Sunday, June 19, 2011

Blogs. (Blogs!) What are they good for?

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that writer trying to get published must be in want of a blog." -Jane Austen (Seriously. It's from one of her lesser-known works . . .)

Ah, blogs. We all have them. We all struggle from time to time with how to fill them. We love them. We hate them. We feel like we have to keep them up, (it's called a platform, people!) but some days we kind of want to set a match to the thing. Indeed, blog angst is one of the time-honored rites of passage for a writer.

Eventually, however, one of two things happens: the blog either dies a slow death, or the writer finds her groove.

I've noticed a few common types in blogs, (though most have aspects of all.) Which one are you?

1. The Advice Blog-These are usually pretty popular, because who doesn't want/need advice?

2. The Entertainer-Sometimes witty, sometimes silly. Occasionally, adorned with cute animal photos.

3. The Forum-This blog brings up interesting or hot topics of the writing world in the hopes of stirring up some stimulating debate in the comment's section.

4. The Random Pontificator/Online Journal-Random would be the operative word here.

And even the dreaded:
5. Blag (or Brog)
-Where the author makes sure to keep us up to date on his or her latest, gleaming triumph. And . . . that's pretty much the only reason they ever post.

As for me, I've noticed my blog has fallen snugly into the category of Random Online Journal. I hardly ever try to think of post topics, I just blog when I have thoughts or news or the rare rant. Whatever's on my mind. I rarely feel that intense pressure to post anymore. (The fact that my last post was almost three weeks ago is strong evidence of this.) The truth is, I've come to realize that if I'm scraping to think of a post, it probably won't be that good. And if that means I only post once a week, I'm thinking that's just fine.

What about you? What's your bloggy groove?


Kadie Kinney said...

Wait. I'm not the only one with blog angst? Phew! That's good to know. I'm trying to build a base right now though and I find that keeping a schedule is helping me fill my blog with content for those who may find it later and be interested. Maybe? One day?
My blog angst is back. ;)

Harkness87 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harkness87 said...

I swear I didn't see half of this post earlier! But I would have to strongly say I fit in the random category. Totally random and unplanned. Topics don't get along with me very well. :)

(Also blogger decided that I deleted my other comment. grr)

Sarah said...

The first part of your post totally made me laugh, and the "Blag" nearly made me spit my coffee all over my computer screen. As for my blog ... honestly, I don't know. I think it might be a combination of the first 4? Is that cheating?

KLM said...

Count me among those who started a blog because they thought they had to. I wasn't all that thrilled with the concept of "platform creation" when I started out but over time, I've come to enjoy blogging. One, because it gives me something to do with all these barrels of monkeys I've got lying around and two, because it's the only creative thing in my life I feel I have complete control over.

Many times, I've thought, "I should do X or Y on the blog to boost my traffic..." then I decide, nah, I'm doing whatever the heck I feel like doing. I don't think I could keep it up otherwise.

storyqueen said...

I think I'm a number 4, pretty much, although if there is something going on with one of my books I probably am going to say something about it...I mean, why not, right?

But I like to post about stuff I feel like posting about...and that is usually random stuff.


storyqueen said...

I think I'm a number 4, pretty much, although if there is something going on with one of my books I probably am going to say something about it...I mean, why not, right?

But I like to post about stuff I feel like posting about...and that is usually random stuff.


Jill Hathaway said...

Yeah, mine's pretty random, too. I just don't have the discipline to keep a schedule and actually plan what I want to say!

Renee Collins said...

Kate-No! Blog Angst is a pervasive problem. ;) I tried the schedule, but I just couldn't keep it up. But I do enjoy reading blogs that have one.

Harkness87-You're not going crazy! I expanded on this a little while after I posted it. Even on my blog, I can't get away from editing. :) But yes, high fives for random bloggers!

Sarah-Not cheating at all. I think everyone has every type of post sometimes. (Even Blag posts :)) Many blogs lean slightly into one category, but some totally are evenly mixed, which makes for interesting reading.

