I’ll be honest, I’m a bit of a blogging whore. I can’t help it. I’ve had so many blogs in my lifetime that I can’t even write them all down. In addition to running this author blog, I have a gardening one for my landscape company, I’ve just started a new one about my Second Life bookstore attempts, and I have many old and languishing websites that are long forgotten.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been reading with increasing interest about the reasoning behind genre blogging; that is, writing about your novel’s genres and interests, rather than about the writing process itself. It does seem obvious when you think about it. If I blog about how to write novels, ways in which to promote books and my own self-publishing story, then I can expect to attract other authors who are interested in, or going through, the same process. If I blog about Inside Evil or my other books, I’m likely to attract only my current fans or those who are specifically looking for more information on my books.
However, if I blog about fantasy, science fiction and other subjects that have inspired the books, then I’m more likely to attract new readers who might give my books a go because they have similar interests.
I’ve increasingly been thinking about blogging in my genre and how to go about it on this blog. Writing about fantasy and science fiction is no hardship for me at all – I’m more than happy to gush about Mass Effect, LOTR or Blood & Chrome for HOURS. But, these subjects are such a dramatic split from this current blog that it just didn’t sit right with me.
Would I offend current readers of this blog by posting material that they really weren’t interested in? Would new readers looking for the latest gaming update or cinema release really be drawn in by other posts about writing?
I don’t think so.
As such, I’m attempting to breathe some life back into my old blog, The Modern Hermit. I’ve had this blog running for several years, and despite not having posted on it for nearly a year, I still get more hits a day on that site than I do here, largely because the back-list of articles and keywords. The blog certainly has a different tone than here, with completely different subject matter and a far more informal, even cursing voice sometimes, but it draws readers. Readers that could become book buyers.
Today I’ve updated both the themes for each blog to tie them together, as well as adding a new page on The Modern Hermit about my writing. It means that if those interested in fantasy and science fiction material are interested, they can easily find my work, but that I can keep the realms of writing and genre blogging separate from one another.
I think my little tip here is that if you feel that two subjects don’t fit alongside each other on a blog and you run the risk of repelling the very viewers that you’re trying to attract, listen to your instincts. Instead, create two blogs with the same themes, the same look, sister sites you could even call them. Then encourage cross reading for viewers, but ensure that should they want to do so, bloggers only need read the items that interest them.
8 thoughts on “Genre blogging and how it helps you sell ebooks”
Seems like we’re going through some of the same puzzle-solving. I’ve been thinking about talking more specifically about science fiction on the blog, but I also have other idea that could be incorporated into it or . . . Squidoo. Some of the topics would work either way, Or both? There’s always the temptation to start another blog, but very few of them have any lasting power. I can probably beat you on the number started and abandoned.
I’m glad I’m not the only one thinking about this….I’ll have to try the blogging route, and you try Squidoo and we’ll compare notes! Squidoo hasn’t really had a great affect for me so far…though I’ll persevere for a few more months yet.
I’ll be doing both, but trying to figure out where Squidoo fits in best. I spent a lot of time, initially, reading lenses on how to use Squidoo, and one thing I noted was the importance of keeping lenses fresh. So I’m not going to put every single link and bit of information that I had planned, on my first lens. I’ll hold some back to use as updaters, and do the same with additional lenses. Of course, some subjects won’t lend themselves to that because there’s only so much you can say.
Do give it time, Geoff. Very few topics catch fire right away. Most will probably be slow but steady builders. I’ll be sqeezing bits of Squidoo work in between more important stuff and considering it an experimental investment of my time.
I will keep persevering. You’re very right though – to stay towards the top of the listings, updates are required. This means holding back information and adding new links etc over time. It’s something that I didn’t think about initially, and am now wishing that I had!
I made a Scrivener project for Squidoo to help me keep on top of ideas and development. As I read news, book reviews, miscellaneous articles, etc., I can put URLs and summaries into the proper topic categories for future use. Of course, that doesn’t require Scrivener, just as long as you have some way to stay organized. I think the trick is to make a new lens informative and interesting enough for people to want to come back, and holding back enough or finding enough so that you can keep refreshing it.
To get back to genres — how about a group of genre lenses? Plus the one that pulls them all together and summarizes them. I have a lot of non-writing lens ideas, but I’d like Squidoo mostly to be an extension of the kind of writing I do on my blog. Still haven’t worked it all out, and just like writing a novel, it will be interesting to see what directions it takes that I didn’t originally plan.
Oh, almost forgot. Once I get enough lenses up and have enough traffic to make it worthwhile, I’ll be promoting other people’s writing lenses. And writing blogs. And books. And, and, and. There’s really no end to what you can do with Squidoo.
I like the idea of genre collections that all tie together and also feed back to blogs and book links. What a great idea! I’ll have to play with this myself 😀
Have fun. You already have the bare beginnings. I’d like to see what you can do with it. If I eventually go in that direction, I’ll do it differently. I’m not going to try to be in competition with you — or anyone else, for that matter.