Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Mailbox~ Blogs



A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that there was a ghost in my machine about my posts. After performing an exorcism on my computer and heavy prayers for my blogspot blog, I hope it is corrected.

Now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, it's on to our regularly scheduled mailbox. This week I'm going to talk about blog... namely the way I set mine up here. I've used Blogger and all their editions for about ten years now. I know there are other blog type formats like Wordpress, Google+, and Reddit, but I'll stick with something I know and comfortable with.

These were comments and made here, in emails, and over in the Compuserve's Books and Writers forum so rather than list each question individually again, I'll post some of my answers here so everyone has access.

My blog replaces my website. With emails, where to find my books, chat to other writers, voice my opinions, and talk to readers and writers alike so it did everything my website did. I created this new blog to do all of that. A blog is a journal of sorts. A blog is anything you want it to be.

Things to remember if you want more readers/hits...
  • Be consistent- When I first started blogging, months would go by between posts. Or maybe I'd blog every couple of weeks. Would you treat your friends that way?
  • Give something useful- Whether it is information, a laugh, excerpts, reviews, ot whatever. Make someone glad they stopped by.
  • A new view or take on something they might be interested in.
  • Give a variety- my blog has themed weeks and different items for the days of the week, but yours doesn't.
  • Your blog should be all about you. People getting to know you and your style.
  • Learn what  you can do and can't do within your blog. All blogs on the web have bells and whistles. Use them to your advantage.
  • Allow followers to add you to their blog roll or emails, or feeds.
  • Use keywords
It sounds like a sales pitch, doesn't it? Well it is. As a writer, you have marketable talents and yes, you can put it on a resume too. From this site I sell my books, not directly, but I'm advertising them. Personally, I don't want the hassles of processing orders and shipping them except for book signing or events. With the latter, it's direct sales with no shipping. As an indie author, I choose the hats I wear for the most part. I prefer the subtle sale to hard sale tactics. I feel you cannot twist someone's arm to sell them something they do not want or folk over hard earned bucks for a "luxury" item.

Starting in 2013, I was well recovered or sort of from my stroke, I needed the practice in writing long passages to regain some of the writing skills I lost. Since June of 2012, I posted on my stroke recovery and frustrations usually only once a week. But since this blog was for writers and readers initially, I started blogging back for them on Wednesdays. Since the end of last year, I've added to the days I blog to include something for almost everyone like my mailbox, terms for indie authors, writer's, fun stuff, interviews, reviews, and my take on stroke recovery or just living after a stroke. It all helps me connect the dots in my brain.

Late 2012, I posted about the importance of using keywords because I noticed a dramatic increase in hits on my site. I'd forgotten one of the basic rules of marketing...they have to find you first. What distinguishes my blog from the fifty gazillion blogs/websites out there and how do readers find you. My blog on platform building for writers has hit over 2,000 page views as of this morning. That's a small number when compared with some other blogs out there, but the point is the number is growing. In January 2013, I had 2,016 hits for the month. By the end of February, the number of hits grew to 3, 458. See Statistical Analytics for more. I'm using more back links to other blogs I've written.

My blog has take-away value. Whether you're a stroke survivor or caregiver, a writer struggling with your manuscript or published author trying to promote your novel, or a reader, you are all reading, laughing, and being informed by my blog. How do I know this? The comments you make or the slew of emails I get every day about my posts. Even if my blog is how I am doing, I'm still getting responses.

So that's my response about blogs and the way mine works.

So why do you blog and why?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.


2 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JL .. I started blogging because my mother had had some strokes and was bedridden .... and I needed to be able to get to the Nursing Centre to see her and I needed to have threads of ideas that we could talk about ...

... thankfully my readers seem to enjoy my writings and articles and I've carried on. Blogging has taught me loads - about others, caring, illness, end of life, and generally meeting others from around the world ...

Good luck with your ongoing recovery - it sounds as though you're doing well - it always amazes me how the body heals ... cheers Hilary

J.L. Murphey said...

Hilary,
Welcome back. A lot can be learned from reading blogs. For bloggers it's a source of information, an outlet for venting or encouragement, and just having to reach out to the world. Like you have found.

My recovery is more glamorous than it feels. When I lokk back on the past ten months, my progress has slowed like molasses running in winter cold, but when I focus on what I've actually accomplished that I couldn't ten months ago I've done a lot of recovering. The body has amazing self healing born of love, caring, and faith.