Friday, February 8, 2008

Avoiding the Mutual Admiration Society

I am a fan of blogs.

I truly believe they are not only a great way to build a platform but they are also a great way to learn as a new writer. Even as recently as 10 years ago blogs were unheard of. Today they're making an impact in everything from adoption to politics. Despite their benefits, there is one danger with blogs:

The Mutual Admiration Society

This is where a group of bloggers simply visit each other and there is no real growth. Every once in a while someone will stumble on a particular blog but for the most part it is a small group of people reading each other and going nowhere.

How do you avoid this?

I think by far the best way to avoid this is with content. If the purpose of your blog is simply to keep friends and family up to date on your progress [such as the process of adopting] then you don't need a wide readership. Content doesn't matter as much.

However, if your purpose is growing a platform and building a sphere of influence you must take the time to LEARN and then share your knowledge with your readers. You must become a place where people recognize you as a source of reliable information on specific topics.

To a certain extent this is a process of trial and error. In my early blog days I focused almost exclusively on author interviews to build my readership. Unfortunately this was very time consuming and it didn't result in much traffic other than the periodic bumps that came when the "Mutual Admiration Society" of specific writers came to my blog. There was no long term affect on my blog.

By contrast, when I started teaching people about how to build their writing business my readership increased dramatically. I focused less time on booking "big names" and spent more time adding value to the readership of my blog.

It really makes sense if you think about it. I stay up until 12:45 am to see Craig Ferguson give him monologue but as soon as the monologue is over I click off the TV and go to bed. I have no real interest in the guests he has [with rare exceptions]. I am a fan of the show because of his humor.

It was the same with my blog-when I consistently updated with what my "fans" wanted [information on how to make money as a writer] then they naturally began to tell others and my readership grew.

So figure out who your fans are and what they need and you won't get stuck in the mutual admiration society rut.

Have a GREAT weekend and I'll see all of you Monday.


Jerry Jansen said...

Interesting post. I do notice that many writing sites appear on my Blogosphere, and of course, as a writer I click on many of them.

I love writing and love reading about writing, so what a guy to do? I continue my blog about what I like, but also what I think others might like a quick take on. Plus a few personal things for the family's entertainment.

Any other secrets, coach?

Anonymous said...

Great thought. It's really easy to find ways to get distracted from doing what's really important.

I think I'll get back to writing that killer first draft now...

Sharon A. Lavy said...

Thanks for the advice Tiff. I'm still new on the blogging scene.

Susan Lohrer said...

Great advice, Tiff. I interview authors from time to time on the blog I write to help authors learn the craft of writing, but I make the guest authors discuss the craft of writing. I'm so bossy, lol.