Blog Business: A Self-Assessment

When I started this blog, it was an author platform, because I needed to establish my pen name, my brand, and all that hullaballoo. Which, three books later, I’d say I have. I’m not a big name (not even close) but I’d say I have a brand: romance author who’s a giant book nerd with a million hobbies, crossed with I’d Like to Be Your Cool Aunt Who Gives You Good Advice.

Which honestly means my blog is a giant mess. I stick to my weekly book review posts like glue–they’re only postponed for vacations–but everything else? Up in the air. Over the nearly four years I’ve been at this, I’ve tested so many ideas for article series, and some are great, others so-so, others abandoned.

I’m doing this more for myself, to have it all in one place I can refer back to when I’m moving forward with new content, than to make you, my lovely readers, dig through my archives to find stuff you missed. If you want to, great! But some of it’s not going to be that good, necessarily, especially in the early year(s).

So let’s take a look, shall we?

Art

Most recent post: August 2018

Almost entirely posts about my art journaling, which for a time was a monthly series I did. Except I haven’t been journaling much at all since then, so I’ve got no content for it.

Plan: Recategorize as “Art Journaling;” move the few unrelated posts to more appropriate categories; hopefully make it a monthly post topic again.

Book Memes

Most recent post: last week

Mostly my “Down the TBR Hole” posts, which are consistently monthly with brief interruptions. Plus a few random book-related tag games I’ve done for fun. This category is in better shape than most.

Plan: Keep chuggin’ along with it. Maybe try to do more community memes like Top Ten Tuesday and thus be more involved with other bloggers.

Bookish DIY

Most recent post: last month

This was supposed to be a monthly topic as well, when I first came up with it, but a) while I may be super crafty, this isn’t a craft blog; b) it’s a big time sink to generate content for; and c) I just don’t have that many ideas. How many bookmarks do I really need, anyway?

Plan: It’s not going away, but it’s going to be a special feature when I have something cool to post, rather than a regular one where I churn out mediocre crap.

Crafting

Most recent post: December 2017

A holdover from my early days, most of this stuff belongs elsewhere (or already is) and I simply don’t need the overlap with this broad, nonessential category.

Plan: Eliminate it.

Currently Reading

Most recent post: June 2017

Not useful. “Currently Reading” was going to be an article series, but it never got off the ground, mostly due to my weekly book review posts coming along–if you’re going to read my review on Friday, why talk about the book on Monday or Wednesday too?

The few other posts in this category are about temporary/unplanned reading challenges I joined that didn’t fall under the yearly Reading Challenges categories–ie, #readwomen and so on. And I found a book meme from before I had a tag for that!

Plan: Eliminate it after recategorizing its content.

Editing

Most recent post: February 2019

Everything (I hope) that I’ve ever posted relating to my editing process, self-editing practice, various apps to help with editing. I tend to talk more about writing when I’m writing, and more about editing when I’m rewriting/revising/proofreading, so this is never going to be a series, but rather a useful catch-all for all sorts of posts related to the topic.

Plan: Keep it, though I’ll double-check to make sure both that it’s not holding any dead weight, and that it’s not missing anything.

Favorites

Most recent post: January 2018

What the hell even is this category? It makes no sense.

Plan: Recategorize and eliminate.

Guest Posts

Most recent post: December 2015

This would be more useful if I’d ever done any others past the first set. It’s a category I feel like I should have, but don’t actually need.

Plan: Recategorize and eliminate.

Inspiration

Most recent post: February 2019

I know what I was thinking when I created this, and it was pretty straightforward. Either things that inspire me to write, or resources to help find inspiration. But it’s become weird and bloated and not helpful as a distinction. Especially because so much of it overlaps with Motivation (or it should, anyway.)

Plan: Keep it but clean it up.

Journals

Most recent post: February 2018 (though it’s missing a lot of later art journal posts)

This was supposed to be me talking about all my journaling, not just the art stuff, but it’s sadly thin in that department.

Plan: Find a home for the stuff that isn’t art, then eliminate it as overlap.

Let Me Tell You a Story

Most recent post: February 2019

A long-running series that I leaned on heavily in the beginning, then neglected for ages. I’m not entirely sure why–too much other content? Not in the mood to get personal? But it was the backbone of my blog for the first year, and there’s a lot of good stuff there.

Plan: Revive it!

Masterposts

Most recent post: June 2017

Another what-the-hell category that I created with good intentions, the last time I tried to get organized here on the blog, but never did anything with. (Also, why did I make it one word? That’s just dumb.)

Plan: Recategorize and eliminate.

Motivation

Most recent post: this month

Like Inspiration, it’s big, it’s messy, it’s bloated. The two overlap far more than they should.

Plan: Clean it up, be more selective about posting to it in the future.

movies

Most recent post: October 2017 (though I can think of at least two more recent posts it’s missing; also why-t-F didn’t I capitalize it)

Yeah, I’m primarily talking about writing books, but I have quite a few articles about drawing inspiration and advice from other sources, including movies. This is a category I need to have, but it needs work.

Plan: Rename to TV + Movies (probably.) Find the missing content. Make sure I don’t misplace content in the future, but it doesn’t need to be a regular feature.

Music

Most recent post: August 2017

Pretty much the same deal as “movies.” It’s missing stuff, but I need it. And I could do more to develop it.

Plan: Find the missing posts, spruce it up, talk more about it in the future because music is a huge part of my life?

Out and About

Most recent post: July 2017

Supposed to be about travel, or otherwise getting out of the house. The first two posts are me writing what sounds like mini fics, only they’re not fictional, because I did actually go those places. Weird, and under-utilized, because while I do travel some, I don’t actually talk about it much? Privacy concerns, and all.

