Just over a year ago, I started my blog, The Snarkology. At the time, I didn't have a clue as to what I was doing. Honestly, I wasn't one hundred percent sure I really wanted a blog, but common wisdom held that a successful author must have one.
In the last twelve months, I've experimented with various formats and types of content. Some things work, some don't. To my great surprise, I discovered that I really enjoy blogging. Here's what I've learned...
1. Blogging is all about social reach. For the introverted writer, this may be enough to send you scurrying back into your writer's hole where you slam the door and bar it shut. But it doesn't need to be all that scary. Here are some simple suggestions:
· Always make sure your social media buttons are visible on your blog: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumbler, etc. You don't have to be active on all of them but choose at least one or two.
· Accept friend requests and don't be afraid to send them out.
· Comment on other blogs. Be sure to use your name and your blog's name and URL. If you make an informative or interesting comment, readers will be drawn to your site.
2. Always be polite. Say welcome, please and thank you. Follow a few simple guidelines for interacting online:
· If you're the host blog, make a reasonable effort to assure that your guest feels comfortable. Leave a comment welcoming them to your blog and thank them for visiting with you.
· If you're a guest on someone else's blog, then be sure to respond to reader's comments and thank your hostess for her hospitality.
3. Content is king. Some bloggers post exclusively to their blog, others invite guests. Some bloggers update infrequently, others daily. Whatever your choice, always remember that you are writing for your readers.
Some blogs fit into a specific niche. Others cover a broader range of topics. But even within a specialty, there's room for variety. Don't be afraid to experiment to learn what works and what doesn't.
Potential sources of fresh and interesting material can include:
· Guest bloggers who supply author interviews, character interviews, guest posts and promotional material
· Book promotional tour companies can be a great way to obtain fresh material and also to make new contacts. There are a number of promo companies out there and they are always looking for tour hosts.
· Your very own fertile imagination. For example, when I don't know what to write about, I always make fun of Mr. Snark and everything proceeds splendidly from there.
4. Appearances matter. A few suggestions for attractive, readable posts:
· Try for an eye-catching and attractive layout.
· Whether you're on Blogger, Wordpress, or some other forum, do your level best to master formatting basics. Go for a clean layout and readable text. No one is going to want to read your post when the contrasting red text on purple background makes their head explode.
5. Pictures are good. This is totally subjective and I have no supporting evidence but I vaguely recall reading somewhere that people are more likely to spend time on a site that has interesting images.
To demonstrate, here is a picture of a pretty fruit. I'm sure you read to the very end of my blog article because this is here!
Learning to Fly by Melissa Snark
Genre: Erotic Suspense
Published: September 7, 2012
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Amazon ASBN: B0099AIEIW
Cassandra Claeys is a bohemian artist with a passion for shoes and architecture. Her past wasn't pretty and she's got the scars to prove it, but she's determined to live and love again and she's hoping her newest client is just the man for the job. But the crazed serial killer that once held her captive escapes from prison, willing to kill again to make his maniacal fantasies come true.
Architect Kyle McCloud hires the fiery redhead to illustrate his latest project, never dreaming that she would bring passion and danger to his door. Cassie is easily spooked and as flighty as one of his injured birds, but he's willing to work overtime to make her soar for him alone.
“I can take you.”
Her front teeth sank into her lower lip and her green eyes widened. “Oh no. I mean—no thank you. I’d like to go alone.”
His brow rose; suspicion glimmered in his eyes. Too late, she realized how her response must seem both rude and inappropriate. She needed to buy enough clothes to last through her stay and wanted to do so without drawing undo attention to her predicament.
She turned red. “It’s just—I’m going to be a while. I have a lot to do.”
His lips curved up in a bland smile. “I only thought you might appreciate a ride, Ms. Claeys, since you don’t have a car.”
Crap. He had her.
She swallowed and quelled the urge to apologize. She doubted her attractive employer heard the word “no” very often. She sensed he wasn’t trying to gaslight her on purpose. However, he made her nervous, and as her boss, he had power over her. If he changed his mind about having her here and told her to leave, then she had nowhere else to go. She didn’t like it at all.
“Thank you, Mr. McCleod. That’s a very thoughtful offer, but I’d hate to take up your entire day with trivial errands. Perhaps someone could drop me in town?”
He gulped the rest of his orange juice and set down the glass, regarding her with unblinking brown eyes. “I appreciate your concern for my time, but I don’t mind at all.”
Approaching the table, the housekeeper stopped and surveyed them, curiosity written all over her face. Cassie felt Shelly’s eyes on her face and she avoided eye contact, well aware of how her expression gave everything away. She sucked in a deep breath and tried to quell her rising panic. The last thing she needed was to make a scene, but thanks to Kyle’s stubborn determination to have his way, they were well on the way.
She forced a smile. Time to resort to scare tactics. “I’m going shopping.” She paused and lingered on the S word, allowing the implication to sink in. “I’ll be trying on clothes and shoes. I love shoes. I’m going to be a long time. Hours, I imagine.”
Kyle licked his lips and Cassie stared at the tip of his tongue as it emerged past his teeth. Her cards were on the table. If he refused to back off, then she resolved to drag him through every store in the entire town, especially the embarrassing ones full of frilly things.
“No problem, I’m not in a hurry,” he said.
Cassie flushed. All too aware of Shelly’s amusement, she made one final try. “That’s funny. Most men I know hate shopping. You’re an unusual man, Mr. McCleod.”
He smiled and replied, quick and glib. “I assure you, I love to shop, Ms. Claeys.”
Shelly chortled hard enough to knock her off her feet. Startled, they turned toward the housekeeper who pressed one hand to her side and grasped a chair back with the other for support. “Good Lordy, Kyle! My boy!” Shelly wiped tears from her cheeks with her apron. “That’s the biggest lie I’ve heard pass your lips since you were twelve ‘n claimed a lumberjack put that pick axe through the dining room table!”
Kyle’s ears turned red and his lips compressed. Cassie hid a smile behind her hand. Thank goodness for Shelly Arthur.
“God should strike you down in your tracks. You’re a terrible liar.” Shelly lectured with a wagging finger.
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Melissa Snark is an erotic romance and paranormal fantasy novelist. She lives in Northern California with her husband, three children and a glaring of domestic house cats.
Where to find Melissa Snark on the Internet:
Email: melissasnark at gmail.com
Amazon Author Page