I've been reading several provocative posts about blogging lately. How about you? Those who've been around the blogs for, like, forever, know how blogging has changed--so much more competition from other social media and it can interfere with our writing life.
Blogging is arguably the most time consuming of the social media, which is possibly why bloggers are becoming more discerning about who they visit, what they post...some bloggers I know are no longer blogging at all, or very infrequently, citing time constraints, boredom with the whole blogging scenario of cover promos, book promos, helicopter raffles etc etc., which is much the same on all social media.
When I started blogging in 2007, it was exciting. I had no idea who I was in the blogging world or what I wanted out of blogging, or what I could give back. I'm none the wiser, thus my ever-changing blog. My blog posts are becoming more sporadic--IWSG and WEP take care of 2 per month, then I just have to find the other two posts. Remember the days when we all blogged at least three times a week?
A few days ago, I read a post by Karen Jones Gowen. She posted her feelings about the current state of blogging, one of the many I have read recently, but Karen's resonated with me. Go to her post to check out the full article for her exact words. My responses to Karen's points are italicized. I hope you will add your responses in the comments.
- Bloggers not reciprocating visits.
- It is social media, so we should interact.
- She's become more selective over time on who she visits.
- We have to be because of time. Also, if I comment time and again on a blog and they never reciprocate, I might keep visiting, but I rarely comment.
- She sees too many articles on areas she's not interested in, for example, self publishing, thus she often wipes those blogs off her visiting list.
- This would apply to any blog whose posts hammer away at something we ourselves find boring or uninspiring. I love posts on self-publishing as I may do this one day. But we should blog about what we want to--it is our blog after all, and our own fault if no one visits us.
- She's fascinated by life, and loves to know about meals, workplaces, shopping habits, clothes, entertainment.
- I found this fascinating. So, Karen, hold me back! I like gourmet meals, my favourite being baked beans on toast, yum -- my workplace is the Brisbane State Library where I tutor eager International students in English as Aussies are bored with all that education -- I am bored with shopping, but I regularly hit the Op Shops in my suburb and delight in finding a designer jacket for $10 -- I love dressing up as long as it is in torn jeans, a shirt and a vest -- my entertainment is watching all the money I save by not going to live shows grow so I can travel and really be entertained...(I hope you don't take offense Karen. Cultural differences. Aussies are rarely serious, (except when someone blows a plane out of the sky, for example), but there is truth in all my responses).
- Karen doesn't like book reviews on blogs, which she can get on Goodreads or Amazon etc (unless it's a blog set up solely for book reviews).
- Who else notices that their blog comments drop when they review/promote books? But I maintain that if I read 100+ books a year, I must tell you about a few??? Sure, I can do that on Goodreads and Amazon, can't I? But I do like to help selected bloggers promote their books -- it's just one of the ways to spread the word. And it's HARD!
- She's right into blogs that blog about things relative to the stories they write, which keep to their author persona--citing our favourite chick lit author Talli Roland, whose blog posts are life lite (my expression) as are her books. Talli blogged about her latest thoughts on blogging here.
- Basically if you write murder mystery, Karen doesn't relate to blog posts on flowers...well, bloggers, how about poisoned poppies in Amsterdam? Or black roses?
- If you write romantic fiction, for example, Karen suggests your blog posts should be like a romance novel come to life.
- Perhaps I sounded a little light hearted above (gosh, my critiquers say I keep using 'little' more than a little, ugh, but I really relate to this point). Like many bloggers, I'm not quite sure what to blog about when it's not IWSG or when I'm not sharing my flash fiction once a month (which fits my writer persona in my romantic fiction genre and probably bores you silly if you're not into romance). But as I said, once upon a time I blogged about Travel and Paris on separate blogs, but now I've decided to incorporate that type of post here on my writing blog, as I set my stories in places I've visited. At least now my blog header typifies travel and romance. I don't just travel for entertainment, I travel with the intention of writing about it for travel magazines and for enhancing my fiction and my long-term goal of writing a travel narrative. The first novel I will publish...soon...is set in Fiji, so travel posts are quite apt.
- My next visit is most probably going to be to Cuba, which I have romanticised in my mind over the years, and Mexico, likewise. Perhaps I will share with you some stories from those countries as I research them before I hit their shores. Dare I mention that I'm currently reading a great little book on travel in Cuba, Vultures Overhead by blogger Jo Carroll? I'm learning so much as Jo has just returned from Cuba, travelling alone, brave lady, and has already written about it.
- I hope that you will leave a comment about this topic so we can learn more about the blogging world.
- Speaking of posting, please join me for the Write...Edit...Publish challenge next week, starting on Wednesday 23rd July. The prompt--A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. Go to WEP for details and to sign up, or you can sign up here in my sidebar. Your post can fit your blog persona quite easily.