Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Finding the Focus of a Blog

As you read this, I am in Branson, Missouri, catching up with some hold friends, making new friends and listening to reports of what God has been doing in the BMAA. Surrounding me are hundreds of preachers and church staff workers along with their wives. I also have some work to do while I’m here. But while I’m off enjoying myself, allow me to share my thoughts on attracting people to a blog.

One of the reasons authors blog is to connect with readers and even attract more readers. When I began to blog, I had high hopes that I could write posts that would attract people who would enjoy reading my novels. I’ve seen novelist who have significant interaction with their readers, but in almost every case, the readers built the blog rather than the blog attracting the readers. I would love to spend more time telling people when my next book is coming out. Discussing the how closely For the Love of a Devil is based the book of Hosea or where my next book signing will be. What I quickly discovered is that no one cared. No one cares to discuss a book they haven’t read and no one will check web site for information about a book signing they will not attend.

So, I went and checked my web stats and I noticed that most of my traffic was going to on page, "To Be" Verbs -- To Use or Not To Use. I thought that was ironic, since the post written to do one of the things that Michael Hyatt gives as a reason for blogging. I simply wanted to clarify my thoughts. I couldn’t explain why I was getting so much traffic from that page when there were so many other people writing about the subject, but the number told the story. So made a decision that I probably shouldn’t have and began writing posts that resembled that post. If that’s what people wanted to read, that’s what I intended to give them. I have more readers than ever, but I can’t say that my blog has helped my book sales in any way.

Unless you have a built in readership, I do think it is necessary to focus a blog toward those people who are reading the blog. I don’t, however, think that a blog will attract fans to a novel unless the reader already has an interest in the novelist.

Have you encountered anything in a blog that will encourage people who don’t know the author of a novel to consider reading it?

Tomorrow, I’ll still be at the meeting, but I’ll have a post for you on engaging readers.