I’m Thinking of a Blog Makeover: Help Me!


So … up until today (and probably a few weeks from now), the focus of this blog has been writing. And media strategies. And publishing trends.

And it’s worked.

I have nearly 800 followers, between email, Facebook and Twitter.


BUT …

I read a mind-altering post today from Kristen Lamb’s Blog, “3 Social Media Myths That Can Cripple Our Author Platform.” And then the mind-change happened. Here are the exact words from Kristen’s blog, the ones that reached out and bitch-slapped me:

“Regular people (code for ‘readers’) love being entertained daily in small, manageable, bite-sized pieces. They often read them on their smart phones while in line or on the train or when stuck at an appointment. In fact, this is precisely why blogs are one of the most powerful tools for creating a dedicated readership … The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson) gets THREE MILLION UNIQUE VISITS A MONTH on her blog. She tried to hold a live book event, and her followers crashed Goodreads. Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) is another favorite. MILLIONS of people follow these blogs. Any guess why? These bloggers (writers)…are you ready for this? These writers…don’t blog about writing.”

***BITCH SLAP***

But … but … my blog is about writing!

To see if Kristen was really, truly serious about the seriousness of her claims, I headed over to The Bloggess. EVERY post has more than 100 comments. She has more than 200,000 Twitter followers, and the same for Facebook. Oh yes, and her first book was a New York Times Bestseller!

Then I visited Pioneer Woman. Same friggin’ thing. Except she always had AT LEAST 200 comments per post.

Yea, I’d say Kristen Lamb is onto something.

I Need YOUR Help, Now

I’m writing my first novel. It’s fiction, and I want to begin building an audience that will read my book when it eventually publishes. I’m sure you understand.

You’ve all mostly been with me since the beginning of my blog, or at least for most of the past year.

I want to remain as a “Rogue Writer.” But I’m thinking of writing less about writing and media, and more about something everyday readers will enjoy.

I just can’t figure out what.

Here are some past posts I’ve written that were random, and successful:

  1. Burglars Beware! Why to NEVER Rob a Writer’s Home
  2. Colon Hydrotherapy in Your Backyard
  3. Be the Chicken Nugget in a Bag of Vegetables
  4. My Jewish Cat and the Art of Guilt
  5. Bananagrams: The New Age of American Consumerism

With that in mind, as a non-writer (just PRETEND) who likes reading blogs, what would you want to hear about … from me? And on the contrary, what do you want me to keep? In other words, what keeps you coming back?

Thank you for your help! A new (exciting) chapter awaits …

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8 thoughts on “I’m Thinking of a Blog Makeover: Help Me!

  1. Plain old me…not an expert by no means…likes the idea of you doing a different kind of blog…I have to admit the “Jewish Cat” had me…and the “Banagram” was getting my attention…Give me lite…sometimes funny…something unique anytime…mkg

  2. Hmmm . . I’m torn on this. I agree with Kristen. BUT . . . The Bloggess and Pioneer Woman are niche in that the Bloggess is a humor blog (mostly) and also an earnest blog about her social anxiety disorder. People go to Pioneer Woman for recipes, etc. (Right? I’m less frequent over there.) Anyway, I still think that a big chunk of a blog’s readership comes from other bloggers. Does not necessarily have to mean other “writers” but there is a certain natural audience from fellow bloggers. Also, don’t forget that writers and blog readers are book buyers too.

    I DO agree with Kristen . . . but I don’t know that you can force a niche upon yourself. But this is coming from ME–someone without a niche. I too would like to see my blog grow and I’m not exactly sure how to do that.

  3. My friend Linda, who recently had her book published, wrote about what she knew and what was dear to her….her life….growing up among 7 sisters, the children of two Holocaust survivers, in Skokie IL. Humorous stories about her upbringing. You were raised in Lilly White Scottsdale AZ….the child of two NYC Jewish Parents. You grew up as kind of an odd man out with your faith….you have great memories to pull from. Just think Christakkah!!! Even your stories about your Jewish cat Chance are humorous. Pull from what you know and it will be fun for people to read. Thats my “Jewish Mother” two cents!!

    Mom

  4. Fantastic post, Shari. Fantastic. Worth the price (what price?, you say) just to read it, and then read Kristen’s and your conversation.

    I’m with her. I want to read anything that occurs to you to write about—oh, and I hope you don’t stop writing about writing altogether. It’s my passion, and I’ll always want to read about it.

  5. Take my class :D. Seriously it will take you to a level you can’t imagine. This should be a YOU blog. Your NAME needs to be in the title. Then (what I do in my class) is I help you create a log-line. The unifier for all your posts will be your writing VOICE NOT TOPIC. So, Shari Lopatin’s Blog—Life, Love and OOH! SHINY! gives us a “feel” for your voice. So does “Sherry Lopatin’s Blog—Threadbare Gypsy Soul” or “Sherry Lopatin’s Blog–Just Making Stuff Up as I Go” or even “Sherry Lopatin’s Blog—Real Amazons Don’t Do Windows.” We know what to expect because the tag line gives us a “feel.” After this? Blog about whatever crossed your mind. Writers are masters at making the mundane magical, so let the world be your muse and best of luck!

    1. Thanks so much Kristen!!! AWESOME advice. I like what you said about it being your VOICE NOT TOPIC. Bingo. I need to give this revelation some serious consideration so I can keep the whole “brand” thing consistent. I like my blog’s name right now, “Shari Lopatin: Rogue Writer.” Because I feel like “rogue” encompasses so much of the WAY I write (plus, I like the alliteration). BUT, I will need to step outside the boundaries and see what I come up with! I like your “just making stuff up as I go” tagline. LOL!

      Again, thanks for the great advice. I need to begin reading more of your posts. 🙂

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