33: Is Blogging a Waste of Time for Authors?

Do authors of books need to write blog posts too? What about doing blog tours during your book launch? Who should blog and who shouldn’t? What are the best topics to blog about?

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Transcript
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Do book authors need to write blog posts to? What

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about doing blog tours during your book launch? Who should

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blog and who shouldn't? What are the best topics to blog about

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the answers to these questions and more on episode 33 of

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writing pursuits? Welcome to the writing pursuits podcast where

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authors like you discuss writing craft, author, life and book

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marketing strategies. I'm your host Kathrese. McKee. I own

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writing pursuits and write and produce the weekly newsletter

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writing pursuits tips for authors. In addition, I am a

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speculative fiction author, writing procedures for authors

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who drink too much coffee, endure judgemental looks from

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their furry writing, convenience and struggle for words. If you

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are a writer seeking encouragement, information and

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inspiration, this podcast is for you. Let's get to it. Hey,

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writing pursuits, authors. Welcome

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back to the podcast to those of you who are new. I want to

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extend a special welcome. My name is Kathrese. McKee. And I'm

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glad you're here, please leave a comment a star rating and follow

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the show to help others find writing pursuits. Okay, you may

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have read in author marketing books and heard it writing

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conventions that you need to blog. But blogs are not what

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they used to be. I checked the statistics just before I hit

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1.9 billion websites worldwide. There are 6 million blog posts

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published every day, just think about that. And more than 2.5

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billion blog posts published every year, so the competition

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is stiff to get attention. And it's something you need to think

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about before you start blogging. Okay, the most popular blog

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posts are lists and how to Articles More about that in a

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moment. And so back when the internet was new, gaining a

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following was easy. But times have changed. Also, in the same

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article, I believe it was talking about the length of time

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people spend writing blog posts, and the time has just drawn out.

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The blog posts have gotten longer as time has gone by. So

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it represents a significant chunk of time to write blog

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posts. So let me say right up front, I do not believe blogs

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are essential for fiction authors. Let me get that out

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right up front. So if you're a fiction author, your time is

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best spent writing your next book and building an email list.

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But if you must blog, let's keep going. Keep in mind that your

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personal life isn't that interesting to readers unless

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you're famous, or you're sharing about a nonfiction topic you

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have in common with your readers. For the most part, your

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readers simply want to read your stories, or to learn something

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new. Also, I don't advise publishing short stories or

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chapters on your blog, build a back list of books instead. And

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don't give your work away without receiving something in

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return. Some blogs can be useful for nonfiction authors for sure,

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if you write nonfiction, you need to be building a social

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media platform with lots of followers. And I used to say

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that was true for people who wanted a traditional contract.

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But truthfully, it's for every nonfiction author, you can't

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truly be successful without a large following. And even

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better, a very large email subscriber list. So that should

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be your first priority. And for nonfiction authors, a blog can

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be a big part of that effort. So what about publishing chapters

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on your blog for fiction authors? No way. My advice is to

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never publish your fiction on a web page. If you decide to write

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short stories, or distribute free chapters to attract new

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readers, those are great reader magnets make it a transaction,

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the readers email address in exchange for your work in the

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form of a PDF. Don't give your work away for nothing. Okay, so

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you can use prequels, arcs, short stories, deleted scenes,

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etc. Those are great newsletter magnets, but make them count.

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Use them to build and retain your email list. And oh, by the

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way, it doesn't do any good to have the email list if you don't

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write your reader. So make that a monthly thing that you do a

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monthly discipline that you're going to send them something

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that you're going to touch base that you're going to entertain

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and connect with them. Lastly, avoid reviewing books by other

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authors on your author blog. Book. Blogging is fine if that's

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what you do for a living, but it's not the best way. It's not

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the best use of your writing time. For a fiction author, you

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Eat a backlist not a website full of reviews for other

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authors work. You see what I mean? You don't have to agree

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but in my opinion in my experience, posting reviews of

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books in your genre is a good way it's a good way to connect

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to other authors. But it's not the best way to a build your

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brand or be connect with your readers. Much better to help

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your author friends launch their books, with Instagram posts,

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tweets, Facebook prompts, and best of all endorser books in

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your newsletter, maybe as part of a newsletter swap. So make

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that count to endorse other books similar to yours. But

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don't spend precious time reading loads of books and

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writing detailed reviews. Spend that time writing your next

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book. I can't say this too many times, writing book reviews

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feels productive, but it's not a good use of time, nonfiction

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authors. Okay, this is going to sound contradictory, but by all

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means, nonfiction, authors Blog, your book become the go to

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source for information about your area of expertise. You can

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use your blog posts as trial runs of your material to see

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what gets reactions and what gets the most comments and how

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many questions come up. And as a way to figure out what people

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really want to know in your book, blog, your book, okay?

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Don't be afraid to give your very best material away. Because

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what your book is, is a condensation of your very best

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material that you have broadcast to the world, on your blog and

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YouTube videos on podcasts, in tweets and posts, and so forth.

