Thursday, April 17, 2014

What Do You Do, When You’re Not Writing?


I don’t get sick very often, but I’m sick today; not so sick that I can’t do stuff, but sick enough to be whiny and to drive my wife crazy. So I climbed from bed, complaining the whole way, and trudged to my office, making Maggie wish she had taken a different day off to prepare for Easter.

I’m not 100%, but I decided to see if my sick brain could learn something. I pulled up a course from Writer’s Digest that I signed up for last weekCreating Engaging Blogs by Dan Blank. I decided to see what he knew that I didn't. I found, it was considerable. 
  
By and large, my blog (this one) isn't bad, but he pointed out little things that could make it better; not so much regarding content, but more along the lines of appearance and function. One of the points that stood out concerned the description of the blog … what it’s about, and who might enjoy it.

Ooops!

Mine had no description. And the more I looked at it, the more I realized I was lucky to have any readers at all … not counting my family of course. I made them read it. So I started changing things; the background, the template, and some of the gadgets. I added a description, and changed a few other things. The cool part about a podcast is the ability to pause it. I’d learned something and compare it to my blog, pause the podcast, and fix stuff. Worked out pretty well.

Another critical point he brought out was the “About Me’ page, or in my case with BlogSpot, my Profile from the Google site; another aspect of a blog that I lacked. He stated that a blog should not be about ME ME ME, but more about how it benefits the reader, and what the reader will gain from it. I write about writing, the writing process, the journey to publication, and occasionally digress to other things—both funny and sad—that I have found interesting, or that have profound effects on me. I like to think my readers enjoy these little diversions as well, but on the whole, I tell my readers of my adventures in the land of writing and publication, and hope they gain a bit of insight.

For example, somewhere in my blog is a post on reading excerpts before a crowd of strangers, and another on the things one might say when asked what their book is about. These are the things aspiring writers aren't concerned with until they come face to face with them, so I point them out in my blog.

If your profile is all about you, that’s fine, as long as you tell the first-time reader how you and your blog can benefit them. Mine was about me, not the blog, so I changed it. I expect I’ll get around to the cool stuff I did later as things progress.

Best Regards,
DB

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