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I attended my first writer’s conference five years ago. Picture an eager, wanna-be author, sitting in a hot, crowded auditorium surrounded by hundreds of like-minded souls, all dutifully taking notes on all those necessary steps to publication. Ah, the information! The sage advice! Ah, the desperation in the room as the other writers scouted out the other writers and ran the numbers.
Just how many of these poor souls will ever find an agent, must less a publisher?
As expected, a good portion of the conference focused on platform-building and social media. I remember one of the guest speakers saying something to the effect of “No blog, no readers. No readers, no money” and so I rushed home, flushed with new knowledge and launched my first blog.
Which did okay. I learned how to follow others and developed a “following.” I made friends, some I’ve kept in touch with through Facebook when I let that blog dwindle to nothing. I never really got the “point.” These? These quick silly posts were supposed to garner readership? How, even?
Flash forward a few years, and I’m still writing, still aiming for publication, still learning how to market myself, but now I have some perspective on blogging. I think I get it now, so please allow me to share five things I know now I wished I knew five years ago.
1) Know your target audience. Who are you writing posts for? Somewhere along the way, it struck me – blogging isn’t about ME — it’s about YOU, the reader. What am I sharing that adds value to your busy day?
2) Content is King. I enjoy writing for other writers, so how can I support them? What links, tips and support can I offer? What snappy post is going to click with them?
3) If Content is King, then Consistency is Queen. I’ve always piddled with posting, waiting for inspiration to strike (which usually came on a Tuesday just after dinner.) Finding a balance is tricky-we’re all busy, I get it! But setting a doable schedule and sticking to it builds trust with readership. It shows them you are in it for the long haul. Which leads me to number 4.
4) Be in it for the long haul. Make a commitment and see it through. I’ve been redeveloping this site, fine tuning as I go to fend off the blahs. I’m Letting others know I’m trying to give them the best of Sue!
5) Read and leave comments on other bloggers sites. I try to be consistent and respectful. I want to give what I want in return: friendship, support and trust.
I hope these tidbits help. Got something to add? Great! I’d love to hear from you! We’re in this together.