Blogging

I’ve been blogging steadily for about three years now. I have my own blog to which I post at least once a day, my turn here at the Round Table, and occasionally guest blog. Yet still, I find there is much I don’t know about the process.

For instance, the only people with whom I have done guest blogs were friends. They were easy to work with because I already knew how they wanted to do things. Doing a blog tour? I have no idea how to go about it.

Now that I have a book coming out (Feb 3rd!) I need to deal with these questions.

I know from the times I have had guests that lead time is important – at least a day’s worth at any rate. I also know an image of some variety to go with the written material is a good thing, and that too long or too short is not.

Have you ever done a guest blog before? What did you find most challenging about it?

At the same time, I’ve been trying to teach myself the basics of setting up a WordPress Theme. A Theme is what makes wordpress blogs look the way they do. In WordPress, you can easily change the look of your blog by simply picking a new theme. At least, that’s the theory.

If, however, you are one of those people who mess around with stuff like templates, then it’s quite possible for things to go wrong with the theme.

For instance, I wanted to use WordPress to set up an entire site with multiple pages. It’s actually an easy process. But once I’ve done that, I find I want picky things, like to have a home page that is different from the blog page, and to have my own custom header.

Suddenly I’m elbow deep in Codex. These are the instructions WordPress provides to the world to let everyone do their own programing.

Have you ever tried it? Did you succeed? I’m finding the whole thing quite the experience.

And somewhere in the shuffle I’m also revising a book.

16 Comment(s)

  1. I just guest blogged on Monday at Musetracks. I’ve got a few other scheduled at the end of January and beginning of February. The problem I have is coming up with something to write about that’s more than two paragraphs long. It’s funny. I always hated writing essays, but writing stories and fiction is a completely different matter.

    Arianna | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  2. LOL, you can say that again. How long did Wings of Desire end up being?

    Alice | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  3. I am guest blogging today at the RWA NYC blog about my experience selling books. http://www.rwanycblogginginthebigapple.blogspot.com/

    And I think it might be too long. For a tour, I imagine it would be hard to come up with fresh and exciting topics for each blog. Some of my favorites have been author who interviewed their characters. Those can be very funny:)

    Good luck with your tour and keep us posted on dates for your guest spots!

    Sarah Tormey | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  4. Alice – We’d be happy to host you over on The Revenge. There’s a link there to contact us if you’d like to guest, so just let us know.

    http://www.romancewritersrevenge.com

    I don’t do guest shots since no one would care to come visit with me. :) But I host often and my advice is clear and succinct.

    1) The lead time is important, as you say. At least one day, but two or three is better.

    2) Do not give the contact person instructions as if she/he is an idiot. If you send an image, trust they know where to put it. (Yes, this happened to me.)

    3) COMMENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY! It is so important to attempt to interract with the commenters. It’s a reality that day jobs don’t always make this possible, but you need to make the best effort you can. There’s nothing worse than a guest either dropping one obligatory comment that makes it clear we’re not important enough to bother participating, or not commenting at all.

    4) Do not spread yourself too thin. It seems to be the thing these days to put yourself on four or five blogs in the same day. I suppose this seems like an easy way to cover lots of bases at once, but it only harms the interractions you could and should have, makes your day more difficult, and I think insults those with whom you’ve committed to blog.

    Guest blog opportunities are not to be used or taken for granted. You will win more readers by being genuine and engaging than by posting a blurb and treating the blog as if it’s an ad in a magazine.

    These are just my opinions based on my experience and worth what you’re paying for them. :) Hope you’ll visit with us!

    terrio | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  5. Maybe that wasn’t so succinct. LOL! Sorry!

    terrio | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  6. Not a clue from this end! I’m learning from you! :)

    Brynna | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  7. I have never been a guest anywhere, so I wouldn’t know where to start. I think it also depends on your audience though. Is the audience of the host mainly readers, or are they writers/readers?

    As for codex, grrrrrr! I wish there was a voice command. I’m having issues with my blogger page. I may end back at wordpress after all.

    Renee | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  8. Sarah, it’s a little long, but well worth reading.

    Thank you so much terrio! I’ll take you up on it. It was plenty succinct.

    Don’t worry, Brynna. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of chances to watch me flop around as I learn this stuff. *stupid Codex*

    Renee, I feel you pain.

    Alice | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  9. Alice, you know how much trouble I have getting blogs read, so writing the darn things is usually a major ordeal for me. I am honestly amazed and hugely impressed by all you get done on a daily basis whether blogging, writing or just doing regular Mom stuff. For now, I’ll just have to cheer you on from the sidelines and take lots and lots of notes. :)

    Sasha Allgood | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  10. Terrio is absolutely right. You really need to interact with the commenters! The most successful guests that we’ve had on the Roundtable respond to each comment and have fun with them. Oh, and bring your friends with you – just let us know where you’ll be. When Anna Campbell visits, so do her blog mates. They are really so much fun!

    As I don’t have a blog or website, the technical stuff is beyond me. Good luck with that!

    Laurie Faelan | Jan 13, 2010 | Reply

  11. Doh! Wings came in just shy of 111K words :-)
    SU (aka UYISD) came in just shy of 105K, so I am learning to curb my long-winded ways :-)

    Arianna | Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

  12. Arianna, with a story like that, it’s hard to keep it short.

    Sasha, you know what I want to see from you.

    Laurie, yep, yep. And I’ll take all the luck I can get.

    Alice | Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

  13. I’m late at stopping by! Congratulations on the upcoming release of your book. I’ve never had a guest blogger but I’ve been invited to guest blog. Which reminds me, Renee, I’m still working on stuff!!

    Terri | Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

  14. I think excerpts are the key and a kick ass blurb. Readers love to be engaged and know what they’re getting. I had a number of people contact me and tell me that after they read an excerpt from my book, they really wanted to read it.

    Also, you must guest blog WITH ME!!!! I’d love to have you on The Season. :D Let’s pimp your book.

    Bev | Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

  15. OMG, Bev, I would love to be on your blog.

    Alice | Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

  16. Let me know what day would work for you. :)

    Bev | Jan 14, 2010 | Reply

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