More than Words – Fiction Writing Meets Technology
When my business partner James came to me with the idea of adding fiction writing to our list of topics for our business writing blog, I instantly embraced the concept. We wanted to spread the Men with Pens name in the niche.I was tired of business blogging. It was a breath of fresh air to blog on fiction writing, and I had dozens of ideas in mind.
I did some research, looking for creative and fiction writing blogs. I was sure there would be good ones on the Internet. After all, fiction writers love to write, and blogging is the best platform…
I'm sorry to say that what I did find was very disappointing. The concept I found on most creative and fiction writing blogs was fantastic – and the blogs turned me off completely.
The authors made extremely poor choices where blogging is concerned and they weren't using blogs to maximum potential. It was disheartening to see that most creative and fiction writer bloggers didn't seem to care about the image their blog conveyed or the user-friendliness of their setup.
Don’t Kid Yourself
We all write because we love to write, but when we dig down deep into our innermost desires, we're often trying to sell our novel or be published. Writers don't often admit it, but yes – most want fame and fortune. It’s okay.
Showcasing your writing abilities and talents on your blog is a fine idea. A blog is a free online publishing platform, after all. It's the perfect medium for writers.
But if your blog is visually unappealing, difficult to navigate or unprofessional in appearance, no one will take interest in your words. No one will want to stay to read your content. A poorly
presented blog damages your credibility as an author.
Who Are You Writing For?
Many blogs lack focus. They splatter out over a wide range of topics and try to grasp onto any reader at all. It's inefficient and it damages the potential of the blog. This lack of focus is a problem that sweeps through any industry, and it's not isolated to fiction or writing blogs.
Decide your target audience from the beginning. Do you want to attract established authors who already know the ropes? Are you trying to entice the beginner writer or the dabbling hobbyist? Do you want to tempt editors or publishers? Are you trying to reach mystery or fantasy/sci-fi writers?
Within any given niche, there are smaller sub-category niches. Writing covers a wide range of niche areas, so dig deeper to find out whom you're really trying to attract. You'll soon discover that you're not just looking for readers – you want a specific type of reader, a particular type of person, to visit your blog.
Be a Professional, not a Freebie Fan
Free blogsites such as Blogger, TypePad or Wordpress.com (not to be confused with the fully customizable Wordpress you get through a hosting service) are fine for a beginner that has never blogged to learn the ropes. But free blogsites limit features of your blog and restrict your control.
Those in the know easily recognize free blogsites as cheap and low-end. This includes readers, editors, and publishers. Free blogs are frustrating and they involve many limitations that force visitors to jump through hoops just to become a commentator.
Free blogs hurt your readership and your credibility.
If you want to be taken seriously, be serious about your blog. You need a blogging platform that allows you and your readers maximum flexibility and user-friendliness with a clean, professional appearance.
Buy your own domain name. Choose a simple, clean and professional theme for your blog. Build a blog community and listen to what the readers want in functional features. Listen to what they don't like, too, and eliminate it.
The fewer clicks your reader has to make to post a comment, the more likely the reader is to comment. No one enjoys registering, creating an ID and password, squinting to read garbled captcha codes, or waiting for a confirmation email to arrive.
None of these forced actions is necessary, either. There are applications on self-hosted Wordpress blogs that eliminate all the hoops while protecting blogs from spam and content theft.
Part II tomorrow!
Harrison McLeod is the man behind the scenes at Men with Pens. He’s a forty-something freelance writer and web designer from Las Vegas, Nevada. He has a degree in illustration and over 20 years of experience in the design industry. His favorite color is red, he loves his cats, reading books, archery, and he rides a Honda VTX 1800RS.