Wednesday, January 05, 2011

This Social Networking Thing - Blogging

What I'm reading: Uncertain Magic, by Laura Kinsale (print)
Slow Hands, by Leslie Kelly (digital)

Thanks to Jeffrey for his great post on finding ideas yesterday.

I've given my take on Facebook and Twitter, so I figured a post about blogging might be next in line. But this time, I'd rather know what you want, like, and don't like. I blog because it's like chatting with friends, sharing information (and maybe the former schoolteacher in me comes out), and learning from others.

What's in a Good Blog? – first my preferences, and my goals for this blog.

Readability: Simple enough fonts, not a lot of bells and whistles, and for me, that means no dark background with white text. My eyes can't read that.

Reliability: I have my list of stops on my blog hops, and if there's nothing new, I'm not likely to check back until my next trip. If you're going to blog, you need to commit to a schedule, even if it's only once or twice a week. I have posts 5 days a week, one of which is a guest slot, and one a "Field Trip" (and I'm still waiting for more pictures!)

Ease of navigation: Here, I'm tied to what Blogger allows (or what I can figure out). There's a search box in my sidebar, so you can look for key words. And since I'm a rambler, I use the "keep reading" click so I can have more posts show up on the home page. I also used the tabs at the top to help keep clutter to a minimum.

Connections: I share links to other blogs I find interesting, and to websites of friends and colleagues.

Comments: I like to thank people who take the time to let me know they dropped by the blog by leaving a comment, so I try to respond to everyone. I don't know if those who leave comments even check back, or use the 'subscribe' option to follow the conversations in the comment threads. But since I like it when others respond to me, I do it for them. I also try to minimize the number of hoops required for leaving comments.

Marketing? Here, I don't think blogging makes a huge difference in actual book sales. While I'd love for everyone who stops by to become fascinated and rush to buy one of my offerings, if that was my reason for blogging, I'd have stopped long ago.

So, what about you? You can just copy and paste this list into your comment if you'd like. Answer as few or many as you choose. And if you'd prefer not to post your responses in the comments, you can e-mail me. And as a bribe, one commenter will receive an autographed cover photo of What's in a Name?

1. What brought you here?
2. Do you come back regularly?
3. If you follow, what made you a follower?
4. Do you ever share a post?
5. If so, How? Twitter? Facebook? Email to friends?
6. Have you ever clicked on the tabs at the top to open a new page?
7. What's on your blog 'do and don't' list?
8. Have you ever bought a book (mine or anyone else's) based on a blog?


Image from


Maryann Miller said...

I came here because I follow your blog and have learned from the series on online marketing. I do visit regularly. I follow because I enjoy your posts and learn from you and your guests. I do Tweet your blog sometimes. Skipping number 6. Main "do" for me for a blog is be professional if you are using it in part as a marketing tool. Keep the personal stuff for another blog. And, yes, I have bought books, yours included, after getting to know an author via the blog. "When Danger Calls" is waiting for me to get to it.

Kristi Helvig said...

Part of how I found you is because you're a fellow Colorado writer. Like you, I also respond to every blog comment on our blog, because it shows how much we value the people who visit. I blog because I love it, and I think people can tell when you do something out of passion. I love these social media posts-thanks!

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I agree with Maryann, you do have a lot of interesting posts of value to other writers.

ciaraknight said...

I just found your blog via Savvy Authors, but I'm looking forward to learning more about you as a writer. Sounds like you've written some interesting posts!

Terry Odell said...

Maryann, thanks for the detailed answers -- and for having a copy of When Danger Calls.

Kristi - I'm glad you found me. And thanks for the comments. You're right -- they do mean a lot.

Jacqueline - thanks. I didn't intend this to be a 'how to' blog when I started -- mostly because I was clueless. But I love sharing what I'm learning.

Ciara -- welcome, and I hope you'll browse the blog tabs at the top of the page and my website as a way of getting acquainted.

Fran Baker said...

Terry, I just started a blog last week and have yet to receive any comments. But I'm commited to entering a post every day - you'd have to see the blog to understand why and how. I've checked the stats and I have readers worldwide, so we'll see what comes of it.

One thing I'm learning about Facebook is that everybody's writing and very few are reading. At least with a blog, people are stopping to read.

Terry Odell said...

Fran - best of luck with your blog. I've found that the number of hits seems totally independent of the number of comments.

Celia Yeary said...

Terry--oh, yes, this was my topic this week, and I was pretty much overwhelmed with advice. I think I have a pretty good blog, but I was interested in what blog readers might say. And man, did they talk! Even though I do most everything to do, I'm making a list of particular things someone says.
I love my blog--and other authors' blogs, too. You have one of the top blogs, in my opinion. Celia

Terry Odell said...

Celia - some days it seems there's a major synchronicity in the blogosphere, doesn't it. And thanks for your kind words about my blog.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Terry - I don't remember how I first found your blog - just wandering from blog to blog, I imagine - but it was shortly after I started blogging last summer. I became a follower because you write mystery/romance, which is my genre as well, and because I found your posts to be interesting and useful.

I'm still trying to read all the blogs in my Google Reading list every day which is becoming almost imposible as the list grows but I haven't worked out a solution yet to tame the beast. How do you do it?

Terry Odell said...

Thanks, Linda. I use my Blogger Dashboard to scroll through the posts of the blogs I follow, and if one catches my attention, I'll click over. But I do limit the time I spend, or I'd never get anything done. And then I get sidetracked by interesting looking tweets for blogs -- but I don't do all of them every day, or that's all I'd do.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'll answer the last one about buying books...absolutely yes! Since I began blogging, I've probably ordered ten books written by blogger friends. I always figure if I like the person that much, and their blog posts are interesting, then I'll probably like their books as well. So far, I have not been disappointed.