So how’s your blog?

Teach me?

Teach me?

Do you get a lot of advice?  I read a lot of advice about how to blog.

Some experts, cuz there are definitely blog experts, say – pick a theme and stick with it.  For instance -

Blog about the craft of writing.

Ehhh, that ain’t me.

Blog about your books.

Yeah.  I can see this.  Just not all the time.

Blog about other authors and their books.

Again.  I can see this.  Just not all the time.

I’ve even read articles advising authors not to blog.  Advising that instead we should simply maintain a website with information about our books.  Hmmmm.

I know I can be scattered, stream of consciousness, boring, but I like blogging.  It’s a good outlet for me.  I can kick back, say a whole lotta nuthin’.  Sometimes it’s a major flail.  On rare occasions I hit one out of the park.  Variety.

A theme is important if you’re say – J.W. Manus and one of your blogs, EBooks = Real Books, is designed to help authors learn how to format, or if you’re The Passive Voice and you are a clearing house for articles and opinions about authors, books, and the vast world of publishing.

Author Marylin Warner writes a beautiful thematic blog – Things I Want To Tell My Mother.  She may be the only author I know who pulls it off week after week.  In other words, she’s creative, writes well, and keeps it interesting.  She sets the bar high.  I doubt I could manage it.

So, what do you think?  Should we, authors, stick to one theme?  Or to each his own?




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25 Responses to So how’s your blog?

  1. Amber Skyze says:

    I say to each his own…

  2. Penelope says:

    Amber is so wise! Hee hee!

    Don’t you hate it when folks try to tell you what to do? If your blog is boring, folks won’t visit. If you talk about stuff you like and are enthusiastic about it–whether it’s one theme revisited, different topics, writing, etc–you’ll get traffic. But blogging means different things to different folks. Some people want it for promotional reasons, some like to use it as a warm-up exercise for their writing for the day. Amber is right.

    Happy Blogging! And Bogging! (I love bogs…hee!)

  3. In my “expert” opinion, pigeonholing oneself is likely to put one in a hole, with pigeons. Seriously, blogging as a communication or journalistic form is fairly new so we can make what we want of it. Variety is good, but I think if you want to blog as a business you need some kind of way to set yourself apart from others. You know: bbq chips versus plain chips, grass-fed beef vs tire and woodchip fed beef…..

  4. William Ockham says:

    Why should there be one true path to blogging? Blogging is a personal thing. The only universal advice is to be authentic. Beyond that, you have to decide what you want to accomplish, what is fun for you, and how blogging fits into your career plan.

    Somebody should collect all the “blogging rules for writers” and then show the examples of great blogs that violate them. For example, “avoid politics” is usually good advice, but Barry Eisler basically only blogs about politics and that works for him because that is who he is. Sticking to a theme is a good idea, but it wouldn’t work for you.

  5. I read a piece of advice the other day that said, “Don’t try to build a fan base for a right brain product with a left brain tool.” In other words, don’t blog about writing craft if you aren’t teaching writing. It was an eye-opener for me. I’d been trying to blog about writing and couldn’t get it right. Now I’m going to blog about what I know (or don’t). I love your blog and am impressed with how you put up an interesting blog every day.

  6. Jaye says:

    Thanks for the mention, Julia. :D

    I think successful blogging basically follows the same rules as any other type of writing. Offer entertainment, information and/or education. Be interesting. Make an effort to write well. Put your personality on the table. Offer something no one else does. Sometimes that unique offering is YOU. Have a point of view.

    The only hard and fast rule is the exact same one as in any other writing form: Don’t Bore The Readers.

  7. Katalina Leon says:

    I love your blog! There’s always something interesting.

  8. I agree, Jaye, don’t bore the readers. That’s about all I can come up with. Me is what I have to work with. I’m too flaky to focus on one thing. You, and bloggers like you, seem to be able to hone in on one particular topic – either to educate, elucidate or entertain. I’m not an adept, unless I’m working with Hospice patients and then I am extremely focused.

