I'm a fairly new writer.
And whenever I'm new at something, I tend to read everything I can about the subject. I watch videos, I check out books, I Google things. I've done the same with writing.
Doing your research on any topic is a smart thing to do (in moderation).
An even smarter thing to do is to question what you come across.
One thing that has been bothering me is why so many writers blog about writing.
Don't get me wrong. I know we're supposed to blog about something we're passionate about. We wouldn't be writers if we weren't passionate about writing.
But at the same time, aren't we told to build our platform to reach our target readers? Doesn't this mean blogging about something our readers would be interested in so that they also read our books?
When I first took the plunge and became a writer, I also started a blog. At first, I thought it would just be to hold myself accountable to my writing goals.
Then, I began to read about author platform and the importance of building one early.
I decided to use blogging and social media to build my platform so that when I finally self-published my novels, that part of the process would be done. People would already know who I was.
So I, like many other writers, started blogging about writing.
Yet, the more I learn about blogging and platform, the more I realize I should be blogging with my target readers in mind. I need to reach them and write about what they care about.
But if I am blogging about writing and my platform is based on helping writers, this doesn't really have anything to do with my target readers. I'm not reaching them through my platform.
Most writers probably aren't my target market. Yet I'm blogging about what they care about. Why?
If I want to reach out to my target readers and lead them to my work, the best thing for me as a writer is blog about something they care about.
Who are my target readers, anyway?
Here are my target readers (based on the novel I've written and the novel I'm writing now):
- Latinos or anyone else interested in Latino culture
- young adults or people who like to read young adult fiction
- have gone through tough stuff because of their Latino culture.
- proud of their culture and want to read more about Latino culture
- want to read about Latino characters
- mature readers
In this case, what should I be blogging about?
Maybe I should be blogging about the issues that typical young adult Latinos go through.
In other words, stuff that I have experienced and am experiencing right now.
- speaking Spanish
- speaking Spanglish
- being called White
- being called wetback
- my mom's enchiladas
- being told not to speak Spanish at school or work
- peer pressure
- learning to be responsible beyond my years
- translating for my parents
- students learning English as a second language
- not being ashamed of my culture.
I'm sure other writers must deal with this issue.
I read several writing blogs by people who actually write fiction novels. The majority of their audiences probably aren't their target market.
Wouldn't it make more sense for a writer who writes police procedural thrillers to blog about, say, similar television shows or movies? Or give extra information about inspiration, research, characters, or settings?
At the same time there are people who blog about their target market and to their target market. Take Rachelle Gardner. She blogs about writing, but this totally makes sense for her. She is a literary agent who seeks out writers.
Same thing with Krissy from Krissy Media Ink. She also blogs about writing, but she writes eBooks aimed at writers.
Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn (an excellent blog) is an example of a writer who actually has two blogs, one geared at writers and one at her readers. She built her platform aimed at writers first. This helped her get exposure, although even she admits most of this audience isn't part of her target market. Her second, more recent blog is aimed at readers, and her blog posts give more information on what inspired her stories as well as the settings in her books.
But it must be a lot of work to manage two blogs, even writing full-time.
So now I face a dilemma.
Should I switch to blogging towards my target market? Should I create another blog just for my target market?
My culture is definitely something I'm passionate about and something I would love to blog about. This definitely seems like a smart step.
What would you do?
What is your target market? What is your typical target reader like? Are you blogging, tweeting, Facebook/Google+ posting with them in mind? Why or why not?