Why do people blog? Why compete with millions of other bloggers for readers’ limited time and attention?
I started after attending a small class on “Marketing Christian Fiction.” The instructors–yes, the class was small, but it still required two teachers–emphasized the fact that marketing basically means enabling other people to like and trust the marketer enough to take a chance on his product. For the attendees, that meant our novels.
And to reach his intended audience in a positive way, the author needs either a website or a blog. Or both.
I already had a website, but I accepted my teachers’ recommendations about necessary changes, and I’ve continued improving my website ever since.
But what about a blog?
If having one would help me as an author, it was worth a try. As long as I didn’t use it as an overt sales tool. It should offer the reader something interesting or worthwhile. That made sense.
Most of the other writers I know blog about writing. I didn’t think I had anything new to add to that subject, especially if I was going to post something new several times a week. And I’d probably just be blogging to other writers that way, anyhow. Not my intended audience.
I’d discovered early in my novel-writing career that it’s illegal to quote even a line or two of a song (unless it’s no longer under copyright) in any form of writing. Book, article, website, blog. Obtaining permission can be expensive and time-consuming.
But I write songs. And I use my lyrics in my books. Why not offer the use of my lyrics to other writers–at no cost? Of course, I hoped they would probably be interesting to other people, too. And I could put free lead sheets of many of them on my website, too. Maybe that would interest some musicians.
So I started “As I Come Singing” (named after one of my songs). I posted two sets of lyrics a week, which lasted almost two years. At the end of that time, I started cycling through those posts again, but at the rate of only one a week. I’ve made an effort to spruce up my comments before republishing.
But was I reaching my potential reading audience? I write for both teens and adults. What could I write about?
I’m nowhere close to being the most interesting person in the world, but I realized I’m doing the same thing everyone else–young or old–is doing: aging. And since I’m closer to the end than many of my potential readers, I decided to use “On Aging Gracelessly” to reflect on my life at sixty-eight and some of the life events leading up to this point.
Hmm. If I wrote about myself, however, “would they come?”–to use the familiar and cliched phrase from Field of Dreams. I tried it and you’re here. This blog at least gives you a taste of who I am, what I believe in, and what I want to be.
And that’s why I blog.
If you blog, why do you do it? Your comments are welcome.
I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.
“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.
If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.
My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Family Christian Stores. Go HERE for links to those places.