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So don't be afraid to give your best material way. What you're

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doing in your book is you're giving them an easy way to find

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the material, and they're willing to pay for it. They

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don't want to have to troll through all your blog posts to

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find what they need to know. So what about writing posts for

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blog tours during your book launch? Well, everybody wants to

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know that let's talk about that in a moment. Writing pursuits is

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run by Kathrese. McKee, who has been trusted by fiction authors

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excellence. Guthrie's is a three story methods certified editor

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who specializes in story diagnostics, coaching, and line

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editing to help you prepare your story for the journey ahead. For

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more information, go to writing pursuits.com. The link is in the

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show notes. And now back to the podcast. So I'm going to say

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something pretty controversial. I say blog tours don't sell

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books. That's a hard pill to swallow. Because blog tours are

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so easy to set up. And they're relatively inexpensive to now

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what a blog tour could help with is to build some buzz for your

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new book. But most likely the buzz won't directly equate to

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sales if you have the budget. Okay, go forward with the

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knowledge that the blog tour represents a lot of work and

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actually a lot of writing too. Instead, I suggest that what you

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do is coordinate with your author friends, to post about

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your book on social media and do newsletter swaps. Spend your

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time searching for people to review your books rather than

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spending money on a blog tour and I'm going to hurt feelings.

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Spend your money on ads to target readers who are actively

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looking for a book to buy readers don't go out of their

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way to read about books except when they are actively searching

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for their next book. And usually that's on Amazon, Goodreads or

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BookBub. Personally, I've never searched for books to buy on

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book blogger sites, and maybe just me, but that's my

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experience. These days people learn about new books most of

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the time through Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Facebook

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and Amazon ads, tweets, BookBub, newsletters, author newsletters,

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Tik Tok videos, etc. And what are those places have in common?

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Four things. They're all visually oriented. We are a

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visual society completely hooked on pictures, graphs, photos and

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videos. Number two social media posts and ads are short on text

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and easy to digest. possible exceptions are Facebook posts

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and author newsletters. Number three people are already in

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those spaces because they want to scroll or in the case of

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author newsletters because they want to scan their emails. They

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want the information fast they want it visually oriented. They

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want easily digested material, people sign up to be there so

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they sign up to be on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and

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BookBub and tick tock even they sign up to be there and that's

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important when a reader signs up for Facebook or for an author

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newsletter. they kind of make a psychological commitment to be

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there to show up. So what if you still want to blog? And that's

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okay, I'm not saying it's wrong to blog. But if you choose to

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blog do these two things. Number one, strive to connect with your

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readers emotions. If you can connect with your fiction

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readers on topics they find engaging, especially emotional

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topics, then you're golden blog about nonfiction topics that you

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will build your brand. So even if you're a fiction author,

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you're still blogging about nonfiction topics. Are your

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readers interested in clothes and makeup? Are they interested

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in history? Do your readers love the environment? Are they

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socially conscious or upwardly mobile blog about the topics

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your readers care about, especially as they relate to

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your fiction, and your nonfiction Of course, leverage

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your writing. So whether you blog it first, or create

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material for your newsletter, first, leverage your writing.

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Take what you create and repurpose it for your

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newsletter, your blog, your social posts, your YouTube

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channel, and or your podcast. Make your writing work as many

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ways as possible, always with the aim of finding new email

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subscribers and followers. And remember when I mentioned lists

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and how to articles, share your expertise about a subject or a

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skill your readers want to learn about, or share your journey to

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expertise as you master something. And I'm not talking

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about writing about something your readers want to know about.

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So let's consider a couple of examples. So say that you write

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Regency. Are you an expert on the Regency period then blog

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about that? Because your readers are reading Regency they're

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interested in Regency topics. What do people wear? Discuss

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what what articles of clothing the working women of the time

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wore from the skin out? That's very interesting topic. Discuss

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the historical context of the period. How did society work

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back then do maybe biographical biographical sketches of the

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famous people of the court? What did they eat? How do people make

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a living? Okay, so in case I didn't make it clear, tell

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personal stories, but do it in the context of the information

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you're communicating. And by all means, keep it personal and

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personable. It let's say you're a science fiction author. So you

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could talk about aeronautical design, and space travel, you

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could speculate about what might happen in the next Star Trek

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movie, or Star Wars movie. In this case, share your experience

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about a rock building a rocket in your backyard, you might talk

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about what's going on in the International Space Station,

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things like that westerns, write about horses, you know, things

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that people are interested there are about that genre that are

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relevant to your genre that help you build your brand, and show

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off your kind of your expertise and knowledge. Okay, remember

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that you're not blogging for your own sake. It isn't about

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you, unless what you do is directly applicable, applicable

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to what you write about. You are blogging for your audience's

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sake, for their education and entertainment and emotional

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involvement. If you're a fiction writer seriously, think twice

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about using your precious writing time to blog. What are

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your thoughts? Do you blog? Or don't you? What do you blog

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about? Or what do you do instead, I would love for you to

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share in the comments. And I just want to say these are my

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opinions on blogging and reviewing books. These these are

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based on my experiences. I would love to hear about your

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experiences. So please write back. And that's all I have for

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today. Until next time, keep writing.

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Thank you for joining us today. If you enjoyed this episode,

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please leave a comment and follow the podcast. If you're

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new around here. I hope you will sign up for the weekly

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newsletter writing pursuits. Tips for authors that link and

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all the links mentioned in today's episode are in the show

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notes at writing pursuits.com. Please join us on Wednesdays for

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new episodes and keep writing my friends. Keep writing

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