First of all, you don’t have to do these things on your blog. It’s your blog, and I’m no expert. But I’ve started to notice things around the blogosphere – things lots of writers are missing on their blogs.
1- Your Name. Make yourself findable. Please, oh, please.
This means you should either have your writing name in your blog address, or your blog address should pop up first or close to first in the major search engines if someone types in your name. Is your name common? Tie it with something uncommon. For example, if if someone types in your name and the word “author”, you or your blog or both pop up.
I follow hundreds of blogs. Sometimes (well, most of the time) I don’t remember the name of your specific blog. This means that if I want to look up your blog for some reason, it can get really hard to find you if (a) you don’t have your name in your blog address, (b) when I type in your name, you don’t pop up anywhere in the search engines unless I go 40 pages in, (c) even if I go into my RSS feed reader and type in your name, you still don’t pop up. For heaven’s sake, tie your name to your blog.
Unless, of course, you wish to remain anonymous and never found or easily searchable. Then you’re doing well. Keep on it.
2- Your Credits. Are you published? What are you working on?
That’s right. I get really frustrated going to a blog and trying to figure out if you’re published or not. Some writers don’t announce it anywhere. I’ve read a few author blogs before, completely clueless that they even had a published book until they mentioned it in some random post and I went to Amazon and saw that they had a book for sale. A good book I’m interested in reading. Imagine that. If you’re published and you want to sell books, you probably shouldn’t be shy about it.
If you’re working on a novel, put up an easy-to-find link about the book. Tell us what your genre is. Lots of writers and readers like to follow blogs based on what they like to read and write about. I happen to write in several genres, and I make that clear in my blog header.
3- About Me Blurb (or page). I’d like to know who you are.
Maybe this isn’t completely necessary, but it sure is nice to know a little bit about the writer I’m investing my time in reading. You don’t have to give a complete biography, but it’s nice to know just a bit about what you’re doing here in the blogosphere. A picture is nice, too. I really, really like pictures.
4- Contact Information. Once again, please, oh, please.
I am absolutely appalled by the amount of bloggers I’ve seen who don’t make this easily accessible.
Again, if you wish to remain completely obscure and anonymous, don’t include this. However, if you’d like to actually network, you might want to include a way for people to contact you. An email, a facebook profile, even twitter where someone can send you a short message. Something.
5- A Way To Follow You. I personally like it simple.
First of all, I get a lot of email. I think many people get a lot of email. The last thing I want is to subscribe to hundreds of blogs and get all those posts in my inbox. No, thanks. This is why I use a RSS feed to subscribe to blogs. Include a subscribe button for your blog, whether that be a link to your RSS feed or a way to subscribe by email. And as above, please include the networks you belong to and links to your profiles so we can actually network and follow you.
All of these things should be easily accessible from the moment someone hops onto your blog – especially an agent, editor, or publisher. Again, you don’t have to do these things. You can tell me where to stick it, if you want, but more than likely I (or a lot of people) don’t visit your blog much if they can’t find, follow, or contact you.
Does your blog have these things? Would you add anything to this list?