1. Hatchling

    Hatchling Member

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    Any advice on a writer's blog?

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by Hatchling, Aug 24, 2017.

    The plan at this stage is to set up a blog where I can self-publish short stories, as I intend for people to read them for free on the internet. That's more of a long term goal because I'm still developing as a writer, but I thought it would be good to start thinking about these things now.

    So how would I go about attracting readers to this blog? Or would there be a better means for the distribution of free short stories?
     
  2. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Senior Member

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    My only advice is to invest time into studying keywords. Make lists of search terms & craft some writing around them. Most everything don through Google is free, take advantage of all they offer you as a webmaster. Follow their rules so you don't get downgraded.
     
  3. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Senior Member

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    Also, pay the extra few dollars to keep your name out of the registries so you dont get flooded with SEO offers from horrible companies.
     
  4. Hatchling

    Hatchling Member

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    Okay, I'll do some research into search engine optimisation, as well as how to use the Google search engine to my advantage.

    How much am I looking at paying per year? At this point in time, I'm a poor student, so I couldn't pay for anything flashy.
     
  5. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I don't think self published short stories tend to do very well. You'd be much better of publishing with a reputable publication and posting links or whatever to the stories you get published. Mind you, the short story market is extremely competitive and not all markets are created equal. If you really want to share your short stories with readers, a publication with an established readership will do much more for you than if you just put your stuff up on a blog where no one has ever heard of you or your work.
     
  6. Hatchling

    Hatchling Member

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    That's the thing; I don't really feel like competing with anyone to get those stories heard, not to mention making money off of my writings is irrelevant to me. At the same time, I realise that people usually aren't going to go trawling through blogs to find reading material, which is why I started this topic.
     
  7. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Senior Member

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    the domain name will cost $5-$15 and the protection is usually $10. What the protection does is you are paying a company to put their name in the rgistrar instead of your name. At that point someone needs to really know what they are doing to find the real owner.
     
  8. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I have a blog and posted a few short stories on it. I have a decent readership for a casual blogger - about 500 visitors a month - but the stories were largely ignored. No comments or interaction. It makes sense because I love short stories but I don't go to blogs for them, I buy the millions of anthologies available on Amazon.

    So I'm not really sure it's worth putting much effort into promotion for a short story blog.
     
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  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I agree that blogs don't seem to be the place to get an audience for short stories. Blogging is fun, but I wouldn't suggest that you worry too much about promoting the blog, or, for that matter, that you wait to blog until you have a bunch of stories to blog.

    Starting now and blogging at some predictable interval is one of the best things that you can do to slowly (sloooowly) build up readers. Try just writing some non-fiction blog posts about, well, stuff. Whatever stuff you find interesting. Maybe someone else will too.

    Admittedly, I've never made any meaningful effort to build up readers for my blog. :) But back when I was reliably blogging at a regular interval, I certainly had more than I do now.

    The one piece of "serious" blogging advice that I'd suggest would be that you get yourself a domain, rather than starting a whatever.blogspot.com or whatever.wordpress.com blog. It's not desperately important, but it does mean that whatever Google recognition you build up will belong to you, rather than someday being mostly lost when you do decide to go to your own domain. I didn't get a domain, and I mildly wish I had.

    Edited to add: @Tenderiser , I don't see a link to your blog anywhere in your profile. Do you just Not Do That? I'm suddenly all curious about it.
     
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  10. Hatchling

    Hatchling Member

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    I agree that blogging probably isn't the best way to build up an audience as a writer. That's not to say it's not worth hosting short stories on a blog, but it shouldn't be my primary focus if I want to give my writings a platform. However, I have no interest whatsoever in blogging about things personal to me, because I'd keep a diary if I wanted to write about my own life.

    I'll take the idea of buying my own domain seriously. $25 a year is a reasonable price to host a blog under my own name.
     
  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    What about blogging about writing, rather than blogging the writing?
     
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  12. Hatchling

    Hatchling Member

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    That's not a bad idea. I guess I could openly brainstorm about ideas for future writing projects, or comment on how I got inspiration for certain stories, and even make a few observations about my own writing process.

    At this point in time, these observations would work better when coming from a personal perspective. I don't currently possess the necessary expertise in writing to be an authority on how to write effectively.
     
  13. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I had it in my signature at one point but a psychotic and butthurt author followed me from here to my blog and trolled me for a while, so I took it out. I'm at https://annakaling.com/
     
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  14. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    I have a blog but currently it is hidden due to potential enemies of my readership/the free world/essentially my employer is actually is probably not scanning the web for my output to package a decent assassination/bundle for my redundancy in progress, issue.

    Saying that, some of the best blogging is completed during long stretches of unemployment in pyjamas. Writing, completed in such conditions, eventually finds its way to publication. This is an inevitable progression. Blogging also keeps you in touch with the so-called pyjama crew, fellow wasters with blogs, although after a couple of years you identify their psychological tics which lead to their blogging in the first place, egocentrics and such, poets especially.