Plan: Eliminate it.

Photos

Most recent post: February 2018

I see what I wanted to do with this: have one place to find any posts that used primarily my own photography, or were about photography. But it’s just not that useful a category.

Plan: Eliminate it.

Prompts

Most recent post: February 2019

A catch-all for posts about or containing writing prompts–I have several series that do this, including Writing Homework, which has its own category, but many of them do belong both places.

Plan: Keep it. Check for missing content. Probably rename it to “Writing Prompts.”

Quoll Writer

Most recent post: October 2015

So, yeah, I made an entire parent-level category for a writing app I don’t really use anymore. (My most recent project saved in that format is NaNo ’17.) My bad.

Plan: Rename it to “Writing and Editing Apps.” Find other content that would fit there (TTS Reader, Hemingway, etc.) Give each app a subcategory.

Serial

Most recent post: August 2015

Once upon a time, I wrote serialized fiction for my blog. I had planned to do more after I completed the first story, and never did. Since I have a separate page for it in the header, I don’t really need this anymore.

Plan: Eliminate it.

Social Media

Most recent post: September 2018

I have written articles specifically about social media before, and I probably will again. But I’ve been scattershot about applying this label so far.

Plan: Set myself some guidelines on how much social-media content a post needs to qualify, and check to see if anything needs to go in this category that isn’t.

Spooky Romance Novel

Most recent post: January 2019

I did the smart thing, in theory, and made a category for my “current” WIP. (As of now, it still is, though I’ve picked up one old project as well.)

This is where things get tricky. I want a category for each WIP, so interested parties can find everything at once. But some WIPs, if I make a category for each (or subcategory under a parent “WIP” category) will overlap with my yearly NaNoWriMo categories (which should also be subcategories of a parent) and some will eventually become finished books and not WIPs anymore. (Like all my What We Need books, which have their own categories.)

So collectively all of those need a total overhaul.

Plan: Shuffle it around until it makes sense, but have a plan for relocating posts when WIPs are no longer active, be they finished books, or abandoned for other projects.

Things I’ve Read

Most recent post: last week

So, this had a purpose, once. In 2015, any type of post that talked about a book I’d read when into this category, since I didn’t do formal book reviews (yet.)

Since the beginning of 2016, that is all I’ve done. I don’t do posts comparing two recent reads, a formal I tried out early on. I don’t write up an entire post about a nostalgic childhood book I reread.

So it really doesn’t make sense to have this category anymore.

Plan: Replace it with “Book Reviews” for the actual reviews, and either find other homes for the remaining posts, or create a “Random Book Stuff” catch-all. We’ll see which works better.

vocabulary

Most recent post: January 2019

I’ve gotten lazy about keeping up with my self-imposed vocabulary expansion program, though to some extent it depends on what I’m reading, of course. But I could be doing more.

Plan: Fix the label (again with the lack of a capital? What was I doing?) and be more diligent about posting when possible.

Worldbuilding

Most recent post: June 2016

Under-developed, under-utilized. Also, pretty sure it should be hyphenated.

Plan: If I can find other homes for the existing content, eliminate it. If not, fix it up, do it better, work on adding more relevant stuff in the future.

Writing Homework

Most recent post: February 2019

My most “successful” monthly topic, though of course some months I miss it because I can never quite get a consistent schedule going. Does it need its own parent category, though? Probably not.

Plan: Roll it into “Writing Resources” below as a subcategory.

Writing Prompt Responses

Most recent post: October 2018

I used to do drabbles and flash fic a lot in the early days of the blog, when I hadn’t yet developed my various advice columns, didn’t do book reviews, etc. And I don’t want all that to disappear–in fact, I wish I could make more time to write flash fiction, but I tend to feel guilty these days if I’m not working on my main project.

Plan: Keep it, hopefully write more.

Writing Resources

Most recent post: this month

The catch-all for everything related to writing, be it an article I wrote, links I’ve gathered, YouTube videos I think are helpful, etc. And I need all that. But it also needs to one be one giant bin I throw everything into.

Plan: Organize the hell out of it into as many subcategories as necessary, staring with the aforementioned “Writing Homework” and going from there.


If you actually read through all that, I’m impressed, and you’re too loyal and dedicated for words. And I hoped you learned something about blog organization from all my mistakes. Expect the changes I’m making to roll out over the next few weeks, because it’s going to take some serious doing to fix all this!

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Semi-Unplanned Hiatus

I don’t like to do this, but I’ve just got too much going on to keep up on the blog right now. Holidays, am I right?

The weekly book review posts will still be happening–I’m so close to a whole year of them!–and I’ve got some end-of-the-year type stuff planned, but other posts will just have to wait for the new year, when hopefully I will have more time.

What little free time I do have at the moment needs to be reserved for novel-writing, because ideally I would like to finish my NaNo novel draft by the end of the year, so I can let it stew while I tackle the pre-publishing work for What We Need to Rebuild.

Y’all understand, right?

One Hundred!

This is my hundredth post!  I haven’t missed a (week)day since I began this blog in June.  Let me just strain my shoulder patting myself on the back…

But, realistically, during NaNoWriMo I doubt I will be posting five times a week.  I love my blog and my readers and all the likes and comments and fun little conversations…but I’ve got a first novel to publish, and the second novel to blitz-write.

So I will aim for a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.  And I’d already decided to limit my word-count bragging (here, anyway) to once a week.  As excited as I am to be participating, I don’t want this blog to be nothing but NaNo for the entire month of November.

Tomorrow will be the End of the Month Wrap-Up, since it falls over the weekend.  And by Monday I’ll be working on the new novel!