It finally happened. The editor of a well-known publishing house stumbled across my blog, read the most recent post, then scrolled down through all the others and read my “About” page. By then, she’d realized I’m a wannabe author with a completed manuscript. The blog wouldn’t let her leave a comment, but she persevered and left her email address for me to contact her. Wow!
Not really. But that’s my dream. And that’s how I regularly fall into the next blogging pitfall.
Pitfall #2: Each post must be a polished gem.
After all, those editors are out there on the Internet. Some probably have husbands with spinal cord injuries, and they might come across my blog. Why not?
So if you’re a blogger in my position, pour out your heart. Go for it! But make the outpouring fresh, vibrant, attention-catching. Avoid clichés like the plague. And make sure your post has no typos or misplaced commas. Your polished gem will take four times as long to write as it should, and afterwards you’ll need a nap. Then, at the end of the day when you log back on to stare critically at your newest published post, will you be satisfied?
Blogging is so much fun.
Along with all those rules, blogging has pitfalls. Loads of them. And I think I’ve fallen into every one.
To start with, I’m like the first-day dieter who keeps getting on the scale to see if having salad for lunch instead of a burger has paid off yet.
As soon as I hit the “Publish” button, I rush to my blog dashboard to study the statistics. How many people have read it? Is this the day my post goes viral with millions of hits? Oh, just one. Okay, I’ll wait an hour and then check again. I make it fifteen minutes before sneaking back. Up to ten readers now. Well, that’s certainly going to impress the editor I’m hoping will stumble across my blog and learn with delight that I have – of course – a manuscript I’m hoping to market.
Which leads to pitfall #2.
Blogging is full of rules.
Write at least twice a week, or your readers will give up and go elsewhere.
Have an exciting format with plenty of photos. Appearance can actually outweigh substance.
If your blog randomly decides to block all comments, you should know how to fix that.
Keep working on getting a bigger readership. This requires intimate knowledge of how to use links, buttons, horns and whistles . . . and the chutzpah to continually harass everyone you know to not just follow but also share your blog with everyone they know.
There’s more, but that’s enough. Because another blog rule is that your post should be short. Too much scrolling is a big no-no.
So, more later (but not too much later).