I don’t know who my audience is. I only just discovered this. Yesterday, in fact.
Two weeks ago on this blog, I ran a series I called Why Most Movie Sequels Aren’t as Good. It’s an admittedly lame title, and I guess I didn’t bother to find out whether any of you would be interested in reading it or not. I just sort of got a wild hair and went with it.
Then, over on my Facebook author page, I posted a poll. And, even though a lot of people saw it, almost no one responded. I didn’t get it; maybe I still don’t. But then a writer friend commented on how it wasn’t a burning interest for him. He didn’t respond to the poll because it was a yes/no, liked it/didn’t thing. And it dawned on me, he said he found the piece interesting but it wasn’t of any learning merit or informative value to him.
He’s a writer after all, so he has his own views and thoughts on what makes a story good. Why do we care about what happens to characters in a story? Why aren’t the sequels as engaging and engrossing? His summation was simpler than mine, but just as valid. He didn’t write tomes about it, he just sort of said it out succinct and true.
But his views and revelation come as an eye-opener to me, because I have forgotten who my audience is. I don’t know who’s out there reading my blog right now. I used to, or at least, I thought I did, but I’ve sort of lost touch along the way. My most loyal commenters here may not be following my fiction blog, and anyone following my fiction blog may not be interested in what I say here. (I’m not always interested in what I say here, frankly.)
In order for a person to have a following, which is what all writers want – people who will buy their books whenever they publish a new one because you’re among their favorites – you have to know who they are.
This blog has changed so much over the last five years, I don’t know who I’m talking to anymore. Those of you still with me through all the transitions know, I don’t have a set topic. Over the last year or so, computer programming and Photoshop have been my focus. Before that, writing and the writing craft. Next year this time, who knows?
But I’m okay with this blog being diverse and strange in topic, because it’s not a focused blog. It’s a personal one. I could try to narrow the scope I guess, but honestly, I’m not interested in that right now. I just want a place to pour out whatever’s in my head.
But my author blog? Well, that’s different.
I’ve let it go fallow from time to time, not updating it regularly, not keeping abreast of what’s happening in the industry, and to be honest, there are better folks for that than me. Kristine Kathryn Rusch and her husband Dean Wesley Smith come to mind, along with Joe Konrath and The Passive Guy. There are tons of others. But all of them spend a lot of time researching, reading about, and collecting information on, the publishing and self-publishing industries. It’s not my cup of tea, honestly, so when I’ve touched on it, it was usually a regurgitation of someone else’s homework.
That’s not what I want my author site to be.
I’d like to be able to offer people stuff. Free stuff. Put things out there to make them interested in what might be out there. Sample chapters, book giveaways, and guest interviews might be nice. And I’d love to be able to opine about things like horror and writing, which is why it’s a blog.
But it should have a more specific focus, and to focus it, I have to find out who my audience is, at least over there. For all I know, it’s the same as over here.
One approach will be to just make the web site what I want it to be and see who shows up, I guess. Maybe that’s the way I’ll go.
In the meantime, if you’re bored with what I’m writing about, what would you like to see? (This is a personal blog, and I write about what’s going on with me, but you’re not obliged to read it, obviously. To thank you, it won’t hurt me to give you what you want from time to time, if you tell me what it is.)
Hope you had a good weekend. We had an enjoyable and long one.
See you next time. You know – if you’re still around.