Friday, September 10, 2010

Joint Blogging Series - Post Topics and Relationships

I am joining Elana Johnson and Jennifer Daiker at Unedited this week for a series on blogging. Please visit their sites as well for some expert advice. As for me, I’ll just offer my humble advice and experience.

What to blog about? I think all new bloggers struggle at first. Hell, some days I don’t know what I’m going to say!

I winged it the first couple months before discovering my groove. There were some good posts and a few I just tossed out and prayed. I kept looking at other author and writer blogs and felt I had to do what they did in order to succeed.

Then one day while making changes to my layout, I took a long, hard look at my profile description. It finally hit me – I needed to blog about my passions.

I tweaked my profile description and began blogging on those subjects. Talk about relieving pressure! I now had permission to be myself. This was reflected in the quality of my posts, which in turn attracted more readers. I’ve heard more than once this isn’t a typical writer’s blog, but that’s okay. I’m not typical – I’m Alex! (The commenting Ninja!)

I think the key to successful blogging lies in one’s passions. If you’re excited, your readers will be as well.

The blogging community is about building relationships. We’ve walked into a party – now it’s time to mingle. We exchange ideas and thoughts, testing the waters. Those who share our kindred spirit become friends. We cheer one another on when something great happens and comfort when times are rough. And it’s through these friendships that we grow and change.

I never realized all this community had to offer until I became involved. Now that I’ve a whole army of friends behind me, I can declare it was worth the effort. And I am here to stay!

59 comments:

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I as well as many other authors am definitely glad you're part of the blogging community, Alex!

Jamie Gibbs said...

I'm with you 100%, Alex. There's no point in blogging if you've no passion for what you're writing about.

There is a great feeling when you blog about something in the hope that someone, anyone will feel the same, and you get a few comments from people saying "Actually yea, [insert topic here] is awesome!" That's what it's all about :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Jeffrey!

Jamie, you are so right.

Glynis said...

Blogging is part of my writing life. I cannot imagine one without the other now. ☺

Ellie said...

"I think the key to successful blogging lies in one’s passions. If you’re excited, your readers will be as well." Spot on!

I've only been blogging since May but couldn't imagine my life without now.

p.s. I’m running a competition this week. If you get time, pop along and have a look.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I think a lot of bloggers never get that moment of realization that you did, Alex..that's when I see blogs really struggle and the posting get less frequent. They don't know what direction to go in.

You really pegged it--writing about your interests. And sci-fi readers are interested in movies and music too--I know that from what I see in my own house!

DEZMOND said...

I'm not sure about you being a Ninja (you don't strike at night and you're not that dangerous), Alex, maybe a Commenting Twister or Hurricane or something like that :PPPP

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've missed the friendships this summer - hate it when life gets in the way. I do need to refocus and find my passions again.

Jen said...

Passion, you nailed it! Without passion or love for your blog it won't be successful. Put your heart in it and you'll see the return!

It was so fun to have had the opportunity to do this with you!!! So much fun!

Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely, blogging about what you feel strongly about more easily lets you make that emotional connection that is so critical.

Matthew Rush said...

We're glad to have you Alex, you're the best! And I have to agree with Dezmond, about the Ninja bit, but I would put forward that you could go by The Comment Samurai.

You're honorable, prolific, and willing to take your own life if you dishonor your liege lord.

Or wait, maybe not that last part, but the first two ... hellz yeah!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ellie, I will!

Elizabeth, good to know I'm on the right track then.

Dezz, you've never seen me grab my sword and roam the house when I've heard a strange noise at night! Several people said I was a commenting ninja, so I just ran with it.

Jen, it's been fun!

Clarissa Draper said...

You're right, you need to have some idea where to go with your blog and you need to blog your passions.

CD

Julie Dao said...

Agreed, Alex. Writing is one thing you cannot fake - if you write about something you don't care about, readers can sense it a mile away. It just doesn't ring true.

