at least, the one I'm targeting - is readers, particularly those who like stories about ordinary people who turn out to be not-so-ordinary, and about a place that looks ordinary at first glance, but is really something special. Consistency is key, so I blog about topics relating to my setting (Dayton, OH) on Mondays, and blog about books and reading on Thursdays. While my readership is nowhere near yours, it's slowly growing, so hopefully that means I'm doing something right!

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    1. That is a great idea, Jennette. You have really hit on something unique and not out there. AND consistency is key. I've found that since I have blogged three times a week and not strayed, I've gotten so many more hits. I just hope that I'm reaching that target audience.

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  5. Eek - Mine has no focus, it's a rambly bumbling haphazard disasterzone. But I like it :) I'm the human version of the aforementioned though! I'm nearly at 300 followers in just under a year, which I'm proud of. My audience is a mixed bunch, my posts are a mixed lot. I wonder what might happen if I streamlined...
    Inspiring post
    Laura xxx

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    1. It is! Rambly bumbling haphazard disaterzone is working for you and is exactly what your audience wants. That is your target audience and it's working for you! Keep it consistent and you will have 300 more blog followers in under three months:))

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  6. My blog is in its second evolution. I'm trying to attract readers and writers--but I still think I need to improve my focus.

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