  9. Oh Stephanie, write about the things you do. You are fascinating! The craft of writing is a bore – at least on blogs. I spent four+ years in college studying the craft of writing. And that was great. But at this point in time I’m kinda done with that.

  10. Hi William. Thanks for the perfect comment. Want to hear a secret? I’d LOVE to blog about politics but I do fear its a turnoff for readers. It does work for Barry Eisler.
    I’ll wait for you to collect all the rules and find the violators. That would make for great reading.

  11. Funny, Steph! :P You tend to blog ‘around’ a theme. You don’t always do the same thing.

  12. I love it, Penny! Amber is right – but then she always is! I use my blog for so many purposes. Sometimes I write up a huge Ranty McRant and then trash it. Just for the hell of it.

  13. Tom Stronach says:

    experts smecksperts, problem with them is they write a few words hoping to snare you in and then offer you the world for a whopping fee on how to attract more readers, how to promote yourself, blah, blah blah……

    Who cares, your blog is fine and as for Jaye Manus, well nuff said there; SHE KNOWS what she does with me and then Marylin Warner well, if you’re reading this comment on this blog and you haven’t found Marylin Warners weekly homilies then you are missing out on one of life’s WONDROUSLY FABULISTIC CREATIVE writers, you are or my name aint honest John…….

    But, Marylin gives us food for thought every week stimulating our senses and makse us think about what is and should be dear to us, parents, family, children, neighbours, people we don’t even know, Marylin once a week gets us to think about these things ….

    You, on the other hand, well you just write rubbish

    Only kidding

    You Julia, write about anything and everything, whether it’s Jake the German Shepherd and his predilection for other critters poops or, a serious dissection of the latest medical insight – blowing it apart in the process or, one of your own or another authors books or the latest dumb idea that popped into your mind, it’s all there for us to see, read, enjoy and to



    Get a grip woman for gawds sake, feeling a bit blue today were we…

    knuckle down, buckle up and get on with it

    Did I mention to those of you reading this That I admire JRB, she has a nice little BUM

    And I do know this

    I wrote this way back in 2011 and it was crap

  14. I don’t know what to say, Tom. Your comment is so fucking priceless!

  15. anny cook says:

    Blogging is personal. Some bloggers use it to showcase their business (writing, knitting, childcare) and expertise. Some bloggers natter on about this or that (yeah, that would be my blogging style). And some use it to showcase their craft (writing, calligraphy, herbalism, collecting dragons). Frankly, I find MOST of the business and craft blogs boring. I do occasionally check them out. Mostly, I lean toward the ‘this and that’ type of blogs. :-)

  16. Hi Anny! If I need something specific I search for something specific. I prefer the unexpected. ;)

  17. I’ve set my themes broadly. One is for fantasy related topics only (although I’ll stretch that to spec fic on occasion) but there’s a lot you can cover under that heading. The other is more a general content rant blog, which allows me to blog about things I want to but can’t stick on the first blog. You could say the first is branded around my writing/books and aimed at the target audience for my books, while the other is branded more around my personality.

  18. So you combine a theme and a free-for-all, Ciara, depending upon what you need to put out on a given day. Works too!

  19. Sandra Cox says:

    I couldn’t do a theme on a regular basis every week. As you know I do cats twice a month at Night Writers and probably enjoy that more than any other postings I do.
    All things in moderation….

  20. You sort of do a theme, Sandra. But I see it as more of a rotating theme. You sort of trade off blog tours and interviews with spur of the moment posts. Always interesting.

  21. Craft of writing blogs are good if you need some piece of advice; same with gardening blogs, and cooking blogs and every other darned “how to” blog out there. You’ve read my blogs. For me, my blog is …me. What I want to say or not say, without embarrassing myself. Yours always felt the same way to me, and you know what? That’s good. *nods* I say do and write about what makes you happiest and to heck with anyone else. It is, after all, *your* blog.

  22. True, Juli. You are one of the queens of writing what you want, when you want, where you want! I admire you.

  23. Sandra Cox says:

    Whew. Thanks, Julia.