Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG: Is my content "good" enough?

"It was my aunt who decided to give me to the dragon."
A First Line Trivia Quote
Name the book in the comments.
(Answer will be given at the end of this post due to timing issues)


Last week's quote and answer:
"I've watched through his eyes. I've listened through his ears, and I tell you he's the one. Or at least as close as we're going to get."
from Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card


Many thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh, his co-hosts, and those who run the IWSG website and facebook page.


Lately, I've been concerned about content and time management.

To me, these two topics are intertwined and filling me with questions like these:

Is my content good enough?
Is my content good enough that I'm using my time wisely when creating it for my blog?
Does my content encourage others?
Does my content help others get to know me?
Does my content lead others to want to read my books?
On the other side of that, does my content sound too "sales-ey?"

While I think these are good questions to reflect on, I have often come up with this answer:

"Agh." (Charlie Brown, Peanuts reference)

And after several days of thinking over these questions, I decided I needed a plan. 
Here is the plan to answer my questions:
1. Read over my past posts and look for the ones that I like best.
2. Ask myself why I like those posts and write that down.
3. Reflect on posts I like by other bloggers.
4. Make a list of content areas I would like to post about on my blog.
5. Make a list of posts that I could re-post or re-visit anew.
6. Look at length of posts. Which ones are too long and which ones are just right? 
7. Make a list of upcoming posts for the next three months based on all my research. Then, after a season of planned posts, reflect back on that.


Do you ever worry/reflect over blog content? 

And, how do you plan your posts?



First Line Quote this week is from:

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George 
(highly recommended for MG and YA fantasy readers)










62 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Those are some excellent questions. My blog has become 'the news,' but does it make people want to buy my books? Need to ponder that...

Cherie Reich said...

Wonderful questions to ask yourself! I re-evaluate my blog at least once a year and will make changes (usually after New Year's) to what I post. I like theme days/weeks because it's easier for me to pre-plan and pre-schedule posts. Lately my focus has been on what I can give back, what hopefully leads people to try my books, and what showcases who I am as a person and writer.

Julie Flanders said...

I ask these questions constantly and I'm been working on where to take my blog so that I can continue to want to do it. I've really lost my mojo but am hoping to get it back with a fresh start.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think your plan sounds like a good one. I've been re-evaluating my blog and its contents lately, too. Not sure I've come up with any/more answers - "AGH" sounds about right - although I am going to keep going with my Motivational Monday posts. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Great questions--questions I wish more bloggers would ponder. Too often we get stuck in a rut of "me, me, me" or "buy, buy, buy". As a reader, I want to be engaged, whether it's a picture of a dog, or something interesting that occurred in the blogger's life.

Michelle Tran said...

Wonderful questions to ask! For me my blog has always been more personal than a writing blog, so I guess I'm one of those 'me, me, me' people. In my defense, I actively update my blog so my family and friends know what I'm up to since moving away across states.

M Pax said...

I rethink and retune my blog constantly. I think we have to. And as our careers build our goals change and what we want the blog to accomplish changes. We keep evolving. It's all good.

Sarah Foster said...

I love your list of questions! Most of the time I'm just winging my posts and never plan anything ahead so it would be interesting to ask those questions and see what comes out of it.

Tyrean Martinson said...

It's tough to know that, really, but I still ask myself that question. I'm not sure if there is content that really adds up to book sales right away. The more I think of that question, the more I think that a personable, helpful blog is the best way to go.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I like your thoughts, Cherie! And, I have always loved your blog and the small changes you've made. I think I need to theme more of my posts.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I know how you feel, Julie!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love those Motivational Monday posts, and all your posts.

Tyrean Martinson said...

So true - engagement matters.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think it's okay if it's focused on your personal journey because that still helps readers get to know you.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, M! I have liked your blog for a long time and love to see it growing!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm usually winging it, too, but I feel like it's time to start planning some stuff . . . at least for a season, anyway.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do think about that and whether or not all the time I spend on blogging is more than just having fun and maintaining the friendships I value so much. But that is important too.

Stephen Tremp said...

I don't worry about blog content as I have a passion about science and science fiction. Hopefully others will share in it and find my posts interesting.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've always written to encourage, whether it's my fiction, my non-fiction, or my blog.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Fantastic questions... You really put so much into your thought process which is EXCELLENT...

