To blog or not to blog is a decision faced by most writers, and the approach they take is as varied as the genres in which they write. Established authors with large dedicated followings may not bother with a blog. That’s not me. I’m a self-published author with a narrow following, a description that defines the plurality of writers. The past four years, I’ve maintained a blog at DRShoultz.blogspot.com, which also serves as my website. I’m still learning about what works and what doesn’t.
I aim to have my blog reflect my writing style and my personality. A majority of postings are about my current projects, but not all. Pets, nature, and travel are among my other favorite subjects. I think it’s important for readers to know what to expect when they return, so I don’t stray far from these topics. Two areas I avoid are family and politics. Except for my wife, who’s also my editor, I rarely mention other family members. I also find there’s little to gain with political posts unless that’s your thing. Taking a position on controversial issues has the potential for losing 50% of your readers. Whatever I blog about, one rule I have is to keep it short, targeting 500 words or less.
Blogging competes with other writing projects, but for me, the more I write, the more I blog. Blogging gives me a chance to step back from larger projects and keeps me fresh. I produced three novels 2013-2014. During this two-year period, I posted an average of three times a month to my blog. My goal for 2016 is one post per week. This is a major commitment, but challenges me to write regularly--a good thing.
I’m far from declaring my blog a success. Still, I believe its quality and consistency continue to improve. I periodically check the number of visits to my site and to specific posts. I consider 50 views to any given post as acceptable, but hope for 100 or more. “Focus on the Tree, Not the Forest” and “Meet Miles Stevens” have been my most-viewed posts, with over 250 views. Please check them out.
Attracting readers to my blog gives me a feeling of achievement, and with novels taking twelve months or more to complete, incremental achievements are a good thing.