Kristen-That's exactly what I think as well. And it works! Your blog is HYSTERICAL. DON'T change what you're doing. :)

Shelly-Oh totally! Don't get me wrong, the blog IS the right place to announce book news and such. And that doesn't make it a Blag! Only when that's all the author ever posts.

Jill-Me either. And I decided a while back not to push myself to do so. And you know, I really think it works better.

Colene Murphy said...

Definitely made me feel a lot better about my blog slump lately! True, it's for a writery cause, but it's hard not to feel so bad! But I feel better. Thanks!

Jessie Oliveros said...

Random for sure. And to be honest, I'm not a big blogger or blog reader right now. Only the special ones like yours:) Now off to post something random.

J.R. Johansson said...

Hmm... I think I randomly bounce between the groups. I only rarely give advice, but I can't say I'm always entertaining. I just hang out. Can we create a "just hanging out" catagory? :)

Bombshell Char said...

I am nothing if not witty and entertaining. So, half the time I'm nothing. Maybe more than half.

Bombshell Char said...

And definitely on the pregnant and losing steam side.

Ruth Josse said...

My blog life goal is to belong to one of those catagories but I'm afraid I belong to the "what the freak is she talking about?" category.

Ruth Josse said...

Whoops, don't want to be a blagger. Although I wouldn't mind having something to blag about.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I just post whatever the heck pops into my head. Sometimes it's random, sometimes it's semi-helpful, and most of the time it's about my writing journey. :)
I'm glad you're back! I've missed your bloggy posts. And that centipede picture kept freaking me right out! :P

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I post whenever and whatever, and that has suited me so far. I think I've gotten into the advice blog thingy for awhile, but for the most part all my angst comes in comparing my blog and comments to other blogs and comments, and that's probably the dumbest thing I could possibly do. My blog will not ultimately sell my books, so it's popularity isn't extremely important. Why do we have angst over this stuff? It just reminds me of high school, in a way, and that always gets me angsty. Sigh. That's why I'm trying to move into my own little happy groove and let things fall where they fall. :)

By the way, I love your blog. A lot. :)

Renee Collins said...

Colene-Glad to be of help. :) Knowing others suffer blog angst always makes me feel better. :)

Jessie-I've had major waves, in and out of the blog scene. Sometimes, no matter what kind of blog you have, you just need to take a break away.

Jenn-Just hanging out, lol. That sounds about right for my blog as well. And I think that's the reason a lot of people blog. They want to be part of the scenes, even if they don't necessarily love blogging itself.

Charlotte-HA. That totally made me laugh. :) That's me, alright. Oh, and I totally hear you about the pregnancy steam losing. Not that I'm pregnant now, but I remember it when I was. :)

Ruth-lol to the first comment. To the second, hey, EVERYONE should blag from time to time. And I'll raise a toast to wishing for many more reasons to do do it. ;)

Chantele-All categories is a great idea. Variety is the spice of life. :)

Michelle-Amen, amen, amen. Comparison is, as always, the worst thing. It inevitably leads to angst. You have the right idea, you just have to go with the flow and be cool with what your blog is and what it is not. :)

Candice said...

I'll tell you what my blog is good for--stressing me out!

Rachel Brooks said...

I had no idea Jane Austen blogged! I must become more familiar with her blogging tips ;)

Cyndi Tefft said...

Yep, mine is definitely the Random Online Journal. I only blog when I have something to say, so there can be some gaps between posts (or they can come fast and furious). Glad to know I am not alone in that!

Janine said...

For sure random. And whew, blogging is spotty for me...I always need to improve. *sigh*

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

I have read every Jane Austen book that exist and you can find that same quote in each book. I think it is that quote that makes her books so well cherished. Everyone likes a good blog joke.

I have NO IDEA what my blog is. It is out of control. That is all I know.