Sunday, November 16, 2014

Effective Blogging

Normally I would be blogging about my favorite football team or my fantasy football team. This week I have decided to make a change. To be successful you have to constantly tweak and adjust everything you are doing. Looking at the posts that have made the most impact has led me to this change. Some segments of the blog that I enjoy doing are going away. There simply isn't enough support as far as comments or hits to support them. One of those is the writer's playlist that I have enjoyed putting together. I love music, but not everyone has the same taste when it comes to music. You have to cater to your audience. I want to provide value while spending more time writing.

Effective Blog Posts

There are 4 different kinds of posts that have been the most popular and created the most interaction. Let's take a look at each type and see why I think they are so popular.
  • Movie Reviews - I have been doing these from the start of the blog. I am a huge movie fan, so I am going to go see these movies anyway. Movies can give you that short term experience that is almost as intense as a book can be. Why have these posts been successful? You can go a lot of places to get movie reviews, and many of those places get more traffic than this little blog. I think the answer is that I have provided something unique and I have built up trust with some of my readers. People have come up to me to say that my reviews are right in line with what they think of the movie. What makes my reviews unique is that I don't give an overall rating. I feel like different people like different things. My goal when reviewing a movie is to give people what they need to decide if they should go see the movie. Giving people an overall rating on my opinion of the movie won't help towards that end if they like action movies with tons of explosions, and I prefer intellectual thrillers.
  • Guides - These posts teach others how to do certain things. I haven't posted one of these in a while, but my guide to building characters is still one of my most popular posts on the blog (you can read it here). I have found that authors and writers are always trying to find tips and tricks that will help them to improve their craft or make more money off of their work. I know because I do the same, and it's one of the reasons I follow Lindsey Buroker on Twitter. I promise you it has nothing to do with her being a wonderful person who I chat with on occaision. I really think she may be a dragon in disguise, so I'm a little scared when she replies to my tweets.
  • Current Topics - My most popular post to date has to do with E-book Subscription Services (read it here), and I did a follow up post about Kindle Unlimited when Amazon rolled that out which was also very popular (read it here). My recent post about being a feminist was also one of my more popular posts (read it here). It's easy to see why posts like these are popular. I try to provide a unique perspective that gives people something to think about. Sometimes I have some questsions that haven't been answered, so I strive to find those answers for myself and others who may be interested. Chuck Wendig is one of the best I have seen at tackling current issues while making it entertaining. Beware the potty mouth if you seek out his twitter or blog.
  • Events - The one critique event that I have participated in has been popular as well. It's always nice to help out your fellow writers/authors. I also posted an author interview that was quite a bit of fun. All of these posts have been popular because we have been able to pull in multiple sources to help promote them. Four of my top ten blog posts are part of one of these events.

The Future

I plan to spend more time on these kinds of blog posts. Posting daily or almost daily does help my overall amount of traffic to the blog, but there is less interaction with these posts. None of these posts are able to pull the kind of attention that I feel would justify the time spent on them. It ends up being a trade off of quality for quantity that I don't feel is worth it. I would rather spend that time writing fiction. I will continue to experiment with the format of this blog to hopefully find other things that work, but I will also strive to provide more content that fits into the categories above.

This is what is working for me, but it might not work for your blog. I suggest to everyone who writes a blog to re-evaluate what is working and isn't working for your blog every once in a while, and make whatever adjustments needed. This blog has become more of a diary and football blog as of late when I should be focusing on what is important. As much as I love football and music, I don't see either as being part of my future career plans. It doesn't make much sense for me to continue on that path when my time would be better spent on other projects.

Thanks For Reading! Catch up on the first season of Grim before it's done! Grim Season 1 on Wattpad! -


Tui Snider said...

Thanks for sharing what does and doesn't work for you. Like you, I find it necessary to tweak the types of posts I put on my blog. It's really taken me quite a while to find my footing with my blog - but that's fine. I'm enjoying the ride! ~Tui, dropping by from #MondayBlogs

Brian Basham said...

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear about what has worked for you in your journey with your blog.