Friday, May 6, 2005


JaynieR has an interesting post up about how to increase traffic to your blog. She writes, "People blog hop for conflict, controversy, bitching, whinging, strong opinions, things they can strongly agree or disagree with. Something that makes them want to go back and find out what the blog owner is going to say next... or... they blog hop to learn things."

I posted a response remarking that a published author may not want to be that controversial, as she might actually LOSE readers as a result. But I suppose it depends on the person. Some authors, particularly those well established in their career, don't shy away from controversy (Alison Kent and Monica Jackson are two examples), and I seriously doubt it's lost them any significant amount of readers. (I'm still at the point in my career where I really can't afford to lose even one!) But I'm not naturally a "whinging" sort of person; the one flicker of controversy I've gotten from posting on this blog caused me to hide under the bed for two days *wry grin*.

Furthermore, I'm still at a fairly early stage of my career. I've had one agent visit this blog, and for all I know an editor or two have come by (I doubt it, but a girl can dream, can't she??), and I don't really want to submit to an agent or editor down the line and have her remember me as "that author with the b*tchy blog." Eeeek.

When I posted about this subject once before, a wise person told me that snarkiness just for the sake of being snarky probably wouldn't work... it would come across as fake. And that's probably true. I am simply not much of a snark. I love snarky blogs (I agree with JaynieR that those Smart Bitches are fabulous!), but I don't think I can do snark successfully.

So... I'm not in this to generate controversy. If that means fewer hits on my blog, so be it. I'll just have to live with that.


  1. Melissa Senate did a great blog about Don't judge a book by its blogger that sort of touches this same topic.

    My friend Beth Ciotta gets lots of traffic to her blog and she doesn't have a controversial bone in her body. She writes about writing, about her life as an entertainer, and so on so writers get a feel for who she is as a person and what this brings to her books.

    I never know what I'm going to blog about until I do. I want to be fun, entertaining, sometimes inspirational, sometimes thought-provoking. Okay, secretly, I want to be the reincarnation of Erma Bombeck -- or who Erma Bombeck would have been if she'd also been a romance novelist.

  2. Keep doing what you're doing, Ellen. I very much enjoy your blog. I'm sure many others do as well. As Mary stated in her comment, I'm not into controversy. I have opinions, of course. And at times I have spoken up/out on a couple of topics. But never (I hope) at the expense of another person's feelings. Quite honestly I tend to steer away from 'snarky' blogs. They strike a negative chord in me. Life's too short. Embrace the positive.

  3. I think your blog's great the way it is! I come here every day now. :)

  4. Thank you, Beth and Deidre. You're too kind:-).

    Mary, my approach to blogging is not unlike yours... I never know what I'm going to blog about till I start blogging!

  5. Ellen,
    Stick with your forte. It works for you.
    And snark for the sake of snark? *shuddering* There's a vast world of difference there.
    So you don't like controversy? Good. But people still come to visit because they like you and/or what you're saying.