In my journey towards traditional publication (getting my novel published by a royalty-paying publishing house), building my personal platform has been a priority. In 2009, I created my blog, website, Twitter account and started taking my writing career “seriously.”
Since 2009, that blog and website hasn’t gained much traction… at all.
Granted, “success” is a subjective word and I would not trade any of those experiences for anything. Through trial and error, I learned HTML, blogging basics and a lot about self-promotion.
But there were some key lessons I’m taking to heart and adapting:
1. Stay focused. “Oh, you’re blog is a little all over the place, isn’t it?” Yes, someone said that to me, politely, but it still hurt… It hurt because I know it’s true. I also know the importance of keeping your blog focused and clear. I wasn’t sure of my audience (or who I wanted my audience to be), which led to multiple topics and focuses. Thus, this “confessions” blog is going to stick true to my purpose.
2. Let your voice shine through. Some of my favorite blogs to write were ones that I dropped the “professional” act and just let my voice be heard. And if I enjoyed writing a blog, I believe readers will enjoy reading it. (I hope. Correct me if I’m wrong.)
3. People care about people. There are many places for expert information, but most of the successful blogs are successful because of reader’s personal connection to the blogger. We want to see flaws, truths and authenticity. I strive for that every day.
4. Consistency matters. In my own personal experience, I get frustrated with the infrequent bloggers—perhaps I’m OCD but I want to know when to expect a blog. In my own blog, I need structure and deadlines, so setting the blogging schedule and sticking to it matters.
5. I’m not an expert in much. I’ve had a lot of different experiences—but I’m not a horse expert. I’m not a blogging expert. I’m not a social media expert. I’m not a writing expert. In my old blog, I shared a lot of those experiences, but I couldn’t write with the platform of an expert. So this blog is different and I’m just sharing those experiences from my eyes.
There are no certainties online. The world of blogging and social media is so young and all the “rules” move constantly. It takes time and focus to find what “works” for you. That is what I’m working toward.