Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Finding your blog Niche as a Fiction Author

Before I get to today's post, I want to let you know about an auction I'm participating in. All proceeds go to South Carolina Writer's Workshop. I am offering a platform critique. You can check out all the items here. Now on to the post.

A non-fiction author has a natural connection between their writing work and their blogs. After all, if you write a book about how to get in shape after having a baby, readers would expect to find the same kind of health and wellness information on your blog.

But what if you write young adult fantasy novels about werewolves? Do you dedicate your blog to all things werewolves? Maybe. And if that's what you want to focus on, then that's great. But what if you also write young adult fantasy novels about pixies, and sometimes you write young adult science fiction. Now what do you focus on?

Where is your focus? Source


It is tempting to assume you don't need to pick a focus, or niche, for your blog. The problem with this choice is that if you don't know what the focus is, how will your readers? If they don't know, why should they visit your blog? See the conundrum?

When it comes to picking your niche as a fiction author, you have a couple of choices

1. Focus on Genre
If you write romance novels, then you might enjoy writing all about love. Where to find it, how to keep it, and what to do if it doesn't last. Do you write historicals? You could blog about the time period you write in. The upside here is that your readers will find more of what they love about your writing when they visit your blog. The downside is that you will have a hard time transitioning if you ever decide to write in another genre.

2. Focus on the Craft
This can take several forms. You can write about the business of writing, the process of writing, or just things you've learned about the craft along the journey. The benefit is that you aren't tied in to any one genre. The obvious negative is that your readers who aren't writers won't see the "WAM" component of your blog. To overcome this, you'll need to make sure the rest of your site has plenty of content for those readers.

3. Focus on You
What else do you like other than writing? Are an avid scrapbooker? Addicted to running marathons? One option is to use your blog to talk about your passions as a way to connect on a more personal level with your readers. The advantage is that you can make your blog more personal and let readers know the real person behind the pages. The disadvantage is that your blog can easily lose any focus on your writing and you might turn off readers who aren't interested in your hobbies.

Whatever route you decide to go, the most important thing is to choose a focus. Let your visitors know what to expect and be consistent in your content. Otherwise, you risk writing a blog about nothing.

9 comments:

  1. Great post, Sarah! I think I have two focuses, writing and reading, but they both fall under books, which is what my blog is about. Great books. :)

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    1. I love your blog, Kelly. Keep up the great work and congrats again on the release of ToD today!

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  2. I'm gearing up to revamp my blog, so I found this post particularly helpful. Thanks!

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  3. I do think it's important to have a focus. Unfortunately, I've never known what mine is! That's why I try to pick a project at the beginning of the year and work hard to complete it all year long. This year I want to promote books (and surprisingly not many people have taken me upon this). Twice, I reviewed fifty-two books.

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    1. Both of those can be your niche. There's no rule that says you can't change your focus. Of course, as you adjust course, communication is key and be aware that any readers who have engaged with one niche may not stick around for a new one.

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  4. Thanks for this post, Sarah! I wondered about #1, whether focusing too much on one genre will lock you in as a writer. It helps to know that there are different options out there.

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  5. What about having more than one blog?? Yes, more work ... but maybe that would solve a problem (or create more?). :-D

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    1. Multiple blogs is always an option. Lots of folks do this successfully. It's all about choices. If you are going to run more than one blog then maybe you aren't going to be as active with another social media or marketing effort. If you love blogging, then I say go for it.

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