Friday, July 17


Posted by Shelly Holder

I've been thinking a lot lately about the nature of my blog, and the purpose that I want it to serve, both for myself and for my readers. Now that I actually have readers (a fact that I still giggle madly at in giddy happiness), the dynamic has changed. When I started it over a year ago, I didn't even understand what a blog really was. It was more of a whim, an action made more for my own satisfaction than anything else. It, like my website, was something that I understood would help me as an author, but I arrived at this logic only through imitation of other authors. They have a website/blog, therefore, so should I, I thought. I didn't realize what my blog would come to mean to me as a person, beyond what it meant to me as a writer.

But I digress. That's subject for another post.

The point I am trying to make is that my blog has evolved into something different than I orginally envisioned, and as such, I need to revisit the purpose of this blog. Lately, I have been posting on my progress in writing, telling of such and such assignment completed, or brief posts mentioning how hard I worked that day. In short, it's all ego-stroking. I've realized all this, but only today did I find someone who wrote what I've been thinking much better than I. Lilith Saintcrow wrote in her blog today:

* Your primary job is to provide content, not market yourself. Yes, a website and a Facebook account will help your fans find you. They are marketing tools, but their primary purpose cannot be marketing. That will turn your fans off because it makes you look desperate and pushy. It turns what should be a conversation into you constantly pushing other people to buy your sh!t. It’s inappropriate at a party or a grocery store, and it’s inappropriate online.

You need to be a content provider. Post links to things you think are cool, new blog posts that are fresh content, things that make you go “hmmm” or interest you. Yes, you can also post book releases, short story releases, and contests. But those things cannot be ALL you post if you expect to have an interactive relationship with your fans. You do need to provide content or you’re just an empty noise. Empty noise grates on the nerves. 98% of your posts, tweets, whatever, need to be ACTUAL CONTENT. The rest is naturally marketing–book announcements, contest announcements, etc.

Your job in interacting in social media like Twitter and MySpace is to enrich your fans’ experience and help them feel an emotional connection to your books.

(Bold is originall Ms. Saintcrow, but italics are my emphasis)

So I'm going to try to re-direct this blog in a manner that fulfills Ms. Saintcrow's advice. I've noticed that my posts bore myself, therefore I know these posts bore YOU, the reader. And we can't have that, now can we? Therefore, a new direction. I can't promise a sudden, sweeping change, but I can promise that the intention will fuel my post to come.

Right Now:
What I'm listening to: Coldplay (concert tomorrow! Yay!)
What I want most: A rich and diverse blog