What’s My Line? Help Me Figure Out My Content

Off and on, I’ve been reading Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone. It’s a social media guide for writers, and it’s very good. The first part is kind of a long introduction, and talks about why social media is important, why you need to get involved, when you should start (which, btw, is now, even if you haven’t finished your book, but how you do things will be different if you don’t have anything out yet.)

The second part gets more into the action, by having you really think about who you’re going to be, in a professional sense. I guess the best shorthand to use is that she’s helping you focus your brand. And she has you get together some bios and posts to get you started when you launch yourself. (The book is written with the assumption that you haven’t done any social media yet, but is still totally relevant if you’re already in it.)

The book then moves into the nuts and bolts stuff, with a For Dummies level guide to setting yourself up with a WordPress blog, and on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, and how you’re going to tailor things there to be most effective for you, going forward. What was cool about the way Kristen went about it, was that even though I had done most of the stuff already, she wrote it in a way that wasn’t boring. Dude, I read an explanation of what hyperlinks are, and didn’t roll my eyes or want to skim over it! So that was really well done. This is not a dry, technical book.

But I didn’t mean to write a review. I’m not even done with it yet. What I wanted to talk about was the middle part of the book, which, perhaps I should read over again. It had me focus on what I was trying to do eventually. So I decided that I wanted to be the name you think of when you think Superhero Romance. (I know, who ever thinks that? But you know I think you should.) So next was thinking about how I would focus my blog in that direction, which seemed to involve talking about, you know, superheroes.

And where are they? In comics, generally. ‘Cept I don’t read too many comics. One of the reasons I put off the Talents for a while was because I didn’t feel qualified to write them because I don’t have that background knowledge in what everyone expects superheroes to be. (But then I decided, screw that, we’ll get by, and we do.) Anyway, I realized that the comic fans are not my audience. They like comics. I like things like Buffy, Smallville, and my memories of Wonder Woman and the rest of the SuperFriends (which are better than the actuality of watching those now). And a bunch of the people I know who like that stuff? They’re not much for comics either.  I don’t know why I’m so focused on this.

Anyway, I can’t, for the life of me, figure out what I’m supposed to talk about here? What would anyone want to know about? What do I consider myself an expert in? Well, sewing, knitting, and spending money on expensive dolls are not really relevant topics. I think I know a lot of stuff about writing, but I’m also not thrilled with the idea of being yet another author who writes about writing all the time. There are plenty of those blogs about that, and if I have something to say, it’s probably better served as a guest post somewhere else.

But that leaves me with a whole lot of empty days, and/or posts about things happened to me on the internet, memes, and junk like that.

Which is fine every once in a while, but it’s hardly content that makes for interesting reading on a regular basis.

So I don’t know, what am I an expert at? What kinds of posts would my readers like to see? What kinds of posts will draw people who will want to read my books?

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11 Comments

Filed under author blog, books, ideas, tools, writing

11 responses to “What’s My Line? Help Me Figure Out My Content

  1. Kristen Lamb

    First of all THANKS for such a great review. I will forward on and make sure to list this in the mash-up. But to your questions….

    A lot of writers choke on this part (been there myself). Again, profile the READER. What do they do with their day other than read superheor romance? Well, likely they do knit or buy collectables, LOL. Romance’s demographic includes women in a relationship between (I think) 31-44 or something close to that. Speak to them. What would you like to hear about…other than writing?
    What can you blog about that will serve a reradership by informing or entertaining?
    I have a writer in my boot camp who writes post-apocalyptic novels, but blogging about the end of the world could get tiresome. She happened to teach bellydancing, so I recommended “Author Piper Bayard–On Life, Bellydancing & Apocalyptic Annihilation.” Come on, you know you just have to look now. A belly dancer’s perspective on life AND apocalypse? She is actually quite funny and the blog is great.
    http://piperbayard.wordpress.com/ But Piper gets to blog as a multi-faceted person who happens to be a writer and readers are loving it. She blogs on life, writing, politics, dumb ways we humans likely could end the world. So I recommend two things. Breathe and open your vision. Your blog just needs a common thread that will appeal to all. We are all fascinated by superheroes even if we don’t read comics so that’s a good start. Why do we love superheroes? What superhero did you want to be when you were a kid and why? Times that brought the superhero out in you. Real-life superheroes. Why do superheroes get all the cool powers?
    I am also running a class to help writers do just this–find their brand. It is free, and all you have to do is go to http://www.candacehavens.com/index.php/workshops/ and sign up.
    Sorry for the long reply but thanks a million! You are a superhero to me :D.

    Kristen Lamb

    • Thanks for this reply, Kristen. I tend to do the blogging thing in fits and spurts, without much direction or discipline. Not too long ago, I decided to go from blogging pretty much solely about writing, to talking more about my other interests, which are, at least, interesting to me. But then a friend suggested that was just confusing to readers. If this was going to be my writer blog, it needed a focus. Sooo…I hear what you’re saying about a common thread, and thanks, because that does give me a direction to think in.

  2. Andrew Mocete

    I’m pretty new to your blog, but right off the bat there was a fun personality to each post that i liked. Almost like if this were a real place, it’d be cool to hang out here. Plus it’s named after an a-Ha song. Nice.

    One of the best posts I’ve read so far was the Angel vs. Spike one. Very passionate (7 year grudge) and very funny (7 year grudge). And the comments it spawned . . .

    I think with those elements whatever you write about will be appealing even if it jumps to different topics. Hey, it got me to check out The Talent Chronicles, which is really good so far.

  3. Pingback: More than an Author? How to Become a Household Name–Branding 101 « Kristen Lamb's Blog

  4. I was just musing about this the other day in my post writing is for readers!

    I post a lot of short stories on my blog (as I take part in #fridayflash) but I was just thinking the other day I should make more effort to put up personal stuff, too. But I had no clue what to write about. And I have to say your Spike/Angel post inspired me and made me think, “Hey maybe I should just write about the other stuff I love, because no doubt my readers will like them, too!”

    At the end of the day though I don’t think we should worry so much about being a brand or talking only about one topic. The point of the blog is to show we are real people with real interests — and who wants to be friends with someone who will only talk about one thing?

  5. Pingback: Increasing Your Kindle Rank: Blogging and Social Media | Hunting High and Low

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