I suppose the impetus for this post was cleaning my writing space. One would think finding a file folder entitled Blog would strike a five year blogger as the mother load of ideas. More than discovering this water, water, everywhere feast (ladies, don't skim that link). Sadly, it was filled with ideas whose time has come and gone here at the Vortex.
Remember the scavenger hunt? Seven Midnights of Kisses? The Great Novel Migration? The Blog Carnival? I even found 101 Great Posting Ideas but number 54? Spruce Up Your Posts With Pictures. Uh. Number 60 holds promise: Make a [blank] for Dummies post. What could that [blank] be here, you ask? MacGyver for Dummies? Surviving Rejection for Dummies? Booksignings With Bumpkins Who Hate Wal-Mart for Dummies? Campy Elvis Movies for Dummies?
My point is this: blogs have changed. Not so long ago, I considered no longer writing a blog. I needed to know the payoff was worth the time investment. Thankfully, I stuck it out. It still gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction to write something not four-hundred pages in length. But I have heard blog buzz from social media and marketing experts of late and wanted to pass along tips to keep your blog spruced and current.
Keep blogs short and frequent
A paragraph or two up to four times per day? Sure. I'll get right on that. But it does speak to the impact Twitter and texting has on an internet surfer's time. Three to four times per week seems to be gospel right now.
Links and pictures out the wazoo
Just like Vortexers like their eye-candy physicists, so do random universe blog readers.
Strive to keep it two-sided
Yeah, I know comments on blogs are down thanks to feeds. In fact, stats here prove a inversely proportional relationship between the decrease of comments and the increase of feed subscriptions. But when someone does click through, make sure you thank them or offer up some nugget of blog-savvy wit.
Blogs Should Tie But Not Strangle
Tie your content to your books, your platform, whatever part of you you're selling, but don't make that all it is. Your readers are responding to you, day in and day out, not an endless string of 101 Ways to Tie a Knot. Make sure part of you ends up out there, too.
Given the list, I'd say we'd score a "fair" here. But in the pursuit of better-than-fair and in honor of wet men and blog-tending, I'll be posting twice daily this week, early with fresh, short content and late with re-posts of my favorites. I hope you'll click through and leave a comment. Re-tweet the posts. Add the Vortex feed. Every time you spread the social media love and let me know about it via the comments here or to firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll enter you into a drawing for your choice of (1) Love, Texas Style anthology (Holy Cow!! Don't pay this...the love is given freely here) featuring my time travel romantic short, The Lost Highway or (2) a DVD of something completely Vortex. Scared? You should be. Drawing Saturday, noon CST.
Happy Monday, everyone!