by Dave White
I used to say I hated blogging. And at the time I really did.
But at that time I didn't exactly know what I was blogging for or who I was blogging to. I just spilled my guts about writing and crime fiction. And while I'm sure that's what people out there in the crime fiction community want to read about, it's also what everyone else out there is blogging out.
Take a minute and go to Crimespot and take a look at what everyone else is blogging about. Go ahead, I'll wait.
(That old gag.)
Oh, you're back?
What'd you see? Book reviews, probably. Someone talking about the right way to write. Most likely. How to write a sex scene? (I've read that blog post by about 17 different people. One day I want to see a blog post about "How to write about people eating dinner.") There is nothing wrong with these posts. I've read 'em. I still read 'em. And I usually enjoy them.
But I'm deep in the crime fiction community. I follow all the publishing gossip, the little cat fights... I'm still trying to learn how to write a sex scene... And after I point, I started thinking about my own blog, who was reading it, and if it was helping me out.
Turns out, I don't really think it was. I was probably getting the same 75-100 people checking out my new posts about crime fiction and writing.
So I took a step back and thought... What is going to bring more people to my blog? Maybe even some people who don't give two craps about the in-depths of the crime fiction community and a way to sell an extra 17 books.
And I decided that my posts had to be broader.
And now I do several things to gain a bigger blog audience. I am one half of The Dave and Krewer Show... a comedy podcast, available through my blog or iTunes. I live blog STOOOPID movies (like Twilight). I talk about New Jersey and why it's better than every other state (who knew so many people from Maine would find it? And be pissed!). I talk about my fears. I get personal.
And a funny thing happened. The hits on my blog started to go up. Whenever I did something completely ridiculous (like the aforementioned Twilight post) my sales rank on Amazon jumped a little. Just a bit... probably meant I sold one book. But whatever, it also meant someone knew checked out what I was blogging out.
I think when people talk about promotion, they tend to get focused on how to sell something to the crime fiction community. That is important, but you also have to appeal outside the community.
You have to expand your horizons. You have to think about different things.
I don't know if that works. I've seen some changes, a little bump in site traffic. But, in the form of blogs, each one has to be different. I mean it's my blog and it's about my interests, so you're still going to see crime related things and book related things. But if that's all my blog was going to be about, it wasn't going to be interesting to me anymore.
You'll probably find more of the same nonsense from me here at Do Some Damage.
You have to find your blog voice, just like a writing voice.
And a blog should be fun.
At least, I think it should.
Yet, I still don't know how to write that damned sex scene...
What do you guys think about blogs?