I decided to write about connecting with other writers online this month because I recently saw a post from another writer expressing their frustration over a lack of likes and comments on their poems. They stated that they were going to delete their blog, and I have not seen them post anything since, which is a shame as they were a good writer. It reminded me of my first blog, which was nowhere near as successful as this one, and which I decided to abandon. In part, the fault was mine: I was inconsistent with my posts and I did not feel very confident on my chosen platform.
As writers, we all need to know how to connect with other writers. The internet is a fantastic place to share your writing, so you should make sure you have a good place to promote yourself online. Having a writing blog (or using a similar platform) is a very important part of this, so that we can feature our writing and receive feedback. It is also good if this is a place where you will be able to read other people’s writing, and so connect with other writers. This is why having your own writing blog can really benefit you, especially as a new or independent author.
Now, having your own writing blog is not an easy task. It will not create itself and an audience will not magically appear. You need to think about what you will provide the people who you connect with (remember that you will be the one connecting with them, especially in the beginning). What will you give them that will encourage them to come back and read more of your writing? You will also need to interact with writers and readers if you want them to interact with you.
So, begin by choosing your blogging platform carefully. My first blog was on Blogger and I did not connect on a personal level with the platform – although lots of people do, of course. When I joined WordPress, I was concerned that I might have the same problem, but I am much more comfortable with my current platform and what it provides. Once you know which platform you want to use, think about your URL, title and the layout of your blog. You will probably want these to be simple, or else memorable, but also to quickly explain what your blog is about. A tagline is also useful. Most people are not going to spend long periods of time trying to figure out what you are offering them. Create an ‘About’ page if you are able, and make sure that you update it when you have some new relevant information, but be aware of the length.
In the beginning in particular, it can be hard to build up an audience. There may be other times, too, when your writing blog seems to be short of readers. This does not indicate any flaws on the part of your writing skills, but may be down to a number of factors. Think about the physical appearance of your blog: is it easy to navigate? Are your blog posts well laid out, well spaced, and easy to read? Are your titles engaging? Are you posting on a regular basis? If you cannot see anything that might be discouraging readers from your site, then consider getting involved in popular writing challenges to both expand your readership and generate new content. There are lots of options out there to help you increase your audience.
Overall, having a writing blog can be fun and rewarding. Over time, you will be able to improve your skills, learn new tips and tricks, and gain a readership. Who knows what other opportunities it might create for you – we’ll discuss opportunities in more detail later in the month.
This month’s theme is CONNECTIONS. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of connecting with other writers online, then please post a link in the comments or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Connections.