Mason Canyon said...

Great advice. You've done a great job with your blog and it's a good example of following your passion.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Helen Ginger said...

Well, yay for that! You have a unique blog and we would miss you if you hadn't decided to stay.

Old Kitty said...

You have a great blog and it's a pleasure to visit! Thank you!

I don't like to pigeon hole my blog so for me the fun is in just blogging about this that and the other that I find interesting or funny!

I think the best blogs are those that don't try too hard and are just honest.

Have a great weekend!
Take care
x

Karen Walker said...

Yes, yes, yes. Passion is the key. And honesty. And caring about others. And you have it all, Alex.
Thank you.
Karen

Summer Ross said...

Being yourself and having passion about what you right is great advice.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I think personally this is like one big extended family there is always someone on line because of the different time zones.

I have been helped trmendously when the going has got tough.
I too have written about my passions, music family, wildlife, beach, not to mention my latest which I won't mention.
So to all you out there somewhere near, somewhere far,
From me a big thank you
Yvonne.

Summer said...

I've always enjoyed your blog because you do talk about your passions. I can read books for writing advice, but I can't make the kind of "real" connections with other people in books like I can via blogging. I like insights into someone's personality, their life--anything that makes me understand them better.

arlee bird said...

I'm pretty much like you in writing about my passions. If I'm not interested in something it would mean I'd probably have to take a lot of time to research and I'm not interested in that for my blog. My blog is mainly about me and my readers. If I talk about current events, reviews, or anything else I look at it from the standpoint of how it affects me and my readers. Entertainment is my main goal, with a dose of education tossed in.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Justine Dell said...

If you don't blog what you love, why blog? ;-) Excellent post!

Bloggings all about the passion! You meet great people, develop connections, and have some kick a** fun along the way!

~JD

Budd said...

I do the scifi media site to fill a niche. The niche just happens to be overflowing, but still. My Alternate Reality is for me mostly. I like to hear what others think, but I write because it is how I express myself best.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good to see so many agree with the blogging about one's passions. Makes blogging fun!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Alex, I should let you know that you're one of 15 bloggers I selected this morning for the recipient of the Versatile Blogger award over at my blog. Congratulations!

Talli Roland said...

Big thanks to all three of you for your great tips this week! You're so right, Alex - if it's not something you're interested in or passionate about, I think it sometimes comes across in the writing. Good posts are something you care about.

Carol Kilgore said...

Your series has been wonderful. Thanks. I love blogging, too, even though it does take work.

Sangu said...

This is such a great post, Alex! Thanks for all the tips this week. I love that you emphasize how important it is to blog about what you're passionate about - it's so true!

AlexOngNYC said...

It's party time! Let's mingle!

Alex
Breakfast Every Hour

C.E. said...

Learning that very same thing right now! Thank you for your great advice and insight this week!

Cinette said...

Glad to hear your advice today. I think I just may be on ths right track! Thanks!

http://cinettesmusings.blogspot.com

BStearns said...

So very true Alex! That's really the key to being successful at anything. Sure you can be good at something if you hate it, but to truly be successful, you must be passionate about it. That's why you don't see me blogging about taxes. I think you've hit the nail on the head there Alex, keep it up!

Jules said...

Such a Guru you have become. Wise beyond your years. Thanks for reiterating these facts. :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Liza said...

Oh thank you Alex for the line "Blogging about my passions." That's what I try to do, and hope that my stories, that mean so much to me, engage and reward my readers too. I worry that I'm not giving back enough...and here you've made me think that at least I am a little. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this series.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bryan, I see you blog about taxes, it better have something to do with the future!

Jules, I wouldn't say wise, but I appreciate the sentiment!

Liza, and I thank you, too.

Stephen Tremp said...

LOL! I can relate. Some days I don;t know what to blog about. Its down to the wre sometimes and then I think of something. If I have a lot of ideas I write them down and outline the week in advance. But usually its a last minute thing.

