The Limitations of Blogging for Poets and Authors

Yesterday evening, I fell into a very enjoyable conversation with a lady, during the course of which I mentioned that I compose poetry. She was kind enough to express an interest in my work, consequently I provided her with my business card, which contains my website’s address.

On being asked by the lady where she should start, I mentioned my poem “My Old Clock I Wind”. Having done so, I fell to considering how easy and/or difficult it would be for someone accessing my website to find a particular poem.

my blog, kmorrispoet.com, does have a search facility and, on returning home I searched for “My Old Clock I Wind” and reblogged the poem in order to make it easier for my acquaintance to read it.

My search took some 10-20 seconds (well it seemed to do so, although I wasn’t counting)! This incident did, however cause me to consider the limitations of blogging as a means of promoting my work.

In this age of social media, smartphones and other high tech devices enabling people to access information online it is, in my view essential to have a presence on the internet. Having a website/blog enables you to reach readers who would (in the absence of your blog/website) be unaware of your existence, let alone the fact that you write poetry, short stories etc. Having an online presence also allows you to easily share links to your published works (if any) with your online readership.

However, many blogs (including my own) have a very high number of posts, which means that (even with a search facility) its often difficult to find a given article, poem, short story etc. Of course one can (and should) use both tags and categories to enable your readership to find what they are seeking as easily as is possible. One can also create pages (for example a page on a book you have written, or one containing links to reviews of your books). However, having done all this, a blog still has its limitations.

The blogging community is a place full (on the whole) of friendly and helpful people. However, for those who do not blog, accessing a WordPress (or other blogging site) can be bewildering. Indeed I have found that a number of people who have become acquainted with my work through having met me face-to-face (and who have expressed pleasure on reading it), rarely (sometimes never) access blogs. They feel more comfortable with a paperback or an ebook and lack any significant desire to engage online either by reading, commenting or liking blog posts.

I know of people who have visited my blog (they have told me that they have done so and enjoyed reading my work), yet many of these have not followed my site. I (as with many other bloggers) do have a facility to subscribe by email as well as via the WordPress reader. The email facility is particularly good for those who do not have a WordPress site and/or Gravatar. However few people (at least in the case of my own site) subscribe by email, meaning that the overwhelming majority of my (online) readership is composed of fellow WordPress users.

As mentioned earlier in this post, the WordPress community is a helpful and friendly place. However, if one wishes to promote one’s work its extremely important to use a variety of means (not just blogging) Such other means include readings, chatting to interested strangers, and (if you can aford to do so) giving away the odd copy of your books.

As always, I would be interested to hear the views of my readers.

Kevin

6 thoughts on “The Limitations of Blogging for Poets and Authors

  1. EDC Writing/Believing Sight Unseen

    I take your point, Kevin. Blogs can be difficult to navigate, especially for the ad hoc reader – and best serve those who are familiar with them, ie other bloggers, like-minded people. None of my off-line friends or immediate/extended family read my blog, and links back to my blog from Twitter rarely get a view – what does work for me, if not too frequent, are links back to a blog post from LinkedIn, I get an ~30% view rate from connections there compared to ~10% from followers directly on my blog. For me it’s views that matter, getting my writing seen – my blog a window – a place to try out and improve all things writing – words in transit to publication – and that’s where I believe relationships with bloggers, friends and family come in – human interaction – the word-of-mouth thing – getting that ebook and paperback out there – then what will be, will be, maybe!

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comments, Eric. I was interested to read of how LinkedIn can lead to people visiting your site. I agree with you as regards a blog being a place where the blogger can experiment with their writing etc. Kind regards, Kevin

      Reply
  2. Victoria Zigler (@VictoriaZigler)

    Every option we could potentially use has its limitations, so it’s important to use a variety of means to promote your work, as you say. Of course, you also have to be careful not to stretch yourself too thin in doing so, since it’s easy to end up taking on too much in your quest to appear in front of as many people as possible.

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for commenting, Tori. I agree with you as regards not stretching oneself too thingly. There are only so many hours in the day and we authors also have a social life! Best wishes, Kevin

      Reply
  3. blindzanygirl

    Interesting Kevin. I too am interested in what Eric said about Linkedin.

    Before I had a blog I used to produce my own poetry books quite cheaply and sell them at Craft Fairs, until that got beyond me healthwise. I did find a village shop that was prepared to sell my books and that offer is always open to me. Experiences. I do not organise my blog very well with tags etc as I don’t understand it all ornknowbhow to do it.mmbut a very interesting subjectBut like you all, my bigfest readership is from fellow bloggers, whuch is nice. Personally it makes me very happy when someone relates to anparticular poem and says it has helped them. When that happens I feel it is all worthwhile however many readers I have or haven ‘t got. Of course, we all want more exposure and more readers, and it is very interesting to discuss and to read other peopke’s

    Reply
    1. K Morris Poet Post author

      Many thanks for your comments, Lorraine.

      Its great that your village shop is happy to stock your books, and that you have also been able to sell them at local craft fairs.

      I agree with you, its lovely to receive comments saying how a post has helped someone.

      All the best, Kevin

      Reply

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