Last week I shared a companion post to this one, Three Blog Ideas that Failed. In it I stressed that blogging is subjective. What’s worked for one site may not have the same reception on another.
Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.Brian Clark, source
In last week’s post I highlighted just three things I’ve tried over the past four years of blogging. Many more ideas, design elements, and collaboration attempts failed. However, I felt that the three I included are things many folks set up as well. Enough talk about failure! Let’s discuss three blog ideas that have worked for anotherhartmanauthor.com.
FIVE QUESTION INTERVIEWS
Introverts. We like our routines, our happy places, and our hobbies. The very idea of my participating in book release activities intimidates me, so who am I to disrupt someone else’s life by inviting them to take part in a web-based interview?
Then I thought: If I can’t be brave enough to take a chance on someone else, who, then, would be willing to do the same for me? Of course, I’m not expecting reciprocation. That would be completely presumptuous of me.
But readers want to hear from their favorite authors, and not just within the context of a social media environment. They want to know what makes fellow authors tick, what inspired the idea for a novel, or what tools they use to help them write. I am very grateful to everyone who participated in 2019’s interviews, and I’m looking forward to connecting with even more of you in 2020!
CONNECTING via SOCIAL MEDIA
After deactivating my Facebook account after eleven years of maintaining one, I didn’t think I’d ever want to get back into social media again. I kept my Twitter account, but I’d also deactivated my Instagram, Pinterest, MySpace, etc. We can compare all these social media accounts to the many, many streaming accounts now available for television viewership. With Netflix leading the Calvary, weren’t we supposed to save money by cancelling cable and moving to web based content. Consumerism is all about having options. The same goes for social media. While these services are free to set up and use, there comes a point when it’s just too much.
For me, I do all my interacting on Twitter. I use Pinterest to share #WIP aesthetics and build up inspiration boards for writing. And I very, very rarely use my newly established Instagram account. Bloggers know where their readers come from and adjust their online habits accordingly. I’ve also come to love TweetDeck. It’s made social media a much more enjoyable experience by providing streamlining tools to weed out all the things you don’t want to see. Or by showing you things you want to be a part of.
Find what works for YOU, and be consistent.
From 2016 to 2017, things weren’t consistent on anotherhartmanauthor.com. Even though I wanted to grow this site, my writing journey was just beginning. If I managed to post content, it was all a complete reiteration of someone else’s idea. Of course, there’s “nothing new under the sun,” as they say, but I hadn’t yet found my niche (does that word sound familiar?).
As 2018 and 2019 rolled around, discussing blog topics on early stages of writing and newly learned history felt more natural. People know when you’re not expert. They can tell by your words and sources you choose to quote. (Still, always reference your sources).
For four years I worked without a set blogging schedule. A few weeks ago I recognized my need for one in this post, and I’m slowly working on incorporating it into my life. Pre-scheduling blog posts also helps. That way, you can write it in advance and, if your web host offers it, you can set it to go live on a future date.
So, did you pick up on today’s theme? If you guessed consistency, then you’re right! Consistency is the key behind all these things working together.
Consistency brings us back to the original quote shared at the beginning of this post – Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.
In 2018 I realized I was blogging for myself, not others. A new game plan was needed, and incorporating these three things + consistency, has helped. I’m far from perfect, and everything’s still a work in progress.
Just make sure that, in whatever you decide to do with your blog, it brings you, and others, joy.