    Google 'Wordpress' and you have your own blog in about five minutes. For myself, I have amassed over 500 followers, family members here in the wooded border region.
     
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  15. matwoolf

    matwoolf Contributor Contributor

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    @Tenderiser

    I'm sawwy.

    Yeah, I've had a few of those lunatics myself. That's the only problem - when you have one reader. It works for me currently because I have two. But if you're a woman especially you risk amassing all these slobbering males in your comments section, making jokes and lolling, very sickly.
     
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  16. Dr.Meow

    Dr.Meow Contributor Contributor

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    I think the other posters are giving great advice about blogs, so I'm not weighing in on that. What I'm addressing is your question about attracting and "advertising" your blog (or anything of that nature, even a business). The most powerful tool is social media, it far out ranks even literal TV ads, just for example as to its influence. If you link Twitter, Facebook or YouTube maybe, to your website, its just a matter of a little time and a couple posts a day, and making sure to follow others that are similar to your interests, and no matter what you're promoting, it'll be getting interest in a matter of weeks (or days depending on your skill with it). It's free, and it's a strong enough strategy to build empires, so a blogger would have no issue. This will also rank up your site with google very quickly. I had a website go to the top of googles search list in about a month or two using a little SEO (not much), and a lot of tweets and retweets.

    The trick is to retweet other people more than you tweet about yourself. Five retweets at least for every one of yours, and people will start retweeting you just to repay the favor, and bam! you have a following. ;)
     
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  17. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    You are going to be competing to get your stories read no matter where you publish them or send them. Even by putting them on your blog that just means they are out there with all the lit publications online and every other blogger who thinks it's a good idea to post their short stories themselves. It's not. Short story writing is super competitive. Are you sure you're at the level where you really want to put your work out there? A few years ago, I thought I was totally ready to publish short stories. Thank God it didn't happen then. I had no idea how much better I would get and how laughable my early attempts actually were. One of the best things about short story writing is that it's easier to see when and how you are improving the more stories you write. At least that's what I've noticed. Oh, and don't worry about the money. You'll likely make very little or nothing at all. Got to love a well respected journal that pays in copies. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
     
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  18. Hatchling

    Hatchling Member

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    Looking back on where I was a few years ago, I'll admit that my writing's better than it was before. But regardless of what progress I've made, if I'm truly serious about writing to a publishable standard, I've got a long and winding road ahead of me to get there. That's why I said publishing was a long term goal of mine for that reason. I do see your point, though. If my writing really were good enough to be published, why publish it on a blog? Hardly anyone ever looks for blogs when they want reading material. That's something I'd only consider if I was afraid of rejection due to my writing not being good enough.

    I guess I just want to share my writing with someone, just as a way of showing what I've done so far. I have a few close friends with artsy leanings who I can share writing with, and I can always post them on these forums for feedback. A blog isn't necessary for those purposes. I know how hard it is to make a living as a writer, and that's why writing's just a hobby for me; a side thing I dabble in between studies. The problem there is I have much less time to develop as a writer than if I had the aspiration to be a career writer, where I'd be throwing everything I have at my writing to get better at it.
     
  19. surrealscenes

    surrealscenes Senior Member

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    It all depends what type of writing you do. Novel or short story writing is difficult, but there are other ways. There are a lot of people who hate writing and will gladly pay to have short articles written for them. There is also the (potentially) lucrative sales copy field.
    Sales copy fascinates me. 'How do you get someone to open their wallet and buy, just from reading a paragraph?' You create a form of intimacy that opens up trust. Once you can do that, you can apply it to your fiction. It is one more thing to help you reach where you want to be.
    Give it a shot. You mention 'studies'. Is this at a school? If so, put a sign on a bulletin board offering writing services & see what comes your way.
     
  20. Hatchling

    Hatchling Member

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    I'm currently studying IT with the intention of becoming a programmer, so I'm in the middle of tertiary education.

    There are few opportunities for a programmer to write on the job beyond writing technical documentation. Whereas fiction writing involves a story, dialogue between characters, and choosing the right words for the best emotive effect, technical documentation is dry and puts emphasis on precision in details. The only common ground between writing fiction and technical documentation is precision in the use of words, as well as writing coherent trains of thought.
     
  21. jedicounsellor

    jedicounsellor Member

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    I keep a blog which has one follower. I haven't been doing it for too long and there was a long period of down time while I was incarcerted. I would suggest using KDP to self publish electronically for Kindle. You can attribute any price you like and you'll open yourself up to reviews on goodreads. I know this because I own a Kindle paperwhite which has the goodreads link in both the menus of opening a book for the first time, and on completion of reading a book. I used goodreads before owning a Kindle and think this forum would help you become better known amongst readers of other digital content to find your other work. I currently have two short stories published on Kindle, each selling for .99c US - unfortunately the conversion issue means that someone will need to fork out around $1.30 to purchase it which wasn't my intention when I set the price to just below a dollar, but oh well - it's out there.
     

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