IWSG: The Bad Blogger

InsecureWritersSupportGroup Visit the main page on Alex Cavanaugh’s Blog.

The term Author Platform twists my gut into a tangle. I know what it is, and I know what I’m supposed to do. But executing things like engaging people online is darn right difficult.

A lot of the times, I read status updates or blog posts and smile–much like I do with conversations (listen and smile). But like with live conversations, I don’t vocalize my thoughts. What do I say? Thank you for sharing because I enjoy reading? Because I do. But then I get caught in a moment of awkwardness. That line–no matter that it’s true–isn’t true to my voice. It sounds sappy and earnest and… well, that’s not quite my personality. But I digress.

What gets me about the Author Platform is providing helpful and informative blog posts, all while knowing your audience. I like being helpful. But my mind acts like a search engine, not a database. I find information, not store it. Which poses a problem with helpful articles. Being a techie, that’s where a good deal of “helpfulness” comes in. But my audience is usually other writers, close friends, and family. Though some of them might be interested in fun CSS:

.ninja {
  color: black;
  display: none;

Many others might not even know what CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) means. So am I really being helpful to my audience? Probably not. Will readers of my book be interested in the fact that ePubs are HTML in disguise? Will they even care? And that, I fear, will kill my author platform. But they say you need a strong author platform, otherwise how will people discover you and find out what a fantastic and entertaining writer you are? *despair*

Here’s to hoping my bad blogging doesn’t drive people away from my writing. Maybe I can be entertaining if I can’t be helpful. Who knows?

To all those other bloggers out there, how do you do it?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

13 thoughts on “IWSG: The Bad Blogger

  1. I guess the best advice would be just keep blogging! You want to be true to your voice. Don’t limit yourself in what you blog about either. If you feel like sharing an idea, then do so, even if it isn’t quite the same as your usual posts.

    (January IWSG Co-host)

  2. LOL! I think many of us have the same dilemma…although not from a CSS-type standpoint. As a lot, writers are basically shy people, not given to chatting. We do too much talking with our characters to interact with the world much. πŸ˜‰

  3. I put off starting a blog because I knew I wouldn’t have enough to say that would interest anyone. Writing my books is the easy part. But (almost) every blog I write brings me a new follower. Just keep plugging away.
    Leanne ( http://readfaced.wordpress.com/ )

  4. I have the same problem. Who really cares what I have to say, and usually I don’t have anything interesting to comment on. Just do the best that you can and keep chatting it up about movies, books, I even posted on a local school being pressured to change their logo. Good Luck in 2014

  5. don’t sell yourself short!! heck, you can just say “hi” on mine for all I care!! I just love seeing all the support and that’s what it’s about πŸ™‚ new follower here…glad to have met you !

  6. I get the feeling it’s a common problem that a large percentage of writers face. I even have trouble commenting at on some blogs because I don’t wish to offend.

    And I never knew ePubs were HTML in disguise until you mentioned it sometime way back at the beginning of last year (or somewhere around then). It’s an interesting fact.

  7. Ahhh! You just blew my mind. ePub…html… *gulp*

    Hey, I’ll take corny, hokey, or cheesy comments any time. At least then I know you were there–and dude, I totally want to know you and your squirelly self popped in to say, “hi.” =)

  8. I just started blogging this year and I’m really enjoying it. And I normally don’t do too bad in the comments section. πŸ™‚ I think the key is variety- some books, some writing, some of your likes & everyday life. And you’re not a bad blogger!

  9. Author Platform. Yuk. Here’s my author platform – I’m an author, I write, and I hope you’ll read. I know, not good enough. Unfortunately, when I aspired to be a writer I didn’t know I’d have to be a PR specialist. And guess what? I’m not. So I am doomed to languish in obscurity. Still I go on.

  10. The #1 thing I’ve learned from blogging is to always be yourself, write what you want to write about and people will connect to it. I think that CSS is hilarious!! πŸ™‚

  11. Yup, I totally hear you πŸ™‚ I’ve had to make myself get over the commenting-only-in-my-head thing, which is absolutely more of my instinct, and just leave comments everywhere I go. I like to think of them as a way of saying, “hey, I was here, and I respect and like your work so I’m going to let you know I was here”… even if I don’t have much else to say! I don’t know how the people whose blogs I’m commenting on take it, but I hope they like it OK πŸ˜‰ And as for platforms, I do think a lot of us struggle with that! The best advice I can offer is to just be yourself – you have a unique perspective, and that alone is always interesting.

  12. Loni,

    First…love the blog! Very nice and aesthetic. Second…blog with abandon! I talk about writing, but I also talk about life and how it influences my writing. It’s fun. I’ve also had to learn html to understand my blog better…how to do things behind the curtain that others don’t see. I’m not self-hosted and WP limits what I can do, but for the time, it works for me.

    Thanks for coming by my blog. I thought your input was excellent! So glad it resounded with you.

  13. Shoot, when I started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing and wondered, “Where are the people?” Then I discovered bloghops, and finding ones that I enjoyed turned my blogging world around, which in turn let me know what it is I want to blog about and what interests others – at least some others.

    Now, I’m changing again, in that I’m not blogging as much. Life is all about change, isn’t it? Writer’s Mark

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