Do Your Blogs Do You Justice?
December 3, 2012
I read a lot of blogs. I stumble across a lot of blogs in various and sundry locations on the Internet. I jump in the middle of a lot of blogs that grab my attention on Triberr. I post a lot of blogs on Caleb and Linda Pirtle.
And I’ve found some really fine authors producing some really fine blogs.
But the question gnaws at me daily.
For professional writers, for authors of published books, do your blogs really do you justice? I hate to say it. But I don’t think they do.
I know the importance associated with writing blogs. They form the backbone of all of your social media marketing. Blogs help you build your name, your brand, and the name of your books.
First, you nail the blogs firmly on your own Website. Then you tweet the blogs. You paste the blogs on Facebook. You make sure the blogs have a featured and sacred space on StumbleUpon. You put the blogs on Digg, on LinkedIn, on Google Plus, on Amazon, on Good Reads, on any other site floating in cyberspace that has an open door for blogs. You even write guest blogs every chance you get.
Let readers find you. Let readers discover your name. Let readers know that you have the talent to become a force in the indie world of digital publishing.
But there’s the rub.
The blogs I read are well written. They are informative. They are educational. They are inspirational. They provide the writer with a forum and a soapbox to rant and rave any time he or she feels like it.
But most blogs are written with a very informal, light-hearted tone that you would probably use sitting across a table at Starbacks while downing a cup of cappuccino. It’s good one-sided conversation, but that’s about all.
I then went and purchased some of the eBooks produced by the bloggers I read, and I was overwhelmed, shocked, stunned, and amazed. The novels of every genre from mystery and romance to fantasy and science fiction, delivered powerhouse writing with strong, elegant language, dialogue that fairly crackled, plots that could tear your heart out, characters that lingered long in my mind after the final word had been written. Books have voice and style and mood. Books are the works of real authors, real writers of literature. But if all I ever read were their blogs, I would never know how good they really are.
I think authors are shortchanging themselves. Too often, they are merely throwing out words to make a point. They should be hammering out those words with a literary quality. A blog should be as thoughtfully and carefully written as a scene in a novel.
Here are some ideas.
- Maybe you should occasionally blog by writing a short story that captures mood and characters and dialogue.
- You might develop a character sketch of someone in your novel. Make the person so intriguing so interesting, so flawed that a reader immediately wants to buy the book just to find out what happens to the character.
- Create a human interest article about someone in your town, your neighborhood, your life, and evoke a reader’s emotions. Make the readers laugh or cry or scare the hell out of them, but let them know that you are an illusionist when it comes to arranging words together to form exciting and memorable prose.
- It might be good to sometimes build a blog around an excerpt from your novel. Give the reader a taste of the story in your own personal style and voice. If it’s as good as you think it is, as good as I think it is, a reader will give you and your novel a shot.
At Caleb and Linda Pirtle, we have launched a series of serials, which offers authors a chance to sit down and write a chapter for a novel once a week, twice a week, or every day. That chapter is their blog. It’s not the finished product and usually written on the fly. But blogs written as serials provide readers with the heart and soul of good, down-to-earth, grab them by the throat storytelling.
Your blogs are the first impression you make with readers. It is your once-in-a-lifetime chance for them to discover and remember your name. However, it is vital to make sure that the readers forever associate your name with an unforgettable writing style that separates the everyday blogger from the professional author.