What Is This Blog Thing?
My name is Jaq D Hawkins and I write a blog called Goblins and Steampunk (http://indiewritenet.com/jaqdhawkins/). Why? Well, like most old-style writers, I have a primary website and at one time I kept a blog page on that. The trouble with a regular website is that uploading page changes is just a little bit more trouble than the average really busy person wants to deal with often, so of course the blog entries were few and far between. Somewhere along the history of cyberspace, free blog sites became an available feature and like many other people, I decided to make use of this opportunity.
That wasn't all there was to it. I started my writing career in the Mind. Body, Spirit genre of non-fiction and trying to juggle that with my fiction writing on the website hadn't really settled down into a comprehensive plan. So, the idea was to have a blog specifically for my fiction, to give it a separate existence. What I had written up to then was a Fantasy series about goblins and one Steampunk book. I planned to write more of both. So I called the blog Goblins and Steampunk to encompass the fiction writing I had done to date. It provided an easy platform to write updates in a programme that was designed specifically for blog posts.
The next thing to do after choosing a name for the blog was to decide what pages and features I should have. The blog itself is the main focus of course, but with networking and such, I gave some thought to what else to include. I made a page for feature articles about me or my books, which my lack of ego has kept me from updating frequently but now that it hs come to mind, I will be adding to. I made a books page to give links of where to buy. This too is about to get a makeover, but that's the beauty of blog sites. The work of redesigning a page is much simpler than a proper website.
I made a page for guest posts, which I have kept for Fantasy authors specifically so that I didn't end up trading guest posts with a lot of authors who write unrelated material. This eventually developed a new branch, a YA page for guest posts from YA Fantasy authors. I also made a links page to link to other authors, which is rather a holdover from old style website design. Then I made a page for reviews that I write about other Fantasy books. Last I made a samples page, for leaving a few samples of the books for readers to get a taste of my writing style. It occurs to me that I should include a place for book trailers somewhere, as I do have two online at present.
My most popular posts, according to the stats, tend to be about writing or thoughtful posts. I probably had more comments about what goes into choosing names for characters than anything before it. I do have a lot of watchers who don't comment or ask to keep their comments private. My own favourite posts are ones that lead to writing ideas. Not necessarily new plot ideas, but progressions of current projects or ideas for things that might get included in a story. I also try to do regular updates to let readers know when a new release can be expected.
My future plans for the blog are a general overhaul to make the pages more visually interesting. More pictures, the videos, and easier links. I also plan to make improvements in my networking pages, as I have been active in various author groups and there are specific supportive authors that I would like to promote through my blog. I think that every writer who keeps a blog should assess the design annually, something I intend to fit into my busy schedule. As more projects get released, the site has to grow. Keeping a blog interesting for followers is essential. A blog is a representation of some aspect of yourself and an unkempt blog gives the same impression as going out without your hair brushed in the morning. With that in mind, look for changes coming at Goblins and Steampunk in Spring and Summer 2014. It's time for some spring cleaning.