Monday, May 4, 2009

It's all about da blog.

Just like to officially welcome the three newest followers of this blog!

Lotus Rising
Marybeth
Eric

Question for the day:

How do you draw traffic/followers to your blog?

I mean, we can sit here and write wonderful posts, but if no one reads them... Is it like the proverbial tree falling in the empty forest... is it meaningless if no one reads it?

And why do you blog?

Michael Hyatt recently posted on blogs being a way to build at platform, but, if no one, or very few view your blog, it isn't really a meaningful platform, is it? Is it enough to show you're *working* on a platform or willing to build one?

If you blog to build a platform, how effective is that platform? Do blogs really help sell books?

I ask a lot of question, but have few if any answers. I know. CRAP, right?

Let me give you MY reasons for blogging.

If NOTHING else, it's a good exercise in writing. It MAKES me sit down a few times a week, and even if I don't have time that week to write on my book, I at least put some words to keyboard and engage my mind in the act of writing. Like Michael noted on his blog, it helps to build an author's voice.

I also blog in an attempt to build SOME kind of platform. I realize at the moment it's a small number of people, but a small number can multiple. Everyone starts somewhere. How many books will this help someday? I have no idea. But I DO like the thought of letting my readers interact with me once I am published.

But the biggest reason I blog is to make a difference. If even ONE person reads a post and is encouraged, drawn to the heart of God, or convicted about something, then every second I've spent is worth it.

Discussion: I'd love to hear some of the reason's YOU blog, also tips for drawing readers to your blog. I'm a big believer of learning from each other, so let's all pool our knowledge and see what awesome ideas we get!

15 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

Happy Monday, Krista! One day closer to getting contest results! Are you on the edge of your seat?! :)

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how useful blogging will be for the future of my career. Everyone tells us it is the "thing" to help build platform, so that is definitely one reason I'm blogging.

But now that I've been blogging, I'm realizing that it's helping me keep up with the vein of the writing community better. I'm getting news and feedback and learning so much about the general writing climate.

I'm also gaining a great network of friends who are at the same stage as I am. We can encourage each other and hopefully even cheer for each other as we have our successes some day.

But, blogging is hard work. And it does take effort to build a reader base and keep it! I think it helps to visit other blogs and start meeting other writers. If we sit back and wait for people to come to us, it won't happen as quickly.

Have a great day!

Krista Phillips said...

So very true, jody! And you do such a GREAT job at that! I'm totally jealous! Everytime I find a new blog I see a Jody comment, and think, HOW does she do it! I try to visit all the blogs I like to read at least once a week (with a handful of daily ones) but can't always do even that.

What I DID do this week for the FIRST time was to preschedule my posts. I have 3 this week, so If I have time to write 2 more, great, but otherwise I have at least my min of 3 blogs for the week. We'll see if I can keep that up next weekend!

Marybeth said...

Thanks for the Warm Welcome! My blog is enjoying your company as well :)

I draw MOST of my traffic through facebook. I have a page dedicated to my blog and I also use Networked Blogs (a facebook application) Every time I Post a now blog I set an update on facebook and twitter. Seems to help!

I blog because I LOVE it. I love to write, I love to laugh, and I love to network. I agree with Jody, it is hard work, but it's well worth it. Especially with being an aspiring novelist. I've met so many wonderful/talented people.

As an aspiring novelist I feel it is important to build some sort of platform. I'm nowhere near where I want to be, but I've made a start.

Cindy said...

Thanks for the post! I wonder about all these things myself. I think now I mostly blog because I love to reach people and I love feedback. I hope that I am building a platform in this sense, but I am not sure.

I still try to get more traffic to my blog, however, because it is important to me to reach people. Typically I try to visit other writer's blogs and sometimes they'll come visit mine. I don't have a huge following but I have learned a lot from other aspiring or published authors and it's nice to be able to encourage each other and give advice on how to work toward our goals.

Suzanne said...

I've recently been asking this question also. The technique I started trying last week is to write an article that encompases multiple posts. I've entitled it Top 10 Mistakes New Fiction Writers Make.

