August 21, 2018 at 8:14 pm #44124
Hey. me again.. (sorry, i have alot of questions.. XD)
Anyway, @jane-maree (or anyone else that would know) on the publishing question you said one of the things I could be working on is platform. That’s my big ‘uhh’. Because fiction.. how do you do a fiction blog? Like my sister has a really good blog.. but it’s non-fic, it makes sense you put on articles. But what do you do with fiction? I was thinking about asking my parents if I could start a blog, then didn’t because I realized I have no idea what to put on it. What does one put on a fiction blog? Snippets or chapters from my books..? Or what..?
I just haven’t started any platform because I think anything that i put on is gonna be weird…:/
sorry for so many questions, and it’s fine if it’s awhile before you can answer this..
~KatAugust 21, 2018 at 9:11 pm #44132R.M. Archer@r-m-archer
Well… I don’t necessarily do this well, since my blog caters more to other authors then to readers, but hopefully I can still help, lol. I personally post three or four times a week (which I would not recommend to someone just starting out, lol), and my schedule looks like this:
Sunday – Snippet/excerpt (This used to be short stories, but then I got burnt out on those and switched to snippets)
Tuesday – Writing advice
Wednesday – Character interview
Every other Thursday (ideally) – Book review
So actually… all but one of those is directed toward readers. That’s interesting. Snippets are great for sharing what your writing style is like and getting people invested in your work early. They’ll get interested in what you’re working on and the characters in it and the setting and whatever else.
Character interviews are great, because characters are almost always the #1 hook for a story, so showing your characters early and getting your readers invested in them is a great idea. You can also do better than I do and have your blog readers send in questions for various characters so there’s more variation in the interviews, the readers feel like part of the process, and they get to learn what they want to learn about the characters.
Book reviews allow readers to connect with you over books you’ve both really enjoyed or really disliked (or have very opposite opinions on), tells people you know what works and what doesn’t in your genre (or even just in general), and brings in people who appreciate similar books (which could very well be books similar to the one you’re writing, in which case you’re drawing in your target audience).
I also know bloggers who post serial stories on their blog. Personally, I’ve tried that and it hasn’t worked for me, but you could try it if you wanted to and had the time.
Hopefully this gives you some idea of what to post. Good luck! I’ve found blogging to be a lot of fun, not to mention it’s a great way to connect with awesome people, whether they’re fellow bloggers, fellow authors, or fellow readers. ^-^
Fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi author. Mythology nerd. ENFP. Singer.August 21, 2018 at 11:39 pm #44137Jane Maree@jane-maree
@katthewriter Don’t worry about asking lots of questions! That’s the best way to learn. <3
A fiction author’s blog can be basically the same as a non-fiction, to be honest. It’s not a matter of dos and don’ts. A blog is for connecting with readers and growing a tribe.
Starting out, I’d suggest doing one post per week. Pick a day and always post on that day. You could post about…
– book/movie reviews
– writing update
– life update
– random thoughts
A blog is your place, so it’s a place to express yourself. It can be scary, but it’s worth it. Connect with your readers. Make friends. The blog posts are essentially your half of the conversation and you want them to carry on the other half in the comments.
Don’t think it’s going to be weird. The only thing you have to offer to your readers is you, and that’s why they’re going to be reading your posts. Just be you. 🙂
Writing Heroes ♦ Writing Hope // janemareeauthor.com.auAugust 22, 2018 at 11:24 am #44157August 22, 2018 at 11:30 am #44159
Okay.. but i’m not sure if i’m very good with any of those things..
I follow @gabriellepollack ‘s blog, we were friends on YWW, and she has a fiction blog, but it seems so… official. But really good, not like something i could do.
My thing that i’m not sure about is on the blog do i be me, or just the writer, more official sounding side of me..? Like i’m silly, and a complete horse nerd/lover, and that digs its way into some of my books, for example i’m working on Mr. Wilson’s story, which is based off of the real Horse, Mr. Wilson, who was rescued. (My horse coach owns him) And it’s hard to do Show Dont Tell and everything from Horse POV, but i’m still doing that.. but only like horse people will like that sort of stuff.. and i want other people on my blog too, so should i not post stuff from my horse books..? Sorry.. i’m just not sure about this stuff..
~KatAugust 22, 2018 at 11:32 am #44162
@kattewriter, have I followed you on the YYW?
Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.August 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm #44166
@parker you could probably find my profile, and stalk me.. but i am not on anymore. I quit about 5 months ago.August 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm #44167
Oh! @Kattewriter! Did it just take too much time?
Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.August 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm #44169
@parker yeah.. and other stuff, and we were just getting a whole bunch of new young kids who spammed everything.. and *shrugs* i just decided to get off. Lots of people I knew were getting off too. Awesome that you were in, i learned plenty, but it was sort of a distraction, so i got off. Brett still lets me email him every once in awhile for questions, and i still stay in touch with writers from there, and we work on writing together. So i’m fine without it, and don’t need to be paying the 20$ every month. (it’s more expensive now, but that’s what it was when they first started, before the community existed.August 22, 2018 at 12:16 pm #44171
Oh, I understand!! The community can be distracting. Like planning funerals! That’s what a few of my friends are doing.
Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.August 22, 2018 at 12:45 pm #44173August 22, 2018 at 6:51 pm #44192Jane Maree@jane-maree
My thing that i’m not sure about is on the blog do i be me, or just the writer, more official sounding side of me..? Like i’m silly, and a complete horse nerd/lover, and that digs its way into some of my books[…]
@katthewriter Always be you! Don’t try to pretend to be professional if you don’t feel it. Be silly! Be a nerd! That’s who you are and don’t try to be someone else. That just ends in a mess of confusion.
Go stalking around and check out a bunch of peoples’ blogs. Find ideas and inspiration from all around the place. 🙂
Writing Heroes ♦ Writing Hope // janemareeauthor.com.auAugust 22, 2018 at 7:03 pm #44193Jillian Fisher (jillifish)@jillifish
The goal for platform building is usually to create a group of followers who will be ready to buy your books once you start publishing. So, treat a blog as a business tool. You might even want to research blogging as a business, so that you can better understand not only why you may want to start one but how to begin with a solid foundation. Brand building might be worth researching, too, since that is what the platform is for – your brand (you, as an author; and your books). Basically, you are building a business not just writing books. 🙂 Blogging for Dummies is a good book to start with. I’m currently working my way through the “All-in-One” version, and found the “book” on Niche Blogging more helpful in terms of figuring out what to blog about (as opposed to “how do I set up a blog?” which I already have a solid understanding, but discovered books on blogging sometimes focus more on that).
As a fiction writer, your business is creating stories. So your blog is a place to demonstrate your skills and expertise not only of writing in general, but of your genre and the topics/ tropes/ interests, etcetera, explored in your stories. Short stories and snippets are good ideas, but posting those frequently can be daunting and take too much time away from actually writing. Also, be careful about posting too much from a work-in-progress. It doesn’t help teasing a book when it could still be a full year or more before the book is available, as the tease will be long forgotten by then. It might frustrate readers, too, if they keep getting little tastes but are left waiting indefinitely for the full “meal”. Plus, when you go to sell your book to a publisher (if you do) they will expect it to be unpublished – and that includes being shared online.
I’ve seen a few different types of writer blogs. Many have blogs on writing, and life as an aspiring author. I’ve read, though, that this is actually not a good idea for building a fiction platform because the people reading blogs about writing are mostly other writers or aspiring writers. Not necessarily people looking for fiction books. I have seen some authors write blogs as their character, and really like this. The blog posts are all in character, which is fun, and they are on a range of topics, usually related to the world of the story(ies), the author’s life (as viewed by the character, blurring the line between fictional and real-world), and sometimes including interviews of or guest posts by others in the genre (interviews conducted by the character, and guest posts introduced by the character). Of course, this probably works best for those who are writing a series and plan to stick with the character(s) for a long time. But I did see a fun alternative recently, where a fictional assistant writes the blog for the author. (https://dinosdigest.com/) The blog is on writing, but unlike most writer blogs that talk about writing, they are also showing their ability to create a fictional world and characters. So not only would I definitely buy a writing craft book by the dino, I’d also be eager to learn about any fiction the author were to publish because I already love their imagination and know they can express themselves well.
One approach I haven’t seen as much, but think makes a lot of sense, is a book blog focusing on the kinds of books you plan to write. The idea is to build a blog readership that loves the type of books you write, and actively discusses them with you – not only giving you a waiting fanbase, but plenty of people freely giving you info on what they like and don’t like about the genre(s), which could help you with your writing (idea creation, deciding what tropes to include/ ignore/ twist, what expectations to play with for greater surprises, etc.)
And combining different approaches into one that works for you is a good idea, too. Especially as you’re just starting your blog, you have time to test out different writing styles and approaches and topic ideas to see what you like best. It is a business, so you do want to be professional but it also needs to fit you and your brand.
You mentioned writing about horses, and loving horses in general. That could be a great source of material for a blog! Horses are very popular, as are rescue stories in general. How you approach the material will be the key as to whether only “horse people” will be interested or if you can attract a wider audience. If you start with a horse topic, and find a way to turn it into a more universal topic (such as how rescuing a horse ends up rescuing the people involved, too, for example, or center a story on the ups and downs of friendship and growing up around a group of horse-crazy girls who belong to the same riding group (such as the Pony Club series)) then you’ll likely appeal to more people. But remember that it isn’t possible to write for everyone, and sometimes choosing to follow a niche crowd can be a smart decision, too.August 22, 2018 at 8:40 pm #44201Daeus Lamb@daeus-lamb
@katthewriter Side note. You don’t have to blog to build a following. There are other methods: youtube, podcasting, public speaking, email lists, (even just making super close friends with a lot of other authors who want to support you, but don’t be manipulative about it.)
Of all methods of marketing, I think building an email list and making friends with other authors/influencers are the most important, but don’t let me control your life. 😛 Build your platform whichever way works best for you and if you study from the experts and learn from your mistakes you’ll eventually do good. 🙂
I’ve actually built a somewhat large email list without blogging at all and plan (within a year or three) to grow it to 10,000+ still without blogging at all. I might start a blog just to post updates on my story whenever I feel like it, but that’s all.
👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢August 23, 2018 at 9:52 am #44220
Unfortunately, @kattewriter, it’s my funeral and a few others.
Living in a world of mystery and dangerous predicaments while working with the AWESOME Meraki's.
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