Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. ~ E. L. Doctorow

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Testing. Testing. 1, 2, 3. Is This Thing On?

Source: blogs.voices.com

The glory of completing my first novel, I fear, will be met with disappointment.  Why you ask?  My readership is abysmal.  Agents and publishers give contracts to sellable authors.  I can’t sell anything if I don’t have a trusted group of readers, and they don’t have the time or money to wait around until there is. 

I'm constantly incorporating what I've learned to improve my blog and build a readership.  My blog statistics prove people visit, but they’re useless to me.  I don’t know who those people are or how they feel about my writing. 

Michael Hyatt, the Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, discussed unsuccessful blogs in “Why I Stopped Reading Your Blog” today.  I used his list of six reasons and a few of my own to revise my blog.  Here’s what I found out:     

Titles

As of right now, I am content with my blog and post titles, but I should love them.  An attention-getting title that screams, “Hey!  Check me out!  I’m smart, witty and I guarantee you’ll be entertained,” is key.  Laura’s Realm of Writing doesn’t scream anything.  Drowsiness comes to mind as well as the promise of another trite blog about a wannabe writer’s attempt at success and publication.     

Subject Matter

My blog represents how I feel, think and write.  I’ve added pictures to make it more appealing.  And after taking a website design class, I learned a “call to action” is important to coax reader participation, like responding to my posts.  So, I conclude my posts with a question.  Unfortunately, not too many comments are left.  Is it because they don’t have time or they don’t feel moved to respond?  Do I lack credibility? 

Length

I’ve read a lot about this.  Hyatt recommends it be 500 words or less (this blog has 503 words).  Readers don’t want to spend all day reading a blog, and I haven’t always done this in the past. 

Frequency

Daily blog posts tell my readers I’m serious and worth reading.  As an impatient person, I’m let down when I wait for weeks to read something new.  But can I produce enough interesting posts?  My solution was to regularly following a few blogs and keep abreast of current writing news. 

Etiquette

I should respond to my readers’ comments and thank them.  I don’t do that.  I apologize to those of you I left hanging. 

Ping

Well, not all my friends on Facebook share my passion for reading and writing.  I cannot expect them to loyally follow my blog.  Pinging is an often-free service that sends out notification of updated blogs to search engines.  The two I use with little problem are Pingomatic and Ping.In

Since it’s you I am trying to reach, my writing won’t improve without your help.  Leave me a comment and tell me what you like and feel I can improve on. 

Do you like my blog appearance and title?  Does my writing make you want to read more or scrap your eyes out?  

2 comments:

Octavius Orgasm said...

I think the look is fine, I enjoy a simplistic feel myself (mine is just white with black text.) I think the title needs work... not that I have any suggestions, because I suck at titles.

Laura Campbell said...

Thanks for the input. I've tossed some ideas for a title around, but I'm not so sure it will mesh with the theme. I need the ability to communicate directly with the page builder, rather than choosing from existing templates. Not entirely sure how.

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