UNLESS YOU’RE JERRY SEINFELD – It has to be about something
A couple of weeks ago I joined a site of fellow bloggers. I’ve been told this is a way to connect with others who share the same interest and perhaps pick up an idea along the way. Like every new environment, I’m struggling to get my bearings while being bombarded by messages of welcome from my fellow bloggers. As far as I can guess there are 2500 of us on this site.
Yesterday, a fellow newbie sent out a call for help. She hadn’t begun a blog yet and wondered what she was should write about. The question gave her away as an author who’d been advised to start a blog as a means of gathering an audience. I was tempted to tell her the idea is bogus. Having written five blog posts a week for nearly two years, I doubt that I’ve sold many books because of it. Truer still is the hard fact that not all blogs attract readers.
If this young woman decides to write a blog, then it should be end in itself and not as a station on the road to winning the Pulitzer Prize. That she wonders what she should write gives me chills. It doesn’t bode well for finding an audience.
I confess I’ve fallen in love with the blog format. Knowing my readers are busy requires me to be disciplined and frugal with words. I must get to the point and have a point — one that causes them to pause, nod, or say, “I’ve never thought about that before.” In sum, a blog isn’t about selling books. It’s about sharing ideas with people, usually those one will never meet. It’s about inviting them into your world and treating them with respects, as if they were old friends who’ve dropped by for coffee.