Writing Wednesday: Advice Needed

I have decided it’s time to put my blog on a professional footing, but it’s not a straightforward matter. I need advice. 

I originally started my blog just as an outlet, and wrote about a variety of things. After a while I created some pages to highlight some themes: my writing, my Christian faith, and my stroke recovery. My blog posts settled down to Writing Wednesday and Thinking Thursday. 

On Writing Wednesday I post about my writing. This covers a wide range of things, including tips on writing, self-publishing and self-promotion; news of the writing and publishing of my local history books; my poetry; and my science fiction novel.

On Thinking Thursday I post thought-provoking things, mostly about my faith. 

I put images of my books in the side bar with a link to Amazon, but sold hardly any that way. My blog has about a hundred followers via WordPress, but when I set up a mailing list for my medieval history, no one signed up. I investigated those who follow my blog, by tracking them back to their own blogs, and the vast majority of them are interested in the things I write about Christianity. 

On a personal level, I am happy to talk about Christianity and my interests. On a professional level, my blog is doing me no good at all. 

From my research, the advice is:

  • Don’t have more than one blog. Readers, publishers and agents want to be able to find out about you in one place.
  • If you have an established blog, don’t change the address. 

My blog is a free WordPress one, which doesn’t allow plugins or coding to allow finer configuration, and things like a mailing list and the ability to sell my books directly. But if I change it to a paid hosted one, that will change the address. If I set up a separate blog, exclusively for my writing, that will mean my presence online will be split. 

However, my blog followers are clearly interested in Christianity, not history, and maybe the people interested in history are not staying with my blog because they’re not interest in Christianity. So I think I should separate my personal blog from my professional writer’s blog. 

Now, my writing is diverse. I currently have two local history books in print and ebook, which are mainly of interest to local residents and tourists, but I have had sales from farther afield. Promoting these on a large scale is unlikely to produce huge results. I also write poetry, and am working on a series of science fiction novels – these will have a wider appeal. 

If I set up a separate writing blog, will people who like history be put off by the science fiction, and vice versa? Other authors may be grateful for writing tips and how to self-publish and self-promote, but readers won’t be. So do I need a separate history blog and science fiction blog? And what about the poetry? 

Now is the time to set up my blog, ready for making my name known when my other books are published. But I don’t know what to do or how. The decisions I make now, I want to last, not have to rework things again in the future. 

These decisions will also impact my other social media setups. My blog automatically feeds my Twitter, and my Tweets automatically appear on my Facebook history book page, which copies through to my personal Facebook. If I set up separate blogs, should I have separate Twitter accounts and Facebook pages? 

My head hurts. I need to lie down.

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About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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6 Responses to Writing Wednesday: Advice Needed

  1. I can’t really give you any advice because I’m in a similar position myself. I hope other people will comment on this post so we can both benefit!

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  2. JD Blom says:

    Hey Ann Marie – you bring up a very thought provoking predicament. I have nothing to offer other than my preference. I have a tendency to return to an author rather than a subject matter. Therefore, I think that keeping one website would be better. You may want a title page on the website with two links to pages that contain your separate content. My hope is that those who come to your page for the historical content will be inclined to discover what you have to say about your faith; having one page will make that easier. I think the biggest challenge is always to get the search engines to find your page in the first place. I wish I could be of more help but those are my thoughts.

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    • Thanks for your comment JD. That was my original intention, but I think people are being put off by content that doesn’t interest them. I’ve had an offer of some professional advice in the New Year, so we’ll see what they say. Watch this space!

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  3. Pingback: Writing Wednesday: Advice Received | Ann Marie Thomas, Author: Thinking Out Loud

  4. Pingback: Writing Wednesday: Advice Taken – The Story of This Blog | Ann Marie Thinking Out Loud

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