Stephen Tremp

February Grace said...

That's what keeps me coming back- you blog your passions. You do it well and make it look easy, Alex!

~bru

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Planning, Stephen, planning! I'm set through next week...

Thanks, Bru!!

Karen Lange said...

I like that comparison - blogging is like mingling with friends. Like you, I had no clue what I was in for when I started blogging. It's been great. Hectic, but great!

Elana Johnson said...

Ah, you got it. You have to blog about what matters to you. Otherwise, everyone can feel in the post that what you're saying doesn't matter. You are a fabulous blogger -- I'm glad you're here to stay!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

I agree. Blogging is like having a conversation with friends. I didn't realise how awesome the community was until I started getting more involve.

But you are right, blogging about your passions is the key. If you care it shows.

DEZMOND said...

"Dezz, you've never seen me grab my sword and roam the house when I've heard a strange noise at night!"

well, I do remember how Arlee and me were superintrigued when you've mentioned over in his house how you own a lot of things from Asia, so I wouldn't be surprised if a sword is one of them :)
Me, myself, don't need to roam around the house with a sword during night, my Madagascar penguins are on night duty every evening keeping an eye on our secret headquarters.

Laura Eno said...

It's amazing what a wonderful, nurturing, talented group of people there is in the blogging community!
Your passion comes through on your blog and hurrah for following your own instincts!

Kelly said...

I concur!
I don't have a typical writing blog either. About a third of my posts are writing related. I like that there is such a variety of writers blogs and that it is one big supportive community.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Dezz, I believe your commando penguins trump my ninja sword!

Kelly, glad we can both be unique.

Cheeseboy said...

Alex, I am getting competitive as your comment total is starting to top mine.

Thinking of a subject to blog about is the very hardest part of blogging for me. But once I have the topic, things come pretty easy.

BryStearns said...

That's it! I am going to blog about the future tax! It's the tax all governments will impose so they can be in a position to waste it all and go into another deficit in the future! I think you've stumbled upon something truly great Alex!

BryStearns said...

That's it! I am going to blog about the future tax! It's the tax all governments will impose so they can be in a position to waste it all and go into another deficit in the future! I think you've stumbled upon something truly great Alex!

Hart Johnson said...

I think you are definitely onto something. It is far easier to be enthusiastic about something you are excited about, and readers catch the enthusiasm. I try to do that, though the writing IS what makes me most passionate... that and Naked World Domination...

Jemi Fraser said...

So true Alex - such great advice. If we're interested in something it shows & makes our work more interesting to others!! :)

The Old Silly said...

It IS a great community, isn't it!

Vicki Rocho said...

I wholeheartedly agree that you need to be yourself! You want readers who appreciate what YOU have to offer not what the pseudo-you tries to give.

I loved the blogging trifecta! Good job.

Have a great weekend!

Bossy Betty said...

Alex--Thanks for these thoughts! I always enjoy your visits to my blog!

Kelly Dexter said...

I know exactly what you mean. Being a writer, I initially felt pressured (where the pressure was coming from, I don't know) to blog about only writing, all the time. But that's not me. I love to talk about the books, movies, and TV shows that inspire me to be creative and imaginative in my writing and in my life. It's totally freeing once you let go and blog what you love.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cheeseboy, I don't have your humor! Doubt I'll ever top you.

Bryan, glad I could help.

Hart, I'm all for your Naked World Domination.

Kelly, you got it!

Katherine ( Katie) Corrigan said...

I am a happy blogger, giggle. Hugs!

LTM said...

very true, Alex. It's amazing how things grow and your world expands--the thoughful, intelligent, funny, etc., (see my comment on Jen's) friends you make doing this. good stuff~

LTM said...

very true, Alex. It's amazing how things grow and your world expands--the thoughful, intelligent, funny, etc., (see my comment on Jen's) friends you make doing this. good stuff~