Monday Musings: Everything You Know About Blogging is WRONG!
Or maybe it’s not. I know that most of what I know about blogging is probably wrong.
Anyway, a month or so ago someone Tweeted a link to a blog, which led to another blog and although I can’t remember who said it now, there was some pretty good advice. Basically that advice is that most of us writers are not blogging the way we should.
The main problem as the author said is that we blog for other WRITERS with tips and stories from the trenches and so forth. (Or just long-winded, profane rants after rejections.) While this is all good for making contacts with other writers, it’s not really going to build much of a platform for you.
Instead what the author of this article suggested was that you need to target your book’s audience. Granted other writers may be part of that audience, but probably not the main part of it. So what you need to do is think like an ad exec, like one of those “Mad Men” guys, except think less about screwing your secretary and more on the task at hand. Who’s going to read your book? Not just “people who read fantasy” or “people who read sci-fi.” Be more specific: what kind of people? Kids? Teens? 20-30something adults? Middle-aged adults? Elderly adults? Males? Females? So on and so forth.
In the article the author identified his audience as young women teens-20somethings who like to read stories about women kicking butt. (Or something like that. Again I wish I’d saved the link to look it up later.) So when he writes his blog, he focuses on writing things those people will enjoy. In turn those people may buy his book. And chances are there a lot of young women who like stories about women kicking butt who are not writers.
Now I know Mr. Pagel already does this to some extent with his blogs by focusing each one on a specific niche. As usual, though, I have no idea what I’m doing. What’s my audience? How the fuck should I know? 30-40something men who like dirty jokes—though not TOO dirty? So that’s the problem for me.
OK, now let’s say I’m creating a blog for A Hero’s Journey (which at some point I’m bound to do); what’s my audience? Let’s say I go along with what the author said for the most part and say my target audience is teens-20something women who like reading about a woman kicking butt. I’d probably also say that they’re nerds who like comic books and superhero movies. (Of course I wouldn’t call them nerds to their faces…)
Now then, this imaginary demographic probably isn’t made up entirely of writers. So posting a bunch of Terrible Tips about writing isn’t going to interest them. What I really need is to write about things they might give a crap about.
Thinking about the subject material of my story, I’m thinking of a couple of ideas.
- Discussions about stupid things like which female hero is the best or who could kick whose butt. (Which I’d probably need Mr. Pagel to write for me because he knows a lot more of those than I do.) And discussions/polls about which superhero movies are the best or which upcoming ones people want to see.
- News and views: news about comics/superhero movies and maybe some short commentary. (Again, I’m way out of my depth there.)
- Practical Superheroism: This was something I thought of the other day. It’d be short pieces (videos would be optimal, but I don’t have the kind of money for that) about how to go from zero to hero. Things like how to make a costume, training regimens, weak points on the human body, tactics, and so forth. (With a big ol’ disclaimer saying DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!!!)
The gist of the idea then would be people go to the site and enjoy the content and then maybe decide to buy my book.
As usual, though, the biggest hurdle would be getting people TO the site. That’s a problem for another time.
So now you can get out there and start blogging the right way and maybe move some books, maybe enough so that you can start having three-martini lunches and hire a secretary to fuck. If only…
We continue this line of thought on Wednesday with a real marketing strategy…