Figuring Out the Blog Thing

lit cit blogsI’m new to this whole blog thing, so I’m still trying to find my footing. I’m still trying to figure out what belongs on my blog. One thing I’ve decided is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to just have a pure check-in post every Wednesday. I want to track my progress, yes, but I think I can do that and make a post worth reading.

I started thinking about this because last week, my literary citizenship class started. As part of it, we’re reading Chuck Sambuchino‘s book, Create Your Writer Platform. One of the many great pieces of advice he gives is that you have to have something to offer your audience, whether it be advice or entertainment or whatever. There has to be something. The problem with the check-ins is that you guys aren’t getting a lot out of it when that’s all there is to a post.

It’s such a little thing and it seems like it should have been obvious to me, but it wasn’t. So I have to wonder – what other little things am I doing wrong, or not doing to the best of my ability? I’m sure I’m not utilizing my social media to its fullest, but what exactly am I missing?

That’s kind of why I wanted to take the literary citizenship class. For a long time, I was one of those writers that just said, “Oh, no, I’m not good at self-promotion. That’s why I need an agent.” But the publishing world is changing, and it’s incredibly valuable to be out there in the world and for people to know about you before you even get a book published. Still, it just seems slimy to go around saying, “Hey, read my book!”

This is where the literary citizenship class truly speaks to me. It’s not about shouting into the void and hoping someone hears you. It’s about learning to become part of the literary community, and how that, in turn, builds your audience. Our mantra is: Be interested in what other people are doing.

You might notice that this ties in pretty well with one of my writer’s new year resolutions about how I want to be a better blogger. Sure, I’m getting good at posting regularly on my own blog, but I don’t go and read and communicate with other bloggers nearly enough. I also don’t tweet with other writers as much as I used to. Facebook’s one of the few places where I have a pretty solid footing.

I need to learn to build off the foundation I already have – Facebook and regular blog posts – and launch myself into the writing community. I need to go out and participate and get involved in conversations. After all, why should people listen to me if I’m not willing to listen to them?

I’ll wrap up with the new and improved short writing check-in. From 1/9/13 through 1/15/13, I wrote 1229 words, which is down from last week. I had one zero day – down from last week. I’m starting to see the impact my classes are having on my writing, and it’s really making me feel the need for a routine. Let’s see what I can do.

One thought on “Figuring Out the Blog Thing

  1. Hi Sarah, really enjoyed reading this. I’ve only been blogging for 3 months and am still finding my stride. In terms of social media, I tend to follow other blogs on WordPress and then if they continue to provide good content, follow them on Twitter or Facebook Pages. Commenting on posts and following blogs as well really helps build connections and friends. Social Media is also key at getting traffic to your site. Being in the UK but having a largely US audience means I use apps such as Buffer to schedule my posts to Facebook and Twitter so I can get my content to my US audience whilst I sleep. Social media timing is great. I aim to publish 3-5 blogs a week covering a variety of topics so I have a broad audience and set aside a day or afternoon to write them all at once and schedule them out over the week. Hope you’re blog goes well 🙂

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