Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Bloggers Beware

Rachel Firasek is an urban fantasy and paranormal romance author by night, and an office manager by day. She began her world of serious blogging in November of 2010 and has since found the key, or so she thinks, to a successful author blog. The jury’s still out on that one, but she has figured out what type of blog she loves to read and which one she’ll skim past. Here’s what she’s discovered:

1. Keep your posts short. I’m busy and unless you’re giving me the secrets on how to create the perfect author banner, perfect story, perfect anything…I’ll probably skim you if I have to scroll too far down the page to finish the post.

2. Try to find the humor in whatever you’re writing about. Sure, some posts are more serious than others, but a serious blog all the time will bore me. My third grade teacher had the best teaching method ever: Entertain first, teach second, and children will absorb more. She taught for over 30 years… I still remember that lesson.

3. Hook me with a great title! Titles are just as important on your blog as they are for your books. Have a long boring blog title, I’m expecting for the blog to be similar.

4. If you want my comments, you have to give me something to comment about. If your blog post is about your book, with an excerpt and blurb, and really nothing else, then you have to lead me to comment. Give me a question to answer that ties into your book. I’ll remember it better. Now sometimes a topic doesn’t need a leading question and I have to comment regardless, because the post is so great. But, sometimes, I sit and listen to the crickets chirp while I’m trying to figure out what to say about the post. If you’re not getting comments, it’s because you are not leading your following.

5. Always interact with your followers. I like to know that a blogger has read my post. Most of the time, I’ll spend several minutes coming up with a reply and I expect for the author to do the same. There’s always a good chance that I’ll reply again if the author is very good at spurring a conversation. This is what you want. Interaction keeps people coming back.

Okay, that’s it. That’s my key to a successful blog. It’s working for me. How’s yours doing? Do you have another hint that is working for you? Are you a blog reader and have a complaint about blogs that bore you—without name-pointing?

Terry, thank you for letting me guest-post today on your site.

Rachel, my pleasure, and thanks for being here. For more about Rachel, and her upcoming novel, Passion of the Soul: Piper’s Fury, which debuts in April, visit her blog. A POSSESSED WIP: you’ll find details about the book later this month.


Ann Best said...

Rachel's advice is right-on with other such advice I've read lately. Now we bloggers/writers just have to do this!!

Thanks, Terry, for hosting Rachel, and thanks, Rachel, for these timely reminders!!

Ann @ Long Journey Home

SJOwens said...

I agree with you Rachel, short, sweet and fun or funny works well together.

Hi Terry, thanks for inviting me!

Rachel Firasek said...

Ann, thanks, these are my own personal tastes about blogging, but I'm finding a trend in high hit blogs. Hope this helps!!!

Susan, thanks gal. I'm glad you're enjoying them!

James L. Hatch said...

Sometimes serious topics about writing require more than two paragraphs. I've read long blogs about promoting, punctuation and the like that I've greatly appreciated. But I agree about the comedy. The funnier the better. Nevertheless, for some serious topics, comedy isn't inappropriate.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Short and sweet, Rachel - ICAM. Altho I am guilty of long and wordy!

Hart Johnson said...

I fail on that 'short thing'. I can seem to be brief... I generally tell people they either need to be helpful or be entertaining, then I make sure they know I'm not a utility model. i think the BIGGEST key though, is getting out to OTHER blogs. The reciprocity in the comment section is nice, but I think it is hit and miss on if anyone is coming back (unless they ask you a question) but the real relationship is getting to other people's blogs a couple times.

Hart Johnson said...

erm... that should say CAN'T be brief... I can't seem to by typo free, either...

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Great tips! I try to follow these (with varying degrees of success some days...) :)

Rachel Firasek said...

James, I agree. There is a time and a place for everything, and I'm okay with the occasional lengthy read, but variety keeps the spice in a blog and readers coming back.

Julia, your blog is exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes they're long and serious and other times it's just a quick, hey this is what's happening. I love it!

Hart, yes, that's the other important factor. I can't always get back to everyone's blogs, but I try to keep in touch at least a few times a week. When I'm deep in revisions, I'm not as good, but as soon as the ms is turned in, I'm back on it.

Elizabeth, I hear ya. Thanks for stopping by!

Jemi Fraser said...

Terrific post! The 1st point is especially true for me as a blog reader. There are some blogs I don't visit as often as I could because I don't have the time to read their always-long posts.

Rachel Firasek said...

Jemi, thanks. I often have the same problem. But, if the titles catchy, it's funny, and I learn something, I'll bookmark it or save the link!