There are as many ways to tackle writing a blog post as there are reasons to do so.
For those of us who fancy ourselves writers, it gives us a creative outlet that is usually far easier than writing a novel. Blog posts can be of any length, but usually seem to run in the 300-600 word range.
In the Western world, there are any number of subjects that you can choose to write about. For me, I’ve selected four. For the past few months, I have posted a blog every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
I start the week (unless you consider Sunday the first day of the week) with Monday’s Western Review. I pick a Western book or movie that I read or watched the week before and post a review. All of my reviews are positive, which is by design. It’s not that I haven’t read books I don’t like, or watched movies I thought were terrible — I just don’t see the benefit to writing something negative.
Tuesday is Tuesday’s Trail Notes (the category this post belongs to). These Trail Notes have actually expanded beyond my blog as well — I compiled them into a book called “A Novel Journey,” which, like my Tuesday blog posts, provides advice on writing, publishing and promoting your first Western novel.
Thursday is Thursday’s Featured Book. Each week I highlight a book (again, I only write about books I enjoyed) from a living Western writer. It’s my way of trying to promote the work of the some of the people I’ve come to know and whose work I enjoy. The world of Western writers seems to be a friendly one, with most willing to help when they can. I use this weekly post to try to give back. I figure every Western book sold helps every one of us.
The next day is Friday’s Forum. I have a list of nine questions (10 seemed too predictable) that I ask different Western writers to answer. It’s another way to help highlight some of my fellow writers. Many of them have been around for a while and have published quite a few books. Others have only recently published their first. But either way, I have found the interviews to be informative and entertaining.
Candidly, these efforts are not purely altruistic. The blogs seem to have brought some attention to my work and have helped me develop relationships with many Western writers. A number of them have been kind enough to write forewords for my books (subject of an upcoming blog post) as well as contribute to my “project” series: 52 Weeks, 500-Word Micro Shorts and the new Western Adventure Series. You can see the introduction to this book for the full list, but suffice it to say those three series would not exist without the generous support of my fellow writers (new and old), many of whom I’ve met through my blogging efforts.
Blogging is certainly a “nice to have” and not a “must have.” You can write daily, weekly, monthly or just when you dang well feel like it. You can write about anything that you think will be of interest to potential readers of your book. I think it’s a great creative outlet for those who want it, a relationship builder, and a way to help generate interest and sales for your book, but make no mistake, if you’re going to do it right, it requires effort, time and creativity.
I wish you good writing, and if you have a question or something you’d like to share, send me an email at [email protected].
Thank you, enjoy and keep writing!