Planning A Blog

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 swimming hole picup 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.

dll2013 Deborah Lee Luskin lives in southern Vermont.

33 thoughts on “Planning A Blog

  1. I’m not really an expert in the field since it’s only been about a month since I launched my book blog but I think the important thing is just to be committed., Good luck! 🙂

  2. I love blogging though it took me a while to get in my groove. And in the beginning I was very overwhelmed with all the things you mention above. But as Mishka says, I find it’s a great platform for getting your thought out there. Remember that you will learn as you go, like most things, it’s a process. Good luck!

  3. My experience with blogging is that it is all about community. The more involved I become in others’ blogs, the more my following expands. Liking and commenting on posts that genuinely interest me, for example, has gained me more likes and follows than any one post I have ever written.

    • I’m glad to inspire – but sad when it turns into self-flagellation. Please go easy on yourself. I hope you can learn to be pleased by doing what you can and not constantly disappointed by what you haven’t yet accomplished. Best wishes.

  4. The camera concept is important. Certainly lots of great blogs get by on words alone but photos make a difference. And I think they are a great help in capturing place. I use a small Canon S100 that I can carry in my pocket that takes quality photos with minimum hassle.

      • Indeed, photos *do* matter. However, it is important to have permission to use photographs to illustrate your blog. You have used my photograph to illustrate this blog without permission, credit or payment. I will be sending you an invoice for use of my work. I’m sure as one creative to another you will be happy to pay for using my work to promote you own.

        Lee: I am so sorry for this oversight on my part. In my rush to post on time, I overlooked your name in the url. As I said in a private email to you and I say publically here: This was unintentional, and I have taken your lovely image of an Edwardian woman reading a letter down. I would like to make further amends by inviting you to write a guest blog about attribution and appropriate usage or, if you prefer, work with me on such a post so I get it right and pass on this important information to our readers. If you were willing to reduce the payment for my error, that would be quite welcome. I receive no payment for contributing to this blog. I look forward to your reply, either here or by private email. All best, Deborah.

  5. Hello, I have been running my bi-lingual blog for past 2 years now. I post watever I feel like writing; poems, short stories etc..not sure how good I am at it but still it gives me some creative satisfaction. You may like to visit it –

    Please let me know if I can be of any help to srtup your blog on wordpress.

    • Thanks for your encouragement – and your very kind offer of help. It sounds like you’re having fun blogging. I haven’t tapped into that aspect of it yet. I’m still a bit daunted by all the work!

  6. I love how thoroughly you have thought this out! I think that your idea of writing letters to your readers is beautiful, and a fortnightly schedule is fine. As long as it is regular, I think that’s key. Daily bloggers! Aarrgghh 😳

  7. Deborah, these are all valid fears that I think myself and other bloggers have come to realize at one time or another. Thanks for being so honest. It is good to know that some feel the same way as I do. Lately, I have taken the time to read different blog posts and have gained courage, motivation and even useful tips, thanks to the generosity of my peers. Good luck, keep up the good fight!

  8. A post every couple of weeks sounds great to me. The burden of regular posting can be a heavy weight for the author, I feel. Quality over quantity is also better for readers like me! I look forward to hearing what you have to say…Good luck 🙂

  9. Reblogged this on The vulnerable professor and commented:
    Some wise first steps to planning for blogging success, I thought. I also appreciated the points about images and connecting in the blogosphere. Now to put it all to practice… I’ve found quiet walks alone with nothing in my hands are good for regular brainstorming.

  10. I have been blogging for abiut a year and a half. It really helps to have a schedule of posts/pages abd keep it! I try and write posts and schedule them in advance on the blog. Pictures help alot. WordPress is a great place to start. Take baby steps and remember that you, not the calendar is in charge. Good luck!

  11. I could sympathize with my son staring at a plate of the dreaded cooked spinach because that is how I felt about starting a blog. I really didn’t want to do it, but now after only 2 months I am hooked. Waiting for the slush pile to solidify, I have found blogging to be a new passion of mine. Although in an attempt to further my goal of children’s book publishing, it would be wise for me to limit my posts to weekly.

  12. Pingback: Running Over Copyrights | Live to Write - Write to Live

  13. I originally started blogging a few years ago, but it felt like a bind because I wasn’t being ‘real’ and talking from the heart. This was because I felt very self conscious about laying my thoughts and feelings out for everyone to read. I’ve got passed that now and found my writing has started to develop and improve, along with my photography (which still needs a lot of work!). Now I love blogging and hope other’s enjoy my work too. Thanks for this article, it’s inspiring x

  14. Pingback: A Blog of My Own: Living in Place | Live to Write - Write to Live

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