It has been fifteen months since I indie published my 106 page book Putnam Liberty Notes in March 2016. I then started blogging two months later. My blog quickly got out of hand and turned into a commentary platform. I blogged and blogged, posting multiple essay most weeks.
Then in May 2017 I was brought onboard to contribute to the popular multi-author blog Identity Dixie. (As you may have guessed, my blog has a fraction of the traffic that Identity Dixie does). Between blog and books, in the last fifteen months, I have published about 140 essays! As it was not all in the same size font and page format, I am unsure of how many pages I have written; but in rough estimate, in 8.5×11 and size 14 font I have likely exceeded 400 pages of content.
In this time I have learned quite a bit about writing, in addition to learning about the subject matter I was researching. It has been a great ride, as I slowly gave up on restoring America, and began focusing of heritage preservation and preparation for the collapse or chaos that I think is inevitable. Here is a short list of ten things that I have learned about writing and blogging. Perhaps this will be of help to any other bloggers reading this.
1: Wording Matters. It is important to have an interesting subject and coherent logic, but how you phrase it still matters. Good writing and few typos will increase a piece’s quality. Sarcasm can be a useful tool, but not overdone.
2: If you promote your blog or individual essays through comments on forums (like I have with Disqus), most of your blog visitors will be one timers. But, a few will like it and come back.
3: Most of your regular readers will never comment. Do not be discouraged. A few hard-core ones will give you feedback. Be polite to them.
4: In connection to feedback, you will never know who most of your readers are. As such, if you comment on a wide variety of subjects (as I have done), you can assume that you will likely occasionally offend one group or another of your readers. If you comment primarily on one subject or viewpoint and your readership remains stable, you can assume that most of your readers are with you.
5: Staring each blog with a picture, and/or including an imbedded video, is now basically standard form for blogging. I am not sure it has increased my readership, but it does look better.
6: If your blog post includes a link to another article or website as a reference, most people who clicked on your essay will not click on your link. In my personal experience, less than 20% will.
7: Blogging on ideas or big events is easier than following breaking news stories. It is difficult to comment on events as they unfold unless one has a smartphone (I don’t) or is near a WiFi connection constantly (I’m not).
8: Most people in present day Imperial America are information consumers. They want free content, just like on TV or MSM websites. I have never asked for donations or had a “donate” button on my blog as many blogs do, and I cannot image that they bring in much revenue.
9: In connection to point 8, if you bundle the best of your blog essays in book form, they will not sell well. Only a small group of enthusiasts will buy a print copy of what they can read for free.
10: If you publish a print book, make sure it has an eye catching cover and a short title. A full color cover with image, and no more than four words in the title. I did not always do this, but should have.
The last fifteen months of writing have been an interesting experience. I intend to continue blogging. I am also researching several topics for book projects. I plan to publish at least two, and perhaps four, books in the next two years –all new material in subject specific books (not random essays). Thanks for being along for the ride.
© Copyright 2017 by Joseph Charles Putnam of Orange County, Indiana. All rights reserved.