Today, blogging has become so complex because of everyone's time restraints. Five years ago when I first started blogging so many of us posted EVERY DAY! I spent twelve hours a day reading blogs. It was infectious. But now, life pulls us in so many different directions. Blogging has become a treat and the time we spend on it must be quality.

So posts are important. A blogger must put more effort into content. That is why monthly posts like for the IWSG are so loved and important. They truly HELP. Keeping with this point may be the way to plan future posts that are not for the IWSG...

Annalisa Crawford said...

I started my blog to chronicle for myself the path to publication and worldwide literary domination (it's a work-in-progress!) I often wonder if this is the right subject matter, and have plans to change it, I just don't know how at the moment. I like your questions - I think I'll borrow them!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That is important!

Tyrean Martinson said...

You have some excellent content - and I think it's awesome that you showcase your passion about science and science fiction!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I've noticed. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

"Blogging has become a treat and the time we spend on it must be quality" - I totally agree, Michael! Thanks for your thoughtfulness. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love the idea of worldwide literary domination - LOL - do you have room for co-leaders or minions? :)
You are very welcome to borrow my questions. :)

Liz Blocker said...

I always worry about my blog content, and yet I've never come up with a good plan for dealing with it. You are waaaaaay ahead of me there :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I don't think I'm way ahead. I think I've been spinning in circles over it for a long time.

Charity Bradford said...

I used to worry about it all the time. My biggest concern was, "what can I add to the blogosphere that hasn't already been covered by others?" They usually did it better too. Now I just post random things. Journalling and book highlights and reviews seem to be my new norm.

I figured I was trying too hard before and I just needed to relax and be me. Talk about the things that make me happy.

Good luck!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I think talking about things that make us happy is definitely a key ingredient.

Heather R. Holden said...

I'm always worried about my blog content, too. I can't help but think it bores people the few times I do manage to post anymore, haha. Really love that plan you came up with. Best of luck with it!

Loni Townsend said...

I've never considered myself a go-to blogger, so I've never really reflected on my blog content. I do reflect on my writing though...probably more than I should (I should be actually writing!) At least you have a plan. That's better than me. :)

Fundy Blue said...

These are excellent questions, Tyrean. I don't do a lot of pre-thinking about what I'm going to write in my posts, although with my Northern memoir posts on Friday I have settled into a consistent approach. I write what wants to come out, although I may flounder around until I understand what I'm trying to say. Some people seem to be able to outline and plan, but that doesn't work too well for me. Writing never seems to come quickly or easily. In my blog posts, I focus on crafting the best writing I can and supporting it with the best images I can create or find. If my readers appreciate my efforts, it makes my day. If things are received differently from what I anticipated, I try to understand why and do better on the next post. My most important guideline: Write from my heart. Good luck with following through on your analysis and incorporating what you have learned into your posts!

Cathrina Constantine said...

My belief is that my blog doesn't help to sell my books. But it is a forum where people can get to know you, and I've grown to like my online friends. I wish I had more time to hop around and visit everybody. It's about getting yourself out there. And maybe just maybe one person might buy my book...

Jay Noel said...

As you go through stuff and evolve, your blog will reflect that. I did a complete blog-format transformation 4 years ago because I decided to get serious about my writing. It's an organic thing, and you're asking all the right questions.

Jenni Enzor said...

I think I do ponder the questions about my content. I want it to be encouraging to the writing community, but as I'm yet unpublished, I don't really think about sales. Although there could be more that I could be focusing on--reaching out to other bloggers more, for instance--I mostly focus on good content, because that's what I have time for now.
I've never made a plan, but I like that idea.

Maurice Mitchell said...

That's an excellent plan Tyrean since success often leads to more success. I'm looking forward to the answers. No content is perfect but the hard work will pay off.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Wow! Thanks for all the awesome comments! I've been to visit and comment on blogs, but I'm calling it a night for now.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Love your Charlie Brown answer. I blog about my writing journey in hopes it will help others along the same path. I know all the feedback in the comments definitely helps me. I don't have time to do more with it. I'll be watching how your plan plays out with interest. You have such great organization.

Christine Rains said...

