SLOGGING THROUGH BLOGS by Sunny Frazier I'm late to the blogging game. The first blogs I read seemed to be a waste of time. Personal info on what other people are doing doesn't interest me. I wonder…

SLOGGING THROUGH BLOGS
by Sunny Frazier

I'm late to the blogging game. The first blogs I read seemed to be a waste of time. Personal info on what other people are doing doesn't interest me. I wondered why writers spent time with this format and who the heck has time to read it?

I've come around. In fact, I encouraged my Friday Night Writes critique group to create a blog. No other groups in our area had picked up the idea and run with it. We saw it as a way to explore our various levels of writing, from the newbie to the professional. To check it out, go to http://fridaynightwrite.blogspot.com

A tool is only as good as the person wielding it. A blog every day is not only tiresome, but it drains the writers. We set up a schedule so a new blog is posted on Monday. We decided to make this a professional forum, not personal.

A blog doesn't do much good if only group members read it. Heck, we could just as well discuss this stuff at meetings. The trick is to lure others to the site. When I blogged about being a contest junkie, I went to several online groups I subscribe to and simply planted a teaser, then the blog addy. How many people do I reach via groups and personal connections? Around 1,000, and that's a conservative estimate.

Some of those who read the blog went back to the group and said, “Sunny's right,” then proceeded to quote me and add their own two cents. If a blog gets people talking and dropping your name in the right circles, it's all good. If they like your “voice,” chances are good they'll check back often.

Quid pro quo: I started checking out the blogs other people mentioned. Often, I dropped off a comment on their site, and my comments come with my photo attached. I also noted the addy and sent an email to friends who would benefit from discussions on marketing, outlining, character development and other aspects of writing.

I'm invited to be a guest blogger on other sites. This is one way for the host to take a breather, plus it adds a breath of fresh opinions to revive a blog. Again, I steer my network to this new blog. Everyone gets something out of the deal.

I'm also discovering blogging doesn't eat up my writing time. I do a monthly column for the local paper on writing, plus I contribute to several newsletters. With a few sentence changes, I can take a piece geared to a small town readership and expand it for a wider-based audience. This is recycling at its finest.

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Comment by Holli Castillo on March 10, 2010 at 1:20am
Sunny, I blog, but I haven't yet posted to most of my sites when I blog to let people know- I mainly post the link on Twitter and Facebook, and then usually I see a few book sales. I need your color coded system, which I don't have and have been unable to come up with my own organizational system for all the websites I'm on to remember to post a link to the blog. I do NOT blog every day, and probably not often enough. I also blog on Red Room, where I convinced them to list me as an author even though our publisher wasn't on their list. But again, I don't link to my Red Room blog on all of my other sites, so I'm wasting a great opportunity, I think, to get more attention.
Comment by Penny Manson on March 9, 2010 at 3:23pm
Ok Sunny. I spent more time dreading getting into this group then it took me to sign up and read through the recent entries. This is not as difficult as I thought it would be. I am setting up a color coded system like you showed us at SinC to keep on top of reading and responding to the blogs and my husband is setting up a reader for me. It is sort of fun. I imagine like most things the more I do it the easier it will get. Thanks for the heads up. Now I just need a cool head shot like yours. Can I borrow somebody's until I get one of my own? I always wanted to be mistaken for a tall blond goddess. This could be my only chance to be thought of that way since I am a short, dark haired black lady.
Penny
Comment by Bill Bushman on March 6, 2010 at 7:12am
Will do! Thanks so much for the info!
Comment by Sunny Frazier on March 6, 2010 at 7:06am
You don't have to be a former law enforcement type, but you definitely have an interest. This is a great group to network with and get info from. The conferences cover many subjects on writing. My topic this year is "How Much Sex Is Too Much?" Mystery lovers will only let the bedroom door open so far!

Check out the newsletter. There's an article on weapons and on serial killers.
Comment by Bill Bushman on March 6, 2010 at 6:41am
Most likely not. But I will look into attending! I will definitely take some of your suggestions! I've never been in public service though, I'm just a big fan of police and firefighters/EMT's. :)
Comment by Sunny Frazier on March 6, 2010 at 6:34am
Bill, are you aware of the Public Safety Writers Association? We all write the kind of stuff I see in your blog. Former law enforcement types, but also firefighters, paramedics and such, publishing fiction and non-fiction. Tight group. We meet in Vegas once a year for a conference. This year it's June 17-20. Details at www.policewriter.com

To get people to your blog, you need to monitor other people's blogs and weigh in. This gets your name circulating.

Will you be attending Left Coast Crime, Los Angeles, next weekend?
Comment by Bill Bushman on March 6, 2010 at 6:20am
I like some of these ideas as I'm interested in finding a way to get more people to check out my work. BTW, here's the link to the blog where I've been posting my recent work...

http://thevalleyfiction.blogspot.com/

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