The mistake authorbloggers make

Recently I read an online article that critiqued a blog by a freelance writer. She (the blogger) set up a blog to win over more freelance-hiring customers. But most of her blog articles were about life as a freelance writer, and many were aimed at other freelance writers— her competition.

We authorbloggers do the same thing. We write for other writers and not for our readers. And that makes our blogs of less interest to the readers— our customers. A writing-oriented blog might make a reader feel bad because he himself isn’t writing stuff and most everyone has at least an idea for a novel.

We could always dedicate our blog to endless bland reviews of other writer’s books. I’ve seen blogs like that. Some, those dedicated to ‘romance’, might work well for the reader who consumes obsessive numbers of romance books. But I don’t read those kind of blogs myself.

The sci-fi/fantasy author might write about movie and television sci-fi and/or fantasy. You might get caught up in fandom wars, though. And there is always the chance that you will attract people who watch the movies and television shows but won’t read a book. Or at least not a book that isn’t based on their favorite sci-fi/fantasy movie or television series. But it may be possible to win a few over. But I believe it’s better to concentrate more on books than movies.

I know a few authorbloggers who write sci-fi/fantasy for the (evangelical) Christian market. Sometimes they review books from a more Christian point of view. This can be helpful for Christian readers looking to see content concerns addressed before they buy a book. But it can be kind of dismal counting up the swears and almost-swears, the drinking or cardplaying or absence of same, and rehashing the same old ‘is fictional magic evil’ debate.

I have a broader view of what Christian fiction might be. I not only include other followers of Jesus Christ like Catholics and Lutherans and even LDS to the ‘Christian fiction’ universe. (I am not saying that LDS theology is valid, however.) I like fiction by Christian authors that isn’t there to be ‘safe’ and non-threatening to the Christian reader.  I want science fictional universes where God can exist but where things can explode and people can die unexpectedly.

I believe we authorbloggers have to keep our reading base in mind when we blog. It’s not a sin to write something other writers might read. I participate in a weekly blog hop on worldbuilding which might mostly interest authors. But I don’t want to forget that many of my desired blog-readers are not authors and don’t intend to become authors.

Question: if you are an author-blogger, can you think of some reader-friendly blog post topics?


2 thoughts on “The mistake authorbloggers make

  1. Great insights, Nissa! I’ve wondered about this for a while, b/c I rarely blog on my site, which is only a year old, and I’m not sure what to focus on. I think the budding author’s journey does appeal to many people, yet I expect fans of my work to love my characters, not me. Still, they may be interested in “behind-the-scenes” of how these characters & stories come about.
    I have felt that a good blog should address the fandom aspect, especially teasing hungry fans with info on what’s being published or written next. But I also feel there should be a sense of meeting real-time needs – talking about issues of feeling isolated or odd, dealing with grief or loss, how to get along with family & friends & authority figures, showing courage to stand up to bullies or make unpopular decisions, etc. – attempting to address the same moral issues that we deal with in our books. Especially those that are specific to the stories we are writing currently.

  2. It is hard to figure out what to blog about when you are interested in many topics as I am. I write some health-and-diet posts which I try to do on Saturdays and faith-related topics on Sundays. But I’m still working to build up a fan base for the blog and will listen to readers of my blog as to what they want to see more of.

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