a problem or entertain the reader.” Hope Clark
Hope Clark is someone I greatly admire. Her blogs and her newsletters are food for writers, in my opinion. So when she says a blog must either solve a problem or entertain the reader, I know she is right.
My Writers Circle blog is designed to give writers information about workshops and classes and the writers who teach at my home studio. At times, I throw in a post on the craft or my opinion.
Writing Life Stories has been all over the place since the beginning. It has changed in theme and content, but that is because I have changed since the blog was started in 2007. Many of my readers manage a blog or many blogs on various subjects. I understand that a blog concentrated on a theme like quilting, chicken farming, or single mothers raising kids, that discuss the problems and offer solutions is going to have a large audience. Those blogs require a concentrated schedule and plan I think. That might be too much work for me at this time in my life.
How I became a blogger and Netwest Writers was BornIt was fall of 2007 at a panel discussion at a writers conference that I realized what a blog was and what it could do. A young mother had written a book on stay at home moms working from home and she found out she could sell more of her books on a blog than by going through a New York Publisher. On the panel were three other writers who had found success from writing a blog.
I came home and told my husband I was going to learn how to blog, not for myself, but for the writers and poets in our chapter of NCWN. I had taken the job of Program Coordinator for NCWN West. Nancy Simpson and I had often talked about the problem of getting the voices of mountain writers in our area over the ridges and past the ranges into the rest of the world. I believed a blog was better than a website. A website at that time was static and unchanging. A blog gave us freedom to share new material everyday if we wanted. And the blog was free!
I was scared. After all, I didn't know anything about this new technology. Would our members accept this and use it? Would it do what I hoped it would? Soon I was holding classes on blogging and some of our members, Brenda Kay Ledford, Nancy Simpson, Carol Thompson, and Sam Hoffer began their own sites. What pleased me the most was that all of us were beyond the young stage. We were all over fifty. It wasn’t long before Netwest member and Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Kathryn Stripling Byer created a blog. When she became Program Coordinator for Netwest, she brought readers from everywhere to the Netwest blog.
I have been disappointed that more of our members have not used the Netwest Writers blog. We have a number of authors listed who have the capability to write posts and other members can ask for and get permission to post on the blog. It was created for our members.
I am so thankful, however, that Netwest Writers blog has been successful in promoting our writers and helping them reach across the state and around the world. We have readers from many different countries every day.
Nicki Leone, president of the NCWN Board of Trustees at that time built a website for the state organization and plopped our Netwest blog right on the front page. Since they have thousands of visitors every single day, those visitors saw us here in the mountains, clicked on our blog with little effort and read about our writers and our poets and playwrights. The voices of our writers have indeed reached beyond the mountains.
Where do we go from here?
I hope that other members of Netwest will post articles that appeal to readers. One of our members said the blog had simply become a bulletin board of upcoming events. We need to change that. We need posts that will keep us worthy of exposure on the home page of the NCWN website. We need an administrator who will help keep the blog on the radar of the search engines. Who out there is ready to do that?