Monday, July 18, 2011

FAMP: You Gotta Have a Message

All right, I'm not trying to dog all of you out there who like to blog about whatever you feel like. Personal blogs are great. I enjoy reading them, I know many of us enjoy writing them.

But today's From a Marketing Perspective post says: If you want consistent followers, you've got to have a consistent message.

"A consistent message" is marketing speak for make your blog be about something and then be consistent. Now there are some topics that are going to attract a wider audience than others, but really, your message can be anything you want as long as it's consistent.

Maybe you want to blog about advice for authors.  Or you may want to review books.  Or maybe you're a writer housewife in Oklahoma and you want to show people what your typical day looks like. Or you like to write and you also collect salt and pepper shakers.  Whatever it is, pick your subject and stick to it. There's a blog I read often that is about writing and knitting. It works because the author, Jodi Meadows, picked her topics and she sticks to them.

Here's what doesn't work: Saying you have a blog about your journey as an author and then including a post about your awesome day at the beach and doing nothing to tie it in to your writing.

When you are deciding on what your blog is going to be about, the best thing to do is try to imagine who it is you want to read your blog. Since my blog is for writers that want to be published or who are published, I'm going to suggest that your blog have something to do with writing or, even better, something to do with what you write about. For example, if you write historical romances and you don't want to blog about writing or reading, then maybe you blog about great romances throughout history. This will (hopefully) pull the same audience as your book. I use this example because I don't want writers to think that their blog has to be about writing and books.

Now what about all of you who want to blog as a journal rather than about anything specific?  From a marketing perspective, that's not the greatest choice, but if that's the route you want to go, at least make that clear to your blog readers. There are a few blogs that have become popular just because of the personality of the author or because the author's daily life was interesting enough for readers to want to return. Dooce's popular blog comes to mind. For the most part though, the blogs that get people to return are the ones that are:

  • unique
  • informative
  • reliable
  • updated frequently
  • funny 
I'm going to admit something that will probably make me wildly unpopular: writer's blogs that tell me they are about writing and then throw in a post about the author's personal life turn me off. I unsubscribe. If I think that I am going to the blog everyday to get one thing and then something else is in its place - no matter how well written - I get annoyed. You can still be a writer and throw your personal life in your blog if you choose, but make it fit your message. I've used her blog before as an example, but again Elana Johnson does this very well. I know a lot about her personal life from her blog (she loves bacon!) but she never fails to incorporate these tidbits into stories directed at the literary world, which is what her message promises to do.

Since I am writing this blog at 4 in the morning, I am beginning to wonder if I am adhering to my consistent message...

What's your message? Do you blog just to write? Do you get turned off by mixed inconsistent blogging messages? 


Blurb Is A Verb (Sarah) said...

I couldn't agree more! Some people can pull off the stream of consciousness thing, but I don't think I'm one of them.

Thank you for adding Blurb is a Verb to your blog roll. I'm honored!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Thanks! I totally needed to hear this.

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