Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Building a personal web presence
I am shortly (when I have time to draft the pages) going to have a paid website. Until then, I have found it a lot of fun to have a personal blog. Caracoopers.blogspot.com is where mine can be found and I have built it up to get now 12000 visits per month. Firstly, think of what you want to blog about and follow my rule number 1 - as the song says, Make it Easy on Yourself. I decided to blog about, 'writing and living in London'. It's something I do anyway and as I'm always out and about that simple tagline has given me every scope to vary my posts. On the writing stuff I have given tips on the little I know about characterisation and plotting, have blogged about places that have inspired me (always an excuse to post up nice piccies) and have reported back on conferences and workshops I have attended.
For the living in London stuff I've been able to blog on the Olympics, theatre shows I've seen, films, other things I do in London like dancing and also historical bits and pieces about interesting (well I think they're interesting !) activities such as mudlarking on the Thames with a metal detector. Loosely, they often relate back to writing. My second rule is - to pinch and paraphrase another song title - It's NOT All About You. I find blogs boring which focus entirely on what someone has written, with endless excerpts from their books, and endless adverts and links to sell you their stories. I feel you need a broad brush with blogs, to make them interesting to as many people as possible and hopefully someone, somewhere will 'like' you as an individual and might then be interested in buying your book to see how you write. Hey presto, you then have another reader who might tell their friends about you etc etc. I always try to put up photos to make my blog look more varied but here, be very careful. Recently someone was sued for plucking a photo off the web to which they had no rights. Nowadays with smart phones and digital cameras, it's very easy to take your own, which is mostly what I do. With that in mind, I've illustrated this blog post with something totally irrelevant but hopefully rather appealing - a wild boar piglet who regularly came to the farmhouse we rented in Italy for our hols and from where I've just returned. A little posse of six of them came each night, grunting and snuffling for tidbits and were far prettier than you'd imagine a wild boar to be. Okay, so not incredibly relevant but fun, and hopefully something people might like to see. The third rule is to blog regularly. It is the only way to get a lot of people to check in often. Once you start not to blog, they start not to visit. Good luck with yours. If you don't already have one, jump in, the water's lovely.