Resources for Writers
The Seven Foundations of Writing-Blog Success by Laurence O’Bryan
For years I was sure I would never create a blog. It all sounded daft. What would I blog about anyway? Then I read that aspiring writers needed a blog. I ignored the advice. Then I read it again. And again.
Finally, in February 2010 I bought the bullet. I wrote my first post. I got about three visitors to my blog that day. One year later I had a publishing contract with Harper Collins and they were saying I had a hugely successful blog. Here’s a picture of the back of the advance reader copy of The Istanbul Puzzle, just in case you think I’m making this up.
In the three years since I started my first blog I have learned some important lessons. Here are seven key things to think about when planning your blog:
- Keep your posts short. 250 words to 500 words is fine for most posts. Keep the longer posts for occasional special articles that need depth.
- Provide value to your viewers. I don’t care if you want to provide advice on writing poetry about city life or a discourse about adjectives or a reference piece on the colour red, provide something of real value and people will come for it and come back for more.
- Make a great title. Titles are what makes people click through and read. Spend time getting this right.
- Put in a picture. The whole web is getting illustrated and I can see why. Visual sites are much more interesting. Every post has to have a visual.
- Make it all look professional. Make sure you have the basics right, your About, Contact and book/writing details all need to be clean and easily accessible. No one wants to follow an unprofessional blog.
- Build up your content. If you spend one hour a week creating a post and uploading it you will have twelve posts in three months. Having a selection of posts is all about consistent effort.
- Encourage people to follow you. Have a prominent Follow Me button that allows people to receive notification by email of your new posts. Most free blogging sites allow this. Getting people to follow you is the clear goal that you need to strive for.
If you want to learn more about blogging and social media come to my one day course at the Irish Writers Centre on Saturday the 26th January or attend my 8 week evening classes at the Centre for Creative Practice, 15 Lwr Pembroke St, Dublin 2 www.cfcp.ie
Whatever you decide, make 2013 the year you start your blog.
Laurence O’Bryan went to school in south Dublin, drank way too much, studied business, then IT. While a student, he worked as a kitchen porter and lived a rollercoaster existence.
After that he spent ten years working in London. He met his wife there. Soon after their daughter was born they came back to Dublin. That was in the year 2000. He worked in IT marketing for many years and was made redundant last year, just in time for the publication of The Istanbul Puzzle. That novel has now been shortlisted for Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of 2012 and translated into 9 languages.
The Istanbul Puzzle is his first novel to be published. The Jerusalem Puzzle, his second, is out now.
In 2007 he won the Outstanding Novel award at the Southern California writer’s conference. That winning novel, on which he worked for six years, became The Istanbul Puzzle. He is a member of the UK Crime Writer’s Association, the Irish Writing Centre, two “live” writing groups in Dublin and online writing communities including Writing.ie. His research takes him all over the world and he still thoroughly enjoys looking at the stars and listening to the stories of strangers.
His website/blog is: www.lpobryan.com
His Twitter name: @LPOBryan