Then I started telling people about it on writing forums and social networks. So far it's working wonderfully. I've gone from about 10-15 hits/week to 35 hits in only a few days. Now the trick is to continue writing blog posts that will make people come back regularly.

Suzanne
www.suzanne-hartmann2.blogspot.com

lotusgirl said...

I blog to meet new writer friends like you, to give myself a web presence, and to help others (either find good books to read or write better).

Krista Phillips said...

Marybeth, ditto the facebook thing. Not sure how many people actually click over to my blog, but I'm sure there are a few:-)

Cindy, visiting other's blogs and commenting is a great way to get followers! I think Miss Jody is a MASTER at that! I, personally, am still working to find the time:-)

Suzanne, what a great idea! I need to do this more as well. It's the whole getting over being nervous about broadcasting it to the masses. I guess I have the fear of people thinking I'm being "all about me" and proud. Ugh. Such a connumdrum.

Lotusgirl, meeting new friends is a HUGE perk of blogging! Even though I can be a slight bit shy in person, I'm really a very social person!!

Jody Hedlund said...

Just call me the master! ;)

OK. Can I just say, I'm stewing tonight about the contests. I can't concentrate on my writing, so I'm blog hopping and writing all the snarky comments I'm so good at! (Yeah, right!) So, commisserate with me for a minute!

Contests are the pits! And so is waiting! Whew. Got that off my chest! Now back to writing!

Krista Phillips said...

I SO am with you Jody!!!!

I've decided though not to bug out about it until later in the week.

I looked on the ACFW forums to see when people started getting calls last year, (everything was a month earlier last year so it was 4/1 - 4/15 that was the waiting time) and people started getting calls on the 7th. I believe the results were announced to the masses on the 8th?

Granted, they had more entries this year, so it might take them longer, and lots of stuff goes into it, but I decided I'm going to try not to go rediculously crazy with anticipation until Thursday. After that, I'll be pretty much worthless.

Although i'm not getting much writing done either. URGH! Very frustrated about that, and now I'm wondering if I should even BE working on my second and third books.

This is a long comment. Probably more e-mail or facebook worthy.

But anyway, Yes, I TOTALLY commiserate with you!

Jessica said...

Those are great reasons Krista! And how cool that you thought of welcoming new followers. LOL I never thought of doing that but it's so sweet.

I started a blog with the main idea of platform involved, but I realize that platform is not nec. for fiction writers. Soon after that realization came the one that I love to blog. I love asking questions, stating my opinion and just ranting about books and writing. LOL At first I visited people's blogs but now I'm so busy I can barely keep up with the ones who visit mine. Maybe when summer comes I'll have more time to cruise the blogosphere. :-)

Krista Phillips said...

Jessica, I DO like to notice and recognize my followers!! Plus, it's always good for a blogger to have a link to their blog from anothers. Helps drive traffic, so it's my very small way I can recognize them:-)

Does anyone else do the whole Technorati thing? It kinda ranks your blog and the more likes to your blog the higher your ranking.

So if you are, it helps that too!

Eric said...

Thank you for the kind words of welcome. To answer your question, I write in my blog all the "other" thoughts that don't fit in a book (at least at the moment). I use it to write as often as possible, since I'm trying to train myself to be a professional writer and am not used to that particular habit. I also use it to put out questions, ideas that I need to work my way through as well as learn what other writers have to say about it. I began with nobody reading my blog, and after paying attention to what so many other successful writers are doing, I think I'm not doing too shabby. From the comments I receive, at least a couple people find what I put there useful, so thats good enough I guess.

Suzanne said...

One thing that helps me with my blog is the hitcounter I added. I use SiteMeter and it is wonderful. It sends me a report every week and I can view the information a number of different ways. Probably the most helpful information is which site is referring the hit. I can also see where people are from (approx.), how long they were on, and how many pages they checked. It's a wonderful tool!

Suzanne said...

I'm anxiously awaiting the results of the Genesis Contest too. Maybe we can all post what we learn on this blog? That would be fun to learn from each other.

Krista Phillips said...

Suzanne, I am SO all about having a "contest results" party on my blog! Whether we final or not, I'm sure we'll have some AWESOME feedback and how fun to share what we learn from it!!!!

Now if they'd just give us those dad gum results!