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Saturday, September 23, 2017

 

Planning My Blog Strategy



Some of you have probably heard me mention it before, but like many other writers, I have a website/blog that I’ve let go stagnant. When I stopped posting on the blog I had with Blogger and merged my blog with a new website design, it sort of fell by the wayside. I finally sat down and worked on a strategy for getting it revamped. At first I was intimidated (what kind of content should I focus on? Do people even care? How often should I post? How do I get organized?) but after jotting down some notes and referring to a book I read awhile back, Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz, I soon put a plan into action.

In her book, Katz makes some good points when planning out a blog strategy. First, keep content fresh. Don’t blog about what everyone else is blogging about. Also, avoid inflammatory topics, especially if you are not an expert on them. So, I’ll be avoiding politics altogether on my blog. She also discusses using reporting techniques. As a journalist, I like this idea, and I have a whole theme where I’ll be putting those techniques to good use. Other posts will follow a more book review/essay format. And round-ups of previous blog posts always make for interesting content.

So with these tips (and a few others in mind) I got out a pen and notepad. I decided to commit to posting three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to keep things easy on myself. A few months ago I threw out a question on Facebook and asked my friends/colleagues what types of blog posts they’d be interested in reading. Book reviews seem like a no-brainer, so those will go on Mondays. I am also a tiny bit of a true crime fanatic (ha!) so Wednesdays will focus on missing persons cases I’ve heard about over the years and what types of updates are out there. Friday is going to be a little more of “this and that” so I can keep things open-ended.

Next, I mapped out what posts I plan to write three days a week from Sept. 25-Oct. 30. The book review slots filled up pretty quickly. I know about plenty of missing persons cases but I had to do a little research to figure out which ones I wanted to focus on first. The last spots to fill in were the open-ended Fridays. For one I decided to do a review of a podcast I’ve been loving lately. Another slot is reserved for a fashion blog I started following out of the blue, much to my husband’s chagrin. Some others are an essay idea that stemmed from this blog, a round-up of posts, and a suspense/horror prompt.

I couldn’t believe how quickly I was able to get my first month mapped out. And it was fun! I'm excited to get to work on these topics and it will be so much easier to do things in advance now that I have a plan. I usually was more of a pantser with my old blog.

I'm curious to see how many readers here have blogs—and how often you write posts for them. Do you map out your content ahead of time, have a regular posting schedule, or simply write when the mood suits you?

Renee Roberson is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who blogs at FinishedPages.com. Please visit her blog on Monday, Sept. 25, so she can be held accountable for posting her first book review there that day!

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5 Comments:

Blogger Sioux Roslawski said...

Renee--I'm not a planner. I'm usually not even a pantser. I am a no-pantser. I run around without any pants on, showing my rear end--sometimes I am that unprepared.

I told myself (and my 1.3 followers) that I post on Mondays and Fridays. Sometimes those two days collide when the week is particularly busy and my rear end is dragging every night.

I have the same kind of post every Friday (a book blurb thing) and Monday is whatever I can pull out of my rear end. (Are you noticing a common thread?) It's enough to make 1.3 people semi-content...

2:26 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Renee, I just visited your blog--wonderful review! I still haven't read Hilderbrand but have one of her books in my TBR pile. I'm also thinking about building an author website/portfolio and starting a personal blog. Your site looks great!

11:36 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

PS. I love true crime as well, so I'll be checking in for those!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Renee Roberson said...

Sioux, I'm pretty sure you have more than 1.3 readers, LOL! Whatever works for you! For me, if I don't have a deadline or some semblance of a plan, nada. Maybe there's not a correlation, but since putting together this plan I've written the first two blog posts, a 2,000-word draft of a short story, and am itching to do more.

Angela, I just finished writing my first true crime post! It will be up tomorrow. I used GoDaddy as my host for the site and one of their WordPress themes, which was pretty economical. It's very user-friendly!

12:10 PM  
Blogger Mary Horner said...

My strategy isn't nearly as strong as yours, but you are an inspiration! thanks for sharing!

6:54 PM  

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