Metaphysical Rationales: Why Do You Blog?

A friend at Agentquery.net started me thinking this morning. She asked about timing on starting a blog, and about how to gain a following.
It is without doubt a long, tedious process to gain a following online. That’s why you have to start long before you are ready to send your novel to an agent. So how do you find these folks?
1. Choose a point for your blog. Mine is to promote Asian-themed literature. Do I get off point? Sure. More often than I’m on. However, if there’s ever someone who needs my sort of site to post something on or raise a question, I am so there!
You may have noticed I’ve reviewed a few Asian Themed books: “Silver Phoenix,” “The Wandering Monk” and “A Robe of Feathers.” I intend to continue with this, as I think it serves the general community of writes/readers and fits well with my theme. Early next year, I look forward to posting my first author interview and hope (and pray) to do more.
I’ve also started a Yahoo group for Authors of Asian Novels and promoted it on this blog. I started the group so that we could build a database of research materials, novels to read, music to enjoy while writing and anything else we can think of. It can also serve as a critique group, though no one has asked thus far. I wish I’d had access to that database and support while writing “Mourn Their Courage.” I hope to share and add to these resources as I continue in my career.
2. Build a following by becoming a follower. Post notes on other blogger’s sites, be kind and thoughtful and make sure your blog allows followers and gives your email. You will find followers doing this. Also, contact individuals when surfing. Most of my followers have come by to say hello because I said it first. BTW, I’m a zero on the introversion/extroversion scale. What excuse do you have?
3. Google news topics of interest to you, then contact those individuals whose names pop up. I’ve found more than a few followers and people to follow by doing that.
4. Offer information on contests and heck; even offer prizes for your own contest if you have an idea for one! Nothing sparks interest more than competition and generosity. (A lesson I’ve learned, but not incorporated, I know!)

I’m sure there are other methods I haven’t tried/thought of, so feel free to suggest them. I’d love to know what I’m doing wrong! LOL.

Back to why you want to start now:
By the time you’ve blogged for a year, you may feel like there’s little point. You have twenty to fifty followers. Big whoop, right? Don’t get discourage if you follow more than you’re followed. I think that’s the norm. I know there are followers of mine who never selected “Follow This Blog.” They follow by RSS feed, which I have no idea how to track. (Anyone?)You have more of a following than you know even with ten people signed up.

When an agent googles you or selects the url address that you DID include in your cover letter, they’ll see what you’ve got and be impressed, which is the whole point. Right?

Here comes the reason for my title. This morning, I got to the above question and stumbled. It made me think about this process.
Some folks blog everyday, write their novels and probably work as clowns for kids or bake for a local charity. I respect these individuals more than I can say. I blog when I have an idea and time to express it. My fiction comes first. Yet I still find myself wondering: why BLOG. I have a bazillion and one writer friends through online forums and my critique groups. I have their support and they have mine. So the obvious answer is, I’m marketing for my upcoming novel. That’s also too simple an answer and I would not continue if that were my sole response to this question. I’m going to take a leap here and paraphrase a favorite quote from “Shadowlands.” “We read (write/blog) to know we’re not alone.” That is why I continue to blog. Though Facebook says I have close to 200 friends and I have many others who don’t know what a computer keyboard looks like, let alone how to Facebook or blog-surf, I still want MORE.

Am I alone in that?

Why do you blog?

SPEAK UP:

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5 Responses to “Metaphysical Rationales: Why Do You Blog?”

  1. Jemi Fraser says:

    Great blog, Victoria – and what a serendipitous day for me to drop by! I, of course, found you from your comment on my blog, and through an award through a mutual contact.

    I started blogging in August, basically because of advice from folks at AQ. I actually didn't expect it to be as much fun as it is. I love hearing from different writers and their opinions on "writing stuff". It's a great way to learn and share!

  2. Victoria Dixon says:

    I think I love it precisely BECAUSE I'm such an extrovert. I feel no strain in maintaining friendships this way and I've made some really good ones! Thanks for dropping in!

  3. Jeannie Lin says:

    Great food for thought. I primarily blog for myself. I don't actively try to get followers, but have developed a couple of blog pen pals through the process.

    For me, I like the journaling aspect. It just helps to put my thoughts in order before I get to my fictiona writing.

  4. Sandy Shin says:

    This is a wonderful post! I agree with everything you've written. 🙂

    I had another blog that was 5-year old and had some followers, but it was used for a different purpose. When I decided that I wanted to take my writing seriously and try to get published, I created a new blog to follow writers and to find more writerly friends. It's a bit daunting to start anew (I cannot remember how I made friends on my old blog — I was younger then and it just happened), but refreshing as well! 🙂

    P.S. Thank you for dropping in and being the first to follow me here on blogger. I think the Asian writing theme you have for your blog is really awesome.

  5. Victoria Dixon says:

    Thanks for dropping in, Sandy! I HAVE considered creating another blog, but I think my fiction would suffer for it right now. LOL If I ever break out of Asian-inspired fantasy, I'll probably want a separate blog page or maybe a professional website will do by then. I've got a webpage right now, but I admit it sucks. It's more there to showcase my husband's graphics than my writing anyway. 🙂

    Jeannie – I would use it as a journal, but I do that in handwriting and it's more of a to do or b**** list to get that crap out of my system and who wants to see that online? I know I don't! LOL

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