Your Charlie Brown answer is priceless! I often react the same way myself. :) I do worry about blog content and what my readers enjoy. I do try to keep everything short. More people do seem to read and comment if the posts are short. Funny and/or helpful is high on the list too.

Lexa Cain said...

I'm pondering the exact same thing! Usually I only post for Celebrate, which is easy (and I'm lazy). The posts on my blog that have the most views are about Egyptian places or things. I'd have thought my Friday Freebies would be popular, but I don't see it. Like you, I need to do a lot of thinking about this.

Patricia Lynne said...

The Charlie Brown answer seems accurate.

Nick Wilford said...

"Agh!" would be my first reaction too! I wish I had a plan, but I struggle in this area as in my writing. I just try to post at least once a week. But you've given thought to this and I'm sure the results will show themselves soon.

Mark Koopmans said...

I love your Agh answer, too :)

I know planning is good... but my verbal vomiting is what keeps coming out of me...

Oops, sorry :)

Sher A. Hart said...

I did, but one day I decided it was more important to promote other people's books I like. Maybe that's because I may never finish one of my own. For now, I post kid lit only because that's what I want to write...but I edit for others between farm chores. I still love reading adult SF and fantasy on the rare occasions I can find clean reads. Agh! may be the best answer when I can't find time to read even the few books on my review queue page.

Jeff Chapman said...

Sounds like you have a well-organized plan. Yes, I agonize too. Planning my posts is very haphazard. When I'm planning a post, my first thought is that I should be working on a fiction project.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

The last couple of months I've been in constant "Sales mode" over my book. I just realized myself that I need to start coming up with different content for my blog(s) because people are going to start getting sick of me real fast if they haven't already.

Stephanie Faris said...

It's tough...I think you have to post content that fits what you'd like to read and you'll naturally attract the readers who share your interests. I learned that last year during A to Z...I ended up with a bunch of commenters who read my blog just so I'd read theirs. This year when going through blogs, I only commented on blogs that interested me...and I ended up with a group of high-quality followers whose blogs I love to read!

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

yup, I've been there. When I first began blogging, I had a makeup themed blog (since that's what my YA is about) but I'm not a makeup blogger! There are millions of those. I'm a writer and love to talk writing. I still struggle from time to time to come up with content, but I find it comes easier than it did when I was a makeup blog lol

Theresa Milstein said...

I have to say blogging doesn't fit into my life like it used to. I do fear I've gone from my poignant and humorous essay-type posts into more about sharing poetry.

I really liked that first quote about the dragon. I'd want to read on!

Quanie Miller said...

Yep, I worry all the time. I always vow to plan my posts and then I'll sit down to write and not feel like writing about that. I just try to connect with people by writing about issues that most writers can relate to. But I could do better with the planning, which is something I've been thinking about lately.

Tyrean Martinson said...

It usually is. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the note of encouragement, Nick!

Tyrean Martinson said...

But your verbal vomiting works, Mark! It's always clever, awesome, funny, and inspiring. Wish mine was that color. :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

It is hard to find time to read. I think it's cool that you decided to promote other people's books!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's my thought, too.
Thanks for stopping by, Jeff!

Tyrean Martinson said...

That can be tough to market for that long - it's a huge push.

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's great to note, Stephanie!

Tyrean Martinson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tyrean Martinson said...

Your poetry is beautiful so it works!
And it's a fun book. :)

Suzanne Furness said...

Yes I agonise over these things too! Sad to say I never really plan posts much, they just seem to happen. I don't have anything tangible to promote so the blog is more a reflection of me and my life at the moment. As things change I hope the blog with evolve.

Nissa Annakindt said...

I rarely plan my blog posts in advance, except for those for Insecure Writer's Support Group, the Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Blog Tour, and the weekly Poetry Pantry over at Poets United.

I'm always trying to improve my blog content. It's a little on the eccentric side, but that's part of my writer-persona. I'm trying to produce content that's helpful to others, such as today's blog post that is about how to write a Collom lune.

As for your quote--- don't know, but
I would have got the previous one since I'm an obsessive Orson Scott Card fan. I keep him chained up in my basement, in fact. Or was that my dragon?

My blog: http://myantimatterlife.wordpress.com