Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to Keep Your Author Blog a Secret

How often have you heard an author say, "I quit blogging because nobody reads my blog anyway"? I hear it a lot. Maybe I've heard it from you.

This blog gets anywhere from 10 to 40 visits a day when I do my usual routine. It would probably be a lot more than that by now if I hadn't had a family crisis this spring and had to neglect it for a few months, since traffic had been steadily building up to that point.

So if you're dying to be one of those authors who can proudly say, "Nobody reads my blog," I think I can help you. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Don't post blog entries too often. After all, why should you? Nobody reads them anyway. The great thing about this technique is that it's self-fulfilling: if anybody does wander onto your blog, he or she will see there's nothing new there, anyway. Not worth coming back.
  2. Don't entertain or educate. Just blog about yourself and your books. After all, news about what other writers are doing belongs on the other writers' blogs, and knowledge is power, so you wouldn't give that away for free. Even if you make the mistake of posting every day, you can still effectively repel readers as long as you don't offer any valuable content. Oh, and it helps to gripe a lot, and make them feel guilty for not buying your books.
  3. Do be impersonal. Readers visit blogs (and buy books) because they feel a connection with the author, so your goal should be to look like a know-it-all literary demigod that's probably made of plastic.
  4. Do be unprofessional. Use your blog to badmouth your husband or launch cheap personal attacks on famous people. And don't forget to repeat any nasty rumors you see on Facebook. 
  5. Do push your blog on Twitter and Facebook. Use a lot of CAPITAL LETTERS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!! and tell all your tweeps how great your blog is, frequently. They'll probably unfollow you, but at any rate you won't have to worry about retweets, shares, listings and, worst of all, hits on your blog.
  6. Don't be friendly on social media sites. Don't take an interest in other authors or let people think you are approachable, kind, likable or anything like that. That sort of behavior not only draws people to your blog; if you keep it up you will end up getting enthusiastic fans (if your writing is good). Your traffic will start to snowball, as people you've never even heard of will start promoting you to their friends.
I mentioned I have a routine that helps bring in traffic. Here it is:
  1. I post regularly, every day if I can.
  2. I try to mix up the content a little: some fiction, some writing tips, some glimpses of what life is like for me as a New Hamsphire fiction writer; plenty of guest posts or spotlights on other writers.
  3. I try to be honest. I'm not Stephen King, and since you're not stupid, I would never get away with pretending I am. I'm good at some things and stink at others, so it's only logical that I should give advice where I can and ask for help where I need to.
  4. I try to be respectful. There are certain sides of my personal life that you will never see here, including family squabbles (I have a very loving family, but nobody is immune to spats), things people tell me in confidence, etc.
  5. I use Hootsuite to schedule hourly tweets, most of which link to blog entries. I try to use hashtags that will help the tweets be found by the people who want to read those posts, I mention any Twitter users involved, and I try to keep the tweets informative instead of sounding like an obnoxious midway vendor.
  6. I also use Hootsuite to schedule other tweets that help other authors, and do not link to this blog. I think it's important to be a team player.
  7. I use Tweetdeck to organize my Twitter feeds and interact with other people on Twitter. 
  8. I post a link to my blog on Facebook only when I think a decent chunk of my Facebook friends would be interested. Otherwise, I shut up, because I don't want them to get in the habit of ignoring me.


  1. I am not a fan of blogs that update every day - too much to read. I prefer bloggers, like myself, who update once or at the most twice a week, and make a bit of effort, be it writing a good poem, or research something and then writing a thoughtful analysis.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Graham. I'd love to hear what other people think. Maybe I should switch to weekly posts, too.