Tips for An Amateur Blogger- Finding something to blog about

I joined this site almost a week ago, right around the time I started a blog.  Currently there is nothing on my blog sight because I can't seem to find anything to say. This may sound cliche but I'm not going through a period of writer's block. I'm being hit with ideas left and right but when I see that blank page I'm like what do I say? I'm not published in anything yet although I am awaiting responses from a handful of magazines. Because I'm not published I don't feel like I'm an expert at writing even though I did study journalism in college. I'm going through extreme BLOG BLOCK. Any advice to help me get over the blogging hump and my fear at not being an expert in any one subject.

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Don't feel like you've got to Write A Post. Just put your thoughts down and hit "publish." They don't have to be well-composed or even make sense. That's how I do it. Though, to be fair, I've probably got two regular readers, at most.
Question, Dana: Why blog if you have nothing you want to say? Do you see it as necessary promotion for your writing?
I like that idea. Always wanted to have my own newspaper column. Well, actually, I did once, but it had to be about tax-free municipal bonds every week.
There you go:  You just said "job."  We already have a job.  We are writers of fiction.  A blog, to be good and reach lots of people, requires more time daily than we have to spend.

Dana, I like blogs with short posts I can read in a matter of moments. Pictures always make the posts more interesting to me. I also prefer blogs that stick to a niche. I read blogs using Google Reader, so I only subscribe to blogs that seem like they will be consistently interesting or relevant to my interests.

 

As an emerging writer it might be interesting for me to read about your journey to improve your writing and pursue your writing career. There are more unpublished (or nearly unpublished) writers than pros, so there is a ready made market for a blog about the journey. If you're determined to go pro, writing about your experience could make for inspirational reading.

 

Hi Dana,

 

First off let me say this, blogging is supposed to be fun. If it ends up too much like work then something's wrong. LOL!

 

I used to run a popular blog but ditched it because I got too busy and also my mom passed and I wasn't in the mood to continue. This was back in 2006. I might start again one day, not sure. But my advice, just blog about what you want to. I posted everyday and I probably wrote about writing or my books a few times a month if that. You don't have to blog about writing. I posted about movies, music, everyday things, anything that interested me. I found that more exciting than writing about...writing. LOL! I don't know why writers feel like they have to blog about writing. I think when you let the audience know you on a personal level, it's a wonderful experience.

 

I don't frequent blogs the way I used to. I barely read blogs now except maybe book review blogs. But I stopped reading writers' blogs because you get tired of the same old posts about writing. Many of them talk about the same things and you never get a feel of who they are. The blogs I liked the most were from folks who weren't even writers because they talked of different things.  Of course this is just my opinion but I think to stand out, writers should blog about different things. It's okay to blog about writing or your latest manuscript but not everyday. I think it bores people to go on a blog and they are talking about the same stuff all the time.

 

One thing I used to do was my own countdown lists and they were fun. I used to name my favorite movies, music or celebrities. For example I'd do something like, "My Top Ten Child Stars of the 80's" and folks would line up to comment. I'd sometimes post about internet dating, current events, anything. I also did a lot of article-type posts that provided tips on various subjects. Bottom line, I blogged about what I wanted to. I didn't blog about writing just because I felt I had to. Another thing, only blog if you want to. Don't blog because you think you should or you think it will sell books. You will be bored and not keep it up if you don't do it because you want to. I don't blog now because I don't have the time and I don't want to.

 

If you really wanna blog, then mull over some topics. Blogging shouldn't be a chore. It should be fun and something you do in your spare time. I posted a new topic everyday and to keep viewers you should at least post three times a week. If you don't have the drive or can't do this then don't even blog. Nothing's worse than a vacant blog where the blogger posts once every two weeks. If it seems more like work and less like fun then don't do it. It takes an effort to run a blog especially one that brings you promotion.

 

Also make sure you exchange blog links and participate on others' blogs because this will make yours even more popular.

 

Best Wishes!

http://www.stacy-deanne.net

Blogs, really good blogs, are a must for writers' self-promo and networking.  Yes, they steal time, but the trick is to make sure the time you spend--time you are writing but just not writing your novel--is worth it, that it gives something, a value added, to your blog followers, and that you get something in return (could be increased name recognition in your community, could be a call from an agent, could be just simple networking).  I agree with Dana that people go bleary eyed when they read me-oriented blogs by writers about their journeys; same old same old same old . . . bleh, bleh.  Honestly, I have a hard enough time keeping track of my own, much less someone else's journey.

 

Finding a niche means figuring out the targeted range of followers for your blog, instead of regurgitating something into the ether.  You have to identify what your blog followers want and are not getting elsewhere.  How to do that?  Just one trick: Imagine yourself speaking in person to the group you want to follow your blog.  For example, your'e in McDonald's on Saturday morning, having coffee with one hundred, mystery writin', craft savvy CrimeSpacers.  You have ten seconds to say something to get their attention and spark an exciting conversation.  What would it be?  Now, do that again, then again, and thereafter for as long as your blog remains a fun and rewarding activity that promotes your goals and your followers'.

Thank you all for your reply. I have reading the responses that have been posted. The replies posted by Stacy and Mary are especially helpful. I agree. I think a writer blogging about writing is so cliche. I have posted three blogs on my sites so far and though I think I know which direction I'm headed its still to early to tell. The blogs can be read at www.danagleeson.blogspot.com. If do check it out, let me know what you think. I am always open to feedback and do keep the responses coming. I'm interested in what everyone has to say.

Dana, like you, I'm fairly new (since last year) to CrimeSpace, an incredibly savvy and supportive community.  I feel like when one of of us wins by learning, we all do, so I'm willing to help in any way possible.  I'll go visit your blog, sign up--most likely--and then you can visit mine and sign up at www.buzzardbone.blogspot.com.  See . . . ?  It's all about networking.  See you at www.danagleeson.blogspot.com.  Happy blogging.

I have to agree with the sentiments here, if you can't think of anything to blog about then you don't need a blog. Sure it is a handy way of networking (I hate the idea of it being marketing, wrong motivation) but if posts are forced then it won't be very interesting.

 

Why did you want to start a blog anyway?

If you've got time to post on a forum, you've got time to blog.

 

It doesn't have to be every day; the great thing is to do it regularly. I blog about once a week, and some of the best blogs I follow are less frequent than that. You'll know if you're getting it right after a while as you acquire followers and your Google ranking goes up.

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