The well was dry this month. I was scrambling to come up with a topic, and that caused me to do something rather desperate. I searched up author blogs to see what others had written recently. I hoped I could find an idea to “borrow” or perhaps mock in a friendly this guy was out of ideas, too, sort of way.
What I found instead was a ton of advice for author blogs. I thought there might be a list of suggested topics somewhere in all that advice. No. Really no. There was only a long list of things I’m doing wrong. Here are some of the dos and don’ts I’ve been screwing up.
1) The most frequent advice for writing an author blog is don’t. It’s about ten years too late for me to fix that. The reason I shouldn’t have started is that I won’t make money writing a blog. I never expected to make money doing this so I guess I was wrong about that, too.
2) If I write a blog anyway, I shouldn’t think of it as blogging. I’m supposed to think of this as “online writing I do for free.” This way I always remember that I’m giving away something valuable here. The implication is that the goal of a blog is to inflate my ego. I’ve never been comfortable using blog as a verb so I generally think of this as writing a post. And it’s only one of the main goals I’m getting wrong.
3) The primary goal of my blog should be to drive traffic to my author website. My blog is my author site. Another source specifically told me they should be the same so I thought this was one thing I actually had right. Now I’m even wrong about being right.
4) The primary goal of my blog should be to move readers to an email list. Oops. I don’t even have an email list. My primary goal has always been that if someone reads one of my books and decides to look me up, there will be something here, maybe even something mildly interesting. But now that we’ve established that all of my motivation is wrong, let’s dive into the specifics I’m messing up.
5) Every title should be clickbait. It is wrong to make titles match the content. My titles should hint at shock and life-changing information, no matter what. You won’t believe what I’m writing next! More books. I bet no one saw that coming.
6) Write a ton of repetitive stuff. All of the advice about frequency suggests a number of posts per week, not per month. The quantity of my writing is apparently way more important than what I’m writing about. I was wrong the moment I tried to put some thought behind it.
7) Everything I write should be at a 3rd grade level because people are busy. Why does having a lot to do lower intellect? I guess I’m too busy to understand this advice.
8) Every post should include at least one image. I’m told the picture doesn’t have to be related. It only has to be colorful or attention-grabbing. My lack of pictures is so wrong. I didn’t know I was supposed to make people feel busy for not getting why there’s a pile of crayons next to a post about my next release date.
9) Don’t write about my writing process. People don’t care about that. Some people don’t care to read romance. Maybe my fiction is wrong, too.
10) Write about my writing process. Readers like “a peek behind the curtain.” I’m confused.
11) My writing process is only interesting to other writers. Oh. Maybe. I’m still not sure this makes sense.
12) Do regular interviews with people who fascinate me. Wait a minute. This is an actual topic suggestion. But when I make a list of people who fascinate me, it quickly becomes apparent that most of them have one thing in common. They’re dead. This puts me back to square one. I’ll worry about that next month.