Authors who Blog: 6 ways to take your blogging to a deeper level

1378269_oceanYesterday, I wrote about some strategies I use to go deeper in my fiction. But is fiction all we authors have to worry about? We’re also supposed to blog, aren’t we? Everyone says, “If you want to be an author, you should be a blogger too.”

So, how do we go deeper writing nonfiction? Say, a blog post? Or when we want to repurpose our blog posts?

TIPS I USE

As you know, my blog has some memoir posts (my favorite is about the way my mom affected me as a writer), and a few snippets from my fiction, but it’s mainly a forum in which I connect with fellow writers by writing about writing.

How and why I write.

Explorations of style and grammar.

The things that keep me writing when the going gets tough.

Explorations of the nuts and bolts of writing: the benefits and drawbacks of different approaches.

Such topics, along with my background as a graduate student, just scream at me for depth. Many times my blog posts take the tone of an academically structured mini-argument.

  • “I do this, for such and such a reason.”
  • “I don’t do this, for such and such a reason.”
  • “This strategy works when X,Y, or Z goes wrong, because of this.”

As such, repurposing old posts for my upcoming writer’s handbook, I found various ways to go deeper with my favorite and best-received posts.

  1. ADD POSITIVE EXAMPLES. That is, show why what you’re suggesting works. And how. Give proof of what you’re saying.
  2. ADD NEGATIVE EXAMPLES. A great way to support what you’re saying, and get your reader on your side, is to show how doing things a different way might work as well.
  3. ANTICIPATE QUESTIONS AND “BUTS.” This allows you to go deeper by bulking up your argument’s defenses. How are people going to respond (as far as you can tell) to what you’re arguing? Respond to that response. Put in a rebuttal, or answer likely questions.
  4. ADD A BRIEF, PERSONAL ANECDOTE. When a post is more technical, I sometimes try to add a personal story from my writing experience or reading experience that relates to the technical issues at hand. This adds a human factor to your account.
  5. IF YOU’RE WRITING ABOUT THE POSITIVE QUALITIES OF SOMETHING, ADDRESS THE DRAWBACKS. Conversely, if you’re writing about the negative qualities of something that does have some benefits, don’t leave the benefits unexplored. Give everything its due. Go for a full exploration.
  6. LOOK FOR A DIFFERENT ANGLE OF APPROACH. Approaching a topic as a writer? Why not consider the same topic as a reader? As an editor (if you are also one, or you edit your own work, which we all do at some point before letting others see it?)

That last technique, actually, is responsible for this post. I first approached taking your writing deeper from the perspective of an author. Today, I changed my angle of approach and wrote about the same thing: as a blogger.

I’m curious: what do you guys think about all this? How do you “deepen” your blog posts in order to make them longer, get an idea for a related, second post, or to repurpose?

Please feel free to comment, and to profit from everyone else’s expertise 🙂 Also, if you enjoyed this post, consider following my blog by email. You can sign up at the top of the page, on the right.

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20 responses to “Authors who Blog: 6 ways to take your blogging to a deeper level

  1. I have to sheepishly admit that I’m rather spur of the moment with my blog posts. I try to have one planned, but the rest tend to be sudden ‘I wanna write about this’ moments.

  2. I think being honest about and with yourself, especially when interacting with people who do, like, read and search out the same things you do makes a difference in our blogs. Connectivity, and the ability to relate, is huge to keep the blog a good interaction place, I think.

    • Katie, that’s a fabulous point. Blogging is often linked with social media for a reason: it’s all about the interaction. I don’t get why some people ignore the comment section of their blog…. that’s a huge mistake.

      I have learned SO MUCH from comments on my blog. And I’ve gotten tweets from people saying how much they took away from the exchanges in the comments. It’s so true: the interaction on a blog adds a LOT to its value, its purpose, and its depth. I often don’t think about that, but it’s true.

  3. I find that when I’m geared up for writing, my posts tend to go long and all over the place – connecting everything that made me want to write the post in the first place – I’ve had to work hard to make the posts more precise but I also learned how to recognize “Oh, this is a post in and of itself” when I start going out on too many tangents! 🙂

    I loved the info in this post – I felt pulled to write a couple more chapters for my upcoming book this past week and realized, I may need to re-structure some to include them – your bullet point ideas gave me inspiration on how to do that! Thanks!

  4. I’m with Charles. I’m a total pantser, even in blogging. But if I write a post about craft, I try to add sources (craft books like SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder or WRITING FICTION by Janet Burroway et al) to add validity to my opinions. I can’t find a credible source however, when I’m expressing my crushes on fictional characters.

  5. Thanks for this! I have a lot of trouble writing blog posts. I love how some of them turn out, but there are some that I just can’t get to work. You’re doing a fabulous job with your blog, Victoria. I don’t know how you manage to make such great posts every single day! 🙂

  6. I write a lot about the writing process, specifically regarding certain aspects of writing and the process itself. I find that by exploring these facets in my blog, it helps me to connect with other writers who’ve encountered the same issues, like finding the time to write, or the difference between plotting and pantsing. It’s helped me to also build and keep an audience. Your post reinforces that I’m doing the right thing as well, so thank you.

    • Glad I could help, Gus! 🙂 Definitely sounds like you’re going about things the right way. I’m glad you stopped by…. We definitely do all face the same issues. It’s crazy!

  7. francenestanley

    Just popped in from reading your tweet. Great post. Sometimes, I find so much information on the topic of the day I forget to add a personal anacdote.

  8. Pingback: Bloggers: Send Out the Call! (How to add a successful call to action to your posts) | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

  9. Pingback: 5 Tips to Blog Your Best (and Making Blogging About You): No Matter Your Topic | Creative Writing with the Crimson League

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