Welcome back once again to Not Enough Time in the Day and the second installment in my series on creating your own blog. Since this is a Writer's Words of Wisdom post, I'll only talk about blogging as it relates to writers. Even though I write erotica and erotic romance, these tips apply to authors in all genres.
Last week, I asked my alter ego, Stephanie Ryan to share her post on deciding about having a blog, website or a combination of both under one domain. She talked about two of the most popular blogging sites and the advantages of using each one. Of course there were disadvantages for each too, but ultimately it came down to what was the easiest format for her to work on. Hopefully her article helped you to decide and pick one as well. This week I want to touch on how you go about creating your individual blog to help get yourself noticed in the vast world we call The Blogosphere.
I've got my hosting site. Now what do I do?
Congratulations! Now that you've made your choice, it's time to come up with a way to make your little blog stand out and belong to YOU. For that, you need a catchy title and tagline. These are not the same the domain name/URL. Let me explain that just a little bit before we go on. Your domain name will be what folks type into the search engines to find you. As an author, the best kind of domain name or URL to have is one that has your pen name in at least part of it...or some variation of it. The domain name for my Behind Closed Doors website/blog is authortammydenningsmaggy.com and the one for the blog you're reading now is tammydenningsmaggy.blogspot.com. Both of them have my pen name in the URL and therefore both linked to me. Not Enough Time in the Day was created to share all parts of my life as a veterinarian, poet and author of erotic romance. Juggling an evil day job as a veterinarian, life as a newlywed, running a household and finding time to write can be a challenge and every single day I wish there was more hours for me to get things done. So the title and tagline for this blog was born. Here are a few other blogs that I enjoy reading and following myself. Notice their creative titles and taglines.
- Tales from the Snark Side belongs to author Tymber Dalton and her various pen names.
- Romance Beckons...The Erotic Writings of Author Paloma Beck and Friends
- Calipe's Writing Tablet...The Musings of Romance Author Rose Anderson
- Kisses, Caresses, and Whispers in the Night owned by romantic suspense author Amber Lea Easton
- Sealed With a Kiss Robin Badillo's blog
Do you see where I"m going with this? The sky really is the limit with what you can write about, but it may be best to avoid topics such as religion and politics. Those tend to get really heated and downright messy. Trust me. There are more than enough topics to cover that can be just as controversial. (wink wink). I've been known to jump on that soap box from time to time. Did you catch my diatribe on avoiding the diva syndrome? How about my alter ego Lia Michaels and her discussion of the differences between sensual romance, erotica, erotic romance and porn? No? Here's the link for that one too. ;) Both of those blogs were a result of some heated discussions I had with some fellow authors. Those topics are a bit controversial and they do make great blogs.
How do I incorporate guests bloggers?
Why not choose specific days to be set aside for guests? You can also go another step further by making those days center around a specific theme. For my blogs, I found that allowing guests on any day of the week, created way too much work for me setting up all the spots. I was left with very little time left to work on my own posts, poetry and other WIPs. I had to find balance so I took control. I decided to only have guests three days a week. I had Oh My! Mondays, Thursday Thirteen and Saturday Spotlight. Those three eventually evolved into adding two more features for this blog: WWoW and Furbaby Fridays. Others to consider could be Tantilizing or Titillating Tuesdays, Sinfully Sassy Sundays with The Vixen (mine on Four Seduced Muses), Wanton Wednesdays, Slippery Saturdays...the list can go on and on. Amber Lea Easton has Open Mic Mondays to showcase guests. Another spot I've seen another author use is Friday Firsts showcasing the opening lines of books her guests wish to promote.
Having the specific days enables you to have continuity and gives something for your followers to look forward to each week. Can you slip in different posts in there? Hell yes! It's your blog. Do with it what you will, but try to keep it consistent. You don't wish to include adult topics, then don't. You can keep your "place" as squeaky clean as you wish or as down and dirty as you can get. Do you want to have a no hold's barred approach and feature topics and guests that are considered more risque or taboo? Go for it! I did. Check out Four Seduced Muses and The House of Taboo. Do you wish for something in between the sweet and taboo? Check out Stephanie Ryan's Through Stephanie's Eyes. She's just getting started but having a lot of fun!
How do I make my blog stand out? Do I need a gimmick?
I'm learning about this along the way too and the answer I've found is a resounding YES! For my Behind Closed Doors blog, people are drawn to my poetry in the largest numbers. All of my blogs are popular when I participate in blog hops because of the prize packages I put together for each one. This blog is now a hit with the tips for writers and for the tales of my life as a veterinarian. Sassy Vixen Publishing is building a reputation as a new publisher and showcasing authors of all adult genres. The House of Taboo's specialty is the Saturday Spotlight feature. Lia has turned the blog into an actual night club sort of feel, having the guests on the center stage for their interviews. She then surprises them with having their favorite actor or actress "read" the steamy excerpt from the book the guest is promoting. The feature has become so popular, "we've" decided to include an actual nightclub called The House of Taboo in a shared world series being created by Sassy Vixen authors and many others. What started out as a fun way to present an interview, turned into an actual character in a romance novel series. Who knew? LOL
So go on. Think about your goals and the persona you wish to present to the Blogosphere and the entire online community. Once you have those basic details, sign up for your blog with the domain name you wish to have in that URL, the eye catching title and tag line to draw in those followers, and add the features you wish to have shown on the site. Eventually you can expand your blog to include your website, your favorite links, you books and book trailers, inspirational photos...anything you wish to make the space all your own.
Above all, have fun and GET BLOGGING!!!
Until next time
Do you want more Words of Wisdom? My friend and fellow WWoW author/blogger Paloma Beck has a post for you today too. Make sure you stop in and say hello. We're working on getting our very own WWoW blog to keep all our posts together in one place. It's still a work in progress, so we'll let you know when to expect the unveiling.