I’ve been thinking about starting a blog of my own for some time. Now that the current draft of Ellen is on my agent’s desk for review, I’m finally ready to turn my attention to this task.
I have two goals for a blog.
The first is to write about place, a concept that has been fundamental to my life, a tug that pulled me to Vermont thirty years ago, and continues to inform my daily activities (chickens, garden, town politics) and most of my writing. My commentaries for Vermont Public Radio are all about life in Vermont, as are my editorials for the local papers. And all of my novels are set in Vermont. Into the Wilderness, published in 2010, earned a Gold Medal for Regional Fiction as well as recognition from the Vermont Library Association for its sense of place.
The second goal is to stay connected to my audience in the long stretches between novels. Readers are curious about the writers they read, a curiosity that often takes me by surprise. I hope that I can satisfy my readers’ curiosity without compromising my own need for privacy. In fact, I love connecting with readers across the page. I’m still a letter writer, and I’m thinking of the blog posts as letters to my readers.
One of the reasons I’ve been putting off starting this blog is that it requires a long-overdue revision of my website. I’m not exactly a technophobe, but neither am I particularly confident in my design or on-line skills. I do know I learn well one-on-one, so I’m looking for someone who will teach me what I need to know in order to migrate my current site to Word Press, set up a blog, and even expand to other social media. (Gulp!)
I also want to be sure that I can keep up with my blog by setting a realistic schedule, probably posting only every other week – an admittedly slow pace for the blogosphere, where many bloggers post daily. That’s not for me. And frankly, I don’t think it’s right for my audience, either.
I will write at least a half dozen posts to have in reserve before I launch, so I can keep to my schedule, and I will have a marketing plan for the launch, so that I can reach my current readers and introduce myself to new ones.
In order to be successful, I also need to start taking more pictures. This probably means relearning how to use the digital camera we bought three years ago for a trip out west and have barely used since. Hmm.
Finally, by posting my intentions to my audience here, where I’ve been contributing for over three years, I will be held accountable to follow through with my plans.
How have you succeeded – or not – launching your own blog? What advice do you have for becoming a successful solo blogger? Please share your blogging stories in the comments below.
Deborah Lee Luskin lives in southern Vermont.